It’s So Simple

The salvation God offers has never been a matter of being convinced. We are not rescued from condemnation by deciding God is real or that Jesus existed; or even by agreeing with various orthodox doctrinal positions or asserted historical statements. You don’t need the approval of men or a seminary degree. Salvation has always only been about one thing: Do I believe Jesus is who God the father says he is? The opportunity for salvation begins with consideration of the man Jesus, believing what he says about my need, and inviting him to rescue me. Once this happens, movement toward him with my heart and my actions follows. Anything less is merely meaningless assent; anything beyond this is merely man attempting to get control of, optimize or enhance the Gospel. In the end, all of those only get in the way and hinder the harvest.

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.  For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” – John 5:21-24

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21

“And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.” – Matthew 5:36-37

“I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.  

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” – Colossians 2:1-8

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Many of us embrace our first perception of others’ words to us and react to our emotions that rise in that moment as if they thoroughly encapsulate the intent and essence of the other individual. In my life, cooperating with that often fuels an unnecessary and unconscious escalation of tension and misunderstanding, not to mention missing any benefit from the interaction.

But the Holy Spirit is teaching me a different way.

Beyond listening, he is reining in my pace and my self-centeredness, revealing and displacing my idol of efficiency, and showing me how to guard my heart even from my own assumptions. It’s just too easy – and gratifying to my flesh – to paint others’ words with my own shame, guilt, and unmet need, leading to inexplicable behavior on my part and wounding of the person I’m responding to. Assumptions are powerful, aggressive sirens concealing the sharp rocks of hurt like sweet fog, and the world and my flesh encourage me to just grab that initial interpretation without pausing to ask God. Waiting for truth and God’s perspective and insight to coalesce from the expression of another person just as disoriented as I; recognizing wisdom and godliness and relationship require time; letting love reign over impatience and fear; that is the way of Christ.

%d bloggers like this: