July 8, 2013

God’s Motive for Salvation

Last week to clear myself, I explained details about an incident to someone who had misunderstood me. I hate being misunderstood. This makes me wonder how many acts of God are done to clarify Himself, to clear up any misunderstanding we have about who He is?

For instance, if a person does something against the will of God, they might feel like He will send a bolt of lightning to correct them, but He doesn’t. Instead, sends His Son to sacrifice Himself for sin and to offer forgiveness. What does that say about the nature and character of God? He hates sin and it must be punished, but He loves sinners and wants a personal relationship with us. The only solution is a fitting substitute who will willingly take our place, a substitute that satisfies Him and is willing to do it.

But He cannot offer a salvation like this for our sakes. We don’t deserve it. Instead, He does it for His own names sake, so that we can clearly understand who He is.

Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power. (Psalm 106:8)

If God did not save people for His own sake, no one would be saved. The best and most moral person on earth does not deserve mercy. We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) because everyone sins. Even relying on my own righteousness is a sin. Consider an omelet made of all good eggs except one. That one egg ruins the entire omelet, just as one sin ruins any hope that I could measure up to God’s standard.

He saves for His name’s sake that I might hope in His name, turn to Him for mercy and grace. I might fear Him more if He showed no mercy and offered no forgiveness, but then my fear would be like the fear of a demon, a fear of despair without repentance and faith. No one could trust in Him if He did not save for His name’s sake.

He saves for His name’s sake so I can adore His name and praise His mercy. What an awesome God who can show grace when nothing is deserved but misery and guilt! Knowing I am sinful is humbling, yet knowing my God forgives and saves me anyway is more humbling. What can I do but praise His name?

The Lord saves for His own sake. When I run to Him, I am without excuse for what I have done, but salvation isn’t about my efforts or any lack of trying; it is about His grace. If I could earn my salvation with my own righteousness, I would not need Him and pride would rule my life.

On the other hand, if nothing that I do could earn favor with God and if my best efforts to be righteous deserve damnation, then there is no escaping His wrath. I would sink into the pit of sin without hope and in great despair and self-pity. Either way, the focus is on me and not Him.

Why does God save me or anyone else? He saves for His own name’s sake that He might be glorified and that my pride, arrogance and self-pity be put where they belong. He alone deserves to be exalted. Saving for His own name’s sake suits His nature and character, and it clearly reveals who He is.
It is for this reason that He saved me.

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