October 28, 2016

How God saves . . .

Today’s devotional reading from Chambers’ book, “My Utmost for His Highest” is deep and profound. Some might respond to it by saying this is the notion of Calvinists, but it is true to the Scriptures and to the belief of millions. It leaves me with nothing more to say than ‘amen’ and to rewrite it slightly so it is personal, including those verses that Chambers used.

God shows his love for me in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. Since, therefore, I have now been justified by his blood, much more shall I be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while I was an enemy I was reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that I am reconciled, shall I be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8–10)

Martin Luther said we have everything we need — except the faith to believe it. I thank God for what Chambers says, “I am not saved by believing; I realize I am saved by believing.”

Repentance did not save me; repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus. I cannot put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause. It is not my obedience that puts me right with God or my consecration, or anything else I have done.

I am put right with God because prior to even being born, Christ died. When I turned to God and by faith accepted what God revealed that I can accept, the stupendous Atonement of Jesus Christ instantly rushed me into a right relationship with God. Then, by the supernatural miracle of God’s grace, I stood justified.

This did not happen because of my sorrow for sin, or because I repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The spirit of God brought this reality into my mind and heart with light — literally. I know, though I do not know how, that I am saved. As a friend said, it takes an instant to become a child of God, and then you will spend the rest of your life trying to figure out what happened!

This amazing salvation of God does not stand on human logic or rationale. It stands on the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was born again because of what He has done, changed into a new creation by the marvelous work of God in Christ Jesus, prior to all experience.

The impregnable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. I do not have to work out these things myself. For one thing, that is impossible. My salvation is worked out by the Atonement and in it the supernatural becomes natural by the miracle of God — who caused me to realize what Jesus Christ has already done — and filled my heart with the faith needed to believe that, “It is finished.”

As Luther said, I have everything in Christ — and because of God’s grace, I also have the faith to believe it!

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