Monday, February 6, 2012

What is Salvation?

As part of an email conversation with a friend, I wrote the following explaining my understanding of what Salvation is. I have come to this view after several years of living and trying out various religious, doctrinal, denominational views on this issue. I spoke the church lingo quite eloquently, but I have to admit, I never "got" the essence of what gospel really was. Today, I am glad to say that, I finally "get" it! In His grace, He revealed it to me! And unlike the other views I had, I am holding to this view for several years now because it sits right with my rational mind and also with my spirit. It's been consistent. In other words, now, I have a conviction, but in my religious days, I had only a belief.

Here is the email I wrote:

So, what is my understanding of Salvation?

Boy! where do I begin! :)

I cannot explain what salvation is and why we need it without going all the way to the garden of Eden. God created Adam and Eve fully alive (body, soul and spirit). They had perfect communion with God. But God told them if they eat from the tree of knowledge and evil, they will DIE. However, we all know that Adam/Eve did not really die when they ate from the tree, because Bible says Adam lived upto 930 years (had children, grand children etc)
so, then why did God say that they will die? Did God lie?

The answer is, they in fact died! But not their body or soul, but their spirit. They died spiritually! The spirit of the God, who made them alive to God, left them! In another words, life left them! Because death is the absence of life, isn't it?

We know the rest of the story. Adam and Eve had kids, but all those kids inherited the nature of Adam. What is the "nature" of Adam? Spiritually dead! The children of Adam, ever since the fall, including us, inherits Adam's nature. In other words, when we are born into this world, we have a live body and a live soul (mind), but NOT a live spirit. Why? because we inherit the nature of Adam, the nature of being spiritually dead. Have you ever wondered why we don't have to teach the kids how to sin? They know it. Even a 3 year old knows how to lie, for example!

Hope you are with me until now :)

Now, lets fast forward to the time of Jesus. Have you ever wondered why Jesus is called the "Second Adam"? Interesting, isn't it?

There is an amazing statement in  1 John 3:14.

Here it is: "We know that we have passed from death to life"

Wow! What was the problem in the garden of Eden? Death!
What is the solution God had? LIFE!

Amazing, isn't it?

The only solution for death is life! (We don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that)

Now, consider this:

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the LIFE"

"I have come so that you may have LIFE"

"I am the resurrection and LIFE"

Any human being, who is born from their human Dad and Mom are born spiritually DEAD. But, then later in life, when they receive Jesus, they receive LIFE!

Their spirit (which they lost in Adam) is now restored! They are redeemed! And that, my friend, is the SALVATION!

Salvation is coming ALIVE to God. Being born from the incorruptible seed (corruptible seed being our human father). We are born again. Birth happens when Life comes! Don't you agree? Just like when a new baby is born there is a new life (natural life), when we are born again, there is a new LIFE (the LIFE which Jesus came to give us).

It's interesting, people come up with all kind of theories about what salvation is. Many people think salvation is merely forgiveness of sins. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many people think, salvation is the ticket to heaven! Though that is part of salvation, that is not salvation is all about. Some people think cross is what saves us. Not true! it is the resurrection (life) what saves us! Cross (forgiveness) was a pre-requisite to salvation. In other words, without the cross, salvation (resurrection) is not possible, yet cross itself is not salvation.

In simple terms, Salvation is God coming to live in us! The life of God dwelling in us, just like how He dwelled in Adam and Eve before the fall. 

That's is why salvation is called redemption - redeemed what Adam and Eve lost.

Now, a perfectly holy and righteous God cannot and will not live in a sinful man, right? That's why cross was needed. Cross cleansed us, forgave us all our sins, made us righteous and holy, so that now the holy God can come and live in us. What an amazing plan!

Christian life is not about going to heaven one day.

It's not about how much sin we can manage or how we can attain sinlessness or how we can modify or improve our behavior. Rather, it is living in the reality that a perfectly loving God dwells in us right nowright here and we are perfectly LOVED by Him. Nothing could separate us from His love. When we realize that, life is amazingly transformed. That's the power of gospel. Until and unless we realize this, we are not living the life God intended us to live. We can put on a show (like the pharisees and several modern day christians). Anybody can do that (in fact, almost all religions in the world believe and practice good morals). But true Christian life is totally different. It is the Christ living in and through us. We rest, He lives!

Jesus said, my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Yet, when I look at many Christians today, they are trying hard to live a successful christian life. It look like they carry a difficult yoke and a heavy burden. Isn't that sad? They fail to understand that we are called to a "Sabbath Rest" (Hebrews 4:11). We are not called to "work for God", we are called to "rest", so that God can work through us!

P.S: I apologize for using several exclamation marks and Capital letters. As you can see, I am very very passionate about the good news of gospel. There is nothing in this world makes me more happier than seeing someone getting the truth of God's unconditional love and grace! It's amazing and I have no words to explain that joy.

Religion (including christian religion) is a mere human attempt to make things happen, by observing the law, by following the rules, by doing the "right" things, by speaking the christian lingo, by having the do's and don'ts, by acting like it's working. Dead religion is boring! But, Christ's life in us is exciting!  It sets us FREE! The life we live in Him (knowing that we are totally forgiven, loved and accepted right now, right here) is amazingly fulfilling, satisfying and exciting!

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