April 5 I Thursday
1 Samuel 1-3
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” —Acts 4:12
There is a story of a famous Anglican bishop who was joined on a train in England by two Salvation Army ladies. They asked the bishop whether he was saved or not to which he replied, “Well, it all depends on what you mean by being saved. Do you mean have I been saved, am I being saved or will I one day be saved? Are you asking about my past, my present or my future?”
The two Salvation Army ladies were quite confused, as many of us would be. We are all born into a state of perishing because of our sinful natures that lead to eternal perishing, but this can be replaced with a state of living and eternal life that is the gift of God. This is an essential part of salvation, but it is only the first stage. When we believe in Christ, accepting Him as Lord and Saviour, we are saved because the penalty for our sin was paid on the cross, which means we have been “justified” before God. This is a past tense event to our salvation, but there is also a present and future aspect to being saved.
In the present, we are being saved from the power of sin on a daily basis. The theological term is “sanctification.” We face a daily battle with temptation and sometimes satanic attack, which means we need a continuing salvation that is ever active. Paul states the difference between past and present salvation when he says, “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10) The process of sanctification delivers us daily from sin’s dominion, giving us victory over battles with sin as we live in the resurrected life of Christ imparted to us by the Holy Spirit.
We will also be saved in the future from the presence of sin, a fullness of salvation yet to come. The process of sanctification that began when we became a Christian will be completed in heaven when sin’s power over us is finally and totally removed from our lives. This is to be “glorified” and fully conformed to the image of Christ, receiving our inheritance of perfection “that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:3). Yet, whether saved in the past from sin’s penalty by Christ’s death, in the present from sin’s power by His life within us, or in the future from sin’s presence in heaven, all three result solely from the work of Christ on the cross and the Father having raised Him from the dead.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I battle with sin all the time, but thank You for saving me from its dominion over my life and for the fullness of salvation I will receive when I join You in heaven.