Can we know that we have eternal life? If so, how do we know? We have begun a series in order to explore what the Bible has to say about these very questions. (I encourage you to check out part one of Examine Yourselves if you’ve not done so.)
There use to be a television show called Myth Busters; it may still be airing, I don’t know. Anyhow, this show took common cultural myths and proved them to be either true or false. I’d like to utilize this format and look at a few common myths there seem to be in regards to salvation. (Sometimes, a good way to find out what something is is to first understand what it is not.)
It should be understood that salvation is not merely about making me the best me I can be. In the western church many have reduced salvation to a self help fix all designed to make me feel better about myself. Our need for salvation has more or less been reduced to believing that I need to come to Jesus because I’m damaged, and if I come to Christ; I can reach my full potential, I can achieve my divine destiny. PLEASE DON’T CLICK AWAY JUST YET!!
I heard a “Christian” song the other day and the gist of it was, “Jesus, help me to believe I am beautiful enough for you to have died for.” No beloved, its not all about me! Jesus died on the cross because I have sinned against a holy God, because in my sin; I am alienated from Him. Jesus offered Himself not because I haven’t reached my full potential as a human being, and not because I’ve let myself and others down. No, Isaiah tells me that I have sinned against a holy God, the best I can be is as filthy rags ( literally, like the rags from a woman’s menstrual cycle) when compared to His holiness, and the suffering Messiah came to bear our sin and be crushed by the judgment of a holy God. Salvation isn’t about getting me back into right relationship with myself; it is about getting me back into restored communion with the Father through faith in Jesus Christ.
Remember Genesis 3? Remember the “serpent’s” comments: “Did God really say you’d die if you ate the fruit from that tree? You wont die! No, you’ll know what He knows; you’ll be just like Him.” And what happened? The same thing that’s happening today: We want to know what God knows. We want to see what He sees. The god in me needs to be realized. We say what Adam and Eve said, “Lord, we want to be like You, we wouldn’t mind being You; we just don’t want You.” Many have reduced the gospel to just a means by which we can realize our own divinity. The cross and the blood are an offense, and no longer culturally relevant.
Please don’t misunderstand me. When you come to Christ, you will most definitely begin to understand who you are, why you were created, and what God has purposed for you. The way you look at yourself will forever be changed. I’m just trying to say that salvation is not a self-help program. We have been led to believe that everything is about us, when in reality; its all about Jesus- even our salvation (Colossians 1: 13-23).
To be continued….