Sunday we drove about 50 miles to my son’s church where their teenagers presented the morning worship music, skit (that door in the background) and their Student Pastor asked and answered three questions:
Saved from what?All that has to do with what evangelicals are concerned with when we ask, “Are you saved?”
Saved by what?
Saved for what?
First, please consider that oft maligned word, EVANGELICAL, which as an adjective means: "of or according to the teaching of the gospel or the Christian religion; synonyms: scriptural, biblical"; and as a noun means: "a member of the evangelical tradition in the Christian Church." As evangelicals, we believe in God as described in the Holy Bible – actively participating in the lives of His creation. We teach from that book, sharing what we believe.
There are many verses that answer those first three questions, but their Student Pastor chose Ephesians 2:1-10, which contains my most favorite verse about salvation:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
I know, I know – I’m answering that second question out of order! But that’s my favorite verse and I want to share it early, before I post the answer to the first question, found in verses 1-3. The words describing us include our disobedience, desiring things that please our bodies, being children of wrath. That’s why we need saved.
The Bible tells us that all have sinned, coming short of meeting God’s requirements and we’ve earned separation from the life God offers. Each of those links go to a part of what we call the Roman Road – which also answers the three questions. It’s the full gospel message that I’ve been writing about for years. The same now as it was when it was written.
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17 KJV)
Saved from what? Eternal separation from God. The Bible tells us that all souls exist eternally, but not all in the same place. The Bible describes both places and what it takes to be in one or the other. God does not “send us to hell,” we make that choice on our own when we reject His grace.
Saved by what? God’s grace. Because we believe He exists, provided inspired scriptures that tell us about Him and that faith in His ability to keep His word, we are saved.
Saved for what? Now that’s just as important in understanding what comes next:
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6-7 KJV)
We will not spend eternity in heaven with Jesus because we were good enough, but because God is showing His grace toward mankind. We’re told much earlier in the Bible that He walks with His creation:
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:
… but we are as unworthy as they were:
and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8 KJV)
… for all have sinned and come short. Thank God that He has provided the way for us to get past that point and once again fellowship with our Lord.
How do you answer those three questions?