By Tom Chase
So Sunday is Easter! The day we celebrate and remember—and hopefully even party because of — what Christ has done for us! What is it that Christ has done for us? He has given us salvation! That salvation is so much deeper and richer than I have previously been able to articulate and realize. I don’t think I even yet fully comprehend it all.
What I am about to share with you is largely from what Stuart McAllister shared as part of a panel discussion with Ravi Zacharias. He answered a question about our struggle with being spiritually transformed when our hearts fails to match the will of God. His answer takes us back to the cross and the resurrection of Jesus. It’s found in what Jesus has done for us — salvation!
Here is what I mean:
1) I am saved from the penalty of sin.
In reality, I am a struggler in this Christian walk. Maybe you, too, would agree not only about my walk but also about your own walk. My heart does not always match the will of God. I am a sinner. But the gospel message is that when I accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, He saves me. So because of gospel, I can confidently say that I am saved. Jesus has taken away my sins. I am secure in my eternal destination. So I am saved from the penalty of sin.
2) I am being saved from the power of sin.
Sometimes the gospel message can be oversold, and we say God’s salvation will do things that it does not. As a result, we can become extremely discouraged about our present walk.
I can say, “I am saved,” and that is true. But at times the message becomes, “Jesus makes our lives better,” which is just as true, but not always in the ways anticipated by that general statement. So the message can then become, “Accepting Jesus will automatically fix everything in our lives. Suddenly, everyone will like me, there will be no more conflict, my work will be easy, my athletic abilities will become legendary, my spouse will become better looking, my kids will become smarter and perfectly behaved.” This simply is not what salvation does for us. Everything is not perfect in life or in us. Paul reminds us about our struggles in Romans 7:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do … For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it … Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Our old nature rises up. We end up doing the very things we don’t want to do. For whatever reason, God has left us here with the sinful nature, and an internal struggle ensues.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:16-17
So it should not surprise us that we are in a battle. Again, at the end of Romans 7, Paul says Who will rescue us—and it is Jesus Christ our Lord! It is His salvation again. I am being saved. We are being sanctified, that is, becoming more and more like Jesus over time. I am being saved from the power of sin!
3) I will be saved from the presence of sin.
This last one is no less true than the others. When we are called into the presence of God and our final days here are done, we will be in the presence of the almighty God where there is no sin. There will be no more sickness, pain, and tears. The culmination of all that God through Jesus Christ has intended for us will be complete. We will have eternity to revel in it all and I will be saved from the presence of sin!
So as we celebrate Easter this year I am reminded of all God has done for us through Jesus Christ our Lord. Because of Him, I am, am being, and will be saved, from the penalty, the power, and the presence of sin. What God through Christ has done for us is simply amazing. Doesn’t that make you just want to lean into Him?