Sunday morning, during Sunday School, I was asked a question, “What is God’s greatest gift to me?” I thought for about one second and said, “Salvation.” This provoked a discussion regarding Christ and which is greater, his birth or his resurrection. Upon discussing the matter, I determined the matter in such as this. Christ is the greatest gift period…his birth, his life, his death, his burial and his resurrection. That discussion brought about this evening’s thought of, “One Word.”
I googled, “how many words occur once in the bible,” and the result shocked me. In the King James Bible, there are 3,949 words that occur only once. A lot of them are names, of course, but there many that are not names. Why is this important? Well, sometimes all it takes is one word to significantly change a thought, a sentence, a story or even a life. Sometimes it’s but one word that represents much. For instance, if someone says, “emancipation,” what comes to mind? For me, Abraham Lincoln automatically and his battle against slavery. If someone says the word, “rights,” I think of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his battle for civil rights. The word, “sacrifice,” makes me think of Christian missionaries who give up so much to spread the gospel. And when I hear the word, “salvation,” I think of so much more than just a one time occurrence at an altar.
The word salvation means, “rescue or safety (physically or morally); deliver; save.” Webster’s defines it as, “The act of saving; preservation from destruction, danger or great calamity.” Many times, probably many people think of salvation as when they were saved or born again. That one word has so much more involved in its use. For instance, the drug addict that is saved, is not only saved for an eternity, but also delivered from drugs and their power over them. I won’t approach the subject of the return to such, but the deliverance is still the same. It is sad, however of how many have been delivered, only to repeat their past offenses. Can you imagine being in prison and governor giving you your pardon, but your remain in the cell? Whether or not you enjoy the freedom, it still is there. You can walk out at any time. Many today have been set free, yet remain in the cell. Maybe it isn’t drugs or prostitution or adultery, rather it is the inability to stop gossiping. Maybe it’s smoking, or cursing or over eating or drinking, etc. The point is, it is up to us to enjoy the salvation that God has provided. David wrote in Psalm 51 asking God to restore the joy of salvation to him. Why had he lost the joy? Sin. Although we do not believe it possible to lose salvation, we whole heartedly believe in the loss of the joy, which brings confusion.
When Christ was born, the plan of God’s salvation was set into motion. There is no one part of the life of Christ any more important than another. His entire life and death are equally important. Without the birth, there is no resurrection and without the resurrection, the birth is like any other.
The plan of God’s salvation was not only to secure the believer a place in eternity with Him, although that seems like enough. Oh, no. It goes far beyond than one time. It provides a faith that now can activate the power of God in the life that enables the ability of God to deliver from trials, persecutions, mockings and so much more. God desires us to call on Him in the times we need rescuing from danger, even danger we have caused. Have you ever thought of the child that gets themselves into trouble, only to call upon mom or dad for help? Where do you think that comes from? Even though God may disagree with our life choice or not condone what we have done, He will never cast away His children. He is always calling them to Himself, forgiving, loving, cleansing and etc. Yes, there must be repentance from them to Him, but that does not negate His desire to fellowship with His children.
How many have been made to feel or believe that God is done with them? How many have the feeling that God is sick of their messes? How many have been convinced or even convinced themselves that God has reached His limit with them? Some today discuss and even preach God without Christ. Stating that God is perfect and holy, therefore He does not allow such things and if the believer doesn’t separate, they risk still going to hell. I must remind the reader that that is the whole reason Christ came…to intercede. Yes, God is perfect, God is holy and sin cannot occupy His space. Having Christ, however, enables God to forgive, to love, to cherish, to be gracious and merciful. You see, God does it for the sake of Christ (Eph. 4:32).
God’s plan of salvation does not reflect upon what we have done or even do, but rather it reflects upon what Christ did and does. He died for sinners and today, still ever makes intercession for them. When I think of the word, “salvation,” this is but an excerpt of what comes to mind.