The following devotional is inspired by the book “Eternity is Now in Session” written by John Ortberg.
The primary word used as a synonym for salvation in the New Testament is ‘life’:
I have come that they may have ‘life’, and have it to the full (John 10:10).
What does the word ‘life’ mean? The way we define ‘life’ reveals the condition of our own heart i.e. what we believe and what we want. It may not be the ‘truth’. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6 (NIV)
When the rich man asked Jesus how to have eternal life, Jesus did not say, “Pray this prayer, and then you can go on your way.” He did not say, “Believe the right things about me, and then you’ll get into heaven when you die.” Instead, Jesus told the man to dethrone money and enthrone Jesus – not to earn forgiveness but to LIVE in the reality of the Kingdom.
Salvation is not about getting you into heaven; it’s about getting heaven into you. Salvation does not mean simply being rescued from the consequences of our wrong choices. It does not mean being delivered into better circumstances. It means being CHANGED. Salvation is not primarily a matter of going to the good place. It’s about becoming good people. We need to be saved inwardly from our anger, despair, lust, greed, arrogance, and egotism. If our inner person is not transformed, our outer location won’t matter much.
Dallas Willard: Grace is ‘God doing in us and for us what we could not do ourselves’.
John Ortberg: Salvation means that not only am I forgiven by grace, but I am also learning to LIVE by grace.
Jesus’ fundamental call is: Follow Me. The New Testament is a book about disciples, by disciples, and for disciples.
The Good News: ETERNAL LIFE – life with God and for God, life under God’s care and life by God’s power – IS AVAILABLE NOW.
If you want that life, the logical step is to become a disciple – a follower of Jesus Christ.
Life with God
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NKJV)
Life for God
If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24 (ESV)
Life under God’s care
Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
Life by God’s power
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)
Lam Yee Ling