The primary reason people come to Jesus Christ is that they recognize the fruitless ness and worthlessness of their life on earth through sin, and are seeking salvation. Jesus Christ is the Saviour and He is the way we must find salvation for salvation comes from God alone, through Jesus Christ.
But there is an interesting perspective on salvation that we can see in this scripture. Christians often talk amongst themselves asking the question of people whether they have been saved or not. There is also a movement in parts of the church who claim that when you come to Christ, you become “Once saved, always saved”.
This OSAS position is not correct, for being saved and receiving salvation are not the same thing. This scripture shows us this amongst other things. So let us look at what this verse is telling us.
How many times have you heard Christians ask of someone else, “Are you saved?” Or perhaps they have spoken about someone or other saying they are or are not saved?
Let us understand that when a person comes to Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Saviour, then that is when they are saved. When a person then becomes baptized they move from being a lost citizen of this world and this age and become a saved citizen of the kingdom of God.
This is what it is to be saved; to accept the salvation teachings of Jesus Christ and to begin following Him, walking as Christ walked and being transformed into His image by the Holy Spirit as we follow Jesus Christ.
However what we see in this scripture is that to receive salvation is different to being saved. It is all about the time periods and the processes of this journey we are on with Jesus Christ. Note what the verse is saying.
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)
Here Paul is telling the Romans that salvation is nearer now than when they had first believed. When you look at that in terms of the time periods we see that there was a measure of salvation at the beginning, ie. when they first believed, but that the receiving of salvation was still yet to come.
They had not yet received salvation but it was something still yet to come. Receiving salvation in this description was a future event to which all of those believers were heading.
But we see also the conditional nature of this event in the first few words of the verse for Paul exhorts the people that they had to awake from sleep. He was saying the time is short and they needed to wake up! They could not simply cruise along in a spiritual sleep but needed to wake up, holding fast to, building up and living in the faith that leads to salvation.
So we see that the receiving of salvation then could be looked at as a journey. Recently I was discussing this with some other people on Twitter and we used the analogy of salvation being like a train journey.
Ultimately, salvation is the destination. It is the promise of salvation to which we have been called and so it is the destination of our walk with Christ. But, like this scripture above we see that salvation is something that we grow towards. So salvation is not just a destination but it is the journey as well. As we learn and grow we grow into salvation. But like a train if we go to sleep and do not wake up, we can go off the rails and fail to reach the destination. And all of this begins when we first get on the train. This is when we are saved in Jesus Christ and most importantly, He purchased our ticket to salvation when He gave up His life and offered His blood to guy us the chance of salvation.
So we must be awake. We must learn and grow. We must seek the things that lead to salvation by seeking the truth and growing in the faith that is in Jesus Christ. When we do those things hen we can be assured of finding the true salvation that God provided to all who come to Him in Jesus Christ.
And the final salvation we are to receive is to live with Him in His kingdom, freed from all the bondages of this life. Eternal salvation.
(Photo sourced from freeimages.com provided by Billy Alexander)
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