Summary: Salvation gives us the strength to stand our ground in any situation in life
Standing in Salvation
Series: Armed and Dangerous
August 5, 2007
In 1981, a Minnesota radio station reported a story about a stolen car in California. Police were staging an intense search for the vehicle and the driver, even to the point of placing announcements on local radio stations to contact the thief. On the front seat of the stolen car sat a box of crackers that, unknown to the thief, were laced with poison. The car owner had intended to use the crackers as rat bait. Now the police and the owner of the VW Bug were more interested in apprehending the thief to save his life than to recover the car. So often when we run from God, we feel it is to escape his punishment. But what we are actually doing is eluding his rescue.
Many people seem to live their lives running from God. Their belief is that by running they will escape punishment. Running from God only eludes the reality of deliverance.
Paul understood this when he wrote his letter to the Ephesians and included salvation as part of the full armor of God.
Stand firm then… Take up the helmet of salvation. Ephesians 6:17
Purpose of the helmet - The helmet is meant to give protection to the head and to the mind. There is no possible way for the soldier to be effective if there was no way to think straight. Thus the mind becomes on of the most vital areas to protect.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; Romans 8:6
The power of salvation
For the Christian salvation becomes the source of our protection over the core of our being. When we are saved, we are offered protection for our minds. Why is this so important?
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The mind is the source for every action and every attitude that is part of your life. Every single behavior that is in your life today is a product of your mind. It is knowing that we are saved and that we have hope that we will meet Jesus in eternity.
The power of salvation helps us to keep our minds on Christ and away from sin. Salvation becomes the key motive in our lives - every area becomes focused through the lens of saving grace.
The problem in our society is that every behavior is sought to be justified. I have heard arguments of psychologists say that horrible behaviors are a result of nurture. In other words, there is always someone, something or some event to blame for a person’s behavior. This method has been used to justified drug abuse, murder, theft, sexual immorality and a host of other things. Clearly, there is a dangerous game being played. One that some of you are playing here this morning. If I am good person I will go to heaven. We believe that if we live better than Charles Manson or Osama Bin laden that we deserve to get a place in heaven.
So, how do we gain salvation?
1. You were meant to have a personal relationship with God
• God’s deepest desire is to have an intimate, personal relationship with you
The desperate longings of the human heart are to have this relationship but far too often we fill this longing with other things that just cannot satisfy
2. Everyone has the same problem
The Bible tells us that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” In our age of political correctness the word sin is often misunderstood as judgment when it is merely a fact. One of the New Testament words for sin means to miss the mark or to make a mistake
Every person has blown it and we are all in the same boat. We all have sinned and fallen short of God’s best for our lives.
• God cannot and will not accept sin into heaven. This creates a serious problem that we cannot solve on our own.
So, God in His grace, mercy and love stepped into the world to solve the sin problem.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
3. Jesus is the solution
Salvation comes through Jesus alone
Jesus came into the world to save us from the results of sin.
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17