I love thinking about my salvation and all it entails. It makes me very grateful and appreciative of what Christ did.
12 those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
Salvation is a spiritual matter. If we could think our way into heaven, then there was really no need for Christ to come.
Salvation is a legal matter. If we could work our way into heaven, then there was really no need for Christ to take the blame for our sin.
Salvation is an allegiance matter. If we could talk (words without action) our way into heaven, then there is really no need for Christ to be Lord of our lives.
From the Complete Jewish Bible:
12 This is how it works: it was through one individual that sin entered the world, and through sin, death; and in this way death passed through to the whole human race, inasmuch as everyone sinned.
17 For if, because of the offense of one man, death ruled through that one man; how much more will those receiving the overflowing grace, that is, the gift of being considered righteous, rule in life through the one man Yeshua the Messiah!
Satan talked Adam and Eve into rebelling against God. Through his lies he sparked DESIRE in Eve’s heart (and Adam’s, evidently) with which they were unprepared to deal. I believe that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was for LATER when they had grown in the LORD and walked with him a few thousand years (a while). Who knows? If they had passed this first test, God may have allowed them to eat it right then! We don’t know and we won’t care once we get to heaven…
We all have DESIRE within us. It was awakened that first day in Adam and Eve and we all are cursed because of it. That’s the bad news. The GOOD news is that because Adam was the representative for all mankind, Jesus could be the representative for all mankind, as well! I’m pretty sure that Satan didn’t know this spiritual truth. 1 Corinthians 2:8 says, “None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” Neither did he understand that Jesus intended to be the perfect sacrifice, giving His life in place of our own:
- It took a human to be our substitute; sheep and cattle wouldn’t do (they had never sinned).
- It took God to be perfect; humans couldn’t be–that’s the whole reason He came!
Verse 17 uses the phrase, overflowing grace, and defines it as “the gift of being considered righteous.” This gift is in one way being offered to everyone, but in another way only offered to a few.
- It is offered to everyone in that Christ died for all. Anyone who will trust in His sacrifice and make Him Lord of his life WILL BE SAVED.
- It is offered to a few in that only those who have the DESIRE FOR HIM awakened in them will actually turn from their sin and turn to the LORD for salvation.
What criteria does God use to determine in whom He will awaken this desire and thus extend the invitation to be saved? I don’t know. What I DO know is, “The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; He searches out his inmost being.” Proverbs 20:27. God knows who has the DESIRE within that can be fanned into flame. For that matter, He MAY work at fanning EVERY PERSON’S desire, but many snuff it right back out.
To be clear, Genesis 6:3, which says, “My Spirit will not strive with mankind forever;” is referring to death being the end of any chance of salvation. The idea of us rejecting the Holy Spirit’s call and it being the last one is false–although, if we reject Him too often, we grow callous and set in our ways, thus making it more and more difficult to hear His voice and sense His call. Even so, He does not give up until death. Here’s the rest of the verse: “for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Then the Great Flood came and they all perished.
As we can see, we have A LOT for which to be thankful. May we express our gratitude to Him today and follow Him closely.
Abba, thank You for so great a salvation! I study it often and ALWAYS find something new, some new nugget of truth that thrills my soul. May I never treat my salvation with contempt or take it for granted. Your blood and sacrifice are too valuable for that. Praise be to You, LORD Jesus, Yeshua Messiah! Amen.