References: Rom. 14:7-9; 8:12-30
The application of full salvation
We can learn a great deal about what salvation looks like and how much we possess when we are saved by God. One way is by simply looking at the alternative. You will not suffer eternal hell if you have salvation. That truth is vitally important. Think of the message Jonah preached in the streets of Nineveh; the people responded in repentance and conversion.
Placing the emphasis upon God’s action does not take anything away from God’s appeal to you; He calls you to respond totally and completely. Paul applies this truth in Rom 14:7-9 (ESV):
For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
If indeed this is your salvation–initiated and accomplished by God, responded to in faith, embraced for its message of comfort–then this is what your life will look like. You will live not to yourself, but to the kingdom of Christ. Thus Paul speaks of your life as a living sacrifice of thanksgiving: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom. 12:1 ESV).
We have returned to our question: how much of my life am I expected to give to Christ my King? To use today’s language, does God really expect 110% of me?
We cannot compartmentalize our lives: this part is spiritual, so I should give it to Christ and live it according to His rules–but these other parts of life, they are just life here on earth, they are just doing what is necessary to live. My job, my recreation, the human things of life. They have nothing to do with whether I am a Christian or not, they are just there.
Nothing could be further from the truth. You have been saved, you belong to God, so that you live and you die to God. All is for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. Your life 24/7, your being, your possessions, and your worship is guided by the word of God.
When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden, there was no concept of artificial division between what belonged to God and what belonged to them. They lived as a reflection of God. Being made in His image, Adam was empowered to name the animals and to dress and keep the garden. They were also able to enjoy coming to God in a special way.
Salvation means the restoration of the life God created you to, and even more so, as it is promised in the new heavens and earth in Rev. 22. That is part of this great message of comfort. We look at ourselves and see human failure. But God declares to you, not only will He provide complete salvation as He promised, but in that salvation, He will accomplish in you and through you every purpose He planned.
What comfort. You do not have to psych yourself up to create a good response by some slogan, like “Give it 110%.” The power of your salvation is the God of creation, and His salvation for you is what has been promised and accomplished through Christ the King.
The exhortation to you is this: Rejoice in the totality of the redemption which is yours; understand the completeness of salvation in which you belong to God, body and soul, in life and in death.
Then because you understand it, worship Him with all that is in you. Live before Him with all that is in you.
So God does call you to give it your all, in faith and life.
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.