The Power That Saves

Romans 1 v 16
“I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes first for the Jew then for the Gentile.” The question one may ask is what is the gospel designed to save us from? The answer is found in the word salvation in this text with its wide-reaching implications.

The definition of salvation refers to being rescued from God’s anger and judgment that we deserve because of our sin. It means being delivered from the penalty of sin, which is secured the moment we believe; leading to being delivered from the power of sin, as we grow in faith and godliness; and being delivered from the very presence of sin when we stand blameless in God’s presence in Heaven. This definition is full of God’s intervention, grace, and mercy found in the gospel message that is secured by Jesus at the cross of Calvary.

I love the quote in J.I. Packer’s devotional book of an encouragement given to him by an old minister. “Remember, God is sovereign in all things, and all problems find their solution at Calvary”. This truth is acknowledged by all who understand that receiving salvation does not depend on a human worthiness, but on the very power of our sovereign God. Salvation requires that God impart new life to dead sinners.

In my journey of faith from childhood to senior years, I have lost any surprise at my personal capacity for producing a myriad of things I have needed to be saved from! I have truly seen terrible things from atrocities, corruption, and sorcery in Congo to greed, immorality, and idolatry in New Zealand. But don’t be fooled by focusing on only the big stuff. Simmering at the grass root levels of all our sin are far more subtle things such as bitterness, anger, disrespect, and selfishness. Unsurprisingly, these manifest themselves in other even more subtle consequences such as loneliness, isolation, and broken relationships. The apostle Paul gives a comprehensive description from Romans 1:18 through to 3:23 that all have sinned and thus fall under God’s righteous condemnation. Because all have sinned, all are alienated from God. In the world where the description of sin is becoming a forbidden term, the Bible gives this essential understanding in 1 John 1: 8, “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”.

My heart’s desire is that you would not be deceived but rather understand the need to be saved. Saved from self, saved from deception, and saved from destructive independence from God. The idea that we can do life without God is the greatest deception of all. It is a deception that refuses to acknowledge our own sinfulness. The warning is this - “Self-deception is the most destructive of all deceptions”.

Accepting our need of the Saviour is an invitation to enjoying and embracing one of the most profound blessings that God offers to us. 1 John 1:8 is trumped by verse 9 when it declares “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

To be forgiven carries with it a raft of amazing results, healing, restoration, new beginning, freedom, and restored relationship. This of course requires that we let God be God and accept that we are not! The alternative has the result of separation from God.

Do you feel the need to be saved? You should! Jesus is an ever-present Saviour who accompanies us on life’s journey. Call on Him.