According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary the word save refers being kept safe, away from danger, or to keep from being lost. As Christians use the word saved in the same context. We believe Jesus has saved us, and rescued us from the danger of eternal punishment for our sins, and as result our salvation is secure. (1 Peter 1:5)
Romans: 9-10 goes into this a little more, it reads:
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
When I first became a follower of Jesus Christ one of the things I heard over and over again is “salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone” (Acts 15:11) However, as a Mormon I was taught a very different way of salvation that included a different Jesus, a smidgen of grace, and a whole lot of works.
One of the reasons I wanted to title this new segment Discovering Grace is because that’s exactly what I feel like we do as new believers. When I first learned what grace was all about I was amazed, and in awe of what it meant for me and my salvation. For the longest time I felt that I was never going to do enough or be good enough. Discovering what grace was truly all about was like having a huge boulder lifted off my shoulders.
Sadly, I think even as Christians we can get caught up in legalism, but if Jesus is the founder of our salvation, as Hebrews 2 tells us then there’s nothing we can do to merit or earn our salvation.
Before coming to Christ I never heard of imputed righteousness. In Mormonism I was taught that if I wanted to be righteous, I had perform a list of acts that would make me righteous.
Romans 4:5 says:
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Even though I’ve heard many times in countless sermons that His righteousness became ours and our sin was laid on Him I still can’t get over it. This is something He chose to do for you, for me, for all of us. All we must do is repent, and surrender our lives to Him, and He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
One of the things I’ve noticed through the years of being a Christian is that when we say that salvation only comes through Jesus Christ the immediate response to our proclamation is, “well, what about those who died before Jesus, what about those who’ve never heard the name Jesus”?
Well, the truth is whether you’ve “heard about” Jesus or not you’re still accountable to God for the things you’ve done. It doesn’t matter if someone has never heard the name Jesus they can still look at the world around them and know there is a God. As Romans 1:19-20 tells us
“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”
Everyone will have a chance to hear the gospel and to know God. Having faith in the Lord has always been part of one’s salvation. Romans 4:3-8 tells us that Abraham’s faith (belief) “was counted unto him for righteousness.” Through the bible we can read of people having faith in God to save them. They may not have had a complete understanding of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins as we do today, but they still believed and trusted that God would do what He promised.
As I’ve studied all the different religions of the world I’ve learned that they all have a works righteous system, but one, Christianity. Matthew 7:12-14 addresses this issue, it references two ways of salvation. One is the broad way through works and the other is the narrow way, through faith in Jesus Christ. One way (works) leads to eternal death, and the other (grace) to eternal life.
I hope we all can have that same kind of faith and know that God will fulfill the promises He’s made to us. If we have repented and turned out lives over to Him we are secure in Him and no one can snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28).
Melissa Grimes (firstname.lastname@example.org)