“That the God of our lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:” (Ephesians 1:17)
Salvation is not simply an agreement or assent to the idea of Christ or to a carefully constructed presentation of verses about Him.
We must believe the Word of God AND we must receive a “revelation” of the Lord Himself.
Does that sound shocking?
A Matter of Life or Death
The Word of God is a living thing; it, by the Spirit’s action, is applied to our hearts and opens our souls to the reality of Jesus Christ. We see Him only as the Spirit reveals Him to us.
That is the nature of revelation.
In other words, God manifests the Lord Jesus Christ as a Person to our soul. There is a personal encounter with Christ at salvation.
Before we are born again, we are spiritually dead. Therefore, the living Spirit of God must make us new creatures by the Word of God.
We must be brought from death to life.We must be “translated” from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
Seeing Him Who is Invisible
That transaction, at its core, involves seeing ourselves as we are, in sin. And then, seeing Him as He is, in His majesty and holiness. We must arrive at the crisis point of accepting Him Alone as our only hope for righteousness and cleansing from sin.
Only then can we truly touch life.
Without Christ personally, we are only dealing with religion. In whatever form that religion might take.
Without Christ personally, we would simply be going through a list of verses or a prayer repeated into the air. Or a walk down an isle.
But there is more. So much more. Not by works. Not by working up emotion. Not by working up an “encounter” or an ecstatic experience. But by believing.
Because believing true doctrine is critical in salvation. Even though it is so commonly neglected today. Even though truth is increasingly set aside in the attempt to bring as many people as possible to a “decision” for Jesus.
And to do “it” as fast as we can and as “simply” as we can.
Regardless of whatever that “decision” really means.
As if we are just speaking of a vague Christ, a vague notion of sin, a vague cross and a vague eternal life.
Rather than taking the time to teach people properly. Taking the time to lay a solid gospel foundation. To plant the seed. To water the seed. And, in God’s time, harvest the seed.
Because the gospel is composed of deep and profound truths. A whole bucket-load of truths about the LORD and about ourselves that we must understand and accept.
Otherwise, we are just preaching a “fire escape” or some “eternal insurance policy”. Or just helping people live a “better” life down here.
And missing eternal life altogether!
But salvation also takes the Holy Spirit, through the Word, to bring the life that we need and the opening of our souls to behold the Lord.
Because the LORD Himself is our salvation.
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5,6)
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