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Leading people into a maturing new life in Jesus Christ

Being Saved

As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. (Acts 16:16-18)

Probably 99% of professing Christians could give you some sort of description of what it means to “be saved.” For many this simply means they’ve had their record of sin wiped clean, along with the assurance of a place in heaven following death, or perhaps when Jesus returns to earth the second time. People often talk about when they “got saved.”

In the Scriptures, however, even evil spirits speak of salvation as “the way.” This “way” includes a wide variety of experiences and is the total result of an ongoing process of personal interaction with God — through the power of the Holy Spirit. I would hope that the girl in Acts 16 entered fully into “the way” after having been delivered from Satan’s power over her.

Yes, being saved involves, “the forgiveness of their sins” (Lk 1:77). But it also involves the marvelous transformation that becomes evident in our lives as God dwells within us.

When the hated tax collector Zacchaeus declared his desire to recompense those he had defrauded, Jesus declared, “Today, salvation has come to this house” (Lk 19:9). But for Zacchaeus, as for all of us, this “salvation” was only an opportunity to begin a joyful process.

Peter admonishes us, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good”. The Message paraphrases 1 Peter 2:2 this way: “Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.”

Salvation also means deliverance from every difficulty, including the greatest enemy we face — our inclination to live on the basis of our own limited perspective through our own power. That’s why this good news involves the development of the very character and image of Jesus within our hearts. And it’s why salvation can only continue through a relationship of trust in God through our developing and ongoing friendship with Jesus.

So if you ever ask yourself “Have I been saved?” you can confidently answer in the affirmative if you’ve received Jesus. But it’s vital to always realize, “I’m also being saved. And that means there’s so much more today, tomorrow and forever.”

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Contributed by Pastor Larry Zuchowski


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