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The Measure of Our Salvation

February 15th, 2010

My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
       of your salvation all day long,
       though I know not its measure.

Psalm 71:15

 

God has placed eternity in our hearts but our minds can hardly perceive of what it is. To be in the presence of limitless love and utter holiness, and to be there for eternity, are concepts beyond what our dull minds can fully perceive. The man-made religions normally describe heaven in terms of what we can perceive, normally a mere improvement of earthly enjoyments, but the Bible describes heaven in terms that picture something beyond our experience. Christ said to the learned Nicodemus, “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” (John 3:12)

 

We do not know the full measure of our sinfulness. Salvation begins here, that we must be forgiven by God. We treat sin too lightly at one moment and too seriously the next. When dealing with our need of grace we are like children tinkering with a currency which we do not understand. That God who created human life in love and wisdom, in His own image, should consign the lot of us to eternal separation from Him (apart from the grace of God) seems in the mind of the average person to deprive us of our due rights. We have no idea how impure how hearts seem to holy God, how far we have fallen, how justly we deserve our separation from Him, and how greatly we need cleansing from sin. Even our righteousness acts are as filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6).

 

We do not know the full measure of our redemption. The grace of God in Christ has separated our sins from us, “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). We have been lifted in Christ from the lowest conceivable point to being included in the family of God. We are like the Prodigal who upon returning hoped only for some meager employment but who found instead the bounty of the father’s love bestowed on him. We who have lost so much in the fall have gained one precious thing through the redemption of Christ, that is the knowledge of the love of God for our fallen race, even for you and for me as individuals. Eternal life is knowing the God of love and the love of God (John 17), yet we are at best only beginners in this knowledge and our minds will be opened fully only in eternity.

 

We do not know the full measure of our authority in Christ. The measure of our salvation also invites us to know and share the authority given us by Christ to make disciples for Him. We are keenly aware of the social constraints to do so, we are concerned with saying the wrong thing and offending someone, another fallen son of Adam, but we barely grasp our authority given us by Christ, authority that is far above all earthly legal powers or cultural enforcements. We are sent out like lambs among wolves (Luke 12:3) but also with authority to call people to repentance and faith in Christ, and even to life eternal.

 

Have we underestimated our salvation? It is impossible for us to overestimate it, for our Redeemer is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20), so we always underestimate it at least to some degree. But as we lay our souls open for the Spirit to do within us all that He desires to do within us our understanding of the greatness of His love and the security of our salvation grows.

 

Prayer:

 

Lord, open our minds that we may perceive the greatness of our salvation. Amen.

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