Monday, September 15, 2014

Beyond "Salvation"

For years, I remained under the impression that salvation was merely a short "I confess that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior," and nothing more. 

It wasn't until I heard a comment, "Most Christians today are only about 30% converted," made by Francis MacNutt, co-founder of Christian Healing Ministries, when I began to question why Jesus went from town to town and healed people wherever He went. 

After all, if confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior was enough for the people of Israel to be saved, then why was there a need for healing? And why were they so desperate for it? Dr. Thomas Constable with Dallas Theological Seminary estimates that in the three and half years before Jesus died, He ministered to and healed three and a half million people.

The answer to the above questions is simple. Salvation is not just about being rescued from our sins. God continues to save us when He restores us to health. We are saved when God heals us from our deepest emotional pain. And we are saved when are set free from the chains of addiction. 

You see, every time we are healed, we have the opportunity to become a little more like Jesus. This is true conversion--that we, day by day, and even moment by moment, are transformed into the image of Christ. We go from glory to glory, and it's that radiance of the Holy Spirit which comes from the healing that flows from our hearts and reaches out to those around us searching for God even if they are not aware they are searching. 

Strongholds (addictions, negative beliefs, bad habits, fear, judgment, anger, etc.) hold us back in life. They block the flow of the Holy Spirit, and in turn, our effectiveness as Christians is diminished because we cannot really practice what we preach to others. If we are honest enough to admit it, we really cannot even reach the world with Christ's love, either. So, it's essential to deal with strongholds. It's essential to deal with anything that keeps us conformed to the image of the world, actually. 

We must understand as Christians the depth of the word, "salvation." We must also understand the
meaning of the words, "conversion" and "transformation." We cannot claim ignorance. And we cannot say it's enough that "I already made Jesus my Savior, and I'm going to Heaven." 

When we become believers in Jesus, we also, in that moment of confession, begin to align ourselves to eventually become servants in the Kingdom of God. Jesus once asked a blind man, "Do you want to be well?" That is the question I present to you today. Do you want to be well? To be free? To love? To be completely converted? 

Just food for thought. 

Be blessed today. 


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