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“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17)

This is probably one of the most popular characteristics of God, simply because it is the primary message that is taught in today’s Christian church. Yet, with all the talk and attention we give to this one aspect of God’s persona, do we really understand this to the point that we live every day in the confidence of our salvation?

I’m talking about more here than whether or not you’re going to Heaven. I’m talking about being saved in the midst of our earthly existence. I’m talking about living every day in freedom, deliverance, and safety. Did you know that over half of the scriptural references to God as Savior appear before Jesus even came into the picture? There must be something more to this salvation thing than just the mercy of God on the cross.

To really grasp this, we have to change our perspectives a bit. Salvation isn’t just something that God did for us. It’s who He is. It’s a part of His nature.

It’s a common misconception to think that salvation is freedom from punishment. Salvation, rather, is the freedom from sin, destruction, and failure. Salvation is indeed a gift, but it’s not something we can take once, hang on our wall or put on a shelf, and rest secure in for the rest of our lives. Salvation has to be walked out (Philippians 2:12). The gift of God’s mercy is that He continues to walk with us, though we are sinners, to guide us away from sin so that we will have no need for punishment.

God does forgive us, and He sees us for who we are, forgetting our former ways and looking only at the current condition of our hearts. When God returns to judge the living and the dead, He’s going to look at who we’ve become, and not who we were. Love, after all, keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5), and God is love (1 John 4:8). But while we’re living, God teaches us how to walk in freedom, which is our salvation, that we can be free from sin and walk in life abundantly (John 10:10).

I submitted my life to God at a Christian camp when I was fifteen years old. I don’t consider that day to be the day of my salvation, but rather it was just the first step in walking out my salvation. I continue to find salvation in the Lord every day, whether it’s salvation from a difficult situation, salvation from temptation, or salvation from the bondage of sin in my life.

It wasn’t when I was fifteen that I truly understood what it meant to be free from sin (and I still only understand in part), but it was then that I realized my need for a Savior. Since then, I have experienced what David says in Psalm 103, that He has removed my sin from me as far as the east is from the west (verse 12). I cannot even recognize my former self anymore, and it is difficult, at best, to even picture myself wrapped up in my former way of life.

So while my salvation is not something God did for me one day, it is a product of walking with Him every day— of sharing life with Him. The more I surrender, the more I follow, the more I listen, the more I give, the more He sets me free, and the more I understand His salvation.

God gave His most precious gift when Jesus died for us. He paid the penalty for our sin, as an example of how we should live, of how we should love. He paid the price, and the veil was torn, so that we could walk out our salvation with God. He broke the chains that bound us to our sin, so that we could be free (by our choosing) to turn from our ways and follow Him.

As you walk this journey to freedom with me, you are hopefully already beginning to experience His salvation in new ways. You are hopefully experiencing the freedom of God in ways you never thought possible. That is His gift to you. His gift of mercy is that you walk in freedom from sin, from destruction, and from failure. His gift to you is victory over your enemies, that “no weapon formed against you shall prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17) That is His salvation.

Continue to Healer and Redeemer ->
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