If salvation were a book, you may have only read the introduction.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
We’re all familiar with the “But wait” commercials. There’s even more! If you act within the next hour, we’ll double the offer! God has His own version of a “But wait” offer, and it’s infinitely greater in its content, scope, and results than any human offer. We see it in the “much mores” in Romans 5. After Paul’s extensive discussion of how God declares man righteous through his faith in Jesus Christ, he begins to lay out the many benefits that follow. This imputed righteousness is a gift from God which He bestows simply because He wants to. Paul’s point in chapter five is that this is just the beginning. There’s more to come…a lot more. He says in verse 2 that this is only the beginning of the unending grace of God. If His grace were a book, we have only read the introduction. We have an entire book ahead of us.
Paul then begins his series of “much mores.” Just when we start to grasp the magnitude of our imputed righteousness, he shows us something even greater, and after that, something else that’s even greater. The co-founder of a leading seminary has identified thirty-three distinctly different gifts of blessings that are given at the moment a person is born again. Like any gift you are given, it will have no effect unless you recognize it, accept it, use it, and enjoy it.
Sadly, most Christians see their salvation as simply having been forgiven of their sins. I don’t want to minimize the importance of being forgiven, but I want to make it clear that there’s much, much more. It’s as if you just opened a brightly-wrapped package containing a picture of a brand-new Lamborghini. You can spend hours admiring the picture, or you can run into your garage and see the real thing. Metaphorically speaking, this is as far as most Christians get. Some will actually take it for a brief spin before returning it to the garage. A few will dare to try it out on the open road. Still fewer will take it to the track and see what it can do. Some of these will painstakingly read the manual to discover all the features including the electronics, the comfort settings, and required maintenance. These are those who will truly enjoy this automotive as it was meant to be enjoyed-all the much mores.
AS I SEE IT
So, what keeps us from enjoying our new wheels? Some are convinced there’s nothing wrong with our Dodge Dart. We don’t want to admit that we bought a lemon so we try our best to sing its praises. These are those who refuse to admit that they’re as good for nothing as God’s word says they are. (Check out Romans 3:10-18.) Fully convinced that they’re basically good and will be fine with a little help from Jesus, they see no need for what God is offering.
Others don’t know God well enough to expect Him to freely give them anything. They think it’s up to them to earn God’s favor. Others gladly accept God’s gift of forgiveness, but their attitude is “I’ve got it from here.” Others simply don’t want to take the time or exert the effort to discover the “much mores.” They’re content to be saved from hell. Now they can enjoy life on their terms knowing they have fire insurance. None of these will ever experience the peace, joy, and rest that is available to them. The have convinced themselves that their brand of salvation is as good as it gets. Eventually they become disillusioned, lose interest, and walk away.
Next week we’ll unpack a few of the most misunderstood and under-appreciated perks in our benefits package when we became part of Team Jesus.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
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