2011-07-22 - How Saved Am I
Originally Preached 2005-06-12
What if even as I spoke there was fire blazing downstairs? What if without warning the floor just gave way right under me and I plummeted into whatever room is below and got pinned by debris. Maybe a brave fireman would rush in to free me. When he freed me from the debris, I'd be saved - saved from the crushing weight of the beam. I'd know everything was going to be all right, trusting him to do what he came to do and what he trained to do. But there's still the fire. I'm not really saved from it until I let that fireman lead or carry me out of the fire. Then, I'm safer still or more saved - saved from both the debris and the fire. Once out, the EMTs would check me out and put me on oxygen to prevent smoke problems. After that I'm even more saved. Then say I received several burns and even broke an arm. As they fixed me up in the ambulance and at the hospital I'm saved from the burns getting infected. With pain medicine dripping through an IV, I'd be saved from the pain even. And finally several weeks later everything is healed up at which point I'm totally saved from the fire and all its affects. But it happened in steps. I was saved in steps.
Today I want us to each individually ponder the question: "How saved Am I?"
Jesus is asked a question then answers with a question of his own. Now the lawyer, the scribe who studies the Jewish law, is put on the spot. It may be nerves but he seems to stumble in his answer at least when compared to the original he is quoting from. He says we are to give all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
Deuteronomy 6:5 - And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
The scribe misquoted a verse. Jesus could jump all over him. But Jesus doesn't correct him; he actually says the man is right. The extra is also correct. And Jesus goes on to say, "Do this and live"
In the gospel of John we find Christ offers not just life but an abundance of life.
John 10:10b I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
There are levels of abundance. There are levels to our living.
From the temple, from God's house or symbolically from God himself comes a river that gets deeper and deeper as it goes. It's not merely a pond that gets deeper and deeper but a river that is running. Ezekiel going out and getting deeper each time in the growing waters is symbolic of how the church and individuals can go further and get deeper into the living waters of Christ. As Matthew Henry wrote:
"The gospel, when it was first preached, was still spreading further. Grace in the soul is still pressing forward; it is an active principle, plus ultra--onward still, till it comes to perfection."
I am saved 100%. There is no doubt if I died right now that as my body hit the ground my spirit would hit heaven. But I sinned yesterday, I'm not 100% saved from sin. I'm saved from the eternal consequence - eternal separation from God. But I'm not yet saved from sin. None of us are. We're saved from the penalty but paying the mortal consequences. We're freed for heaven but shackled to this old flesh.
Hopefully we all see that there are different levels of living the saved life. How saved we are depends on how committed we are. It goes back to the right words of that scribe, "Love the Lord with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all our mind." The scribe knew them but Jesus said do them. Let's examine what it means to do love within each of these four things.
Until next time
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted