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Monday, January 26, 2009

A living, loving, personal Savior

One of the things that really struck me this past week as I was preparing for Sunday's message is the personal nature of Salvation by Christ. I'm fully aware that many in evangelicalism have misused the idea of having Jesus as "personal" Lord and Savior. We've bent and twisted this idea into the creation by each of us of our own "personal Jesus" which is, of course, idolatry. The same Jesus who saved Paul is the Jesus who saves me. He's not my personal possession (though I have become His). He's not mine to re-image or re-configure. He is Who He is. The Living God become flesh -- the Eternal Son, Second Person of the Trinity as revealed in Scripture.

And yet, when He does comes by His grace to save a loathsome sinner like me, He comes to me in a way that is real and person through the Gospel that is preached. By His Holy Spirit He opens my heart to believe in Him. And as a result, I personally, through that grace given, repent and believe in Him and am brought into the personal intimacy of a new relationship with Him and with His church that is real. I come to know Him who died for me and with all the saints begin to live to the praise of the glory of His grace.

That's the point of this little quote below. Jesus becomes for those He saves.....

A living, loving, personal Savior

(J. R. Miller, "Counsel and Help" 1907)

We are in the habit of saying that Christ saved
us by dying for us on the Cross. In an important
sense this is true. We never could have been
saved--if He had not died for us.

But we are actually saved by our relation to a
living, loving, personal Savior
--into whose
hands we commit all the interests of our lives;
and who becomes our Friend, our Helper, our
Keeper, our Burden bearer--our all in all.

Christian faith is not merely laying our sins on
the Lamb of God, and trusting to His one great
sacrifice; it is the laying of ourselves on the living,
loving heart of one whose friendship becomes
thenceforward the sweetest joy of our lives!

"The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith
in the Son of God, who loved me and gave
Himself for me!" Galatians 2:20

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