The most significant gap that faces humanity is our separation from God due to sin. And God Himself addressed that infinite gap with His Son Jesus.
Read Colossians 1:19-22 (NLT) – 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through Him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. 21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own Presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.
For many of us, there is a gap in our understanding of ALL that Jesus accomplished for us through His life, death, and resurrection. So, what all did Christ accomplish for us on the cross and by walking out of the tomb, alive? In a word: He secured our SALVATION.
What, then, is salvation? Is it a momentary event? Is it a lifelong process? The answer to those questions is YES. This is a picture of the salvation life:
BIRTH – We are all born in sin and separation from God (Romans 5:12).
DEATH – Someday, we will all die (Hebrews 9:27).
For those who place their trust in the saving work of Jesus on their behalf, they experience a CONVERSION. Conversion simply means “change”:
- I am changed.
- My mind is changed.
- My heart is changed.
- My life is now moving in a new direction.
Another word for this change toward a new direction is repentance:
- I have repented from being content in my life of sin and separation from God.
- I have repented from trusting in myself or something else to save me from my sin and separation from God.
- I have repented from my disbelief in Jesus as the Son of God and as the one and only Savior of the world.
This change – this repentance – is known as conversion.
Those who are converted experience REGENERATION. This is a big Christian word that simply means “new birth”. Jesus described it to Nicodemus in John 3 as being “born again” – Jesus said, “You must be born again.” Nicodemus was confused; he said, “I’ve already been born – how can I be born again?” And Jesus clarified; He said, “You must be born from above” – “You must be born of the Spirit.”
This is new birth. This is regeneration. When we put our faith in Jesus, He puts His Spirit in us (Acts 2:38). In Jesus’ own words, we are “born again”, we are “born from above”, we are “born of the Spirit”.
The result of our conversion & regeneration (our repentance & our new birth) is that, in the eyes of God, we are justified. We experience JUSTIFICATION. What that means is that we are forever changed in that moment:
- the accused is pardoned,
- the lost is found,
- the spiritually blind can now see, like never before,
- the orphan receives adoption as a beloved child,
- the condemned sinner is now declared redeemed righteous,
- the dead soul is resurrected to new life.
And this is why I have a white line there at the moment of justification – in this moment, the power of sin to rule over our lives is broken. Because of justification (signified by the white line), we have victory!
Because of what Jesus has done for us, when we trust in Him, when we place our faith in Him & what He has accomplished for us, we have victory! The Bible says we are more than conquerors! (Romans 8:37) We have overcome! In Jesus, WE WIN!
And in the end of days – when the war with sin is over – we will reign with our Savior and Lord, Jesus, forever in glory. We will enter into the final, eternal stage of our salvation life with Jesus: GLORIFICATION. (Romans 8:30; 1 Corinthians 15:42-54; 2 Corinthians 5:1-5; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:4)
This, all of this, is a picture of our salvation. All of this, Christ secured for us by His work on the cross & the empty tomb!