The Miracle of Salvation
When I was a teenager and young adult it seemed like the youth groups I was in were very keen on getting us to share our testimonies and to listen to the testimonies of others. Some people had very dramatic stories about how God had saved them out of drugs or rebellion; me, I was saved at age four, so I could hardly sing, “Years I spent in vanity and pride.” I felt embarrassed and apologetic when I had to give my testimony that I didn’t have much of a transformation story.
What we often fail to realize (whether we are saved as children or have walked with the Lord for a long time) is that whether a person is an addict in the gutter or a third generation member of a church, when God redeems any soul it is a miracle. Each soul is going from death to life. It is no less a miracle for the little churched child than it is for a criminal on death row to enter the kingdom of God!
In some ways it can be more challenging for people who have had a sort of inoculation of religion to see their deep need for God’s grace. They are brought up to be moral and follow the rules, so there is no major change in behavior or outward signs of inward transformation. Others may think they’re doing OK based on appearances, so they may believe it themselves. But we only have to look at the religious leaders of Jesus’ time who rigorously kept every nuance of the rules, yet were totally unaware of their need for God’s grace. Jesus told of the Pharisee who stood before God bragging about how good he was, favorably comparing himself to the tax collector who stood off to the side, hanging his head and humbly praying, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Yet the latter was justified while the one who looked like he had the golden ticket to heaven was actually rejected by God for his pride.
In his commentary on the book of Job, J. Vernon McGee says, “This ought to teach every believer today…that no matter how good we think we are, we need to see ourselves as God sees us. All our righteousness is as filthy rags. We need to repent…The book of Job reveals a man who was very conscious of God, but who could find nothing wrong with himself.” It is a good reminder that none of us were an “easy save”—each needing to go from death to life. Every one of us in our natural state is a depraved enemy of God, and it is a wonder that He loved and redeemed us—a miracle that He had mercy on our souls.
Let us never allow ourselves to slide into the prideful attitude that somehow we’ve arrived at the place where we can go even a moment without His grace and mercy as our foundation, our steadfast shield. While we can certainly rest in His love and mercy, we must never forget that it is ours because of who He is, not because we in anyway deserve to have these gracious gifts. We need to humbly realize that our status is a miracle, indeed!