The Miracle of a Moment
For each of us, there are certain “red-letter” dates that mark highlights and memorable moments for us. Allow me to share a few of mine. August 17, 1972 is my birth date. I celebrate it each year (though now, I share that date with our youngest daughter, Maggie Joy). March 19, 1989, I preached my first sermon in church. March 5, 1995, I said “I do” to my wife, Jen.
Those are great dates for me. Yet, they probably mean nothing to you. Do you know where you were on March 19, 1989? I would guess the answer would be, “No.” After all, why would you know that?
There is one more date that is extremely personal for me as well: November 18, 1983. I can remember it like it was yesterday.
It was a Thursday afternoon and I had just arrived home from high school for the day. My afternoon was planned with neighborhood football and other teen activities. My dad, however, had other plans: “Tonight, we’re going to the revival service at your uncle’s church.” [Incidentally, this was the same uncle who helped me learn that I could not fly!]
Though I begrudgingly went that night, I left with great joy. You see, November 18, 1983, is the day I placed my faith in Christ. He became my Savior and I was given eternal life. My sins had been forgiven.
Perhaps you have a similar story. Someone came to your home and opened the Bible with you. You responded to a message at church. You were a teen at camp and understood the Gospel. We have our personal stories.
Most all of our testimonies have some similarities and overlap. I would imagine that each of us would have at least these basic facts in common:
- A realization that God truly loved us – even though we didn’t deserve it (John 3.16)
- An understanding that we were sinners compared to a holy God (Romans 3.10, 23)
- An awareness that our sin had a price attached that must be paid (Romans 6.23)
- A burden that our “very best works” can’t impress God (Ephesians 2.8-9; Titus 3.5)
- A recognition that Jesus has already satisfied God’s demands for payment (Romans 5.8)
- A prayer for confession and confession of sins (Romans 10:13)
Salvation is sometimes called the “miracle of a moment.” While we can recall these experiential moments described above that culminated in our calling out to God for salvation, much more – theologically – is happening.
When I called my grandparents after that revival meeting on November 18, 1983, I summarized the greatest decision I would ever make in my entire life with a simple sentence: “Hey Grandpa and Grandma! Guess what?! Tonight, I got saved…”
Those three words, I got saved, though probably not grammatically correct, were my summation. Years later, after hearing sermons, reading my Bible, studying theology, etc – one starts to realize that much is packed into that statement: “I got saved!” Let’s unpack it.
At the moment of conversion – this miracle of a moment – I was sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1.13-14). The Holy Spirit is the seal…He is the mark of God’s ownership on my life. His sealing ministry reminds me that I have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6.20). I am God’s purchased possession.
I was given a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12.1-7). This gift(s) isn’t bestowed upon me for my selfish gain. God has gifted and fit me uniquely in His body so that I can glorify Him by edifying others.
I received eternal life (John 1.12). This assurance gives me great confidence as I live my Christian faith. I am not perfect, but I am redeemed. This eternal life isn’t just “I get to live forever…” – it’s greater than that. I get to live forever “with Christ.”
Yet, this is only the beginning. I’m also justified, meaning that I have been declared righteous (Romans 5.1). I am being sanctified (2 Timothy 2.21). It’s predestined that I’ll be glorified (Ephesians 1.3-5).
My body is permanently indwelt by God’s Spirit, making me His temple (1 Corinthians 6.19). I do not have to go through a priest or any other human mediator to get to God – I have direct access (Hebrews 10.19).
Further, I’m forgiven and free from sin’s bondage (Romans 6). Yet, there is still another spiritual blessing. I am baptized – a word meaning placed into – Christ (1 Corinthians 12.13. I am part of His body. I have been raised to walk in a new life. I am a new creature (2 Corinthians 5.17) – all because I am “in Christ.”
If you have grown up around the Bible, then you recognize that each of these salvation principles can be a sermon in and of themselves! All of these blessings flow from the fact that we are in Christ – in perfect union with Him. He is the Vine…we are the branches. He is the Head…we are the body. Without Him, we can do nothing!
In the next post, we’ll learn it’s possible to cheer – even in times of defeat! If you haven’t subscribed to the blog yet, feel free to do that before you leave. This will allow you to not miss a single section of the book I’m releasing section by section here. Thanks!
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