Are You Saved?
Are you saved?
Most of you reading this know what people mean when they ask you that question (and some of you may be slightly triggered by the question), but I’m going to guess that a few of you are thinking, “from what?”
When people ask that question, what they’re really asking you is “Are you a Christian?” And they usually have very specific ideas about how one gets to claim that designation.
Some people hear people talk of needing a savior, and we’re not sure that we do. We are intelligent and educated and (I’ll just say it) arrogant enough to think that we are perfectly capable of saving ourselves.
Do we even need saving?
Yeah. We do. We all need saving from our own sin.
Sin has the power to destroy us, and that’s what Jesus saves us from.
We progressive-type Christian types don’t really like to talk about sin. I think it is a reaction against those who would use the concept of sin to make people feel guilty and small and inadequate. For such a little word, sin carries a lot of baggage with it, so we’d just like to ditch sin and the weight that comes with it altogether.
But sin is serious business, and often, we don’t take it seriously enough. Sin is anything we do that distances us from God. When we act in ways contrary to commandments of God and the example of Jesus. We are all sinners, and I’m pretty sure we all know that. What we often don’t realize is how much our own sin is damaging us and others until something is badly broken.
The good news is that God does not leave us in our brokenness. God takes on human flesh and blood so that we will see God’s compassion for us. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God reveals God’s plan of redemption and restoration.
You’ve heard people say “Once saved. Always saved.” Meaning that once you’ve accepted Jesus as your savior then your place in heaven is secured and you are good to go. That never made much sense to me. I’ve witnessed too many people who claim to be “saved” continue to stumble through life badly in need of rescue–from their own hate, selfisheness, greed and resentment.
Sometimes I think God must feel a little like Mr. Incredible. Remember at the start of the movie when Mr. Incredible is talking to the reporter.
No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to…STAY SAVED! You know…for a little bit.
I feel like the maid: “I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for…10 minutes?!”
It’s hard to stay saved—that is to continue living into our salvation. It’s not about being saved for heaven and continuing to live the old life of looking out for number one while still on the earth. Salvation is about reconciliation, healing and deliverance for the here and now as well as in the hereafter. By God’s grace, we become like Jesus and become expressions of God’s love in the world. In other words we join in God’s redemptive and saving work in the world.
Are you saved?
Yes. Again and again and again.
What are you saved from?
Myself and my sin.
What are you saved for?
To join in God’s mission and work in this world.
Salvation is here. May we live out our salvation together, encouraging and lifting up one another so that we may join God’s mission to love and serve a world that is in desperate need of saving—and doesn’t even know it.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.