Got Saved?

“I was saved in 1970.”

In that same year, in the United States, the Dow Jones reached 838 points (now over 16,800), average cost of a new home reached $23,450, average household income topped $9,400 per year, gas cost 36 cents a gallon, and a postage stamp was six cents. The Apollo 13 crew survived an aborted trip to the moon, and the Beatles disbanded.

It was quite the year! Did I mention I was saved?

SalvationIn evangelical circles, we typically talk about salvation as a past event. Many of us can even cite a date and place when it happened. It’s a little like a graduation date; the date I stopped one phase of my life and began another.

The Apostle Paul seems to have had a slightly different view of salvation. More often than not, he preferred to think of salvation as a future event. We will be saved from the wrath of God in judgment. It’s less something that has already happened; more an event that lies ahead of us. Meanwhile, we have been justified … made right with God … and this guarantees that we will be saved (Romans 5:9).

The order seems somewhat consistent: We have been justified (made right with God), are being sanctified (being changed into the image of Christ), will be saved (from God’s wrath on the Judgment Day), to then be glorified (privileged with God’s Presence for eternity).

Does it matter that we mix the terms together, that we blur the boundaries?

Perhaps not. Paul himself is not 100% consistent. But I like the idea that I have been made right with God (justified). It’s relational, not merely positional. Being right with Him and being changed by Him forms the essence of our Christian faith. And it assures me that the promises of salvation and glorification are true.

I wonder what might happen if we used biblical words in biblical ways. We just might find that it helps us tell the story of faith — the story of our faith — with greater clarity. Just a thought.

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13 Responses to Got Saved?

  1. Lansing Molzen says:

    Wow David, I really like this a lot! Our mission statement has been “To seek and save the lost.” I’ve never cared for that statement because I’ve always felt that Jesus is the one who does the “saving”; I’m merely an instrument of His love that points others to Him. After reading Got Saved? I have a better understanding of why that statement causes me angst… Jesus justifies us so we can have relationship with God now. He is in the process of sanctifying us to present us blameless on the day of salvation, but Jesus will save us from the wrath of God on the day of Judgment. Now all of that is something to be excited about and definitely helps tell my story of faith, much more so than being on a mission to seek and save the lost. Thank you for sharing. I am always blessed by your insight.

    • David Timms says:

      Lansing, I like your note about Jesus doing the saving. I’ve thought about it over the weekend. We’ve always assumed that His mission must be our mission, but you make me pause and clarify ….

  2. markskrause says:

    Great post, David. Paul also talks about “being saved” (1 Cor 1:18), so you can find all three aspects in his writings: past, present, future.

    • David Timms says:

      Yes — the “now and not yet” of Paul. I hope you’re doing well, Mark. By the way, we’re about to launch an MA in Leadership here at Jessup. Might be time for you and me to talk again! 🙂

  3. Ed Skidmore says:

    David, when you said you got saved in 1970 I remembered that 1970 was the year I met you in Ballarat. I don’t remember your exact age then, but I do remember the day your Dad taught us how to make Boomerangs and then showed us how to throw them and watch them come back. Oh, those were delightful times. Can you imagine that was 44 years ago? Time flies when you’re having fun. Your family was such a total delight to us young college boys visiting Australia from the US.

  4. Marica McCauley says:

    Dr. Timms was this your last post? I have not seen any for a while. I hope everything is okay. Lord bless you and your family.

  5. jdlow77 says:

    HI David, miss seeing your posts, hope all is okay.

    Blessings

    Jerry

  6. Marcia Treat says:

    I recently discovered “Living the Lord’s Prayer.” It has been such a blessing to me.

  7. Mindy Hulse says:

    Hi David, What has happened to Because of Grace? I miss it (you) and your words of encouragement. Blessings Melinda

    • David Timms says:

      Hi Mindy – I’m planning to return to the blog in the New Year. It’s been a very busy 6 months; too busy to write regularly. I look forward to getting back in the saddle. Thanks for your note. –David

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