Salvation is a wonderful word to reflect a supernatural reality: that we who were captured in sin, condemned to death, can be saved through the atoning death and resurrection of Christ. God Himself came to our rescue!
It’s hard for mere words to fully express the beauty of God’s great gift. Author and evangelism expert Randy Newman invites us to consider the fullness of God’s salvation in our lives.
In the New Testament, it’s so very intriguing and beautiful that there are there are so many different words for our salvation:
Forgiveness (1 John 1:9)
Propitiation (Romans 3:24-25)
Justification (Romans 5:1)
Redemption (Ephesians 1:7-8)
Reconciliation (Colossians 1:20-22)
Eternal life (1 John 5:11)
These are all different facets of the beautiful diamond of our salvation.
Think for a moment about the differences between redemption and reconciliation:
Redemption is being bought out of slavery, and brought into a place where you can actually be who you were made to be. You’re set free to fulfill the purpose for which you were created.
Reconciliation is a picture of two parties that once were close, but then they became alienated, and now they’re brought back together again. Just reflect: I’ve been reconciled to the God that I rebelled against, and ran away from.
Perhaps there’s no more powerful picture of reconciliation than Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. Newman invites us to place ourselves in Christ’s story:
“I’m the younger brother who took off and squandered everything. Now I’m coming back, and the Father comes and runs after me, embraces me, welcomes me back home. I’m reconciled! But I’m also the picture of the older brother, who never physically left, but whines and complains, yet God saves the older brother too–redeems him–so that he can be the son he was always meant to be.”
The more we spend time reflecting, both intellectually and emotionally, we can put ourselves in that place: what does that feel like, to experience redemption, or reconciliation, or salvation, or eternal life? Newman says mediating on the fullness of God’s gift creates a “groundswell of worship within us,” and overflows into all facets of our lives, especially how we talk with others around us about the true freedom salvation brings.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15Salvation Full and Free - Randy Newman