“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
We have been talking about salvation and ALL that it brings to our lives. Salvation is far more than just God forgiving us… it is His all-encompassing work to address every area of our lives (every facet of our lives effected by sin).
No area is more important than our topic for today. If we don’t understand the restorative power of salvation, we will always struggle to live in every other aspect.
The problem stems from the fact that we seldom hear anyone talk about the fact that we are restored to our original purpose through the work of Jesus – and that restoration is what gives us the divine impetus we need to live as God wants us to live. Everything that God intends to do (through each of His people) rises from His divine purpose for creating us in the first place.
The good news is that God has made His original thoughts plain to us… as He set out to create Man (male and female!) and place them here on the earth…“Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth…” (Genesis 1:26)
The plan was so simple… Create this world. Create humanity. Give them all the attributes and characteristics of God Himself – and turn them loose to rule the earth. The Spiritual God created physical beings and gave them the task of “having dominion” over this physical creation through the spiritual connection with their divine Creator. In short, we were made to rule, under the rule of God – and to rule AS God rules.
As long as Man remained in unbroken connection with God, the plan was foolproof. But we all know the rest of the story…
One of the main problems with the disconnection (caused by sin) is the fact that we have lost our divine purpose. We were made to live in relationship with God, and through that relationship… to bring His rule to the earth. When the relationship was broken… we lost sight of what we were made to be and do.
When Jesus came to earth, He showed us what we were all made to be and do. Everywhere Jesus went, He saw things that did not line up with the rule of God… and so He intervened. He brought the rule of God to people who were suffering under the oppressive rule of the enemy of God – and He reminded us of something vitally important: “If it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matt. 12:28; see also Luke 11:20)
It is simple: Wherever God exercises His ruling authority… there is reconciliation, peace, deliverance, wholeness, healing, and restoration. The Kingdom of God has always been about the rule of God – coming through those who are connected with the King.
Sometimes we forget that our task has always been to bring the Kingdom of God to where it isn’t! It’s what God had in mind from the very beginning. It is the “heart and soul” of what it means to be a Christ-follower.
Jesus came to restore our divinely-ordained purpose – through His redeeming work on the cross, through the power of His resurrection, through His victorious ascension to the place of all authority in Heaven and on earth…
When we receive God’s gift of salvation we are receiving the entirety of His work to totally redeem everything that was devastated and lost through sin.
Jesus defeated all foes. He righted all wrongs. He made the way for each of us to rediscover a real relationship with our Creator King – and to experience all the benefits that come from living in relationship with Him.
All of this IS salvation. It is the gift we cannot afford… so it is offered to us freely.
But it is also the gift that truly keeps on giving. It changes everything about us. It takes us (immediately) from sinner to saint, from guilt-ridden to blameless, from helpless and weak to victorious and triumphant. It restores what the enemy has stolen – and energizes us with the one message that can absolutely change the world.
Salvation includes the provision for restoring us to our divine purpose… so we may rightly say: “For by grace you are restored through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”