“And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.””
Matthew 1:21 NLT
Mary gave birth to her son Jesus who was the Son of God who was also the Son of Man. His destiny was to save all mankind, all humans, all ‘Adam’. Adam is Hebrew for human, or ‘man’. Jesus often identified Himself as the Son of Man which principally meant ‘human’ but which was also reference to the Son of Man who was given authority over all mankind by the ‘Ancient of Days’ in Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7:13). Jesus referred to Himself this way to say that He was human like other people but to also indicate that He was to be the One that would save mankind and be honoured forever. Jesus was this fully God and fully human. Some say that Jesus was actually fully human, is fully human, and that He remains fully human although He is still God. Whatever the definition Jesus did come to this world to save us and did this successfully. He is the One foretold in Genesis 3:15 who was to strike the serpent’s head, destroying the evil one’s hold on mankind. The serpent is synonymous with the hold that sin has on us. Prior to Jesus, sin trapped us in death forever, this is because the wages of sin is death. But Jesus dying willingly for us released the hold, the destiny, of all who sin, that is, humans, enabling us to choose life. Jesus supplied the ability for humans to choose life. The destruction of the hold of sin over us, the crushing of the serpent’s head, was what allows us to choose life. Don’t forget that life and death are the two states of being talked about in the Bible. Either we are alive or dead. Although these words can refer to conditions of mind and the state of the body ultimately life and death means existence or non-existence. God wants us to choose life and promises that life will be awesome. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”” Revelation 21:4 NLT.
“For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.””
Romans 10:3-4, 9-10, 12-13 NLT
In this whole chapter Paul is explaining how we are saved and the difference between striving to save yourself through the law, which is pointless, and God saving us through His death and resurrection. The action words that Paul use here are ‘believe’ and ‘declare’. The point here is that the believing creates action and this action results in declaration to others of the goodness of God, but more importantly, real change in the heart. This change, fostered by the Holy Spirit, is changing us from being self-centred and selfish into people with hearts of love and justice for others. That is, God-shaped hearts. Let yourselves be led by the Spirit of God which is the Spirit of truth. Salvation then becomes the result and not the goal. The result of us being closer aligned with God, through the choice to believe, the declaration of our belief and the transformative work of the Holy Spirit means that we are already a part of God’s kingdom. Our goal is not to get to heaven, our goal is to be closer aligned with God, with God’s kingdom starting in our hearts and minds. Amen.
“After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.”
Luke 22:20 NLT
‘This cup’ means Jesus’ death. The new covenant meaning a change from the old covenant. The old covenant was that God would look after His people if they would remain faithful to Him. The new covenant is an extension of this idea but enabling all people to receive the gift by believing and acting on that belief. In a nutshell God does all the heavy lifting by saving us. Our part of the bargain is to recognise what is happening and respond. Our response should be one of awe and respect and adoration for our God who has saved us and restores us and longs for us to choose Him. Like the good Father He is he invites us to come home but we would rather wallow with the pigs. The choice is ours – to dispense with pride and arrogance and to accept that we need a relationship with God, and to ‘forgive’ Him for letting this all happen. To understand that this mess was all done for love, for us and to see that God has a workaround. Jesus sacrificed Himself for us. But it is not our recognition that saves us. It is what Christ did that saves us. When we listen to the calling of the Spirit and respond in love towards others this is when we align ourselves with the heart of God. Many will say to Jesus, ‘how did you get these scars’? These are they that respond to God’s Spirit at work in the world to save us. For all have sinned but all are confirmed by the new covenant. The entire choice is up to us.