Cross that Bridge
Ever wonder if you're good enough to be saved?
Oh, you're working at it all right. You volunteer at the soup kitchen. You go to Sabbath School. You don't drink or swear or chew or date those who do. But in your honest moments maybe you wonder if you'll ever be good enough. Perhaps you have no real assurance of salvation.
In "Gospel Issues in Adventism," Pastor Jack Sequeira writes, "Since we are still struggling with the sin problem, no matter how hard we try, many Adventists question whether their repentance has been genuine. This, in turn, has robbed our people of the assurance of salvation. Hence, most Adventists are very insecure about their salvation. Value Genesis confirmed this fact, when the majority of our youth admitted they had no assurance of salvation because their conduct was not meeting God's high standard."*
If this describes you, take heart. God does not want you to be fuzzy about being saved. The apostle Paul explains, "just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men" (Romans 5:18, NIV).
In other words, because of what Jesus did on the cross, if you accept Him as your Savior, you are saved. PERIOD.
On the one hand, you will never behave good enough to earn His love. On the other hand, you will never sin bad enough to erase His love. That's grace.
So then, Paul wonders, does it follow that we should "…go on sinning so that grace may increase?" (Romans 6:1, NIV). Paul answers, "By no means!" (Romans 6:2, NIV). Other translations put it this way: "God forbid" (KJV), "Of course not!" (TLB), "No! No!" (NEB), "Oh what a ghastly thought!" (Phillips Translation).
The point is, in Christ we gain freedom from sin. After all, why would anyone want to muck around in the cesspool of sin? Of course, this is not to suggest that we never mess up. "All have sinned..." the Bible reminds us.
Imagine you're going up in an elevator. In Christ, you are going upward, to heaven. There will be times when you fall, but so long as you're in the elevator, you're still headed the right direction. Remember that the next time you fall. As long as you are in Christ, you're still heading to heaven.
How then do works fit into the equation? Consider this: When the Golden Gate Bridge was constructed, initially there was no safety net constructed under the bridge. During the first phase of the construction, 23 men fell to their death. Finally, some bright engineer suggested that they suspend a net beneath the bridge. For the modest price of only $100,000, the net was installed.
During the second half of the construction, 10 men fell. All of them were saved in the net. But what's amazing is that production increased 25 percent during the second half! Why? Because once people knew that they could work—and even fall—without fear of death, they were more productive. They did better work.
Your Savior does not want you to live with the fear of falling. He wants you to know that there is a net in the shape of a cross anchored beneath you, securing you in your salvation. And in that assurance you can do better work. So, in the name of Jesus, go work!
* As quoted at http://www.jacksequeira.org/issues02.htm.