Monday, April 16, 2018. Looking into the transition from the gospels to acts, the first book on the apostles and the early church, let us discuss a very important and basic question of Christian faith: is salvation necessary? Let us recall: the core message of much of the Old Testament and also the New Testament is that we need salvation. It is about our state of being, about what humans are and what they do …
Salvation in the biblical sense talks about our existence as a whole. But it is very concrete at the same time, it is about words, about emotions, about desire, about thoughts, about actions. We need salvation, that is one of the core truth which is described in many different ways. We need it for deep reasons. We need it personally. And we need it desperately.
Before we go into further discussion, let us continue to read the book of acts, here chapter 2 on the role of the Holy Spirit. It all culminates in the promise “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”:
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.2 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (from Acts 2)
Do we need it? …
But let us follow up the serious question: do we need salvation? Is the bible true with its description of our human state as being separated from God? Is it right that we are not righteous, that we are not good, that we are not as truthful and full of love as it would be needed for life?
Humans are a big mixture. Human societies today, look around you, are very diverse and contain everything: daily lies, hurting others, fighting for power, for being better, for money, for acceptance, for beauty, for wealth, for everything. This is just as we are - it includes fantastic innovation, nice houses, good food and loved friends, but it also includes war and crime and ignorance.
The bible contrasts our life with the character of the holy God. It contrasts our ignorance with his caring attitude. Of course, we also have a caring attitude, occasionally, … sometimes, … now and then. But in particular when we think about it, we realize that we might need salvation. The bible contrasts our ignorance with God's passion for all people.
Do you need salvation? Think about it, and come to a conclusion for yourself. If you need salvation, you can count on the promise made by acts 2: whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved! He has done everything for us already, in Christ Jesus, in his death and resurrection. It is Jesus who is the center point of salvation. There is a lot to discover, a lot to learn, a lot of joy to find! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts