What It Takes to Be Saved

The other day in my devotional time I read Exodus 4.  God revealed himself to Moses as “I AM WHO I AM” through the burning bush at Horeb, and then told Moses to go back to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of slavery.

When Moses returned to Egypt, he and his brother Aaron called together all the elders of Israel and told them what God said.  In verse 31 we read, “And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.”

Verse 31 is a beautiful summary of the gospel.  To become a Christian, you just need two things: first, you must acknowledge your misery.  Second, you must believe the Lord is concerned about you.

Sin makes us miserable, but that’s not always obvious to us.  For a period of time in my college years I basically lived like an unrepentant pagan.  Back then I would have told you then I was having the time of my life, but now I know I was miserable.

As long as you embrace your sins and refuse to let them go, you can’t be a Christian.  But if you will look at your life the way the Bible does (in other words, with sanity) and acknowledge your misery, you’ve taken the most important step.

This does not mean, by the way, that you must rid yourself of all your sins before you can be saved.  In that case salvation would be by works, not grace.  Instead, it means you must repent of your sins, or change your mind about them.  You no longer embrace them, explain them, or justify them, but you recognize what is sinful about yourself and you confess it to God.  It means you express your desire for change even though at the time there may be nothing about your life that actually changes at all.

Second, you must believe the Lord is concerned about you.  The Israelites did and rejoiced.  They believed God’s salvation was on the way, even though in Exodus 4 they remained under the lash of the Egyptians and nothing had changed about their lives.

Do you believe the Lord is concerned about you?  Do you accept by faith that God is so concerned about you that he sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins and take the judgment you deserve for them?

Do you believe that one day Jesus will return in power and glory and perfect you, that then he will rid you of your sins and glorify you?  Do you believe on that day he will wipe away every tear you’ve shed, even if today to some degree you remain under the lash of sin and circumstances beyond your control?

Then you are saved.  Because of Jesus Christ, you can know God is concerned about you and he has seen your misery.

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