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Janice B. Scott

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Good News - Salvation
By Janice B. Scott
Last edited: Saturday, May 21, 2011
Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011



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In books and films, characters are often rescued at the last minute by the hero. Just when all seems doomed, by a feat of huge courage and ingenuity the hero saves the day. Is this what Christian salvation is about?

 

Good News

Salvation

We had a family outing to see "The Return of the King", the final film in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. We'd seen the previous two films, which you probably remember were all made at the same time, but which were only released annually, one each Christmas for three years. I believe each succeeding film made even more at the box office than the previous one.

"The Return of the King" was a marathon three hours long, but it was worth it. It was a very exciting film with spectacular effects, good acting and superb music. And the plot was pretty good, too. At one point all the heroes were besieged in a kind of castle fortress by a huge army of monsters who had everything going for them. They had the best weapons and the best muscle power and far outnumbered our heroes in the castle fortress. But just as the monsters had broken through the walls and were beginning to decimate the heroes in hand-to-hand battle, the future king appeared with a massive ghostly army who made short work of the besiegers. The heroes were saved in the nick of time.

It's a fairly common phenomenon in many books and films. The heroes are saved just when all seems lost. And they're always saved from what seems like certain disaster. It's a last-minute rescue against all the odds.

The Christian story too is based on salvation, but being saved in the Christian sense probably doesn't have quite the same ring as being saved in the film sense. Or does it? What exactly is the disaster we Christians are saved from, and how are we rescued from it? What is salvation all about?

Perhaps we should begin by going right back to the start of the story; those pre-history days at the dawn of time which are illustrated by the early myths and legends written down in the book of Genesis about 2,500 years ago, but referring to the very beginning of the world. In six days God created the universe and all that's in it and saw that it was very good and God rested on the seventh day.

But it soon became clear that all was not very good. Some was very good, but there was a great deal about life that was not good. The stories were written down when the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon where they were under a foreign power and life wasn't good at all. So the story of Adam and Eve and the apple, which had probably been narrated around camp fires for thousands of years, was written down and was a neat illustration of the cause of the world's evil.

Human beings are a complex mixture of good and evil. We are basically good, but we are also basically sinners. We don't always do what is right even when we intend to do what is right. And deep down inside we quite often have no intention whatsoever of doing what is right even though we might go to great lengths to kid ourselves that we're justified in our actions.

It has always been thus and when the sin part of human beings has been allowed to continue unchecked, or has been justified as being good, then great evil abounds. The systematic extermination of the Jews in World War 2 and ethnic cleansing in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia are examples of human evil which masqueraded as good.

Our problem is that we can't wipe out sin. However basically good we are and however much we strive for perfection, we never achieve perfection. And just a little bit of sin from each of us, added together would be enough to cause considerable evil. As St Paul noted, the wages of sin is death. Not that God necessarily throws sinners into eternal punishment or closes the gates of heaven to them, but that every time we sin we close a little bit more of ourselves off from God. We shut down another little bit of our inner being. And without God to breathe life into us, we soon shrivel up. You all know examples of people who are shrivelled up inside. They aren't necessarily bad people, but they are sad people without much to be happy about.

The solution to all this depressing sadness is the rescuer, the glittering knight on the shining white charger who rides to our rescue in the nick of time. But he rescues us in a somewhat unexpected way. He doesn't lay about him with his flashing sword, destroying evil by chopping down sin. Instead our rescuer was a human being who lived a human life but who never allowed sin to determine his behaviour. Where we are all concerned for ourselves to a greater or lesser extent, he wasn't in the least concerned for himself. There are no recorded instances in the gospels of Jesus taking the hump because someone had upset him, or feeling angry because someone had hurt his feelings.

He showed love for God and for human beings such as we can only dream about. We might love our families, but there aren't too many of us who love other human beings anything like we love our own families. Jesus followed this love through to its only conclusion. He gave up his life because human beings demanded it of him. And while he was dying on the cross he still loved and forgave those human beings who had put him there. And during all that terrible experience, he never lost his integrity.

In some inexplicable way, that action broke the power of sin forever so that now we need no longer be subject to our fickle emotions or desires. It is now possible for us to gradually learn to move beyond our obsession with ourselves and to begin to learn to love as Jesus loved. And in the measure in which we're able to do that, so little bits of our inner self come to life and begin to blossom. Just as you all know someone who's shrivelled up inside, so also you know someone who has blossomed inside and who is full of love and goodness and fun and is very much alive.

The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life and this is what Jesus achieved for human beings. He showed us how to love and trust God. He showed us how to face the worst that could ever happen to us in this life without losing our love or our integrity or our faith or our forgiveness. And we saw the result of that in his resurrection, a resurrection which is promised to all of us who want it.

The good news of salvation is the best news of all, for Jesus has rescued us from the dreariness and depression and shrivelling up caused by sin and brought us to eternal life, life with a capital L.

We can live that eternal life now and we can live it in an even greater way after death, for Christians never die. It's impossible for us to die. We simply move onto a different kind of life in a different dimension, a life which is full of love and integrity and forgiveness.

The good news of salvation is indeed the best news of all.


Summary

  • In many books and films the heroes are saved in a last-minute rescue against all the odds from what seems like certain disaster.

  • The Christian story too is based on salvation. Human beings are a complex mixture of good and evil.

  • We are basically good, but we are also basically sinners.

  • We don't always do what is right even when we intend to do what is right.

  • When the sin part of human beings has been allowed to continue unchecked, or has been justified as being good, then great evil abounds.

  • As St Paul noted, the wages of sin is death.

  • Every time we sin we close a little bit more of ourselves off from God.

  • We shut down another little bit of our inner being.

  • Without God to breathe life into us, we soon shrivel up inside.

  • The solution to all this depressing sadness is the rescuer.

  • Our rescuer was a divine human being who lived a human life but who never allowed sin to determine his behaviour.

  • Where we are all concerned for ourselves to a greater or lesser extent, he wasn't in the least concerned for himself.

  • He showed amazing love for God and for human beings and followed this love through to its only conclusion.

  • He gave up his life because human beings demanded it of him.

  • While he was dying on the cross he still loved and forgave those who had put him there, and during all that terrible experience he never lost his integrity.

  • In some inexplicable way that action broke the power of sin forever so that now we need no longer be subject to our fickle emotions or desires.

  • It is now possible for us to begin to learn to love as Jesus loved.

  • In the measure in which we're able to do that, so little bits of our inner self come to life and begin to blossom.

  • The gift of God is eternal life and this is what Jesus achieved for human beings.

  • We can live that eternal life now and we can live it in an even greater way after death when move onto a different kind of life in a different dimension.

  • The good news of salvation is the best news of all.



 

 

 

Web Site Janice Scott
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Reviewed by Valerie Amor 9/16/2011
Amen to that, Janice, and let's be grateful to our loving God, (Immanuel, God with us) for the free availability of the good news of salvation. I really appreciated this article, Janice.
Val Amor

Books by
Janice B. Scott



Heaven Spent (Kindle Edition)

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Vengeance Lies In Wait

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Children's Stories Volume 2

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Poisoned By Yew

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Babes And Sucklings

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Children's Stories

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Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




Heaven Spent

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