If you have been following this blog, you’ll remember that back on July 6th we took a look at the idea of shrinking our salvation. On July 17th my beloved pastor and friend, Tullian Tchividjian, gave me the privilege of standing in for him in the pulpit at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. The title of my sermon was “Don’t Shrink Your Salvation.” I received so much positive feedback from folks at that service that I decided to expand on that message a bit and unpack a little more of our shrink-wrapped salvation and God’s supernatural solution.
By nature we want life to be all about us. Just a glance back to the Garden of Eden shows us that this is exactly what Adam and Eve did. They weren’t satisfied with having been made in the image of God; they wanted to be God. They wanted to be the center of life. They wanted to be the focus of life. They wanted to be the purpose of life. They wanted to be the ruler of life. Instead of continuing to enter into their personal relationship with God, they exited out by putting themselves in the place of God. And we do the very same thing!
We shrink our salvation when we focus the cross-work of Christ on us and the personal concerns of our lives such as . . .
- A better job
- A happier marriage
- Less rebellious children
- Good health
- Great friends
Make no mistake, when Christ is at the center of our lives, we can expect to make progress in all of these areas. BUT THESE THINGS ARE NOT WHAT OUR SALVATION IS ALL ABOUT. Our salvation is all about Jesus and what matters most to Him. We shrink our salvation when we work harder at making our kingdom come, rather than His kingdom come. We shrink our salvation when the dominating focus of our lives is centered only on those things that directly affect and address us. We shrink our salvation when we reduce it down to the size of our lives. We shrink our salvation when the consequences of our sin matter more than the offense against the One we sin against. We shrink our salvation when the self is at the center of life, rather than our Savior.
Jesus is on a rescue mission of restoring everything that has been marred so dreadfully by sin. When Jesus said, “I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5), He was telling us to expand the borders of our salvation beyond the borders of our lives. If we are disciples of Christ, we must be concerned about the things that concern Him. And make no mistake; Jesus is concerned about more than making life work out the way we want it to. The grace of the Gospel is far greater than the good it brings into our individual lives!
The salvation that Jesus won for us brings with it more personal blessings than we could ever imagine. But we must look beyond our blessings to salvation’s greater goal, which is to align ourselves with the goals of God’s kingdom. He cares for the lost; we need to care for the lost. He cares for the broken hearted; we need to care for the broken hearted. He cares for the widow and the orphan; we need to care for the widow and the orphan. When we are focused more on what we are getting out of our salvation, we stunt our growth and shrink our salvation.
Because shrinking our salvation is woven into our sin-stunted DNA, we need to be intentional about expanding the borders of our salvation beyond the borders of our individual lives. We need to align our goals with His goals . . . our desires with His desires . . . our plans with His plans . . . and our purposes with His purposes. When we do, we can be assured that we are living for a greater glory than the glory of the self. We are living for the glory of the One who purchased us with His precious blood and calls us into living a life that truly matters and will live on long after we are gone.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!