There’s a question in the Bible that first confused me, but now, I cannot get it out of my head anymore:
“Then who can be saved?”
Mat 19:25 (NASB)
There was something the immediate disciples of Christ realized, I didn’t at first and at their reaction it must be HUGE. In fact, Jesus’ response confirms getting someone saved is simply impossible (for a second, let’s put aside that with God everything is possible)
Impossible is a strong word. It implies that nothing can be done to make something specific take place. No matter, how you twist and turn the situation, something impossible should inevitably never happen.
Let’s say, you’re going skydiving and the moment you jump out of the plane, you realize you put on your backpack by accident and left your parachute at the hangar. At 4,000 meters and falling, you realize there’s nothing in the world that can save you. In a few moments time, you will hit the ground at full velocity and kill you; probably instantaneously.
The disciples came to such a point after experiencing the discourse Jesus had with the rich ruler. Something shifted in their minds about what they thought they knew about salvation and it left them totally perplexed.
That N O T H I N G we say or do (on our own or towards others), can save us or even help us get saved is a big deal in a world full of self-righteous people like you and me. Imagine how difficult it is to grasp that we cannot bring ourselves or anyone else closer to God… that we cannot convince anyone to accept salvation… that none of our methods, booklets, preachings, lessons, strategies, concepts, materials, videos, words, humanitarian efforts, etc. will even bring a single person an inch closer to salvation. That’s what the word “impossible” means. All actions are futile, because NOTHING will prevail!
This needs to stick into our thick skulls, because it seems there are many believers who might know that we are saved by grace alone, but by their actions show that they still believe human efforts must have some effect or part in the whole salvation process (e.g. a decision, our good deeds, a deeper understanding of certain doctrines, etc.). This kind of thinking is more damaging than we can ever imagine.
Why is this SO important for the saints to grasp? Because as always, the renewal of our minds will transform us and do so here in the following two ways:
- Knowing that nothing we do helps save those dearest to us,
should drive us more often to our knees in humility and pray… to pray like never before. That we would beg God desperately to save those He put on our heart.
- Knowing that only God can save them,
should not only lift an extremely large and unnecessary burden off our shoulders, but also send us grasping (even more so) after God (as the only source of our salvation and that of others) and put a deep desire in our hearts to obey His instructions regardless what that entails.
Yes, as shocking as this may seem for many: God can save anyone all by Himself. He doesn’t need us, but He is giving us a humongous opportunity to be a small part of an already completed mission impossible (Joh 19:30).