The Need to be Saved
A daily devotion for November 4th
10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Brothers and sisters, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. Romans 10:1
In Romans 10:1-4 Paul expresses his intense passion that many within the nation Israel would be saved. I do not think there is any word in the Christian vocabulary that makes people feel more uncomfortable than the word
saved. People cringe when they hear it. Perhaps it conjures up visions of hot-eyed, zealous buttonholers — usually with bad breath — who walk up and grab you and say,
Brother, are you saved? Or perhaps it raises visions of a tiny band of Christians at a street meeting in front of some saloon singing,
Give the winds a mighty voice, Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Whatever the reason, I do know that people become bothered at this word.
I will never forget the startled look on the face of a man who came up to me in a movie theater. The seat beside me was vacant, and he said,
Is this seat saved? I said,
No, but I am. He found a seat across the aisle. Somehow this word threatens all our religious complacency and angers the self-confident and the self-righteous alike.
And yet, when you turn to the Scriptures you find that this is an absolutely unavoidable word. Christians have to talk about men and women being saved because the fact is that men and women are lost. There is no escaping the fact that the Bible clearly teaches that the human race into which we are born is already a lost race. This is why the good news of John 3:16 is that,
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish — not perish — but have everlasting life, (John 3:16 KJV).
We can never deal realistically with life until we face up to this fundamental fact: People are not waiting until they die to be lost — they are already lost. It is the grace of God that reaches down and calls us out of that lostness and gives us an opportunity to come to Christ and be saved. Therefore saved is a perfectly legitimate word to use. It makes us uncomfortable only when we refuse to face the fact that men and women are lost. They are born into a perishing race in which their humanity is being put to improper uses and is gradually deteriorating and falling apart, and they are facing an eternity of separation from God. These are the facts as the Scriptures put it.
Lord, thank you for the simple but marvelous miracle of salvation.
Life Application: Why are many offended by the word 'saved'? Since it is the realistic assessment of everyone who has not entered by faith into God's saving grace in Jesus, is it our heart's desire and prayer that the lost be saved?
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