“For the perfecting of the saints…” It seems some “saints” are not yet perfect (Eph. 4:12). I belong to this imperfect group. God is light and absolute moral perfection. Only God is perfect. No sin or sinner can approach this altogether Holy One and survive. As certain germs are destroyed by their very exposure to the sun, so a sinner (because of the nature of sin) cannot approach, let alone survive in God’s holy presence. It should be pointed out that this “holiness” or this “righteousness” as Paul calls it in his gospel, is a positive living effulgence, and moral energy of light and virtue. The heartbeat of holiness is love, and this love is modulated with an everlasting pulse of goodness and truth.
How can man who was originally created in God’s likeness, and now so far fallen and ruined by sin be restored to a spiritual state that is in harmony with the purposes and plan of the Creator? How can love lift a sinner out of the consequences of the curse without compromising the righteousness of God and his law? How can a man be saved from sin and become a son of the living God?
The answer, of course is Jesus Christ. God would come himself and become the payment and ransom for sin. As all men are sinners through Adam’s line (we are sinners by nature, as well as sinners by nurture). God himself would become a perfect man, and in this humanity, by faith and submission to the Father, and by the power of the Spirit, as the perfect Son, live life as it was meant to be, and then die the only death that would sufficiently satisfy the demand of eternal justice, having all men’s sins imputed to himself. In this brilliant plan of salvation, as a sinless Christ who in himself would never know death, tasted death for every man, that every man might taste life and live it abundantly and eternally. The genius of this gospel could only have been generated by God as it flies in the face of every man-made religion and home-grown remedy. It is all of God and He alone gets all the glory. In this salvation “by grace though faith,” we point to his merit, not our own.
I was unworthy the day I came upon this truth, and
in myself, I am unworthy still. I
am not saved “because I saw the light,” though see it I did (Acts
26:18). Nor am I saved
because I “turned,” yet turn I did.
Nor am I saved because I switched sides and rejected the
authority and power of Satan, and flee did I, as Israel hurried out of
Egypt. The first involves
“vision,” the second “decision,” the third “division.”
It is not the vision, decision, or division that saved me, rather
it was the “provision.” I
am saved because I received something from Jesus Christ.
Salvation is a gift. No
one can take that away. As
believers we may falter along the way in our vision, decision, and
division, but nothing can separate us from the love of God and
Christ’s eternal provision. While
we grow in grace and faith, we become "mature" and more like
him, but he alone it the Perfect One. “For by grace are ye
saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9.