“What are you saved from?” The young man had a look of confusion and discomfort when I asked him this over coffee. He had just told me he was saved as a teenager. “Well, I said a prayer and asked Jesus into my heart,” were the first words he came up with. He continued, “I mean, I’m going to Heaven because of my prayer of salvation. So . . . I was saved from Hell, I guess?”
I have this conversation a lot. Seems like so many believers can’t really articulate what we were saved from. Why is that? In our western church world, does it ever seem to you that Jesus is sometimes just another box to check on Sundays for so many of us? “Yup, I got my passport to heaven honey. Yup, he died, I believed, so I’m goin’ to heaven. I’m good to go now babe. Whadaya say we grab a case of beer, and fry up some honey/garlic wings on the grill after church?” (Actually, that sounds like a pretty good game day meal!)
Whenever I speak, especially about my favorite gift from God, His grace, I often ask a question, “What are the three most important events in world history?” The answers vary, but they always contain one or more of the following responses . . . a) The creation of the world b) The birth of Jesus c) Jesus’ death or d) Jesus’ resurrection. All great responses (One time someone answered, “When the USA dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.” . . . hmmm. anyway, I digress). What would your answer be? Over the years I started to realize there is one event that is seldom shared. And this event escapes so many Christians today who can’t effectively communicate what we were saved from . . .
Then both of their eyes were opened, and they knew they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. Then they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves . . . the Lord God said, “Where are you?” The man said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” The Lord said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:8-11
THE FALL OF MAN. Yes. In order to truly understand what Jesus saved you from, you must fully appreciate the reason you need salvation. That reason . . . sin, THE SEPARATION FROM GOD, that resulted from THE FALL of man. Think about it. Man, Adam, had everything. God created earth for man. God created man in His image. Man had dominion. Man named every creature. Man walked naked, unafraid and together WITH God. Can you see? God wanted man around bro! Come on, we have to understand this. Then man did the unthinkable. He disobeyed and insured, for all the rest of us, doom and depravity. Thus, creating the need for something to connect us back to God. Yup, we’re born into this, as infants. We were not born a Christian when our mom pushed us from her womb. (Hey bro, can you pass me some of those wings? I think I’m starting to understand this.)
Then the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:14-15
Yes, the Lord God loves us so much he promised Satan, after his deception, that He was sending someone to right the wrong he had facilitated. Satan didn’t know who He was, where He was coming from or when He would appear. But he knew God was sending someone to make man one with God again. Because of that someone, God’s grace would be poured out for those who believed, and Satan’s power would be crushed, one time for all time. Satan tried and tried throughout the Old Testament to disrupt the bloodlines of many in hopes of preventing this “someone” from coming. And the day that "someone" was crucified on a cross and resurrected days later, he was crushed. His head was struck, just like God promised and his power was taken away for those who believe in Jesus.
How can we fully appreciate the power of Jesus blood and resurrection if we don’t truly understand the gravity of the fall of man and how it affected us? Yes, you were born into this world in the depravity guaranteed by Adam. You were born IN Adam. You were born with a need to be one with God. One day you discovered your need. Think about it, God convicted you of your depravity and the fact you couldn’t be one with Him any other way. He loved you so much he gave you this revelation. You then truly believed in your heart on Jesus crucified and resurrected, you turned (repented) to Him, Jesus, and you accepted His grace. Now, you’re no longer in Adam. You’re no longer in the sin Adam insured through his fall. You're now born again IN CHRIST. You’re no longer under the dominion of the world the deceiver manipulates. You’re just not of that world anymore because of the promise He made, to send THE ONE, His Son, to crush Satan’s skull, two thousand years ago. You believed on Jesus. Made brand new. ONE with God. The best thing is, understanding the significance of THE FALL and its consequences also gives us revelation of the power of God’s grace, through faith, in guiding us away from sin that still lingers once we were forgiven, made holy and justified through our heartfelt belief in Jesus. Do we understand this? Can we articulate this to those who don’t believe so they can understand the hope Christians have? Imagine what happens when we do. So, tell me . . . what were you saved from?