Salvation isn’t about saving ourselves

Salvation can be be such a selfish thing, where one’s entire life is geared to “being saved.” And to get oneself saved means working hard at being a good person, obeying all the commandments, having high moral standards and serving in the community, all of which are good but at the same time very selfish if the motive for doing them is really just one’s own salvation. I’m nice to people, for instance, but for whose sake – theirs or mine?

But if salvation is in any way a “self-seeking” exercise, Romans 2:8, it has defeated its purpose, because salvation was given to us to get our minds OFF ourselves, “For we know that our old (selfish) self was crucified with him SO THAT the the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin,” Romans 6:6.

Christ died to “set me free from the law of sin and death,” Paul wrote in Romans 8:2, so that “gratifying the cravings of our (old selfish) sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts” (Ephesians 2:3) no longer ruled his thoughts. And we can be free of it too, so that instead of “our minds being set on what our (selfish, sinful) nature desires we can have our minds set on what the Spirit desires,” Romans 8:5.

And what does the Spirit desire? He wants to “put to death the misdeeds of the body,” Romans 813. The Spirit’s great desire is to get rid of everything in us that’s motivated by self. And what a relief that is: Imagine having motives that are no longer selfish. Never again are we plagued by that niggling voice in our head that says, “You know why you’re doing this good deed, don’t you? It’s really just to look good, isn’t it? It’s to be looked up to by other people and become known as such a good person, etc.” The Spirit, though, frees us of always questioning our motives, because the Spirit gives us the mind and motives of Jesus instead.

And what motivates Jesus? “The life he lives, he lives to God,” Romans 6:10. Not a selfish thought in his head or a selfish bone in his body. And because of the Spirit that God gives us, we can have the same mind Jesus has, completely free of all selfish thoughts.  The Spirit takes our minds off ourselves and purely onto what God created us all for, to love him and love each other so we can rule his creation one day with love.

Salvation, therefore, frees us from worrying about saving ourselves. Instead, it frees us up to love.


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