Thursday, July 30, 2009

What must I do to be saved?

Our blogging group this week is tackling the question: What must I do to be saved? This is an important question, because it is a question that deals with not only our life here on earth, but also with what happens to us when we die. When Jesus was on this earth, he was asked that very same question. It's in the Bible, in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 19. A rich young ruler comes to Jesus and asks him: What must I do have eternal life? They proceded to talk about keeping the law, living for God. The man thinks he's doing all the right things, and pridefully thinks that he's kept the law and thus is deserving of heaven.
But then Jesus shows the man how his thinking is off by telling the man that he then needs to sell all that he has, give it to the poor, and then come and follow Jesus. What Jesus is saying to the man is that his riches and his pride and his position are keeping him from living the way God wants him to live; living for God. In the Bible, Jesus made it very clear, there is only ONE way to be saved, and that is by accepting Jesus as our Savior, believing that Jesus' death on the cross is what removes our sin, and allows us to be in a relationship with God. As Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ."
We think that the life we have is supposed to be about what we want. But this thinking is wrong, just like the thinking of the rich young ruler was wrong. We were created to be in relationship with God first, and then with others. We were created to give ourselves fully over to God, and let God lead us in a way to care for and help others. As Jesus summed it up: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself."
This is challenging, but it is life saving. For our life here on earth, and our life to come!