Salvation the great leveller

We imagine those who are deeply spiritual and those who are effective in ministry ascending into heaven to be with Jesus.

But the righteousness that is by faith says: ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?”’ (that is, to bring Christ down) (Romans 10:6NIV)

The drawback of having a sliding scale of spirituality with some close to God and some far is that we water down the reality that only Jesus reached heaven by his own righteousness. For everyone else, whether deeply spiritual or of questionable spirituality the way is through faith in Jesus. He takes us to God through the power of the resurrection, the gift of God’s amazing grace.

‘or “Who will descend into the deep?”’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). (Romans 10:7NIV)

In the same way when we guess who will go to hell we despise the lengths Jesus went to for each of us. He died for them! He is well able to save them.

 if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9NIV)

Salvation is the great leveller. It comes through a profoundly simple act of surrender and faith. These words are not a formula, they ask questions of our will: Am I willing to acknowledge Jesus as Lord of my life? Am I willing to believe that God had the power to raise Jesus from the dead, and by that same power can save me?

What does Jesus is Lord mean?

For many who acknowledge Jesus, the term ‘Jesus is Lord’ is their ticket to heaven. After all the Bible says,

If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9NIV)

Yet the declaration “Jesus is Lord” is about the whole of life. It is not some cheap password to get us ‘saved’.

In the same way, salvation is as much about the here and now as heaven. Life constantly presents me with opportunities to look to Jesus for salvation. Life situations challenge my independence when I realise I can’t do it; I need Jesus. They beg the question: Do I trust him? They challenges my belief: Did God raise Jesus from the dead? If he did, then this crisis I am going through is trivial in comparison. ‘Jesus is Lord’ is not a get out of jail free card to be brought out when I die, it is a recurring theme of life.

‘Jesus is Lord’ is also a place of surrender. I know I can’t ask for help unless I submit to Jesus. What is the point of trying to deceive the one who sees deep into my soul. So the recognition that ‘Jesus is Lord’ is an act of repentance. It is through this alignment of my heart coupled with believing he has the power and will to rescue me that I am saved. Saved in crises now, saved from eternal hell after death.