Some wonder about our place in the plan of God. We ask why God’s plan works the way that it does. Some even wonder how it does work. They wonder how we ever make it into the presence of God. Aside from the questions, we all seek to be in His presence. We need to be in His vision. To be without God is to be truly LOST!
In 1 Peter 1:18-21 we find the mystery of mysteries resolved! “Before the foundation of the world” God intentionally laid out a plan to save us. Salvation was never an afterthought or an antidote for some unforeseen catastrophe man created. Often redemption is associated with the return of Jesus, or the judgement that will immediately come thereafter. Somehow, this life is considered lost to God’s working in our life. Peter never told his readers that they would only futuristically be redeemed, but that they were redeemed today. They were owned by the Lamb as a result of His very sacrifice and their faithful obedience to the call. They were presently reconciled and free in the body of the Lamb. Peter was pleading that the presently redeemed learn to live like the people of salvation they had become. (vs. 15-16)
Salvation exists so that God can have a people fashioned to
wear his name, to live in freedom from sin, and to demonstrate His holiness to the world. He has decreed purity of their souls through obedience to the truth. (1 Peter 1:22) More than simply knowing the truth, we are to be “Truth-Livers!” Truth is to be both confession and a way of life. This life is a radical change from our former way of life. It was quite literally a rebirth. Whatever we were sinfully, we are to be no longer. As a result, we are sanctified, sacrificially obedient, and born again. Faith is more than a simple abstraction to be understood. When we submit to the command of baptism for the remission of our sins, He gracefully places our repentant and newly cleaned selves in His presence and we are born again. Peter’s words enmeshed with Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus (John 3:5; Titus 3:5) draw an unmistakable relationship between baptism and new birth. (Romans 6)
Since before creation God knew we would need salvation. Some would ask, “Why would God create such a flawed people?”
God doesn’t create flawed people; we become flawed as a result of our own wrong decision making. (Romans 3:23) The most dangerous element in the garden was not a serpent, or a tree, it was Choice. Choice is dangerous, but necessary. It is the element which allows us to have free will and faith. Without it, faith cannot exist. Faith is a requirement of God’s people and that prevents us from being mindless in our own salvation and faith. We must know that we have sinned and that we need God. I have to choose God! I have to choose Him over all else. I have to seek him out like I do my next breath. I need to yearn for that relationship, not just talk about it. Faith is more than a snazzy “Christian” tee-shirt. It’s far more than wrist bands, neck chains and spiritual talk. It’s about a faith that understands beyond the moment or the circumstance. It’s about knowing something so profoundly that my own life is secondary to the message and purpose of God.
Salvation is something we either accept or reject. It is simple and straight forward. The question for us today is, “Do we accept or reject the most profound offer ever given to man?” Do we choose God or something else?