Sunday, November 4, 2012

We are dragged toward salvation

I'm watching Columbo on Netflix. One of my favorite episodes was Swan Song, starring Johnny Cash. The show opens with Cash singing "I Saw the Light". When I saw this show last, I was not saved. I remember loving the song, and searching the internet for the lyrics. I found them,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I've wandered so aimless, life filled with sin
I wouldn't let my dear Savior in
Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night
Praise the Lord, I saw the light

I saw the light, I saw the light
No more darkness, no more night
Now I'm so happy, no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord, I saw the light

I've walked in darkness, clouds covered me
I had no idea where the way out could be
Then came the sunrise and rolled back the night
Praise the Lord, I saw the light

Just like a blind man I wandered alone
Worries and fear I claimed for my own
Then like a blind man who God gave back his sight
Praise the Lord, I saw the light

When death takes me down and I breath here no more
My anthem will sound on that eternal shore
When I join with the angels in heaven on high
Singing “Praise the Lord, I saw the light”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wondered, 'what did it mean?' I liked the tune, but what was the reference to darkness and light all about?

Well, the Light found me and I became saved. Now I know what it means.

Isn't it fun to look back and see the steps He used to draw us to Him? He surely pursues us, even drenched with sin as we are.

I review my life before I was saved and I can clearly see the people and the incidents He used to bring me along, ever closer to the cross. GotQuestions asks,

"What does it mean that God draws us to salvation?"
"Answer: The clearest verse on God’s drawing to salvation is John 6:44 where Jesus declares that “no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” The Greek word translated “draw” is helkuo which means “to drag” (literally or figuratively). Clearly, this drawing is a one-sided affair. God does the drawing to salvation; we who are drawn have a passive role in the process. There is no doubt that we respond to His drawing us, but the drawing itself is all on His part."

The essay continues in explaining His drawing of us. I was glad to read that, because I know I was not 'drawn', I know I was dragged. LOL. I mentioned that once to a Christian friend. I'd said, "He dragged me kicking and screaming to the cross." My friend has replied, "Of course He didn't drag you!" But He did. I knew He did.I remember those last three years before I was saved distinctly and I felt like I was being dragged. Further, even now I know I never would have come on my own unless He had brought me. Now I can read it for myself in John 6.

Our sin is so pervasive, it can only be the power of God to drag us out of it. Not that God struggles with bringing us to salvation, but that we struggle against it so much. I wish more people understood how firmly sin has us in its clutches, and how much we like it there.

I enjoyed learning the word helkuo, and that it means drag. Here is a bit more from GotQuestions about that word and its use in bringing us to salvation:

"Helkuo is used in John 21:6 to refer to a heavy net full of fish being dragged to the shore. ... Clearly the net had no part in its being drawn to the shore ... Why does God need to draw us to salvation? Simply put, if He didn’t, we would never come. Jesus explains that no man can come unless the Father draws him (John 6:65). The natural man has no ability to come to God, nor does he even have the desire to come. Because his heart is hard and his mind is darkened, the unregenerate person not only doesn’t desire God, but is actually an enemy of God (Romans 5:10). When Jesus says that no man can come without God’s drawing him, He is making a statement about the total depravity of the sinner and the universality of that condition." More at link.

So you get saved by His power. You're justified, the Judge has pardoned you. Now what?

GotQuestions explains spiritual growth
"When the transformation of salvation takes place, spiritual growth begins. The Holy Spirit indwells us (John 14:16-17). We are new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old nature is replaced with a new one (Romans 6-7). Spiritual growth is a life-long process that depends on our study and application of God's Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and our walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26). As we seek spiritual growth, we should pray to God and ask for wisdom concerning the areas He desires us to grow in. We can ask God to increase our faith and knowledge of Him. God desires for us to grow spiritually, and He has given us all we need to experience spiritual growth. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can overcome sin and steadily become more like our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.'

Sometimes I like to look at the glossy magazines' photos of Before and After. You know, when they take a regular looking woman and they make her up and dress her and she looks totally different. But that change is only external. I love to think about the Before and After of our salvation. If we could see how putrid sin is and how ugly it makes us, before, and how beautiful we will be after glorification...now there is a real Before and After. I can't wait to see my friends in their eternal state when the rapture comes. How beautiful they will be and how pure their soul will shine, inside and out. We will have had our sin-nature removed and been changed into incorruptible bodies with full and complete access to God in person.

I look forward to that day! I pray for that day! I hope you do too.

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