Saturday, July 17, 2021

Light, Salvation, Strength


Imagine, if you will, a terrified child who falls into an abandoned well shaft while playing in the woods. One moment he was frolicking in piles of crimson and golden autumn leaves; the next, his young life flashes before him in an instant as he drops through branches loosely covering the opening to the dark pit below.

Thankfully, enough leaves have accumulated in the well to break his fall, but his body is sore and racked with pain. The sides of the well are steep and slippery, and there is no way he can climb out on his own. Nightfall soon approaches, and with it an overwhelming darkness. It is a new moon, and clouds have covered the stars. In the distance, a wolf cries out, as if invoking the child’s certain doom. The boy shivers, more from fear than from the bitter cold.

Suddenly, he hears his name called, and he manages to scream through his uncontrolled sobbing. A search light pierces through the darkness and then directly into the shaft.

“Please save me,” the boy moans with what seems like his last breath.

“Don’t worry, son,” a powerful yet calm voice reassures him. “I’m here – just trust me.”

The boy gladly surrenders all control to his rescuer, who descends a rope ladder into the well, hoists the lad to his shoulders, and carries him out the same way in his own strength. Once reunited with family, the boy grows in physical and spiritual strength, ever thankful to his rescuer and to the God who sent him, with His perfect timing (2 Peter 3:9).

Before we can be saved by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) of Jesus Christ as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6), we need to come to the end of ourselves and our own strength, and to realize there is no way we can save ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9). Like the little boy, we have fallen into a miry pit of clay (Psalm 40:2), as David writes in Psalms, and we cannot escape it in our own strength.  We are sinners (Romans 3:23), all under the curse of Adam and Eve’s original sin (Genesis 3), and we deserve eternal punishment in hell (Luke 16).

While suffering the consequences of his own sin, and fleeing for his life from King Saul who wanted him dead (1 Samuel 18:11), David was gripped by fear, yet released from it by the realization that only God is in control. God’s perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). He is the only Rescuer who can lift us from that miry pit, if we trust Him.

Psalm 27:1: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Light, salvation, strength. The “Prince of Preachers” Charles Spurgeon referred to this verse as “a threefold cord which could not be broken.”

Before we can be saved, we must know we are lost, which happens only when the glorious light of the Gospel shines into our heart (2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Timothy 1:10). Faith comes by hearing the word of God, brought by a witness of the Gospel (Romans 10). By that light, we can see that we are sinners deserving eternal death; that only God is holy and righteous; and that He sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sin (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

Only then can we be saved by trusting Jesus and His completed work on the cross (John 19:30), which paid in full the penalty for all our sin. He alone is our salvation, our Savior, and once we invite Him into our heart, His perfect righteousness is credited to our account (Romans 4:20-25). When God looks at us, He no longer sees our sin, but only the perfect holiness of His Son, and He therefore grants us eternal life with Him in Heaven (Romans 5:19-21).

Then He adopts us into His family (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5); appoints us as His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), betroths us to His Son, and makes us joint-heirs with Him (Romans 8:17). We then have access to all His abundant riches in glory (Ephesians 3:20; 1 Peter 1:3; Philippians 4:19; Colossians 1:27), including eternal life (John 3:16), joy in the Lord (Romans 5:11; Philemon 1:20), peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), and His strength, which is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Truly, then, we have no cause for fear, for there is no match for God’s omnipotence (Revelation 19:6). Nothing can separate the believer from His infinite love (Romans 8:38-39).

The threefold cord of light, salvation and strength mirrors the three Persons of our Triune God: Spirit, Son and Father. A threefold cord cannot easily be broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Nothing can pluck us from the saving hand of Jesus Christ (John 10:28-29); nothing can loosen the Father’s grip on the Son’s hand; and nothing can break the seal of the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13).

Before we can be saved, the Holy Spirit shines His penetrating light into our heart, so that we can see who and what we truly are, and what Christ has done for us (John 14:26; 15:26). Then we trust in our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our only salvation (Acts 4:12). He is also the only Way to the Almighty Father and His strength, for Christ is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and we are complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10).

Thank you, Lord, for missionaries, preachers, and your Word that rescue us by shining the Gospel light in our hearts! Thank you for sending your Son to save us from our sins, deliver us from the miry pit, and give us eternal life! Praise you for allowing us to grow in Your strength to be Your lights in this dark world, until You come again!

© 2021 Laurie Collett


Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
How beautiful the Gospel really is, especially in the way you present it! And by the way, your header photo - is it of one of several sandstone slot canyons which characterises Utah?
Going back to the Gospel, the truth of imputed righteousness of Christ into our accounts - before I knew him, I was in a spiritual debt of £10,000. But now, knowing the Lord, I'm now £1,000,000 in credit! And so are you. The glorious Gospel is much more than merely a rescue mission from hell. As you say, it's about adoption into God's family.
Wishing God's blessing on you and Richard.

Rajani Rehana said...

Mind blowing post

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Thank you so much for your kind words and insightful comments. The photo, according to Wikimedia Commons where I downloaded it, was taken at the Grand Canyon and is in the public domain.
It is truly amazing that we were once spiritual beggars facing eternal imprisonment for a debt we could never repay, and now we are spiritual royalty, adopted into the family of the King, with seats at His table, and joint-heirs with Christ! Praise the Lord!
May God bless you and Alex,

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you Rajani! God bless!

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie. I love being part of the body of Christ on earth, and having access to God's Word,which is the only thing that could cause me to become a child of God.Jesus is the Word of God and although He was without sin became sin in the flesh so that we could be born of God's Spirit and continue to live in Him when our fleshly body dies.God bless you and yours Laurie.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
Praise God that He allows us the blessing and privilege of being members of His body. It is amazing that not only did the Word become flesh, but that He paid the penalty in that flesh for all of our sins, so that all those who trust Him have everlasting life!
Thank you as always for sharing your Scriptural insights. May God bless you too!