Aspiring Missionary, Remember How God Saved You - Radical

Aspiring Missionary, Remember How God Saved You

In salvation, you are rescued from your sins and receive the forgiveness of your sins. This means that God no longer condemns you for your sins or counts you as guilty due to Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross. 

How can this be possible? Only through faith in Jesus Christ. You have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom you have salvation, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13–14; Ephesians 1:7). You are declared to be righteous through faith.

How can this be possible? Only through faith in Jesus Christ.

It’s easy to focus on practical steps for discerning and preparing for missionary service, but it is important to remember how God has saved you. Some can remember God saving them from self-righteousness. Others recognize that God saved them from self-indulgence. It might be hard to pinpoint the exact moment when you experienced salvation, know this: God is the one who saved you. 

You have been forgiven “as far as the east is from the west.” The forgiveness of God is effective and eternal. God no longer remembers your sin, but pardons you and passes over your rebellious actions (Micah 7:18–19). He shows his compassion to you and is gracious to you.

In Salvation, You Experience Regeneration and Conversion

But salvation is not only the good news about escaping evil or receiving forgiveness of sins. The gospel is both rescue and regeneration. The gospel gives us new life in Jesus Christ. Regeneration is the instantaneous act when God secretly and sovereignly imparts spiritual life to those who are spiritually dead.

The fruit of regeneration is conversion. This is our response to God’s work. Conversion can be understood as the Holy Spirit enabled personal response of individuals to the gospel in which they repent and believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

So, conversion isn’t about working hard to turn your life around and be better. Instead, conversion is a moment where each one of us responds to the new life that we have been given. It’s the response to God’s instantaneous work of regeneration. So, in salvation, you are rescued from your sins and given new life by God’s grace.

In Salvation, You are Declared Righteous Before God

Christians are not justified based on their good works but instead based on the perfect life, substitutionary death, and triumphant resurrection of the Son of God. In justification, sinners are not made righteous, but they are declared to be righteous (Luke 23:43; Romans 8).

Consider the example of the thief on the cross with Jesus in Luke 23. The man was still sinful, but he was declared to be righteous because of his faith in Christ. For this very reason, the sinner could rejoice, knowing that he would not receive condemnation (Romans 8:1). This sinner was justified by the grace of God and his faith in Christ (Romans 4:25).

In Salvation, You are Adopted by God

In salvation, you are adopted by God. It’s not as if God saves you and then you must live well enough to stay in God’s good graces. Instead, in salvation, you are reconciled, united, and adopted by God. John 1:12 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

The fact is you aren’t simply saved from your sins. You are saved into the kingdom of God––not just as servants, but as a part of the family of God for the glory of God. Throughout the Bible, Christians are called heirs of God. Spiritual adoption means that we have a place to belong. 

The fact is you aren’t simply saved from your sins. You are saved into the kingdom of God.

Too often, we focus on how salvation keeps us from hell while missing out on the reality that it gives us direct access to God like a child ought to have with their father.

Remember What Christ Has Done for You

Aspiring missionary, take a minute to look back on your life and remember the way that God has saved you from your sin, recognize your continual need for the Lord, and reflect on God’s kindness to you. 

Don’t forget the way the Lord has saved you, redeemed you, and is sanctifying you. Respond to the Lord with thanksgiving for, in him, you can experience true love. God knows you and he loves you. He has given his Son for you.

As you consider the opportunity of serving cross-culturally as a missionary, take time to remind yourself of the biblical truths of salvation. Remind yourself each day of God’s kindness to you and the way that you have been forgiven. Allow his work in you to fuel your passion for evangelism among the nations.

Cole Shiflet is the content manager at Radical. He is a member of Redeemer Community Church and an M.Div. student at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.

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