I have multiple blessings in my life. I was reared by godly parents who did the best they could to train me in the ways of righteousness. I had all four grandparents until I was married and had a child. I was blessed to attend high quality institutions from elementary school to postgraduate school. I married a godly woman who is the love of my life. I have two children whom I absolutely adore. I have friends who love me and would do anything in their power to help me. I have a supportive and loving Christian family. I am very blessed.
Yet, the greatest blessing I have – the greatest blessing you could ever have – is the salvation we find in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Paul expressed the blessing of redemption in Jesus this way: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Again the inspired apostle declared: “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Let’s think about some of the blessings the salvation in Christ brings:
- No fear in death.The fear of death is a universal fear in all man. Yet, in Christ, I find freedom from that fear: “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Hebrews 2:14-15). Because of the salvation I have in Christ, I need not fear death, but I know that a better home, an eternal house not made with hands, awaits me.
- No guilt in life.All of us struggle with guilt from time to time, but the good news is that in Jesus, all of my sins are removed in his blood. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). We dare not use the precious blood of the Lamb to continue in sin (Romans 6:1-2), but we have the confident assurance our guilt and shame have been nailed to Calvary’s cross.
- Expectation of Jesus’ Second Coming.Imagine the scene: The blast of a trumpet, the skies rent asunder, the graves of all the dead opened, the Son of God descending, the faithful of all the ages meeting the Lord in the air, and standing before the judgment seat of Christ. For those not in Christ, the judgment scene shall be beyond frightening; in the Revelation, those who faced God’s wrath cried out, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17). While I do not take a pre-millennial view of the book, the description of fleeing from God’s wrath is very apt.
For the child of God, however, the day of the Lord, which comes as a thief in the night, is a cause of great anticipation: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!” (2 Peter 3:11-12). How can we be “waiting for and hastening” a day which will bring utter ruin and destruction? Precisely because those in Christ shall be going home instead of facing that utter ruin and destruction. What a great day that will be!
- A loving family.My wife and I have spent the last 15 years living at least a couple hours from our parents. Since 2010, my parents have been a little more than 6 hours away (same distance from our former home in Alabama or our current home in Virginia), and Tammy’s parents were 9 hours away in Alabama and about 5 hours away now. But, we have a family, not from hereditary birth, but from our second birth: “All who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people” (Acts 2:44-47). The depiction there is of family – a family which helps each other, fellowships with each other, and loves each other. That family is the church, to which God himself adds the saved (Acts 2:47). Because I’ve been saved from sin and a part of the body of Christ, I enjoy that fellowship with my brothers and sisters.
- Answered prayers.God has promised to answer the prayers of his people: “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him” (1 John 3:21-22). No, God doesn’t always do what we ask – Jesus didn’t receive the answer he wanted as he prayed in the Garden. Yet, we know that God hears us and that he answers us in accordance with his perfect will.
- A night’s rest.When I put my head on my pillow at night, I can rest assured that I’m in Christ. Should Christ come in the middle of the night, I’ll meet him in the air. I have no guilt to keep me up at night. I have the firm promise of God that my soul is in his hands. Why shouldn’t I sleep well at night?
These are some of the blessings our salvation in Christ offers. What others would you add?