Christians focus a lot on a saving grace salvation, rightfully so. However, this thinking can get distorted as if folks just believe, they’re all set – off to heaven they go. There’s a bit more. A good question to dig into is what the heck are we being saved from? I mean, what’s the big deal? Put another way, Saved from what?
The question can sound odd because our generation simply does not see a need for salvation. Today the word and concept implies that we’re weak, needy, not good enough. Few like the implications these words carry. We like freedom, power, control, and autonomy – we’ll do the saving, thank you very much! We believe our lives are great, and will only get better. New gadgets, apps, technology, coffee, amusements and more keep us plenty occupied. Who wants to think about bad stuff – focus on the positive, right?
Okay, let’s focus on the positive. If we look at what we’re to be saved from – it’s the world. The world, as defined by the New Testament writers is called the present age. It’s the cultural pulls, agendas, forces, might-is-right structures, shallow systems, and philosophies that keep us occupied, busy, and trapped. We’re slaves really.
If we stop to think about it, we’re told what to eat, what to wear, how to speak, and what to care about. We think we’re free thinkers. We’re even told we’re free. We’re not. We live in a cultural box of worldly (present age) expectations, values, and social morays that dictate and control our behavior to varying degrees. It’s not all bad, but it’s definitely influential, and God is far from the core.
If we think we already wear the world like a loose garment, we only have to look within ourselves. We won’t have to go too far before we find that we’re full of a lot of stuff we’d rather not admit – greed, anger, contempt, pride, jealousy – the list is long. We’re slaves to this too.
Paul puts it well saying, See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson