I have had the pleasure of spending about 5 years of my life teaching preschool. It was a blast. It really was. Some perks include getting to use words like “potty” and “tummy,” snack time, and a required afternoon nap. Some down sides include boogers and temper tantrums. I felt like the job was a fairly good fit. But there were sometimes my coworkers and the children would look at me funny. This is because I have a tendency to randomly use big words. I am not sure why, but words like juxtaposition or myriad would pop out of my mouth during a conversation about fine motor skills or building blocks. My random big words continue to pop out and today, I have a big word I am thinking about: soteriology.
So, biology is the study of life. Theology is the study of God. Psychology is the study of the mind. Soteriology is the study of salvation. It’s not only a big word; it’s a big topic. Over centuries many theologians and preachers have published their thoughts on salvation. The reason why it’s such a big topic is because it is so important to our faith in Christ. But, to keep things simple (mainly because my brain hurts when I think too hard about such things) I am going to think about salvation just in respect to our relationship with God.
As I have mentioned before knowing Christ is not just knowing about Christ; it is to be in a relationship with Him. Probably one of the most well known Bible verses is John 3:16. It says, “for God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” I want to zero in on the word “believes.”
To believe is defined in the dictionary as “to accept or regard as true.” I think this is not only something we think, but it is an action. Here’s a way I have heard it explained. If you can, look at a chair in the room you are in. Do you believe the chair will hold you up? Yes? Great. Go sit in it. Did it hold you up? YAY! This is the difference between thinking something is true and KNOWING something is true. The action you take is the difference. BELIEVING that Jesus died for you and took the consequence for your sins leads to the act of receiving this gift of salvation. There is a difference between knowing about how God saves you and actively accepting it as true and communicating it to Him. This is how a relationship with Jesus begins. This is how we KNOW God. We believe and sit down in the chair. Our relationship with God has begun and now we can grow.
God, I pray that we do not merely understand what salvation is, but that we accept your gift. I ask that you stir inside of us a desire to do more than believe with our heads, but also with our heart, soul, and strength. Let the power of your death on the cross and resurrection from the dead lead us to action, to repentance, and to pursue your holiness in our own lives.
Have you had a “sit down in the chair” moment? Tell us about it in the comment section!