The Apostle Paul expresses God’s work for man’s salvation in three words.
The first of these is justification. This calls to our minds a picture of the law. We are called before the judge, and we are so guilty that we are ready to plead guilty and throw ourselves on the mercy of the court. But, instead, we hear the judge say, “This man is innocent. Free him.”
The next word Paul used is redemption. This calls to our mind the slave market where we are to be sold for our debts…sold into eternal slavery where someone else is our master. But we hear someone pay the full price, and then set us free.
The third word Paul uses is sanctification. Now we see ourselves in the Temple, where everything there is set aside for God’s glory and adoration. These articles look much like any others, except that these have been set aside as belonging to God.
These three words Paul uses could refer to man as an inanimate object, but man is not. Consequently, a response is necessary, and Paul uses two other words in describing this. These words are reconciliation and adoption. Salvation is not merely God’s act to change man’s condition. Salvation is an act whereby God enters into the new and intimate relation of father to son, and the son must accept the sonship.
There is another word that must cement the relation though.
In thinking of this, visualize a couple adopting a child. The examination is long and thorough. The couple’s morals, financial standing, social standing, race and many other things are checked thoroughly. Finally, the court approves the adoption. Even this is not made final until after the parents and the child have lived together for a while. Everything is according to the law, but it is only when the child has given the parents his love, that the adoption really becomes final.
It is said that every teenager must feel that he belongs to something or other. He must have a club, or a group, but at any rate, he must not feel left out. And we adults, if we are to feel our salvation, must feel that we belong, also.
Do you feel that you are saved? Some hesitate to say yes, some because of unsureness, and some because they feel it is presumptuous. But if you have given your love to God, you’ll feel that you belong, and you’ll feel no hesitancy about saying yes.