What kind of Savior is Jesus? That is a question that could go in a lot of different directions, but I want to share with you the three most important distinctives about Jesus as Savior. Buckle up. These really matter.
Jesus is THE Savior
We live in a world with more choices than ever before. It seems like there are even an infinite list of god options. You can go with one of the biggies like Jesus, Allah, or Krishna or you can design your own. Decide what you think God should be like and follow that ideal. While that seems like a new idea, it is really a very old one. It’s called idolatry. Take a block of wood or hunk of stone and carve the image of god that you desire. It’s no different.
The fallacies associated with designer gods and the false gods are too numerous to delve into here. The Bible presents it very simply and logically. There is one God. There is one Savior. There is one Way. That rubs against everything in our modern cultures sensibilities. We demand options. If there are not options, then that must mean that some people are wrong and we wouldn’t want to offend someone by telling them they are wrong. Unless you believe in one Savior. Then the world will be happy to tell you that you are wrong.
It doesn’t matter what the world says or how loud they shout it. Truth is truth. You either decide to surrender to it or rebel against it. The truth is that Jesus is THE Savior. Theologians might call this the exclusivity of Christ. He is the only, the exclusive way to eternal life. Jesus himself declared this about himself “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The wonderful news of the gospel, however, is that while their is one exclusive way to life, it is a completely inclusive offer. It is for everyone. Jesus is the Savior for all…for the whole world…the one died for the many.
The word “the” is called a definite article. It means that whatever word it is connected to is the only one. Jesus is the Savior. The Bible declares it again and again. In I Timothy 4:10 Paul writes “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”
Jesus is the Savior of all people and especially of those who believe. You see, he is the Savior for all, but you must believe for the second vital distinctive of Jesus as Savior to be valid.
Jesus is MY Savior
Jesus was the Savior for the first twenty years of my life, but it did me no good. I was doomed to an unfulfilling life and an eternity separated from God in hell. That only changed for me when I placed my faith in Jesus as my Savior. You can know the truth about Jesus. Your whole family can be Christians. You can memorize the Bible. You can go to church. You can serve people and strive to be a person of integrity. None of it matters unless Jesus becomes your Savior. It has to be personal.
I heard the gospel as a twenty year old college student and Jesus changed my life forever. He went from the Savior to my Savior. Has that happened in your life? Has it happened in the lives of those that you care about? If Jesus is the Savior of all people, but he isn’t your Savior, you are in a dire position. His desire is for friendship now and forever. To receive it you much accept the Savior as your Savior.
In Luke 1:47, Mary cried out “and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior“
In Habakkuk 3:18, Habakkuk declared “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
In Michah 7:7, Micah said “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”
In Psalm 18:46, the Psalmist shouted “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior.”
It wasn’t some impersonal God or Savior for these men and women of God. It can’t be for you either. It has to be personal. Jesus must become “My Savior.” When that happens it only gets better. Then…
Jesus is OUR Savior
Our world talks a lot about community today, but it experiences very little of it. We are made for deep, rich fellowship with others. As much as I can trend toward isolation, I know that I need community. I need it to be my best as a follower of my Savior and I need it to help others be their best. That is why Jesus created something called the church.
The church is simply a community of those who have decided that Jesus is my Savior. Once you make that decision, you are never on your own again. There are millions of people from around the world that would call you their brother or sister in Christ. Sometimes…most of the time…we complicate what church is all about. At it’s core, it is simply a group of people who unite around Jesus to share their lives and their mission because he is OUR Savior. Jesus is our bond.
The trend today is for people to abandon the church. I know there are lots of different reasons for that, but none of them are legitimate. I’m sorry if you have been hurt by the church. I’m sorry if you have been disappointed by the church. That has all been true for me and more, but I cannot give up on her. Jesus is OUR Savior. No excuse that you can make holds up to the clear intention of God that you be in the community of the Body of Christ. There is never supposed to be a Christian without a church. The church is God’s provision of support and strength for each one who has said “Yes” to Jesus. It is a blessing to you.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” -Titus 3:4-6
The Savior…My Savior…Our Savior
Is Jesus all these things to you? If not, why not? I’d love to hear from you.