Such a Great Salvation (13)
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11.6
And it will be said in that day:
“Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
This is the LORD;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isaiah 25.9
For all who believe in Jesus, the apostle Paul reports that their lives have been hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3.3). It is easy to miss the incomparable and incomprehensible scope, majesty, and prospect of Paul’s words.
Our lives have been hidden with Christ in God. We have considered the greatness of Jesus, His sovereign splendor and glory, His exalted majesty and strength, His infinite and absolute beauty, goodness, and righteousness. The more we consider Jesus, the more immense and wonderful and mysterious He becomes, and the more our minds and hearts long to grow into His image.
We have been seated with Jesus in the heavenly places in God (Eph. 2.6). God the Father and God the Spirit and God the Son, the eternal triune God of heaven and earth, Maker and Sustainer of all things, infinitely powerful and wise and good, thrice-holy, in Whom the vast, immeasurable cosmos and everything in it are contained: Our lives have been hidden in Him.
Do you think there’s room to grow here?
A spiritual corollary to Parkinson’s law – which states that work expands to fill the amount of time available for it – might be, “Salvation expands, according to faith, to fill the vessel within which it resides.” The vessel within which your salvation resides is God. Jesus has hidden your life in God, in the safety, strength, and spiritual soil of His eternal being and glory.
So grow where you’re planted.
God is our salvation, and as we wait on Him, rejoicing and believing and working out our salvation in fear and trembling, we will grow in God and into God increasingly. The Orthodox branch of Christianity uses the term deification to describe this process – not that we become God, but that, as we increase in the salvation which God is, we become more like Him in every way. We see the world as He does. We engage with Him in bringing His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. We attend to all the details of our lives as surely and faithfully as He attends to all the details of the cosmos, that He might be glorified in them all. We draw on His power to live exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we have previously known in the life of faith. And we realize the joy and hope and exuberant boldness that come from being continuously in the presence of God, ever-growing into Him and His great salvation.
It pleases God to reward those who thus devote themselves to diligently seeking Him and His great salvation. And what is His reward to those who delight above all else in knowing Him and growing into Him and being conformed to the image of His Son?
It is to give them more of Himself, more of what they most fervently desire, more of that great salvation and the joy and rejoicing that go with it, every day, for every situation, increasingly, without end (Ps. 37.4). God declares to us, as He did to Abram of old, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I amyour shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
In the light of who God is and who we are, “exceedingly great reward” seems like an understatement. To know God, to stretch out into Him, to be clothed with the exorbitant garments of His righteousness and salvation, and to be empowered with His presence and understanding, is the greatest reward any human could ever know. It is the reward that awaited Jesus when He finished His work on earth and returned to His Father’s presence and glory. And it is the reward held out to all who take seriously the news that their lives have been hidden with Christ in God, that, believing in God, He will reward them with Himself, and thus cause them to increase, with unspeakable joy, in that great salvation which He is. Thus, increasing in their great salvation, they fill their world with the knowledge of God and His glory.
Come to Him
What then shall we do?
We must come to Him. We must diligently seek Him, and not neglect this great privilege, this unfathomable condition of newness which has been granted to us in Jesus Christ and in His Father and ours.
We must come to Him day by day, waiting on Him in prayer and meditation, listening to His words and hiding them in our hearts. We must set our souls to obey the Lord and go into the world as salt, light, and leaven to refract the reality of Jesus, risen from the dead, by all our words and deeds.
Jesus stood on the top of a stormy sea and called to Peter, “Come” (Mk. 14.22-29). God the Creator and Lord, our loving heavenly Father, stands beyond and over and throughout the vast cosmos and its billions of galaxies, its burning suns, its dark depths of unknown substance and power – God stands and says to us, “Come. Believe. Receive Me. Grow in My great salvation.”
We must not fail to obey Him Who calls. Let us give ourselves with all diligence to seeking Him and His great salvation.
1. How do you experience your life having been hidden with Christ in God? Do you think there is room to grow in this experience?
2. What does it mean to say that God is our reward? A reward is something good, something to be really enjoyed. Is this your experience of God? Explain.
3. Would you say that you are diligently seeking the God Who is your salvation? Can you see any ways you might improve in this?
Next steps – Transformation: How can you improve in diligently seeking the Lord? Share your thoughts about this with a Christian friend.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.