I once heard someone say “If you can’t explain your salvation, there’s a good chance you don’t really understand it. One of my pet peeves about Christians is our use of cliches. So one of my missions in writing is to explain my faith to others. If I am successful, then at least I understand it and some others do as well.
I came across this sentence today in my devotional and it seemed to contain the essence of salvation and sanctification (two familiar terms to Christians but perhaps not to others) but was loaded with cliches, so I thought I would try and explain it.
1Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. (Romans 5:1 NRSV)
I’ll start with the word “peace.” I know we all need at least a little bit of stress to deal with but I think we all are ultimately looking for peace. Paul declares that “we” have peace with God. “We” are persons who have been justified (able to stand with dignity and without shame) by means of faith (belief in and reliance on) Jesus Christ (that his death covers the little and especially the big offenses). There’s a sadness over past offenses that naturally comes with this. This is grace (a huge break which we don’t really deserve). So not having the wreckage of our past to weigh us down, we experience a sense of peace about life and relating to God. We feel like the barrier between God and ourself has been vaporized.
Because of this act of simple trust, we can move beyond just feeling good about ourselves, we can actually work on our relationship with God which opens up possibilities for more grace. And this grace gives us the extra boost and balance we need to go through life with more peace than we ever thought possible.
So remorse at mistakes plus the reliance on the undeserved covering of sin and feeling peace is salvation. The ongoing personal development from God resulting in more blessing is sanctification.