The Bible says that I am saved by grace through faith, so all I have to do is believe and I’m good to go… right? Actually, this is true, but it’s not the whole truth. And partial truth is the specialty of our adversary.
What’s right with the statement above? The fact that we are saved by faith… period. What’s wrong with the statement above? If all we’re after is “being saved,” we are NOT good to go. In fact, we’re not going anywhere (ala “go and make disciples”). Not only are we missing the adventure of a lifetime, but we may end up inhibiting the faith of others.
To explore this concept, I want to think in two terms: birth, and growth. Today, we’ll cover the Birth aspect. In the next post, we’ll cover growth.
For our purposes today, birth = belief. More specifically, birth = that moment when you first believe that Jesus is who He says He is. You place your faith in Him, accept Him as the one who can wipe your slate clean and restore a relationship with God. Here, you are saved through faith.
In some Christian circles, you may hear it referred to as being “born again.” And just like the day any baby is born, there is much rejoicing and celebration. And there should be… this is a great day!
But let’s play out this scenario further. If you had a new baby, and in six months you noticed it had not gained weight, or somewhere past a year you noticed the baby wasn’t pulling up or starting to talk, what would you do?
Would you call that normal? What if they never learned to walk or talk… is that normal? No, I suspect you’d have that baby to the doctor a warp speed. You’d seek specialists and run tests. Why? Because failing to develop is not normal. It’s a sign that something is wrong.
So why do we approach faith any differently? Why is it OK to be “born again,” yet fail to develop and grow?
Want to know why I sometimes resist growing? Because life is so much easier as a baby. Someone takes care of you, it’s a world of “all about me,” and that’s OK because that’s what we expect of babies.
Unfortunately, that’s all that much of the modern church has come to expect of believers. Just being born is enough, they say. But here’s a tragic riddle: what do you call a place where 200 believers gather on Sunday who are born again? There are two possible answers:
- If they’re growing, it’s called a sanctuary or gathering place, etc….
- If they’re NOT growing, it’s called a nursery… because that’s what you call a room full of babies.
And when it comes to doing work for the Kingdom of Heaven, here’s a worthy motto: never send a baby to do a disciple’s job.
My goal here is not to make everyone feel terrible. Sadly, just being born has become the norm in modern churches. If no one has ever told you there’s more, how would you know? Or better yet, if no one has ever showed you, maybe it’s because they are spiritual babies also.
My goal is simply to raise awareness and spur a call to action by asking a simple question: What are we saved for? To be an eternal baby? Or to grow into the full stature of Christ?
There’s nothing wrong with being born, and nothing wrong with being a helpless baby. Even Jesus showed up in this world that way. But Jesus didn’t stay that way…
and neither should we.
Be sure to catch part two “Saved FOR… what?” for ideas on how to proceed.
What are your thoughts… what are we “saved for?” Join in the conversation by leaving a comment!