Salvation belongs to God, and Christ’s deliverance is our salvation. Taking note of or addressing scriptures referencing abundant life changes our view of God’s bountiful life. We then measure our life by our possessions rather than our supply of riches provided by Christ at His resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection has extended our life to an eternal existence, and that is abundant life. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. In John 10, He uses the analogy of the relationship of a shepherd with his sheep. This illustration helps us understand how our heavenly Father sees us.
Sometimes, we interpret scriptures relating to abundant life to mean having an abundance of things. It conflicts with the purity of Jesus’ primary message of hope and reprieve for humanity. Having a surplus of material things can often be a diversion. It complicates the expectation of what some may expect when they receive salvation.
Is the message of possessions aimed at those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior so they might receive God’s offer of redemption? Or is the point of following Jesus all about possessing material things? If this is the highlighted message, then it is a misguided message that portrays God as one who bribes people to love Him.
Rescue is another way to explain salvation. God has rescued us from eternal death through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. That is why salvation belongs to God. Christ’s deliverance is the Good news of the Gospel; He has rescued humanity from becoming the living dead by securing life for us both now and throughout eternity.
The Never-ending Privilege of Salvation
The salvation God desires for us is the never-ending privilege of eternal love by which we are made whole in Him. God does not give us material wealth so we will love and obey Him, but rather He gives us these things because He loves us. God already loves us, despite any economic benefits or disadvantages. Salvation belongs to God, and He has chosen us to be heirs of salvation. The Scripture says, “Has not God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him” (James 2:5).
It doesn’t matter whether you have or do not have access to the finer things of life. It matters that you do not dilute your love for God by an inaccurate definition of love. If you do this, your love for God will remain genuine and not fade away, and not be dependent on your possession of tangible things.
We Are God’s Chosen People
“Has not God chosen the poor in this world?” All of humanity is poor without sincere love for God. Our Heavenly Father desires that everyone be rich in faith in Him. Therefore, God has considered the disadvantage of the poor, and He has chosen the poor — those who do not have the magnitude of this world’s wealth — so that even the poor can obtain treasures in heaven through faith and pure love for Him.
“And heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him.” In any trap imaginable, our escape is by faith in God through salvation. God is delighted to establish you through His love, worship, and relationship. God’s gift of salvation has opened the door, eliminating the covering of the sanctuary. Today, you and I can have intimacy with Him. God has made His deity recognizable through the simple premise of salvation. And it is that availability that has given us refuge.
Redemption Through the Cross
The intervening hand of God on the earth is salvation, and it belongs only to God. By faith, we can have an explainable personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, spiritually independent of our vessels of clay. By carnal standards, salvation is when we allow the primary focus of our earthly inheritance to be the acceptable goal. If this is true, we are redefining redemption by proclaiming a message different from the Gospel of Jesus. No matter how many disciples or followers of Christ were rich in worldly possessions, Jesus did not exalt earthly wealth as His Kingdom ministry. The focal point must remain in its proper place, a direction that leads to the gospel message of salvation, proclaiming Jesus Christ. It is imperative that we not confuse God’s salvation with the partial message of promoting self-attainment as opposed to promoting Christ Jesus.
“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. And saying the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15)
Abundant life has its roots in the Kingdom of God rather than this world’s kingdom. We know worldly wealth is not a sin, but can we justify a change in focus from the spiritual bride of Christ to a carnal bride of Christ and still please God? Never! God the Father has delivered us through faith in His Son, Christ Jesus. That is why salvation belongs to God.