Memorise: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Read: Luke 3:3-14 (KJV)
3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
Bible in One Year: John 12-13, Isaiah 37:28-38:3
In today’s Bible reading, we gain insight into what it means practically to be saved. To be saved means to repent from your dead works and to be alive unto Christ in righteousness. Practical salvation is making your ways right with God without any reservation. When you are genuinely saved, everyone around you will see it. It cannot be hidden because you will no longer be comfortable in the midst of your sinful former friends. Practical salvation is impacting the lives around you by demonstrating the love of Christ through giving. I always tell people that whatever you give away may leave your hands but it will never leave your life. There is no other way to show the world the true nature of Christ without identifying with the challenges of people. Jesus was compassionate towards all those He met who were in need. How can you claim to be a Christian when you live in affluence but do not bother about what happens to the man beside you?
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” - Ephesians 4:24
Practical salvation involves putting off our old Adamic nature and manifesting the divine nature of Christ. We receive this divine nature, referred to as the new man, through repentance from our old ways and having faith in Christ’s work of salvation. The character of this new man says “Let him that stole steal no more” (Ephesians 4:28). It also uproots every root of bitterness, anger, wrath, envy, hatred and the likes out of your life. When you put on the new man, you will be ready to put right all that have gone wrong in your life, through the grace of the Almighty God. If something belonging to your organization or the government has been taken by you without being given, practical salvation demands that you return it. If you have been working with a forged certificate and you now say you are born again, you have to let go of this pretence and amend your ways. Several years ago, before I met the Lord, I was a school teacher and I needed to take care of one of my visitors. This need made me take a bed from the school dormitory. However, after my visitor left, I still held on to the bed. Seven years after this happened, I gave my life to Christ and I noticed that this bed was still in my house. I lost my peace immediately because there was a new spirit in me. To practically demonstrate my salvation, I had to pay double for the bed because the Jesus living in me would not allow me return a used bed after seven years of holding unto it.
Key Point: When you are saved, your neighbours will know.