We do a great disservice to ourselves if we consider our salvation in Christ to be something that occurred in a single moment of time. There is, of course, the moment when you accepted Christ and committed your life to Him, but salvation doesn’t begin or end there. Your salvation has a past. Before you ever heard about Christ, He had already done the work necessary for your salvation on the cross.
Once you accepted the Lord’s offer of salvation, you spend the rest of your life working out that salvation in the present (see Philippians 2:12-13). Finally, our salvation is secured in the future when we meet Christ and are glorified in Him and with Him. Your salvation is ongoing, and we must never become lazy thinking we prayed a prayer and that’s all there is to it.
We had nothing to do with our justification. Jesus took that on Himself when He sacrificed His earthly life on the cross, shedding His blood to cover our sins. It was that act that compels us to seek Him as our Lord. The gift of justification is free to all those who will believe. We receive it by grace alone, through faith alone. There is nothing we can do to justify ourselves or to earn our justification. Jesus paid it all. Our responsibility in the matter is to either accept or reject His gift.
Having been justified, if we choose to believe Christ is the Son of God and paid the price for our sins, we must then spend the rest of our lives dedicated to holy living. We don’t do it because it’s a requirement for salvation, but a natural result of salvation. Therefore, your salvation is ongoing. After you accept Christ, the rest of your life becomes a process of sanctification. Our love for Jesus compels us to live in a way that pleases and honors Him.
Sanctification demands we put all our energy and desire into living and looking like Jesus. The greatest command in scripture is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Everything we have must be dedicated to and used for the Lord. We are to spend our lives in service to Him. Again, this isn’t because salvation requires it, but because love for the Father compels it.
Your salvation is an ongoing process with a magnificent end goal. God’s justification through Christ makes possible the sanctification of our lives, leading to the glorification of our bodies. A genuine relationship with Christ will cause ever-increasing humble obedience to Him in every area of our lives. It won’t be easy. Jesus promised us a life devoted to Him will be full of trouble (John 16:33). But, oh, the reward for it! God will glorify our bodies and bring us into eternity with Him. No more sickness, no more pain, and no more tears.
Rejoice in the fact your salvation is ongoing because it results in a transformed physical body as God perfectly designed it to be, to live in a paradise perhaps more beautiful than Eden, forever in the presence of our glorious King. Don’t cheapen your salvation by seeing it as a moment in time. Understand it is ongoing and leads to your bodily glorification. The process of our salvation brings glory to God and demonstrates His majesty on earth and in Heaven.