Memorise Ephesians 5:25
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness…”
When John the Baptist first saw Jesus, he proclaimed in John 1:29: “…behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”. It is indeed true that Jesus’ work of salvation, including His death on the cross, is sufficient to save every man, woman and child that has lived and will ever live. Through that single sacrifice, He conclusively dealt with the problem of sin for all of mankind. However, we know that the fact of the matter is that not every single man, woman and child will eventually believe in Christ and be saved. Why is that so? Didn’t Jesus die for the sin of the whole world?
While it was true that Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient to save all, yet the Bible also tells us that it is only effectively applied upon all who come to Him in faith and repentance. Thus the question really is who God’s plan of salvation was designed to save. The answer lies in the description of a husband’s sacrificial love for his wife in Ephesians 5:25 as a relationship likened to that of Jesus and His Church (which is made up of believers). Here it is explained that Jesus died specifically to save His church, the bride of Christ. For Christ’s work of salvation on the cross to be effective for us, we have to enter into a relationship with Him, and we do that by repenting of our sins and accepting Him as Lord and Saviour. Thus when the elect of God respond in faith to the Gospel, we see the effect of His sacrifice applied to them, and they are saved. Therefore even though Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2), not all are saved, for not all have faith.
There are times when our unbelieving friends may question the goodness of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. They may scoff at the fact that an all-powerful and loving God cannot save the whole world from condemnation. We must realize that our God is perfectly holy and cannot tolerate sin. Yet He has devised a way for sinners to be saved in spite of their wickedness; you can help them to understand the depths of God’s love for the sinner and point them to Jesus. Yes Jesus died to save the world, but the world must also believe in Him in order to be saved.
Thought: Understanding the depths of our own depravity, we can appreciate the depths of God’s love for us even more.
Prayer: Lord, we love You because You first loved us. Fill us with Your Spirit that our love for You will grow deeper every day.