The Evidence of Salvation
“Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
Paul on his way persecuting the church was confronted on the road by Jesus Christ. His way was interrupted with God’s way and his surrender was immediate and complete. He understood Jesus to be the Lord of His life; not a part time occupation or a Sunday morning exception to his schedule; not Someone to run to when everything else failed. “Lord” was his heart-felt response. Much of the gospel presented today is of a Saviour who is ever willing to help us cope with life, to assist us on our journey while we chose the way and manner in which we live. Such was not the case in the early church nor in the presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit His people presented Jesus as Lord; a living Saviour who is to be Lord of our hearts, our thoughts, purpose and conduct of our lives.
The church today considers the life of Paul as something out of the ordinary and an anomaly in the average Christian experience. Our expectations of Him determines our experience. Expectations are really the evidence of our faith. A faith that expects little, receives little. There must be a radical change in the perception of whom He is and who He is to be in us. The nominal Christian life is one of low expectations, contentment with the status quo and a vague concept of who Christ is. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit declared…
“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting”
1 Timothy 1:16
Paul’s life was the “norm” not the exception! How long will we be content with reading the sacred scriptures which speak of one thing while our lives experience something else? When will the contradiction spark a longing within our hearts to know Him as Lord and Master? We must acknowledge the issue is not with Him but with our own dismal expectations. Paul was no different than any of us. He was a man subject to the tendencies and frailties of us all with one distinguishing characteristic: “Lord, what would YOU have me to do…” The Lordship of Christ is the pivot which transforms ordinary lives into extraordinary expressions of His grace and power.
This is the evidence, the nature and the desire of those who are filled with His Spirit and Life.
The disciples who were being persecuted for their zeal to declare Christ to the world replied to the religious leaders of their day:
“For we cannot but speak the things
which we have seen and heard”
A people who see little have little to declare. When the church is full of uninspired teachers presenting principles rather than His Life and when the people of God are content with hearing from the pulpit rather than hearing God within their own hearts; then we must acknowledge we are living in the Day of Apostasy!
The life of faith in the individual believer is revealed in their everyday experience. Their expectations, the company they keep and the fire which burns within their hearts is the public disclosure of their faith.
This is the testimony of the ministration of Christ in early Church:
“These that have turned the world upside down
are come hither also”
“If you here stop and ask yourselves why you are not as pious as the early Christians were, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor through inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.”
– William Law