I wonder what it would have been like to have a spiritual father like the Apostle Paul! Try to imagine yourself in young Timothy's shoes ... nothing boring or monotonous about the ride he was on! Paul mentions how much he has been praying for Timothy, longing to see him because that always fills him with joy. He commends him for his strong faith and to trust in the gift imparted as Paul had laid hands upon him. The invitation to Timothy is to share in suffering with Paul for the sake of the gospel, through God's powerful Spirit. Then comes the reminder for Timothy and us all ...
Here we catch a glimpse of what it means to be saved and why, something that I believe the Lord is reminding us of here at Jericho Road. "Saved" is the translation of a root greek word 'sozo' which literally means to rescue, heal or deliver. It has sometimes been interpreted and communicated as when we turn to Christ we are 'saved' .. forgiven for our sins, escaping hell and assured of entry into heaven when we die. Unfortunately the New Testament never really uses the word "saved" to express these ideas.
What we are told is that salvation means being delivered from our slavery (i.e. addiction) to sin and the consequences of that, from living from a selfish perspective to now being able to give myself in love to others. Just as the Israelites were 'delivered' (i.e. "saved") from captivity in Egypt in order to live a life of love enjoying the blessings of God's provision in the Promised Land. They unfortunately failed to realize that the deliverance and subsequent blessing, wasn't primarily just for their own enjoyment.
Being "saved" means that God has not only delivered us from the kingdom of darkness (living for self without God), but he has also transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, namely Jesus! It cost God something, his own blood, to purchase us back from the enemy. Having been "saved" from our sins, there is now no condemnation, no wrath, no guilt, but only wonderful freedom ... as long as we abide in the truth (go on believing it).
So now we can be delivered from sickness, we can be protected so that nothing will harm us, we can avoid selfish habits that could ruin my marriage or family .. my life .. my witness for Christ. Paul describes this in a positive light by telling us how God has called, equipped and empowered us to live a holy life. Which is pretty amazing as we're told that without holiness, no one will see the Lord.
Our 'deliverance' from sin is necessary so that we can live a life devoted to God, set apart from previous (selfish) habits and goals, and bearing the true image of God. We get to live and love just like Jesus did, announcing the good news of the Kingdom and setting others free from the clutches of the enemy. Just look at these words of Jesus ...
Sounds a lot like bringing heaven down to earth, just like Jesus taught us to pray.
Much love and prayers,
PS I am still looking to visit with you if we've not done so yet, preferably at your home sometime, just to connect, listen and pray together. You can set up an appointment yourself by clicking here and choosing a day/time. Thank you.