Quite often this phrase is used as a feeble excuse for treating others dismissively, who are vulnerable and less assertive than ourselves. When we want our own way and wish to achieve something, even though it may hurt and damage others, we justify our disgusting behaviour on "the survival of the fittest". We elbow our way to the front; we gain the high ground and in our doing so, we crush and insult the weak. We say that it happens in many strata of creation: some species have died out because more dominant forms of life forced them to extinction. In the conflicts of life’s arena, we vainly imagine that size, strength and supremacy are all that matter. The prize can be won by those who are prepared to do their utmost to get it.
Thankfully, in the matter of salvation, this principle has no place. Salvation is available to all; without money or price; without energy, effort or expense; it is not exclusively for the rich, the religious, the mighty, the noble, the famous, the deserving. In fact, the Lord Jesus said in Luke 19.10, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." In Matthew 9.13, the Saviour said, "… I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
The great cardinal word of the gospel is "whosoever" and that brings salvation within the reach of all mankind and every human being, regardless of creed, colour or class. You may feel greatly disadvantaged; your sins may now rise before you making you feel unclean and totally unworthy; you may feel that hitherto you have avoided and ignored God; but thank God, you can receive mercy and obtain the greatest blessing imaginable, God’s full and eternal salvation.
The Bible makes it clear that salvation is "not of works, lest any man should boast" Ephesians 2.9. The previous verse says that salvation is "… not of yourselves: it is the gift of God". Romans 6.23 states that "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". Whoever you are; wherever you are; you can now receive the forgiveness of sins and be saved from eternal judgment by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting the free gift of salvation, without offering anything in exchange. Own your guilt; confess your sins and accept the gratuitous pardon God offers. That is all that is required of you: no achievements; no penance; no attempts to make yourself more acceptable to God; "the only fitness He requireth, is to know your need of Him".
But how can God do all this for the sinner, the unworthy, the hell-deserving without compelling you to pay an incalculable price or achieve some remarkable feat? The answer lies in the amazing fact that God’s own Son offered to pay the staggering price of our eternal salvation and volunteered to bear the punishment for our sins. That is why He came from heaven, lived among hostile men for over thirty years and died at last upon a cross of shame and suffering. The mystery of the crucifixion has been revealed: "Christ died for our sins" 1Corinthians 15.3; "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree" 1Peter 2.24; "Christ died for the ungodly" Romans 5.6; "Christ died for us" Romans 5.8; "The Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me" Galatians 2.20.
- O Jesus Lord, Thou stoodest in my stead, God’s holy wrath was poured upon Thy head;
- For me Thou once wast numbered with the dead; For me, O Lord, for me.
A.J.H. Brown - used by permission of Assembly Testimony
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