(God saves the Righteous)
Little do we realise that believers did not just exist from the time of Jesus Christ - they had existed since the time that some men dared to go against their natural/fleshy configurations, to conform to a standard of life that was being shown to them by God (Heb 11:1-2).
Believing is an age-long prescription that God gave men to exercise their souls unto life, thereby enabling them to take steps unto obedience in order to gain salvation. Men like Enoch, Noah, Abraham and the likes, began to tread unfamiliar zones of life by believing in God, and they came into their lot of salvation by doing so.
In all of Biblical history (from the Old to the New Testament), salvation was never established upon the so-called good deeds of men, but by the good old way of ‘believing’. Salvation always comes to those who hear the clarion call pertaining to a paradigm shift in the spirit or a certain move of God, believing such and acting in obedience to the instructions that accompany such move or shift.
Simply put, salvation is the assurance of a soul's security/safety by his moving according to God’s timing or program. We can deduce from this that salvation is not for those who like to 'tabernacle', nor for the faint-hearted. It is for those who are ready to walk, run and eventually mount up with wings and fly into eternal salvation (Isaiah 40:31).
We will be taking a peek into the lives of believers of old, how they heard instructions from God on how to save their souls, and how they moved with fear when God moved, to escape into their refuge.
Noah was asked by God to build an ark of safety because of the imminent destruction of the whole world. This was out of the norm - nothing like that had ever happened before. But Noah was a man who had been raised to trust God's program.
The Bible records that Noah was a just and perfect man in his generation. That was the kind of man that could understand God's program of salvation. That was the kind of man that could hear and do the commandment of building an ark - a type and figure of an everlasting work of our time.
One of the signs that a man is just/righteous is his ability to trust God wholeheartedly. "The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him..." (Psalm 64:10). God saw that Noah was righteous and that was why he could tell him to build the ark in order to be saved from destruction (Gen 7:1). What does this connote? A righteous man (who has learned and has become Christ) can still be destroyed (perish) if he does not follow God's program of saving him.
A righteous man needs salvation and knows that he needs it. Our deficiency in seeing that what we truly need is salvation is an Indication that we are not yet as righteous as we ought to be, that is, we have not fully come into the stature of a man of life and peace through the doctrine of Christ.
Can our generation understand that God saves the righteous? Can we be meek enough to understand the true meaning of the verse of scripture that says that the righteous need to run into the name of the Lord and be saved? (Prov 18:10). Alas, many legs have been crippled for walking by faith, how would they be able to run into salvation?
A righteous man is that man that has come to terms with the fact that God is His salvation, and such man will strive to hear and obey all that he needs to secure that salvation. He is that man who has gained a measure of life that has opened him up to a level of fear. It is this fear that puts him in a state of reverence and awe for God and His commandments. Imagine how Noah took his time to build the ark with precision. He wouldn’t have been that careful if he was not righteous.
Becoming righteous is a process of becoming godly that comes from the learning of faith (the doctrine of Christ). Faith is a program of learning to respond to God. A man needs to walk (by faith) with God in order to become righteous or godly (Gen 6:9).
A sorry state that the Church has found itself in today is the state of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is a terrible program of blindness in the soul. A self-righteous man will not respond to God even if God were to appear to him to show him true righteousness. He will produce all his justifications and evidence of his uprightness and morality and prove to God how 'impeccable' he is because he has done all that God told Him to do.
But because God has moved (revealed a higher righteousness than that which the man has known), such a man is no more righteous according to that raised standard of God. Self-righteousness gives a man a pseudo-satisfaction that makes him complacent to the program of the salvation of God for him. It was the state of the Pharisees who thought they had it all and never saw their salvation, even though it/He had been right under their nose.
We would never move with God without the equipment of believing implanted and fastened in our souls. Believing is the only way we would never miss God. May God help our hearts to believe unto everlasting life in this season. Amen!
NB: This article is the first part of a series about believing, and we trust that by this series, our hearts will be greatly helped to believe in this season of everlasting life. Amen!
For: EGFM Editorial Team