Salvation is Substance
“. . . Master, I will give . . .” Luke 19:8
Salvation is substance. When an individual is born again, they have received the gift of life from the Lord Jesus. A person may make a promise to start over, they may offer God a vow to change their behavior, they may even turn away from negative life patterns, but none of this is salvation.
Salvation means we are brought to a place where God does a work of newness within us. Our sin is removed and we give up our excuses, short-lived attempts to change and our right to live for ourselves, and give our life to fully identify with Jesus. The presence of our salvation is undeniable.
Zacchaeus took steps to show all the community he was a changed man. Salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ life. He had received the free gift of eternal life in Jesus. Zacchaeus’ response was to give.
He decided to give half his possessions to the poor; the other half he would not keep to himself, but use it to make restitution for the frauds of which he was guilty. His restoration was seen in his restitution. He went far beyond what was legally necessary. They demanded that double of what had been stolen was to be repaid. Zacchaeus was determined to show he was a changed man.
Salvation always brings restitution. To talk of being changed is utterly worthless, unless it is backed by action that demonstrates the substance of salvation. It’s not a change of words which Jesus demands, but a changed life.
The result of salvation is a changed life. Like fruit from a tree, its evidence is visible. No individual can carry eternal life within their soul without being changed by its very presence. If there is no fruit of salvation, then, in all probability, there was no root of salvation.
One of the determining factors of knowing your life belongs to Christ is in the answer to the question; has God changed the things that really matter to you? If there is still a desire for the old ways of life. If there’s still a strong attraction for the things of the world, it’s difficult then to speak of being changed with any real confidence.
What difference has salvation made in you?