Thursday, December 15, 2011

How To Know If You Are Not Saved

Nairobi, Kenya

I'm preaching this coming Sunday morning out of 2 Corinthians 8:1-9. It's about the reckless generosity displayed by the Macedonian Jesus-followers, in spite of their "extreme poverty."

The famine of A.D. 46 had devastated Jerusalem and beyond, and the Jewish Jesus-followers there were suffering. The Gentile Macedonian Jesus-people received "grace" from God that motivated them to give beyond what they were capable of giving. Paul tells the Corinthians, "I want you to experience this grace of giving lavishly to human need."

New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg, explicating these verses in his commentary on 2 Corinthians, refers to the account of Jesus and the tax collector Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus had an authentic Jesus-encounter in his home. He emerged from his house and gave his wealth away. When Zacchaeus went into his house that day he was mastered by the desire to get; when he came out from his house that day he had been transformed and now was mastered by the passion to give. Blomberg writes: "Something had happened inside that house with Jesus." Jesus then interpreted the event by saying: “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)

Blomberg comments: "Authentic salvation changes our orientation to wealth. If our professed salvation has not loosed our grip on material things so that we have become giving people, we are not saved, despite our protestations.” (Blomberg, 2C, K 2922)