Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you– unless you believed in vain.
~1 Corinthians 15:1-2
This week we have been reminded that the gospel is what we received and what we stand on. Today we will look at the final thing Paul says here about Jesus’ death and resurrection: it is the gospel by which we are being saved.
Note that he doesn’t say, “the gospel by which you were saved” or “the gospel by which you are saved”– although both of those are true statements. He puts it in the present progressive tense: the gospel “by which you are being saved.” This is good news! The present-tense nature of our salvation is the bedrock foundation for our peace and joy.
Today, as you and I go about our lives, sinning in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions, we “are being saved” by the gospel. Jesus’ blood and righteousness is what makes us acceptable to God right now. It is not our faithfulness or our measure of obedience; both are marred by indwelling sin. No, our hope in this life and the next is our present-tense justification. We can boldly approach the throne of the grace right this moment, because right this moment our Great High Priest is standing there, pleading His perfect life and death on our behalf.
What confidence this gives us! We are secure in God’s love now and forever because of Jesus’ perfect righteousness. “Behold Him there, the risen Lamb, my perfect spotless righteousness / The great, unchangeable I AM, the King of glory and of grace.” His grace is unchangeable, His love is unmoveable, and His spotless righteousness is fully and irrevocably credited to my account. I am being saved, right here and now, because of who He is right here and now.
Jesus, Thank you for Your present-tense ministry of intercession and salvation. You are saving me from my sin and from myself right here and now. Thank you for pleading Your blood before the Father’s throne. Thank you for sending me Your Spirit to support my struggle and sustain my sanctification. Thank you for Your unchanging love and grace, the same yesterday, today, and forever, that gives me hope that I am saved right now and for eternity.
“We are full of sin, but the Savior bids us lift our eyes to Him; and as we gaze upon His streaming wounds, each drop of blood, as it falls, cries, ‘It is finished; I have made an end of sin; I have brought in everlasting righteousness.'” ~Charles Spurgeon
This post is written by Brendan Beale, author of Cross Connections