Today’s verse starts with a simple statement: “He saved us.”
When we thank God for the things that He has done for us, where do we start? I remember being in a church service when the leader asked people if there was anything that they wanted to give thanks for. People wanted to thank God for the weather, for friends, for clothes. Only one person said, “I want to thank God for saving me from my sins.”
All these other things are good and they are gifts from God, but to be saved is the greatest thing of all. Why?
Firstly, it is the greatest need. Yes, we need clothes and food, but we need to be saved even more. Clothes and food are essential for physical life, but physical life is not forever. Life on earth is just a tiny blink compared to eternity. Where we spend eternity is the most important thing.
To spend eternity in God’s love and blessing means we need to be saved. Verse 3 mentions some of the sins that we have done. Matthew 1:21 says Jesus came “to save His people from their sins.” Sins separate us from God’s love, sins mean that we deserve judgement. So, we need to be saved more than any other thing.
Secondly, to save us cost the greatest price. God is holy and righteous and He is a God of perfect justice. He cannot ignore our sin. Yet in His goodness and loving kindness (verse 4), God the Son came to be our substitute. He died in our place and took the judgement that we deserved for our sins. What a love! What a cost!
Thirdly, it is the greatest gift. We will look more at this tomorrow, but just think for a moment. Clothing and food are gracious gifts from God. They feed us for a meal and clothe us for a day. Salvation is forever and ever.
Also, while our clothing and food are gifts, God uses means to give them to us. He supplies the strength to enable us but, in God’s providence, we are responsible for working or investing in order to eat. With salvation, we are responsible for believing, and yet faith is a gift. With are able to work with the strength that God supplies, but we are not able to save ourselves. This gift of salvation is 100% Him. It is a free. He saved us, not we saved ourselves.
He saved us when we deserved the opposite. We give gifts to those we love; we are more likely to give greater gifts to those who return love to us. But, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Finally, for the true Christian, salvation is something cannot be taken away. There may be times when we have little food or clothes and we are struggling to pay the rent. But, your salvation is something that can never be taken away. You can even be taking your last breath in life but your salvation remains and you enter into eternal glory.
So, yes, let’s give thanks for all the things that God gives us, but let’s give thanks most of all that He has saved us.