“This day is salvation come to this house” (Luke 19:9).
These precious words from the account of the conversion of Zacchaeus present three characteristics of the salvation which the grace of God brings. It is a present salvation, a perfect salvation, and a personal salvation.
“This Day”—A Present Salvation
Dear reader, if you are still in your sins, you do not need to wait until tomorrow to be saved. The great fact on which salvation depends was accomplished nearly two thousand years ago on the cross. All is finished. Jesus has “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26). He “once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). The soul that believes this grand fact is saved on the spot—saved now—saved forever. There is no need to go here and there, or do this or that; just believe what God has said about Jesus, and you will be saved.
“Is Salvation Come”—A Perfect Salvation
Salvation is not coming in the future; it is not on the way; it is actually “come.” It was worked out for us by Christ, and is as perfect as He could make it. It demands nothing from the sinner. It is brought, in all its divine fullness and completeness, to our door, and our only qualification for it is that we are “lost.” It is only a lost sinner that needs salvation, and nothing but a perfect salvation would do for one who is utterly lost. It is not merely help I want, but full salvation. Many will say they hope to be saved “by the help of God.” This is a mistake. There is a huge difference between God’s helping me to be saved and His saving me altogether. In the former case, I mistakenly believe that I can assist in His work; but in the latter case, God does all.
“To This House”—A Personal Salvation
It is important to understand this clearly. There are many who say, “We are all sinners, and we know that Jesus died for all.” But they have never gone past the general fact and made it a personal matter. They have never been brought to say from the depth of a broken heart, “I am lost; but Jesus loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
The devils believe that Jesus died for sinners, but it does them no good. The thing is to believe that Jesus died for me—that a full, free, eternal salvation has come to me—that my sins were laid on Jesus, and that He bore them in His own body on the tree, and put them away out of God’s view forever. Of what value is salvation if it cannot be mine? But, blessed be God, it is for me, because I am a lost sinner. “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
The very moment you recognize that you are a lost sinner and reach out by faith to Jesus Christ, trusting Him who died for you and rose again, the salvation of God applies itself to you as truly as the air is intended for all who have lungs to breathe. Does any one ever think of questioning whether the atmosphere is intended for him? Well, then, neither should any poor conscience-smitten sinner entertain a single doubt as to the precious truth that God’s salvation is not only a present, and a perfect, but also a personal salvation.
—Adapted from Things New and Old