|I'm Not a Bad Person; I Don't Need to be "Saved" From Anything!|
Well, actually, you are a bad person ...
... that is, of course, depending on how you define "bad." There's your normal, everyday definition, but we also need to know God's definition, according to the Bible.
First, lets look at the normal, everyday, definitions of "bad" and "good":
Most people would probably see themselves as having some good and some bad within their personalities. Maybe more good than bad, maybe more bad than good. It might be said that even the worst people have some good qualities, and even the best people have some bad qualities.
I guess I can go along with that, to a point; however, God's definitions of "good" and "bad" are quite different:
That last statement was made by Jesus himself. When His disciples heard Him say that, they asked, "Who then can be saved?" (Mark 10:26) You might wonder the same thing.
Jesus answered this question by saying, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." (v. 27)
In other words, no one is "good enough" to pass God's moral standards, and no one can "save" themselves; only God Himself can save a person!
Of course this leads to the next question...
What does "saved" mean, anyway??
Many religions and philosophies teach about the ultimate level of existence, the perfect condition of spiritual peace, nirvana, self-actualization, whatever.
In biblical Christianity, salvation is a huge concept
with many facets, including the following (these are the actual theological terms of
Romans 8:29-30, followed by a more "non-theologian"-friendly definition):
Pretty amazing "benefits package," if you ask me. Now you might wonder...
How can I possibly get all that?
Every religious and philosophical system has its own path to "ultimate fulfillment." In order to reach a "higher level," one must discipline their thoughts and actions in such a way as to reach this goal, or "salvation."
I could go on, but you probably get the idea by now.
In the face of all these human religions and philosophies, biblical Christianity teaches something completely opposite:
No matter how hard you try, you can't save yourself. Still, to receive the gift, there is something you need to do, right here, right now:
That's all you can do; God will do the rest, just watch!
One more quote, from Jesus:
If you want, here's a good link for more information about salvation.