Desiring Salvation

Why someone wants to be saved is no small question. It penetrates the heart of our motives and offers a clear view of the desire of our heart. (Do we want God or do we want a gift that God gives?)

If God is not your ultimate joy and desire, you may not be saved. If you don’t care about heaven (and seeing God), but you only care about your bank account and television and clothes and video games and sex and food and having a headache relieved — and heaven and seeing the face of God are no attraction to you, then you have every reason to question whether you are saved, because the essence of salvation is that we are saved from God’s wrath so that we can enjoy God’s presence.

John Piper summarizes the issue well in his recent book, God is the Gospel (p. 47):

If we believe [propitiation, redemption, forgiveness, imputation, sanctification, liberation, healing and heaven] have happened to us, but do not embrace them for the sake of getting to God, they have not happened to us. Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.

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