Contemporary Christians rightly stress salvation from sin and the necessity of faith in Jesus in order to avoid God’s righteous judgment. The Apostle Paul did the same, writing, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Salvation from sin is a big deal.
But what are we saved for? Christians have done a poorer job offering to the world a vision of salvation that is not simply avoidance of hell. We need to do better.
It begins with Creation. Adam and Eve stand as the crowning achievement of God’s Creation—the Creation account climaxes with God’s declaration that mankind bears His image. Created “in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures,” Adam and Eve were given stewardship over God’s Creation and the promise of everlasting life upon condition of their obedience.
That means that you were created to glorify God and to enjoy close fellowship with Him eternally. That purpose still stands. Salvation from sin is important because each of us must be sinless in order to enjoy the personal presence of a sinless and holy God. We are therefore saved from sin for restored knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and for a dominion over God’s Creation, enjoying intimate eternal fellowship with Him. We are saved to be all that we were originally created to be and to do and to enjoy.
And it will never go bad again, for Creation and redemption differ in this—whereas in Creation Adam and Eve possessed the ability to obey or to disobey, in redemption we who are saved will be unable to sin, eternally fixed in our perfected, incorruptible character and purpose. No temptation will ever seize you again; no sin or pain or suffering will mar the work of God’s hands, and nothing will separate you from your Heavenly Father.
Christ holds out to helpless, lost, and suffering sinners not just a pardon from sin, but also a better gift by far. He saves us for the full restoration of our Creation privileges and purpose, and guarantees that we will never lose them again.
We are saved for this—to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.