By: Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.


I had a conversation with a colleague this week that went from a business conversation to a discussion about salvation and serving the Lord. What led to this discussion was my mentioning to her that I write this wonderful column called “Matters of Faith,” and host a radio show by the same name. When I shared with her the title of last week’s article; “What Has He Done For You Lately?,” we started talking about the many blessings the Lord has bestowed on us, then how some people make public confessions of faith, get baptized, attend church regularly, but continue doing the same things they were doing before they made their profession of faith. She said that they sometimes think that their being saved has given them license to keep on sinning. They haven’t done anything for Him lately.

What was of particular interest to me, and I expressed it to my friend, is that these people have professed a relationship with no commitment to developing that relationship. When one has an encounter with Christ, makes a confession of their sins and truly believes in their heart that He was indeed raised from the dead, they receive their soul’s salvation. (Romans 10:9-10). Salvation sets us free from the bondages of sin. But that fact does not give us the authority to sin with impunity. Continuing in the sin you were in after establishing a relationship is anti-biblical. In fact, in Romans 6:2, Paul says emphatically, “Certainly not!” It would be like someone getting married and keeping all their previous boy or girlfriends.

There are things that we need to do if we are going to be in relationship with the Lord, and if we are going to help others to do likewise. The story is told in John’s Gospel about a man named Lazarus who, even though he was a friend to Jesus, died;

 John 11:38-44

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.[d] And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

It was the encounter with Christ that raised Lazarus from the grave, that made him live again. It is the Lord’s desire that no one perish, but all have eternal life (John 3:16). Two things are critically important in this text in light of our topic; one is the work Lazarus had to do, and the other is the work the people had to do. Lazarus had to respond to the voice, get up from the grave, and walk. The people had to undress and get him ready to live.., again. Alleluia!

The Lord wants us to wake up! To get up! To walk! To remove grave clothes! To equip reborn brothers and sisters! To nurture the reborn and to teach them! That’s what salvation is all about. He saves us, but it is our charge to do the work of rebuilding the reborn. If you’re saved, it’s time for you to do something for Him.  

What have you done for Him lately?   

Be Blessed +++


Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at 626-226-1448.  



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