daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer
Homily of Monday, 5th Week of the Year, February 09, 2009
Gen 1:1-19; Ps 103; Mk 6:53-56

"And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the market places, and besought him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were saved" (Mk 6:56).

We see here that Jesus has the power to save. All those who touched "the fringe of his garment...were saved" (Mk 6:56). The word "saved" means here "were made well," but it is the same word which Christians in the New Testament used to indicate that in Jesus Christ there is salvation, and that all who believe in him will be saved. The Philippian jailer, for example, asked St. Paul and Silas, "Men, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:30-31). And Cornelius had a vision of a man named Peter who "will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household" (Acts 11:14). It is the same word "saved" that is used in all three of these passages.

Jesus Christ came into the world for our salvation, and he performed miracles as signs that he had the power to save us. His cures were signs of something more profound and more important, namely, our salvation. In him we have the salvation that we need and seek. If the Philippian jailer believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, he will be saved; and if the friends of Cornelius believe in Jesus Christ, they will be saved.

Jesus Christ, through faith in him, saves us from our sins and from the depression caused by our guilt. Jesus Christ saves us from eternal punishment in everlasting flames (Mt 25:41) for our sins because Christ suffered for us, freeing us from our sins and their punishment, and cleansing our conscience from the pain of guilt.

Christ, through our faith in him, thus gives us a new and justified life, in which we can live happily before God, clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ himself, and sanctified by him. We walk in the splendor of his resurrection as new creatures, in a new creation (2 Cor 5:17; Rev 21:5; Gal 6:15), as new men (Eph 4:22-24) in Jesus Christ. He furthermore gives us from the Father the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we might henceforth walk according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh. This is the meaning of being saved in Jesus Christ already in this present life.

Being saved is having a life which is truly new and illumined by Jesus Christ. It is to live for him alone who saved us, and doing so with all the love of our heart (Mk 12:30), with an undivided heart in our love for him, with a heart not divided by the delights of this world, because we have risen with him and even ascended to sit with him in the heavenly places (Eph 2:6), seeking no longer the things of this world, but rather those of above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Col 3:1-2). This is the meaning of being saved through our faith in Jesus Christ.




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