Saved From Hell or Saved From Sin?

Yesterday I caught the tail end of the radio show Radical with David Platt, which was originally aired on Moody Radio. Unfortunately, I had been scanning radio stations and just happened to catch a little piece of it, and I can’t even tell you what radio station it was aired on or which radio cast it was (without going back and listening to all podcasts). Therefore, I can’t get you an exact quote, but I pray I can get it close:

Too many Christians are seeking salvation from Hell and not sin!

Think about it for a moment……it is true isn’t it?

Now, I do believe Mr. Platt was quoting someone else when he said this, but once again, I didn’t catch this person’s name, so I did a little bit of my own research and I believe Mr. Platt could have been quoting a sermon of C.G. Finney (1849):

“Many mistake entirely the nature of this salvation, and hence fail of embracing and securing its blessings. They are looking for salvation from punishment and from hell. Hence the thing they have their eye upon is not a pure heart, but a hope.”


Ask yourself, “Am I looking for a pardon for my sins or am I looking to be free of my sins?”

“They would fain have a salvation, but not this, which consists in deliverance from their sins. They would fain have a Savior, but not Jesus, for He saves men from their sins. They can not get Him to do the thing they want done; for He will save none from hell who will not be first saved from sin. Hence many fail because they are trying to make Jesus Christ serve with their sins. Their effort is to induce Jesus to take them in their sins, and make them–in this state, His people, and give them heaven. Their essential mistake is that they seek salvation from punishment and not from sin.”-C.G. Finney

We all say we want a savior and salvation, but in reality, some of us just want to avoid Hell or punishment. It is not that we don’t love God/Jesus, we just don’t want to give up our sins. Worse, some of us believe we don’t have to give up our sins. After all that is why we have Jesus: He forgives.

“The great mass of professed Christians are looking to Christ to forgive their sins and secure their pardon; but this is all. They look for no sanctifying influence or agency from Jesus Christ. In place of this they resort to a notion of Christ’s imputed righteousness.”-C.G. Finney

Now, don’t get me wrong I am a big fan of justification. For those of you who may not know what it means, justification is God’s declaring us righteous by the imputing of Christ’s righteousness on all those who believe in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21: For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[e] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Romans 3:21-26: But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses[i] and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

So if all believers are made righteous by the blood of Christ, what is Mr. Finney going on and on about?

I believe that Mr. Finney is saying that, once again, we are more concerned with the Heaven and Hell part of things and not the righteous and holy parts. We jump on imputed righteousness because it is easy and requires nothing from us. But justification is not the last step. No, often times, we forget about sanctification.

In short, I see sanctification as the life long process of making us into the image of Christ. It is our growth process. It is where we change and grow closer to Jesus Christ.

The very moment we are saved in Christ we are also immediately sanctified (set apart) and begin the process of being conformed to the image of Christ. As God’s children we are “set apart” from that moment to carry out His divine purposes unto eternity. Sanctification does not stop with salvation, but rather it is a progressive process that continues in a Christian’s life. Unlike the things and places that are sanctified by God in the Bible, people have the capacity to sin. (– )

This is where the problem really is for some of us. We like the pardon we get from grace and justification so much, we no longer find it necessary to give up our sins.

Galatians 5:17: “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

I am not trying to re-establish a “works” salvation, but rather encourage us all to strive for better. Just because we are given grace and forgiveness does not mean we shouldn’t try to walk in obedience to the Lord. After all, we are to be conformed to the image of Christ, meaning every day we should be looking more and more like Christ.

“Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save his people from their sins.” –Matt. 1:21.

Did you catch that? Jesus came to save us from our sins. Can this mean Hell? Yes! Jesus did come to save us from an eternity in Hell, But that verse also means He came to save us from the pain, hurt, and ungodliness of our sins on this side of heaven as well.

“For if a man were pardoned, but were still given up to the working of his sinful passions and selfish spirit, he would make for himself a hell even in heaven;” -C.G. Finney

Some say I take obedience too seriously. Maybe they just don’t take it seriously enough.

Be blessed and be a blessing,


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