The Selfishness of Salvation

by Albert Emanuel

Why did you become a Christian. What motivated you to accept Christ. Was it the fear of hell. Did you want to make sure your Hellfire Insurance was paid up. Did you come to Christ to escape the wrath of God. Were you having mental and emotional problems and looking for help. Were you having health problems and looking for a church to provide assistance. Were you going through the grieving process and searching for sympathetic friends. Did you want to feel a sense of community with other like-minded individuals. If any of the above mentioned factors motivated you to become a Christian, then you were pursuing salvation for selfish reasons.

The only valid reason for accepting Christianity is because it is true. Truth sets Christianity apart from other religions. Christianity devoid of truth becomes another worldly religion, a secular social club, or a drug center where you get your fix. If Christianity is not true, then your faith is in vain. The claims of Christianity revolve around the question of truth. Christianity is neither a drug nor a crutch. You can get help with your problems from other institutions. You don't need Christianity for that. What makes Christianity unique and exclusive is the fact that it contains revealed truth from God. Recognition and acceptance of the truths of Christianity is the first step toward becoming a Christian. We need to examine our reasons and motives for becoming a Christian. Selfishness in not the way to salvation.

Many Christians are obsessed with getting saved and making sure their toes don't get burnt in the fires of hell.  They will do anything to avoid that situation. Fear is a great motivator, but love must become the primary motivator. That includes the love of the truth and the desire to act upon it. Some Christians are so afraid of losing their salvation that they embrace the Calvinist doctrine of guaranteed salvation. They breathe a sigh of relief and think that they are saved, no matter what. But the Bible does not guarantee salvation, so Calvinists are living with a false sense of security.

Some have forgotten the words of Jesus that "he who seeks to save his life shall lose it". Selfish motives have no place in Christianity. True Christians present their bodies as a living sacrifice. They are saved by
sacrificing their lives.

Many misinterpret the words "love thy neighbor as thyself" and think that it justifies self-love. But that was not the purpose of the statement. Jesus already knew how selfish humans are. We don't need to be motivated to love ourselves. We already love ourselves too much. The point He was making is important. If we could love others as much as ourselves, we would fulfill the law of love. Few humans reach the level where they actually love others as much as themselves. Jesus took the law of love to a higher level and loved others more than himself. He said that "there is no greater love than that a man lay down his life for his friends". He laid down His life for His friends and His enemies and became the savior of the world. There wasn't an ounce of selfishness in Christ.

If you are pursuing your own selfish salvation, you are destined to lose it. If you came to Christ for selfish
reasons or improper motives, you are practicing a false form of Christianity. If you joined a church to get help with your personal problems, you are a selfish Christian. Acceptance of the truth is the proper motive for becoming a Christian. At conversion, you present your body as a living sacrifice, which is your reasonable service. You seek to abandon selfishness by becoming a servant. You strive to love others as much or more than yourself. This is a difficult task that requires the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Becoming unselfish is a lengthy process that requires years of effort. But by moving in that direction, you seek an unselfish salvation.

Copyright (c) 2007 Albert Emanuel