By Christian Winter
The end of last week was pretty packed with work duties around campus and we had a staff retreat right after where there was no WiFi. I felt like for the final part of this I needed to clarify some things about salvation.
The Greek word for salvation is "Sozo." The connotation of this word is much fuller than our 2000 year later non-Greek language conveys. The original word means: to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction. It even goes further into being saved and is a complete restoration to wholeness. Jesus doesn't just roll over, punch the bad guy and save the day. He returns everything that was taken from us. This includes our birthright as Christians to have close relationship with our all-loving Heavenly Father.
Salvation isn't one moment. Salvation is a lifetime of Jesus delivering us from pain and returning us to wholeness. The goal isn't to get into heaven once we die. While being saved, I have experienced multiple salvation moments in my life. I was going to heaven when I died, but Jesus continued to save me from destruction. That ranged from physical danger and physical death to false thought patterns and spiritual death.
Salvation isn't for ourselves, it's for those around us. The whole point of being a Christian is to be Jesus to those around us, our neighbors. In the parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus shows that our neighbor has nothing to do with race, social status, or geographical location. Being someone's neighbor is all about love. If you love someone, then you are their neighbor.
Since that day I have seen Jesus move in miraculous ways through my life. I have seen a man that hadn't walked in a year begin to dance because he was healed. I have seen people in America and the Philippines radically encounter the love of Jesus. Countless people healed of sickness, physical pain, anxiety, deep emotional wounds, and heaviness.
I say this not because I am special or I have some special "power" or secret, but because this is the normal life for all Christians. Not all are ministers, but all can minister. Not all can give their entire lives to missions, but all can pray for and bless their coworkers.
Before I knew Jesus, I was so scared of people and became anxious at the thought of seeing a classmate outside of school. I have become so free from any depression and anxiety that tries to control me. I don't think I've felt true anxiety in years! If I feel it begin to arise (which is extremely rare), I turn to Jesus. He takes away the negative thoughts and feelings so that room can be made for Him to fill my heart with joy.
Everyday for the past three years, I wake up knowing that I can trust Jesus to move in the lives of others around me. This isn't dependent on how I feel or how well I slept. To know God's will is to know His character. Since God is love, then His will is to love others.
Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support through this journey. I am blessed by each and every one of you. If you need anything from me, please message me, I want to hear from you. If at any point in reading this you think, "I don't live like this, but I want to" or "Am I even saved?" call me or text me (info at the bottom). I have had times in ministry when the thought, "Am I actually saved?" passed through my head, so I totally understand. I don't have all the answers, but I know the God that does. Even if you're someone that I haven't spoken to in years, I have a deep love for you because I know how much God loves you!
P.S. The Fall DTS students are arriving in 8 days and I'M SO EXCITED TO MEET THEM!!!! I hope to start rolling out more testimony updates in the near future!