September 21st, 2013| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


A few years ago, the Saghin family was getting ready to go to church when 2-year-old Brooke slipped out a back door, fell into a pool, and began to drown.

When Brooke’s mother, Kim, pulled her out, she wasn’t breathing. But the lassie’s 9-year-old brother, Tristan, yelled to his grandmother to call 911 and then—if you can believe it—proceeded to perform CPR on his sister.

(Apparently, watching Black Hawk Down, in a scene of which a character does CPR on a victim, Tristan had asked his Dad what was going on. Chris Saghin had taken the opportunity to teach his son the basics of CPR).

Brooke survived!

“You don’t expect that to ever come to a place where it saves your daughter,” Chris Saghin said. “He feels proud that he did it, and we tell him, ‘We’re real proud of you.’” What a lad!

I’ve often thought of God’s salvation of humankind as a sort of kiss-of-life, and have taught it as kinda like a Heimlich Maneuver: Heinz is choking, and Heimlich saves him.

There are certain elements inherent in the transaction of salvation that God designed, that corresponds with the attitudes and actions of Heinz and Heimlich.

First, there needs to be an Acknowledgement: Heinz is in need—he is choking. So also we, like Heinz, must acknowledge our need. We’re sinners. All mankind is lost in sin, inherently corrupt, totally depraved, and incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23

Second, there is an Attitude: Heimlich is acting purely out of an attitude of concern. He is not forced to help Heinz; he is under no obligation to help Heinz. Heimlich does it purely out of concern for Heinz. So did God—it was an act of grace—his lovingkindness.

… by His grace …
Romans 3:24

Third, there is an Absolution: I.e., Heinz is absolved of any responsibility. Heimlich makes no demand of Heinz, and expects nothing from him. He doesn’t say:

Hey, Heinz, I’ll do my stuff on you if you promise me $1 million. If not, I’m just going to stand here and watch you die.”

No, Heimlich makes no demand. Heinz is absolved of any condition. So also God—his salvation was a free gift to us.

… as a gift …
Romans 3:24

Fourth, there has to be an Ability: Heimlich is able to meet the need—he knows what to do. Only Jesus Christ, only his sinless life could be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind, the once-and-for-all sacrifice, that paid for sins fully, finally, and forever. Only he could be the effective propitiation (i.e., payment) for sin.

… whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood ….
Romans 3:25

Fifth, there is Assistance: Herr Heimlich assists Herr Heinz, and the latter is saved. So also God. He took action, assisted us—he redeemed us, bought us out, saved us.

… through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:24

And finally, sixth, there needs to be an Acceptance: Now, Heinz could have run away from Heimlich or fought him off. He doesn’t; instead, he trusts Heimlich to help him out of his grave crisis. So also there’s an element of faith in God who performs the Heimlich maneuver on us.

… so that He would be just [righteous] and the justifier [declarer of righteousness] of the one who has faith [belief] in Jesus.
Romans 3:26

He gave us life, through Jesus Christ, his Son—God’s amazing grace!

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