Most of my favorite stories involve a man who fights against all odds, sacrificing everything to save something he loves.
We like to hear about men who sacrifice everything and fight the worst of all enemies with little support behind him. We like hearing about people who do things not for their own good but for the good of others.
As I reflect upon this, I want to emphasize something that I believe Christians miss. When we talk about salvation, we make it all about us. Sermons are preached about how God wants you, and it is said in such a way that makes us believe he needs us. Invitations are given to men to come to Christ, not because He is a perfect savior and He will make you holy, but because you need the help and God wants to help you. I’ve heard pastors says God cares about you and wants the best for you. This phrase doesn’t irk me because it’s somehow false. No, it’s completely true that God cares and wants the best for His children. But notice I said, for His children. I cannot take the truth’s of scripture about his love for His children, and then try to apply it to the men who hate God. I can’t. Why? Because the Bible isn’t about us. The universe isn’t about us. And we aren’t suppose to be about us.
This is why I want to reflect upon the fact of those heroes we love in stories, because there is a truth that is overlooked. The reason these are good stories is because we love the hero, not because we love those being saved.
Think about it for a moment. Name a good book or story or movie you love where you didn’t care for the hero but absolutely loved the one needing saving?
Are you catching on? The fact God is saving a people for himself from humanity isn’t because humanity isn’t some great object that God absolutely must save because they’re so awesome that he just needs them. No. In fact, we all recognize that the people who need saving in most stories need saving precisely because they’re people who get themselves tangled into a mess or are helpless or weak.
Christians need to stop speaking as though God is a helpless victim who created a world and didn’t realize it would fall. We need to stop speaking as though God didn’t plan to save a people before the fall. We have to stop pretending as though God is saving us because we are worth saving. We’re not.
God saved us precisely because it demonstrates how amazing He is. It was His plan to enter into creation. It was His plan to associate with the lowly. It was His plan to save the weak and worthless things to shame the wise and strong. It was His plan to bestow His love on a particular people.
The whole course of human history is about God. It’s about His works and His character. Good stories aren’t about those being saved, but about the one saving. Do we think God made a world, knowing that it would fall, just to let man “be free?” Just so we could choose what the course of human history will be?
I believe every human heart knows that in order for the hero to be seen as the hero, he also needs to be seen going through great effort to save someone who doesn’t deserve it. And humans don’t deserve salvation. We don’t deserve to be saved. And I do not believe God saved us without realizing he would obtain glory and honor. No. He did it precisely because he would obtain glory and honor. He did it precisely because that’s who He is, and who He is is far more amazing than just what He has done. We can only know who He is by what He has done, but His value is not found in His love for His people, but truly in His love for His glory, His name, His honor, His character, His consistency, His goodness, His holiness, and His righteousness.
God didn’t create a world to be judged by his creation. He created a world, regardless of what his creation will think of Him, because it pleased Himself to create, and enter into creation, and so please Himself by acting according to His nature to save that which He decided to save, which was weak, worthless, dead, and in enmity against him. So to demonstrate how much of a hero, how great of a savior, how awesome of a God He is.
The God I serve cares more about Himself than anything else. And that is precisely the God I want to serve.
As it was said one, the measure of the worth of a soul is the object of that souls love.
The warrior’s worth is not found in how many victories he wins, but who and what he wins victories for. And God’s victories are for Himself. Jesus Christ is the true hero of all time.