Many of us grew up in Sunday School and were familiar with the life of Jesus. We heard stories that started with His birth and ended with His ascension into heaven. We accepted those stories with what we like to call child-like faith. In fact during Vacation Bible School or maybe church camp, many of us might have even given our hearts to Jesus and thus became “saved.”
The “saved” that usually accompanies this giving our heart to Jesus refers to being saved from going to hell, or to put it a nicer way, to keep us from being separated from God for eternity. It carries an element of fear more than the truth of what salvation really means, and begs the question, “Did it really happen?”
We will never have an end-all answer to the many questions regarding salvation but we can know some things for certain. Jesus tells us in John 3, that in order to enter the kingdom of God, we must be born again. Consistent with that teaching Paul says many times in his letters to the churches that we become a new creation, put on the new man, die to the old self, etc.
We deduce from this that something visible has to happen once we are truly saved.
We might ask ourselves whether a child can really become a new creation, or put on the new self in the spiritual meaning of the word. It would seem unlikely. However, children can begin to understand some things like what sin is and that Jesus died so they can be forgiven of their sin.
True salvation manifests lofty things in us that can only come from Christ living in us.
We must be able to realize that God wants all of us. He wants us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. A child that has had a foundation in the Church will at some point begin to understand these things and can then give their all to Christ. This is where the point of salvation begins to take place.
But not where it stops.
God not only asks that we love Him but that we also love others as we love ourselves. When and if we can ever reach that point, the salvation process will be near to completion and ironically it won’t be long before we find ourselves a child in the kingdom of God forever saved!