I’ve heard people describe salvation in terms of someone drowning. A person is in the middle of the ocean, struggling to stay afloat. His strength is failing. He’s gone under twice. If he goes under once more, it will be the end of him. And that’s when Jesus reaches out and calls to the drowning man, “Take my hand. Take my hand, and I will save you.” The truth of the matter is that when God saved us, he did something far greater than this. According to Eph 2, we were dead in our trespasses and sins. Not drowning. Stone cold dead. We were at the bottom of the ocean of sin, and God breathed new life into us. So let’s get the gospel right. Let’s not underestimate what God has done, and let’s not overestimate our own condition. The gospel is not about God lending a hand to someone who is struggling; it’s about God reviving a corpse.

To those who think of themselves as too “bad” to be redeemed, I say this: As long as you think of yourself as “bad,” you are still overestimating your condition. The gospel is not about making bad people good; it’s about making dead people alive. There’s nothing worse than being dead in sin, and according to the Scriptures, we were all once dead. So don’t think that you are somehow worse off than the rest of us. When we could do nothing, God did everything for us. He sent Christ, who died in our place for our sins, and who was raised on the third day, accomplishing our salvation. He sends the Holy Spirit, who unites us to Christ by faith, giving us access to what has been accomplished for us. Our salvation is all of God. Indeed, the only thing you and I contribute to our salvation is the sin that makes it necessary in the first place.


  1. Thank you for this Dillon. For a man who almost drown as a 12 year old, the drowning person has always been very immediate and meaningful to me. Your point that we are actually rescued from death itself is even more amazing. By the leadership of The Holy Spirit, I pray that I will be able to state the point you make here in a way that will register with many of those we serve each week at Monday Lunch Bunch. Some actually believe that we who serve and belong to a church are better than they.

  2. Hi Dillon, It is interesting that this was the topic of this particular blog, for our church is doing a series now called “Table Talk”. Discussions to have around the table with your children, etc….and this very topic has been given in the morning worship services and as our Life Group Bible Studies. It IS very inportant to know the exact message of the Gospel and the sacrifice it took for our salvation!! Love how you always speak God’s Truth, through this blog, sermons and articles! May God continue to bless you as you serve Him!

  3. Thank you Dillon for this post. This morning we were having a talk with our son about this. I will elaborate personally with you. The statement about being dead before becoming believers and not just bad really spoke to me when you preached on the 12th. I have shared it with others since then. We are very blessed by your servant heart already. We know God has planned incredible things under your leadership.

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