Have you ever gone metal detecting to search for “buried treasure”? Recently, metal detecting became a new hobby that my family and I began. The basic premise is not complicated. You take the metal detector and hold it a couple inches off the ground, move it back and forth as you walk behind it, and wait until you hear a beep. Once the metal detector beeps, you can start digging for your “buried treasure.” There are all sorts of interesting items that you can find. Some items are valuable, like coins and jewelry, and yet other items are nothing but junk like soda pop tabs, nails, and aluminum foil.
A metal detector will only beep when it senses metal. If you wave the metal detector over wood, plastic, glass, or any other non-metallic substance, you will never get the machine to beep. No matter how hard you try, the machine will not react to an object unless it is some type of metal. This simple analogy relates well to our eternal salvation through Jesus.
We are all born with original sin, separated from God, and are lost and condemned persons. No matter how hard we try, it is impossible for us to earn our salvation. Just like the metal detector, no matter how many times we wave the metal detector over a piece of wood, plastic, or glass, it will not beep. It is impossible. The only way salvation is possible is because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He offers us the free gift of salvation through Baptism and the Word of God. We receive the Holy Spirit through Baptism and the hearing of God’s Word. God gets 100% of the credit. No matter how nice we are as a person or how hard we try, we contribute nothing towards salvation. It’s all about Jesus.
An important Bible verse that speaks to this truth is Ephesians 2:8–9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” God has been gracious and loving towards us! Without Jesus, death remains victorious. However, Jesus’ death served as the perfect sacrifice for our sins and reconciled us with God. His resurrection from the dead is proof that death has been defeated, and that because of God’s love for us, we too will one day rise from the dead and live forever. A great proclamation of this victory is found in 1 Corinthians 15:51–56:
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This biblical truth is what makes Lutheran schools truly special. Lutheran schools offer acclaimed academics, amazing athletic opportunities, awesome fine arts programs, and they teach students how to be Christian leaders in the world. Above all this, though, is the beautiful and precious opportunity we have to teach students about the love of Jesus every day.
In our post-modern culture, the world seems to be getting crazier every day. Truth, it seems, is no longer definable or absolute. Society searches for answers but, according to the post-modern mindset, those answers will have a variety of truths with no answer being more correct than any other. No wonder the world seems to be going crazy and people seem misguided. There is no clarity or absolute truth by the world’s standards.
In a very stark contrast to this are Lutheran schools. Everything Lutheran schools do is based on the Bible. Jesus provides Lutheran schools with focus, meaning, and purpose. Jesus is at the center of everything Lutheran schools do and they proudly and boldly incorporate Jesus and the Bible into every aspect of the school, whether it be the curriculum, athletics, fine arts, or leadership opportunities. Lutheran schools proudly teach truth. Jesus himself spoke of this truth in John 14:6: “‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. Above all else, this is what matters. This is what Lutheran schools value and teach. Jesus loves us more than we can ever imagine and to be able to teach and model that love to students—whether they are elementary, high school, or college students—is a true blessing. It is life changing for both the students and teachers. At the end of the day, it’s still all about Jesus.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4).
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Photo (c) webphotographeer/iStock