Acts 2:38 (ESV)
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Years ago, a British express train was racing through the night.
Its powerful headlamp speared the fog ahead. This train was special for it carried Britain's Queen Victoria. Suddenly, revealed in the beam of the train's headlight, the engineer saw a figure in a black cloak. On the middle of the tracks, he was waving his arms.
It took but a second for the engineer to throw the brake lever, a little longer for the train to scream to a halt. The engineer, along with the other railroad employees, got out to find the fellow who had stopped them.
The man was gone.
They did, however, find a section of track, which had been washed out by a swollen stream. The engineer cringed at the thought: if the unfound man in the black cloak had not stopped them, they would have derailed, creating a national catastrophe. Eventually, the bridge was repaired, and the train finished its trip in London.
There, the mystery of the man in the black cloak was discovered.
At the base of the engine's headlamp was a great moth. The engineer studied it, wet its wings, and pasted it to the glass of his lamp. Climbing back into his cab, he switched on the lamp and saw the "phantom flagman" in the bright beam. Seconds before the train reached the ruined track, the moth had flown onto the lamp.
In the fog, it appeared to be a black-cloaked man waving his arms.
Queen Victoria's reaction to the strange occurrence? She said, "I'm sure it was no accident. It was God's way of saving us."
Most certainly, we are all saved through the sacrifice of the Savior. His gracious act wherein He carried our sins, resisted temptation, and conquered death is the common denominator for all who are forgiven and redeemed. Many of us have been saved by simple means whereby the Holy Spirit has placed faith into our transformed hearts. How has the Lord saved you? What delivery system did He use? Was it through the preaching of a faithful pastor, a never-to-be-forgotten teacher, your parents, a radio or television broadcast? Did He use a watershed moment in your life to make plain His commitment to rescue you?
No matter how you were saved there are two things to know:
1. You couldn't save yourself. No matter how hard you tried, you remained a condemned sinner.
2. God's love for you is so great He was willing to sacrifice His Son, so you could be adopted into His family of faith. God's mercy and grace ... that's what saved the Queen ... it is what saves us, too.
Dear Lord, without You we would have been lost forever. For our salvation, a gracious gift which comes to us through Jesus' sacrifice and the Holy Sprit's work, we are saved. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.