DEFINITION OF SALVATION
A simple definition covering the whole range of this threefold salvation would be;
“Salvation embraces everything God provided for us by Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary. It includes the mercy of God; adoption into the Father’s family; forgiveness of all sin; victory over Satan’s power; healing of body, mind and spirit; a complete and free righteousness; abundant supply of every need; peace of heart and mind; a part in the resurrection; and a calling to reign as a prince with Christ when he establishes his kingdom.”
Many of these outstanding benefits are considered elsewhere in this book, but here we are primarily concerned with the first feature, namely: I am saved from the penalty of sin.
This is the first fundamental. Our desperate need in the eyes of God makes it most urgently important that we should be saved from the penalty of sin. So we discover that the Bible declares every man to be…
A doomed sinner: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” and “the wages of sin is death.” and “Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:12).
Alienated from God: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;..” and ” But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 53:6; 59:2).
Lost and without hope: “There is no one righteous, not even one: there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless. There is no one who does good, not even one” and again, ” The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men, who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Rom. 3:10-12; 1:18).
In spiritual darkness: Jesus said the way of man was incorrigibly wicked and deceitful. ” For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.” (Mark 7:21-23). It is also true that “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Cor. 2:14).
These things all clearly indicate the utter inability of anyone to break through the power of sin by themselves. It is impossible for anyone to shake themself free from the result of their sin. This desperate situation demanded that God should either obliterate the whole human race or else devise a way of salvation whereby people could be completely re-created. In his immense love the Father chose the second alternative, and so we read,
“ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17).
So Jesus came that we, who are already born into sin, might be “born again” into the kingdom and righteousness of God; so the Lord said. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3)