SO GREAT A SALVATION
“How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.” (Heb. 2:3)
WHAT IS SALVATION ?
“Salvation” means being brought into a state of soundness or wholeness before God. It means corning into a place of safety; escaping the stormy winds of the wrath of heaven and entering into God’s great harbour of mercy and kindness. Salvation has three aspects: that is;
I am saved.
I am being saved.
I am about to be saved.
Or, to express it more fully
- I am saved from the PENALTY of sin.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions….” (Eph. 2:4-5).
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23).
This is the past tense of salvation, and speaks of the complete freedom from condemnation for all those have entered, who have put their wholehearted faith in Christ as their Saviour.
- I am being saved from the POWER of sin.
“….Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philip. 2:12-13).
“ …Make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:10-11).
This is the present tense of salvation, and speaks of the Christian entering more and more into victory over sin. and growing to become more and more like Christ.
- I am about to be saved from the PRESENCE of sin.
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philip. 3:20-21 ).
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.” (1Thes. 5:9-10).
” So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Heb. 9:28).
This is the future tense of salvation, and speaks of the great hope that lies before us – the second coming of Christ, the day of resurrection, and the immense reward waiting for those who have faithfully served their God. Or we could express it this way
If I have accepted Christ as Saviour, and walk with him day by day, then
- I have been delivered from all PAST sin – that is, I am
“Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39).
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Rom. 5:1).
Means that although we are guilty of gross sin and deserving of heavy punishment, God, by his own grace, has restored us to fellowship with ‘him and reckons us to be just. Because of our trust in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, God has pardoned us of all our sin, accepts us as now being made righteous, and treats us as though we had never sinned.
- I am being delivered from all PRESENT sin: that is, I am SANCTIFIED.
“..we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more…. 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable” (1Thess. 4:I-4).
“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you as first-fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” (2 Thess. 2:13).
Means that although we stand legally before God as justified (released from all guilt of sin), there is still a need for us to be made actually free from the power of sin. Being justified, opportunity is then given us to separate ourselves from all unrighteousness and set ourselves apart for the service and honour of God. Where- as we are justified solely by the free kindness of God on the basis of our faith in Christ, the work of sanctification involves the active co-operation of the believer. If we earnestly endeavour to sanctify ourselves, that is, to separate ourselves from sin, detaching our affections from the world and its defilements, and lifting them up to a supreme love for God, then we are said to be in a state of sanctification.
In this state we are granted the omnipotent grace of God, the supreme power of the blood of Christ, the sharp edge of the Word of God, and the strong influence of the Holy Spirit, all designed to shatter the strength of sin, to break the bonds that bind us, and to bring us into the glorious liberty of the sons and daughters of God!
- I will be delivered from any PROSPECT of sin: that is, I will be GLORIFIED
“ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1Peter 1:3-5).
“ And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev. 21:3-5).
Every Christian has a tremendous hope lying before them, a hope of honour, of reward, of eternal happiness. If we live faithful to Christ until the end, then we can indeed say with Paul: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:16-18).