Jesus came to redeem us from the consequences of the fall – Part 2
Biblical words for salvation Contd.
Salvation. Salvation (Gkstêria) means “deliverance,” “bringing safely through,” keeping from harm”; already in the OT God revealed Himself as the One who saves His people (Ps 27:1, 88:1; see Deut 26:8; Ps 62:1; Is 25:6; 53:5). It is described in the NT as “the way” or road that leads through life to eternal fellowship with God in heaven (Mat 7:14; Mark 12:14; Heb 10:20). This road of salvation must be walked to the very end. We can describe salvation as one way with two sides and three stages.
(1) The one way of salvation. Christ is the way to the Father (Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12). Salvation is provided for us by God’s grace, which He gives us freely in Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24), based on His death (Rom 3:25; 5:8), resurrection (Rom 5:10) and continued intercession for believers (Heb 7:25).
(2) The two sides of salvation. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace received through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 3:22, 24-25, 28). That is, it is extended to us by God as a result of His grace (Jn 1:16) and is received by us through the response of faith (Acts 16:31; Rom 1:17; Eph 1:15; 2:8).
(3) The three stages of salvation.
(a) The past stage of salvation includes the personal experience by which we as believers receive forgiveness of sins as a free gift (Acts 10:43; Rom 4:6-8) and pass from spiritual death to spiritual life (1 Jn 3:14), from the power of sin to the power of God (Rom 6:17-23), from Satan’s dominion to God’s dominion (Acts 26:18). It brings us into a new personal relationship with God (Jn 1:12) and rescues us from the penalty of sin (Rom 1:16; 6:23; 1 Cor 1:18).
(b) The present stage of salvation saves us from the bondage, power and dominion of sin, and brings us into the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
It includes: (i) the privilege of a person-to person relationship with God as our Father and Jesus as our Lord and Saviour (Mat 6:9; Jn 14:18-23; see Gal 4:6); (ii) the call to count ourselves dead to sin (Rom 6:1-14) and to submit to the leading of the Spirit (Rom 8:1-17) and God’s Word (Jn 8:31); 14:21; 2 Tim 3:15-16); (iii) the invitation to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the command to keep being filled (see Acts 2:33-39; Eph 5:18); (iv) the demand to separate ourselves from sin (Rom 6:1-14) and the present corrupt generation (Acts 2:40; 2 Cor 6:17); and (v) the call to contend for the advance of God’s Kingdom against Satan and his demonic host (2) Cor 10:4-5; Eph 6:11, 16; 1 Pet 5:8-9).
(c) The future stage of salvation (Rom 13:11-12; 1 Thes 5:8-9; 1 Pet 1:5) includes: (i) our deliverance from God’s coming wrath (Rom 5:9; 1 Cor 3:15; 5:5; 1 Thes 1:10; 5:9); (ii) our sharing in Christ’s glory (Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 15:49) and receiving a resurrected or transformed body (1 Cor 15:52); and (iii) our receiving rewards as faithful overcomers (see Rev 2:7). This future salvation is the goal toward which all Christians strive (1 Cor 9:24-27; Phil 3:8-14). All present warnings, discipline and punishment have as their purpose that believers should not forfeit this future salvation (1 Cor 5:1-13; 9:24-27; Phil 2:12, 16; 2 Pet 1:5-11; see Heb 12:1).
REDEMPTION. The second biblical word for salvation is REDEMPTION. What is redemption? The root meaning of “redemption” (Gkapolutrēsis) is ransom by the payment of a price. The expression denotes the means by which salvation is procured, namely, by the payment of a ransom.
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