Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
The word “salvation” is an all-embracing term. It testifies that God is good. The greatest thing God can do for the sinner is to change his estate from one of condemnation, being dead in sins, to being “in Christ” and “conformed to the image of His Son.”
God has done something about our sin problem, and does not want us to perish even though we fully deserve His eternal condemnation. However, God loves us and wants to give us eternal life.
He took the initiative in our salvation. All of salvation is the work of God. It is not man made. All that the sinner can do is receive from the hand of God His free gift.
A number of things in the divine work of salvation were accomplished in the moment you confessed your sins and placed your trust in the saving work of Christ Jesus. On the other hand, some things in our salvation are taking place over a period of time. These also began in the moment we trust Christ, but they are not completed and will not be until we stand before God in heaven. Moreover, there is coming in day in the future when the work is consummated in the presence of God.
Our salvation can be referred to as past, present and future. We were saved, we are being saved and we shall be saved. We are justified, are being sanctified and shall be glorified.
Salvation from the Penalty of Sin
The child of God was saved from the guilt and penalty of sin when he believed on Christ. We often say, “I have been saved.” “I was saved when I put my faith in the saving work of Christ when I was twelve years old.” Have you been saved?
The apostle Paul speaks in the past tense in Ephesians 2:12-13. “Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
The initial moment of salvation takes place when we believe on Christ as our Savior. The Philippian jailor brought Paul and Silas out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:30-31). The moment he believed, God saved him. Others in his household were also saved that same night.
Other Scriptures bring out this same experience. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Timothy 1:9).
Not only were we saved from the penalty of sin, but God is saving us at the present time.
Salvation from the Power of Sin
We also can say, “I am being saved by God’s grace.” God is saving the believer from sin’s power now. “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). This is the work of present sanctification by the Holy Spirit in the believer as we grow in our knowledge of God’s Word. The key to this present salvation is to reckon upon the finished work of Christ (v. 11).
Jesus prayed for all believers when He said, “Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth” (John 17:17).
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). We are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). We are to carry it out to its ultimate conclusion. Work out what God has worked in. “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (v. 13).
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Our being saved from the power of sin will not be complete until we see Jesus face to face.
Something of the splendors of Christ are to be seen only in the believer today. Something of Him is seen in no other way as they make themselves available to Christ.
As trophies of God’s grace, the world sees something of the person of Christ in us. The superabounding grace of God is demonstrated in the follower of Christ. There the supreme purpose of God is realized through the salvation of sinners by grace alone.
Salvation from the Presence of Sin
The child of God is yet to be saved from the presence of sin into the presence of God in heaven. We can also say, “God will save us when we see Jesus face to face.”
Our salvation is much closer now than when we first believed on Christ (Romans 13:11). We are being “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). One of my favorite passages is 1 John 3:1-2. It is the blessed hope of every believer in Christ. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
In the following verse we see all of three of these time aspects of salvation combined. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6; cf. 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 5:25-27).
Throughout eternity we will point to Him as the source of all grace, and be in ourselves, the exhibit of the exceeding riches of His grace.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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