Saved From What? The 1st “P” of Salvation continued…

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly.” 

Titus 2:11

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There is so much about the 1st “P” of salvation that I must continue with more thoughts before I move to the 2nd “P” of salvation.

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Let’s review and expand.

Jesus saves us to the “uttermost.”  First, He saves us from the Penalty of the law.  All have sinned.  We have broken the 10 commandments and turned away from God.  And we have sinned in many other ways as we shall see.

The wages of sin is death.  This simple Bible definition of sin is found in the writings of the beloved disciple.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

1 John 3:4

By departing from God and disobedience, we sin.   Because of our sinful nature, we will continue to break the law of God.  By doing this we place ourselves under the curse God promised for disobedience.

Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

Daniel 9:11

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All of us have sinned.  Not one of us has not sinned:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:23

 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3: 10-12

Not only have we sinned, but if not for the proactive work of God, we would not seek God and we would lack knowledge on spiritual truths.

Because of our transgression and because of the way we are, we are under the curse of sin which is death.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5: 12

But, God the Father and Jesus made a way to come out from under the curse of the law (death)

 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3:24

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Galatians 3:13

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, He took upon himself the sin and curse we were under and made the payment for the wages of sin, which is death.

The death of Jesus shows the immutability of the law of God.  Because it could not be changed.  If it could, Jesus would not have needed to die, the law could have simply been watered down and adjusted to our needs or our situation.

Jesus made it clear, that His purpose was not to change even the smallest letter or punctuation mark in God’s law and that the law would outlive the earth:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Matthew 5: 17-18

Heaven and earth is still here.  Is it not?  Yes, he fulfilled the law and the prophets, but that does not mean that they are destroyed.

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Because of our sin, disobedience, and rebellion we are hopelessly lost, But, His grace working through the faith he gives us we are saved.

God did not have to save us, but He loved His creation and demonstrated it by the substitutionary death of His only begotten.

Let us never forget that God saves us.  We don’t save ourselves by any amount of good work.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:8

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Look carefully at John 3:16.  Salvation is salvation from perishing.  Death is exactly what it means.  It is not living somewhere else in the universe or living in a place of torment.  To learn more about the mortality of the soul (being) and the errors of everlasting torment, click here: Lord Tell Me About Hell-Part 1

According to John, we are saved from persishing (death with no hope) because Jesus perished for us and paid the penalty for sin (transgression of the law).

I like the description by this author about how serious Jesus’ death was for us.  We think of the physical pain, but there was so much more that he endured for us:

Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.

The Desire of Ages, p. 753 

Perhaps, this is why Jesus cried out,

MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?

Psalm 22:1, Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34

 This is the grace and love of God demonstrated in a real way.  Both the Father and the Son suffered that day, but Jesus endured the cross because he could see it would be worth if for us.

…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 

So this is what we are saved from….eternal death…Jesus makes a way by His death that is initiated by the grace and love of God.  But look again at Ephesians.  There is something we have to do to receive this salvation.  It doesn’t come to everyone.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:8

The grace of God cannot lead to salvation alone, there must be faith by the one receiving it.

The sinner must make a choice to trust God. But how does this happen?

First the Holy Spirit does the work of conviction and pulls the sinner towards Jesus.

And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

John 16:8

This conviction comes through the Spirit who often uses the word of God and the the law of God.

you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

James 2:9

For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Romans 7:9

When a person comes into contact with the word of God, it brings conviction of sin.  God’s word is powerful in the work of salvation, because our thoughts and beliefs are changed:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

As we see Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, conviction overwhelms the sinner and the love of God draws us to Him:

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.

John 12: 32 NKJV

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Jeremiah 31:3

This drawing is described as knocking in the book of Revelation:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Revelation 3:20

Now the sinner has a choice.  They can yield to the pull of the Holy Spirit or “open the door” and Jesus promises to come into the life of the person and give them peace and eternal life.

Peace is the first feeling of yielding to the pull of the Holy Spirit, the meaning of the cross, and the fellowship of Jesus.

It is at this point, that the person is born again.  Their life is changed.  They have a new master, a new direction.  The things they once liked to do, they no longer want to do it.  The things they once hated, they now want to do them.

The friends you once hung out with….the ones you drank and partied with, now no longer recognize you and you have a great desire for them to know and experience what you have.

Before, you hated church, Christians, prayer, and Bible Study.  Now you can’t get enough!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Now you listen to God’s word and want to follow him.  It is by this new feeling of belief in God that let’s you know you have been reborn.

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

John 5:24

Notice that the person who hears God’s word and believes in Him (God the Father) has everlasting life and will not come into judgment like those who do not hear God’s word or believe in God.

This is good news!  Praise God! Jesus has saved you from eternal death.

If this is truly your experience, you begin to obey God’s word.  Not to be saved from eternal death, but because it is the natural result of being in Christ and being saved.  This is the test of whether one has been reborn and saved.  Obedience.

In fact, your first act of obedience is when you are baptized.  The act itself does not save you, but it is evidence you want to give to the world evidence that you are walking in a new life of following Jesus

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:4

I can’t image a person who has been saved to disobey the command:

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:16

Notice that obedience of baptism comes after salvation not as a pre-requisite.  In fact, not being baptized by choice demonstrates unbelief.

Jesus identifies the saved as His followers who obey him by asking a rhetorical question:

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Luke 6:46

The born again person loves Jesus and will now call Him Lord and will follow him.  Once again, they will obey Him out of love, not in order to be saved, but because they are saved and they love Him:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:15

Here now stands the person who has been saved from eternal death and has begun to follow Jesus.

Does salvation end at the baptism tank?  What does the Bible teach about the  2nd “P” of salvation?  Next time we will talk about how Jesus saves us from the Power of sin.

The thief will turn from a life of theft, the liar from a life of lying, the adulterer from a life of adultery. Why?  Because Jesus wants to save us not only from the Penalty of sin, but the Power of sin that can still show its ugly head from time to time even if we have a new life in Christ.

I don’t know of one Christian who has not been tempted by sin after beginning their walk with Jesus.  What does Jesus do to save us from the Power of sin and the desire to live a life in Jesus?.  How do we walk in newness of life?  The scripture will give us the answers.

We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Said the beloved John, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1.

Steps to Christ, p. 64

If you are feeling the pull and conviction of the Holy Spirit, yield and surrender your life of sin to Him.  He will come in, as promised, and give you peace and a new direction.  But, He will also give you Power over the sin that “once so easily beset you.”  I am praying for you my brother and sister.

Saved From What? The Four P’s of Salvation

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 7:25

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In the movie, Titanic, the audience hears the story of a young couple meeting and falling in love on the ill-fated ship.   Their backgrounds and upbringing  were very different.  Jack,  a care-free poor young man who made his living drawing.  To him, life was an adventure.   The young woman of the story (Rose)  comes from “new money” wealth and is soon to be married to a wealthy narcissistic man from Pittsburgh.

But, as we all know, the Titanic sank and so did their young love.  Rose survived the cold water and went on to live a long life, just as Jack said she would.  As Rose takes us through the story of their few days on the ship, she ends with this statement,

“He saved me, in every way a person can be saved.”

What did that mean?  How is this statement similar to Paul’s statement in Hebrews 7:25, when he said, that Jesus is “able to save us to the uttermost“?

Salvation is more than most people think or are taught.  Salvation is at the heart of the gospel, but what are people saved from and how can we know we have salvation?

Jesus is able to save us in every way a person can be saved.  It is a salvation than is more than the saving from the death on a sinking ship.  There is more.  He is able to save us after we get to the safety of the shore because the shore has dangers as well.

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The First “P” in salvation is that Jesus saves us from the Penalty of Sin.

It was Jesus’ mission to come to this world and “save” sinners

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”

1 Timothy 1:15

We are all sinners.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23

Not only have we sinned, but we fall short of God’s standards.

There are none born into this world that has not sinned nor meet God’s standards.  The payment for this sin is death.

For the wages of sin is death

Romans 6:23

We did not come into this world by choice.  Our parents made  it for us.  We were given the gift of life,  which is priceless in so many ways.  Bu,t because of the sin of Adam and Eve, our bodies (originally meant to live forever) are now subject to death.  It is a disease possessed by everyone.

…just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

Romans 5:12

As hard as we may try at being good and not sinning, we will always fall short of the “glory of God.”  Because we came into the world with the seed of sin and rebellion and  unrighteous from the start, we can never claim to be righteous on our own.

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one

Romans 3:10

I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Psalm 51:5

Because of this reality, each one of us is born rebellious, sinful, narcissistic, prideful, and sinful.  Our destiny is to live a short life and then die.  That is our payment.

But, God knows this and he made a way out for the planet in rebellion.  This  plan of salvation was made known to Adam and Eve from the beginning.

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

Genesis 3:15

These words were spoken directly to the Serpent that deceived Eve.  Read it closely.  This is both symbolic and prophetical.  The first part talks about “enmity” (hostility and hatred)  between Satan and the woman, which we find out later in scripture to be God’s followers or church.  So there will always be ” enmity” between Satan and Jesus’ church. But, also enmity between our carnal nature and the spiritual nature given us when we are reborn.

In the 2nd part of God’s declaration in Genesis 3 is about a “He” (Jesus) that will “bruise” Satan’s head and Satan’s bruise of the heel by the “He” (Jesus)

The injuries to the heel would not lead to eternal death (the cross), but bruises to he head of Satan will lead to his eternal death.  Here is the beginning prophecies of the Messiah and the enmity that would exist between Jesus and His followers and Satan and his followers… even to this day.

“When Satan heard that enmity should exist between himself and the woman, and between his seed and her seed, he knew that his work of depraving human nature would be interrupted; that by some means man would be enabled to resist his power. Yet as the plan of salvation was more fully unfolded, Satan rejoiced with his angels that, having caused man’s fall, he could bring down the Son of God from His exalted position. He declared that his plans had thus far been successful upon the earth, and that when Christ should take upon Himself human nature, He also might be overcome, and thus the redemption of the fallen race might be prevented.”

“Heavenly angels more fully opened to our first parents the plan that had been devised for their salvation. Adam and his companion were assured that notwithstanding their great sin, they were not to be abandoned to the control of Satan. The Son of God had offered to atone, with His own life, for their transgression. A period of probation would be granted them, and through repentance and faith in Christ they might again become the children of God.”

Patriarchs and Prophets Page 66

The plan of salvation was revealed to Adam and Eve. They taught it to their children and hoped that each child born would be the promised one.

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The plan involved a substitutionary death for sins and required faith in the plan.

The sacrificial system began with this new family.  But, God was particular in how and what was sacrificed because in the sacrificial system, it was to teach of the coming Messiah and a life of faith.  Cain did not sacrifice accordingly and the first death in the Bible is recorded.  It was motivated by jealousy and a self-serving attitude.

“…Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

Genesis 4: 2-8

The Lord tried to intervene in Cain’s anger and depression by encouraging him to do well.  But, Cain was determined to do bad. Our God is always trying to intervene when we are going down the wrong road.  He draws us to himself and away from the bad we would do.  If only we would only yield to this pull, we would find salvation from doing sin.

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

John 12:32

Moses and the Prophets taught of the coming Messiah and the plan of salvation.  Moses formalized the plan under the direction of God himself.  The years and years of the sacrifices and ceremonies found in the Old Testament were the school master to teach those before the cross about the mission of Jesus so that by believing in Him they could have eternal life and escape the penalty of sin (death)

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Galatians 3: 24, and 25

Many try to make Galatians about the 10 commandments, but it is clear that Paul is talking about the law that was added after sin came into the world.  It was a sin when Cain slew Abel even though it would be years before God would formalize the 10 traits of His will on stone.  The law that was added because of sin and was appointed by angels whereas the 10 commandments were written by God’s own finger.

What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:19

He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone,written with the finger of God.

Exodus 31:18

The lessons taught by the sacrificial system ended when Jesus became its fulfillment.  Jesus’ death did not end the 10 commandments, which is an eternal law.  The  ceremonial and sacrificial law given to teach those on the other side of the cross about Jesus was temporary until type met anti-type.

See the difference in their descriptions and mortality in the following verses.

 First, the sacrificial law is demonstrated to end at the death of Jesus on the cross as recorded by the events of that day.

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;

Matthew 27: 51

This veil separated the holy place where the priest minister daily and offered sacrifices and incense before the curtain.  On the other side of the curtain was the Most Holy Place.  Because of the death of Jesus for our sins we have direct access to God without priests or bloody animal sacrifices.  This system met its fulfillment in Jesus and is no longer needed.

 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4: 15, 16

But as to the 10 commandment laws, the principles found therein did not end when Jesus came and died for He said,

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5: 17-19

Heaven and earth have not passed and neither has the 10 commandments

Lying, murdering, coveting, adultery, dishonoring parents are just as much as sin today as it was during the days of those before the cross.  It is also still a sin to have other God’s and to take the Lord’s name in vain…to make images and bow down to them…to forget the Sabbath.

John exclaims that sin is defined as breaking the law:

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

1 John 3:4

James tells us that if we break one of the 10, we have sinned.  He goes on to tell us that we shall be judged by this everlasting law that liberates:

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

so speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

James 2: 10-12

Jesus  mission was to save us by paying the debt we owed which was death for transgressing the law of God (defined as sin)

Those in the Old Testament are saved from the Penalty of the law (death) just as we are in the days of the New Testament.  It is by faith in the one who died for our sins.

Those of the Old Testament looked forward by faith to the cross of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.  We look back to the  cross for the same reason.  Both are saved by grace through faith and not works.

There was never two methods of salvation e.g. one by works and one by faith.  In fact, in Hebrews 11, there is the “Hall of Faith” that hangs the pictures and models of faith. They are all Old Testament people.  Here is an example:

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous…”

Hebrew 11: 4

Did you catch that?  Abel was made righteous by faith! But it came by doing the will of God.  Faith requires action and obedience.  This action “obtains witness” or demonstrates righteousness.

This is what James meant when he said,

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

James 2:18

We can never work our way into righteousness, but without obedience/works we do not have a “witness” that we have faith.  It is all talk, if we talk of faith without the works.

James shows us the results of salvation and the relationship of works from a changed heart, while Paul shows us the method of salvation.  It is by faith without works

“For by grace are you saved not of works…”

There is no contradiction only a deeper understanding.

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So in summary, we have all sinned and will die unless we choose to yield to the pull of God’s pulling and knocking.  When we do, we place our faith in Him that He has forgiven us.  Then we pass from the sentence of death to the promise of eternal life.

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

John 5;24

When we hear God’s word and believe Jesus to be all He claimed to be, we have experienced the first “P” of salvation.  We are saved from the Penalty of Death.  But, Jesus also saves us from the Power of sin.  This we will discuss next time.

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I leave you with this thought from one of my favorite books called Steps to Christ. If you want a copy, let me know.

“It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Job 14:4; Romans 8:7. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.”

Steps to Christ, Page 18