Tagged: salvation

Salvation in time, and beyond time

This is another in a series of excerpts from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” published by the MBC’s High Street Press (visit highstreet.press).

In the previous column, we explored three facets of salvation before time – foreknowledge, election, and predestination. While these are sovereign acts of God, they cannot be divorced from human responsibility. 

God’s sovereignty, and the endowed right of people to make decisions for which we are held accountable, are parallel biblical truths. Where they intersect in the mind of God is a wondrous mystery to His creatures.

In this column, we turn our attention to facets of salvation in time, and beyond time.

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Trinitarian facets of salvation

This is another in a series of excerpts from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” published by the MBC’s High Street Press (visit highstreet.press).

Stated simply, salvation is God’s remedy for the sin that has ruined everything and alienated everyone from Him. The Lord reveals this remedy as soon as Adam and Eve rebel against Him. 

God promises a future Redeemer who crushes the head of Satan (Gen. 3:15). Then, He provides additional promises throughout the Old Testament, granting us more than four hundred prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowings of the Messiah, a King who comes as a virgin-born child in Bethlehem.

This child, Jesus of Nazareth, bursts onto the scene at just the right time (Gal. 4:4). He lives a sinless life and dies on a Roman cross, taking upon Himself our sins and paying the penalty of death for them (2 Cor. 5:21). Then, He rises physically from the dead on the third day, conquering Satan, sin, and death, and freely offering forgiveness of sins and everlasting life by grace through faith in Him. Before ascending into heaven, He promises to return one day to fulfill all things – that is, to complete His work of salvation and to set everything right (Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; John 14:1-3). 

For followers of Jesus, salvation is experienced as an everlasting, unbreakable relationship with Him. It has both temporal and eternal benefits. Consider, for example, that we are foreknownelected, and predestined in eternity past. Put another way, we are saved before time began. 

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The Trinity and Salvation

This is another in a series of excerpts from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” published by the MBC’s High Street Press (visit highstreet.press).

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is our Savior. He is the promised “seed” of woman who crushes the head of Satan (Gen. 3:15). He is the Suffering Servant who bears our griefs and carries our sorrows (Isa. 52:13 – 53:12). He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). 

Further, Jesus comes to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6); the bread of life (John 6:51); the door (John 10:9); the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11); the resurrection and the life (John 11:25); and much more. 

Jesus came into this world to die – to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). Jesus is, indeed, our great God and Savior (Titus 2:13). 

A cursory reading of Scripture reveals God’s plan to redeem sinful and fallen people through the sacrificial and substitutionary death of Jesus of Nazareth. He truly is our Savior, and salvation is found in no one else (Acts 4:11-12). 

And yet, as in the Trinity’s work of creation, no single member of the Godhead acts alone. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all play important, complementary roles in saving us from sin and restoring us to a right relationship with God.

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What does it mean to be regenerated?

This column is excerpted from “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available from Amazon and other booksellers.

Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit that brings a sinner from spiritual death into spiritual life. While Christians may disagree about such issues as the relationship between regeneration and baptism, or whether regeneration precedes faith, it is biblically faithful for a follower of Jesus to say, “I am regenerated.”

While the Greek noun palingenesia appears only twice in the New Testament (Matt. 19:28; Titus 3:5), the concept of regeneration, or new birth, is a consistent theme of Jesus and the New Testament writers. Jesus makes it clear that people must be “born again,” or “born of the Spirit,” if they are to see the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3, 5).

The work of the Holy Spirit, making an individual a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15), prepares that person for the future work of Christ as He creates “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Pet. 3:13). All those the Spirit regenerates are assured a place with Christ when He refurbishes the cosmos, purging it completely of sin and its stain.

Regeneration is necessary because the Bible describes unbelievers as the walking dead. Not only are they spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1), but they are depicted as natural / without the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14); blinded in their minds (2 Cor. 4:4); bound by Satan (2 Tim. 2:26); alienated from God (Eph. 4:17-18); enemies of the Lord (Rom. 5:6-11; Col. 1:21-22); condemned in their unbelief (John 3:18); and in spiritual darkness (Acts 26:18; Eph. 5:8; Col. 1:13; 1 Pet. 2:9).

Regeneration is a one-time, non-repeatable act by which the Holy Spirit enters the dead human spirit of a sinner and makes him or her spiritually alive. Regeneration also is permanent. That is, a person whom God foreknows, predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies cannot lose the gift of regeneration without losing all of the associated links in God’s golden chain of redemption.
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You are glorified – part 1

This is the 13th in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available at mobaptist.org/apologetics

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Glorification is the final stage in God’s work of salvation. It is the crowning achievement of sanctification, in which Christians are fully conformed to the image of Christ. It is the perfection of the body, rejoined with soul and spirit in resurrection, as well as the restoration of the universe to its original state.

Put another way, glorification is the means by which God fully reverses the effects of the Fall, purging creation of sin and its stain. It involves the return of Jesus, the future resurrection and judgment of all people, and the creation of new heavens and a new earth.

For the most part, when Christians talk about glorification, we are referring to our future resurrection, at which time we receive incorruptible bodies similar to the body Christ had when He rose from the dead.

In this respect, Wayne Grudem provides an excellent summary: “Glorification is the final step in the application of redemption. It will happen when Christ returns and raises from the dead the bodies of all believers for all time who have died, and reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all believers who remain alive, thereby giving all believers at the same time perfect resurrection bodies like his own.”
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