Salvation in general

The activities of man since after creation have been ravaged by sin, self-centeredness and always walking independent of God. All attempts by God to draw him nearer to Him and to correct him have not been consistently adhered to. Likewise, all attempts of man to please God in his own way have failed him and fall short to meet God’s standard. Man has always being looking for a way to serve and satisfy God in his own leisure way, and have continually disobedient to God’s order and instruction.

Apostle Paul said,

“…All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

Sin is like a deadly disease, it is dangerous and ultimately fatal, often difficult to diagnose and incurable without God’s intervention. Sin isolates its victim from God.

Isaiah said that man continues in his sinfulness

“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags…” (Is. 64:6). He said “we need to be saved”.

However, God’s love for man never abates. The Bible states,

“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. For, God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but, that the world through Him might be saved” (Jn. 3:16-17).

The offer of salvation is to all people regardless of race, nationality, ethics, cultural or familial of diversity. It covers everyone as long as the earth remains

Apostle Paul gave a very clear reason why we need salvation, saying that no one has completely loved and worshiped the Lord as they should and no one has achieved the standard of God. What is God’s standard? Good enough, we don’t have to go toJerusalemor to call heaven down neither do we need to conjure any spirit to show us the standard. The fact is that we have all heard of the gospel, the gospel is the standard of God.

However, most people have been disobedient and show indifference to this gospel. Gospel preaching is to save those who believed, those who believe in the Son of God. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can we be saved from our sins (Rom.1:16-17).

The Bible states that the gospel is the power (standard) of God to salvation for all (regardless of who you are) who believe in Christ. The gospel revealed the righteousness of God from generation to generation.

 

Salvation defined

It means “deliverance” or preservation. In spiritual context, the idea is rescue from the power and dominion of sin. Or, is more appropriate to say that, salvation is deliverance and preservation: because, salvation does not end in deliverance; it continues in that, what is delivered needs to be preserved.

When the gospel is preached, it exacts the power “to free” or “to rescue” people from the tragic consequences of their own sin.

 

The need for deliverance

Before God gave His only begotten Son, the state of man was deplorable, and destined for doom because of his sins and waywardness. When God created man, He has good intention for him. Before He put him in the Garden of Eden, He had made provisions for man’s need to live a life full of satisfaction; safe and of good relationship with Him. The Bible says that God visited man at the cool of the day – a meaningful relationship with man.

Man was given freedom in the Garden; however not without restrains; not to eat of certain fruits. Man disobeyed God’s instruction – humanity falls into sin; man inherited curse and was eventually expelled from the paradise (Garden of Eden). However, a gracious God started a rescue mission to safe humanity from destruction.

In the days of Noah, the then world was destroyed by flood because of man’s wickedness; but Noah and his family were spared, humanity continues.

After Noah, God called Abram; He revisited and showed His love to man by making Abraham and his offspring a role model for the world to follow. However, through the course of time, from the beginning ofIsraelto the day of Christ, the Israelites were constantly the object of God’s wrath because of their sin and waywardness. The result of their sinful nature was evident in the series of captivity which they went. Therefore, the state of man before Christ was

  • Without strength and ungodly
  • Hopeless
  • Object of God’s wrath
  • Destined to die, because the end of sin is death (Jas. 1:13-15; Rm. 6:2-3).

If the state of man is this deplorable and pitiful, he definitely needs deliverance (salvation). According to NKJV commentary, “since sin is the cause of our deplorable condition, we need salvation from the penalty of sin. In order for man not to fall back into this sin, we need salvation to protect and preserve us from the power of sin”. Our journey on earth ultimate end is to gain eternal life; we therefore need salvation from the presence of sin. Why? Eternal salvation is more valuable than all pursuits of life which form the idol of our heart (Matt. 16:26-27).

If we think back to our past and the joy we enjoy in the Lord today, we should be able to conclude that God had been our reason. Isaiah said

“Behold, God is my salvation: I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation”. (Is. 12:2)

Whether you are a new convert or and old believer who have wandered and given a second chance, it is God’s love and grace that saved us

 

Salvation in the making

 The Importance of Blood

The importance of blood cannot be over emphasized: however, we can say “Blood is life’. The Lord commanded Noah after the flood that he and his family can eat any animal, but not with blood. “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (Gen 9:4). With the verses that follow after, it shows that the issue of blood is of highly importance.

If blood is life, and the Bible say that God formed man of the dust and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being (Gen. 2:7); we might as well say that the breath of the Lord is that blood. That blood is God in man. That is what makes the image of God in man. That is what came out of God into man that makes man to be alive.

No wonder, the Lord said to Cain after Cain had murdered Abel his brother that the blood of Abel speaks from the ground (Gen. 4:10). If the blood speaks, then, it is life. That is why God says you shall not kill. It is evident that the body of man shall return to dust; however, killing a person is cutting his/her life short and stopping the flow of blood which is the life, the breath of the Lord.

The issue of blood becomes more interesting and stronger when it has to be the substance that will reunite us to God; when it has to be what will redeem us from the wrath of God; and when it has to be the substance that cleanses us from any uncleanness. In the Old Testament, the sacrifice of an animal presented the blood for atonement for any sin or wrong doing, thus redeeming us from any penalty.

The Bible says,

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul”. (Lev. 17:11)

This is the blood of an animal: Imagine what the blood of a human being will do.

There is nothing more precious than the blood of man in this world. It was the land that brought forth all creatures except man. But for man, God Himself molded him and breathes life (blood) into him; therefore, he is a creature with a difference, the image of God.

If one looks back to the dark ages, the sacrifice of human being signified something more serious and important than animal sacrifice, because the occult world understands the power in the blood of human being. When they want to make ritual, they look for stranger to do this. If this human blood is this important to the demon, how much more will the blood of Jesus do marvelous things in our lives.

Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. So it is necessary if we are to be cleaned of our iniquities that blood need to be shed. Animal sacrifice will not do it because it needs to be repeated again and again. The Old Testament sacrificial blood takes away only a persons sin temporarily. But a once-for-all sacrifice is needed; the blood of Christ takes away the sin of the whole world.

 

 Jesus, our sacrificial Lamb

Why is the blood of Jesus a sacrifice? Jesus laid down His own life according to the understanding that it was an agreement between Him and the Father God (Matt. 26:50-54). Jesus has at least twelve legions (72000 angelic hosts) at His disposal to fight for Him when arrested. Remember, one angel will kill 185000 earthly soldiers in one night; so it was not within the power of His arrestees to arrest Him, but He laid Himself down willingly according to plan (Luke 22:22). It is the Father’s will that He must go to the cross.

The author of the book of Hebrew wrote

For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Heb. 9:13-15)

Our salvation was made possible by God because of His love towards man.  God gave His only begotten Son, who bore our sin that we may not perish. Jesus Christ appeased God through His death on the cross. God placed our sin on Him instead on us. Mind you, Christ knows no sin; His death was in our place and for our sin. The Bible says,

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”          (Is. 53:6)

Salvation is God’s free gift through our Lord Jesus Christ, to those who believed. Apostle Paul states that salvation is not based on our own “work of righteousness” (Tit. 3:5) but rather, it is the result of God’s work of kindness and love toward us. We are unable to do good works; we are too selfishness. Therefore nobody should credit himself of his salvation; however, it is God’s purpose and sovereign plan for all.

Salvation in any period is only by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Being called a man of God or a believer who is prayerful, devoted, committed, giver, or whatever anyone can use to boast of religiosity or the keeping of the law, was never a means of salvation, but a guide for living a life that pleases the Lord: all have fall short of this.

Without a compassionate, merciful and graceful God, we would all perish. God’s loyal, gracious and faithful love was shown to us when He saved us only by being believed in His Son. Jesus is the source of our salvation onCalvary. Therefore, our salvation is to live and suffer for Christ.

There is only one God to whom salvation is available; there is only one way to Him, through the mediator, Christ Jesus, who has the full nature of God and full nature of man. Jesus as the author and provider of salvation, we are washed, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of our God (1cor. 6:11).

 

Three stages of Salvation

  • Justification – salvation from the penalty of sin
  • Sanctification – salvation from the power of sin
  • Glorification – salvation from the presence of sin

These stages will be discusses fully in a separate article.

 

Benefits offered by the blood of Jesus

  1.  Through Jesus’ blood, we have the forgiveness of sins that were previously committed (Rm. 3:25).
  1. The blood atones for our sin
  2. Christ blood overthrown the damages effected by our sinfulness.
  3. The blood gave us eternal redemption (Eph. 1:7)
  4. We are reconciled with God (Eph. 2:13)
  5. We enter into the holiest, perpetual access to God Himself (Heb. 10:19-)
  6. The blood cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb. 9: 11-14
  7. That we are redeemed from our transgression, we received the promise of eternal inheritance
  8. Through the cross, the blood was shed, salvation was offered to all who believed.
  9. The blood gives life (Jn. 6:53-54)
  10. The blood connects us with the covenant with the Lord
  11. The blood saves us from the coming judgment (Rm. 5:9)
  12. Through the blood we are delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed into thekingdomofGod
  13. Through Christ’s death, that is, His blood; Christ becomes our mediator
  14. The church was established at the moment of shedding that precious blood
  15. We are justified by His blood which provides us Christ’s righteousness
  16. We overcame satan through the blood and the word of our testimony (Rev, 12:11)
  17. We overcome death

The ultimate hope of our Christianity is to inherit the kingdom of God. Our hope goes beyond the reality of things of this world, but that of heaven. The heavenly calling to all believers and non-believers is to inherit salvation and the future glory of the Father in Christ. This grace is offered freely to humanity, grab it today. Mind you, grace of God has no limit; however, God does not deal in “cheap grace”.

 

By Lawrence Abitogun

For more of my articles, visit christianedification.org

Related posts:

  1. Seeing Salvation: Images of Christ in Art
  2. Flesh-and-Blood Jesus: Learning to Be Fully Human from the Son of Man
  3. Jesus Christ : The Jesus of History, the Christ of Faith
  4. Salvation; product of mercy and grace
  5. For Those Who Have Ears to Hear: An Inclusive Interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

About the Author

Lawrence B. Abitogun, called by the special grace of the Almighty God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by the empowerment of the Holy Ghost, witnessing and preaching the gospel to the world, was born to a Christian parents at Uso, Ondo state, Nigeria. He received his elementary and secondary education in Nigeria from 1959-1971. He obtained a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Science in Industrial Arts at North Texas State University, Denton TX USA in 1979 and 1982 respectively.

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