Understanding Salvation

Summary of Salvation

Even in our sin God loved us. The Father, in grace purposed, planned and provided the way of salvation for us. The Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, came to give His life for us, shedding His blood to restore and reconcile man back to God. He was manifested to undo the works of the devil and the effects of man’s sin. On the Cross, He bore our sins and died for us and was buried. God raised Him from the dead on the 3rd day according to the Scriptures. By His precious Blood He purchased our full salvation

The Work of the Cross was perfect and complete in every aspect:
(1) The God-ward aspect: He provided a perfect PROPITIATION for our sins, fully satisfying Divine Justice on our behalf. In His substitutionary sacrifice, He took our place and bore the full punishment, condemnation, judgement and wrath of God that our sins deserved and demanded. Now that the righteous and holy God is propitiated through the Blood of Christ, He is just and free to be merciful to us and to freely give us all things belonging to our forgiveness, blessing and eternal salvation (Luke18:13, Romans 3:24-26, 1John2:1,2, 4:8-10, Hebr 2:17).

(2) The sin-ward aspect: He provided a perfect REDEMPTION for us, paying the full ransom price (His precious Blood) to set us free (release us) from sin’s power, pollution, penalty, curse, (and ultimately even its presence), and to restore us to Himself and our eternal inheritance. Through the Fall man became a slave of sin and came under the dominion of the kingdom of darkness. Through redemption Christ cancelled all of sin’s claims upon us, breaking its power and authority over us, delivering us from its consequences (the curse), and releasing us into all the blessings of God. He not only paid the price in full for our forgiveness, but also purchased for us our position before God as His righteous sons, our place in Heaven and our eternal inheritance (John 19:30) (Exodus 6:6, Ruth, Mark 10:45, Matthew20:28, Ephesians 1:7,14, Romans 3:24, Col 1:12-14, 1Timothy 2:6, Hebrews 9:12,15; 1Peter 1:18,19, Galatians 3;13,14, Rev 5:9).

(3) The man-ward aspect: He provided a perfect RECONCILIATION.
The word for reconcilation means ‘exchange.’ This is the Divine Exchange accomplished on the Cross for us, where, in Christ, our sin and resulting death (curse) was exchanged for His perfect righteousness and life (blessing). On the Cross, Jesus bore our sin and freely offered up His righteousness to God. Thus our sin was imputed to Christ, and in exchange His righteousness was put to our account. Thus in Christ, God has reconciled us to Himself (He has removed the difference in righteousness, which was a barrier between us and God, cutting us off from His presence and disqualifying us from receiving His life) making it possible for us to be reconciled (reunited) to God (our relationship fully restored) and to receive all the blessings of salvation and eternal life (see 2Corinthians 5:17-6:2, Romans 5:10-21, Col 1:22, Gal 3:13,14).

We believe that man’s only hope of salvation is in Jesus Christ. Salvation is from Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, as we trust in Christ alone for our salvation. Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the Law, made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable
to God (Eph 2:8-10; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; Rom 3:24; 5:15-21, 10:8-15; 1Cor 15:3-4).
He provided salvation for all mankind, to be received or rejected according to man’s free-will. On the Cross this work of salvation was fully accomplished for us and made available to us in Christ. He now offers it to all men as a free-gift through the gospel Helped by the conviction and call of the Spirit through the Gospel, man’s first step toward salvation is realising he is a sinner, who cannot please God on his own merit or save himself. He repents (turns) from going his own way in life and trusts in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, surrendering to Him as his Lord. If he believes in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confesses with his mouth, Jesus as his Lord, calling upon Him for salvation, then he will be saved (Romans 10:8,9,13).

When (and only when) we accept Christ and His offer of salvation His perfect work accomplished once and for all on the Cross (propitiation, redemption and reconciliation) is applied to us by the Holy-Spirit (for God respects our free-will). When we trust in Christ alone, God applies the salvation earned by Christ to us through the Spirit. He baptises (puts) us into Christ (Romans 6:3, Gal 3:27, 1Cor 12:13), so that we are now in Christ and all that is in Christ automatically becomes ours, so that God’s wrath is removed from us and instead we come under His grace (by propitiation), we receive the reconciliation (Romans 5:10,11), and we
have the redemption (Ephesians 1:7) that He accomplished for us on the Cross.

When we accept Christ (as our Lord) and His offer of salvation, our sins are immediately REMITTED (forgiven and removed) from us, and we receive the righteousness of Christ by IMPUTATION. On this basis (the merit of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone) God JUSTIFIES us (declares us righteous, in right standing with Himself). We are justified by faith alone. Therefore there is now no condemnation to us in Christ (Romans 8:1). As a result of our justification, our relationship with God is fully restored and established upon a firm foundation (we have PEACE WITH GOD through Jesus Christ - Romans 5:1). But God goes even further! His desire is to exalt our position and bring us closer to Himself, so God (the Father) ADOPTS us as His sons, legally placing us as full sons in His family, with full rights of inheritance, so that we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with His only begotten Son (Rom 8:15-17, Gal 4:4-7, John 1:12, Eph 1:5, Col 1:12, 1John 3:1).

Our position and inheritance is secured by the everlasting, perfect New Covenant established in the Blood of Christ. This Covenant between God and man was cut in the body of Jesus, the God-man. He is the Mediator, the Representative both of God and man. As God He represents God to man, and as man (the second Adam) He represents man to God. Through His perfect, obedient life and death, God accepted Him as man’s righteous Representative, and accepted His Blood as the basis of a New and eternal Covenant. God accepted the Covenant Christ made with God on our behalf. Therefore He gave Christ all the promised Covenant blessings, the full eternal inheritance of the Covenant, and Christ received them on our behalf in His resurrection and exaltation to glory. By the power of His Spirit, God raised the Man Jesus from the dead (spirit, soul and body) by speaking into Him every benefit and blessing of the New Covenant, giving Him a position at His right hand as His son (Psalm 2:6,7), and filling Him with glory. In His Deity, He always was and is God’s Son possessing eternal glory, but His humanity went through this transformation for us. Because He identified with us in becoming a man, we can be united to Him through His humanity. When we receive Him, we are put in Christ (united to Him and identified with Him), and so IN CHRIST we share in and possess all the blessings He received from God on our behalf because of His obedience as a man (Ephesians 1:3, 2Peter 1:3,4, Romans 8:17,32, Galatians 4:7).

When we believe the Gospel that Christ has made a Covenant with God in His Blood on our behalf, and personally accept Him as our Representative Man before God, then we are positionally taken out of Adam and put into Christ and through identification with Him we automatically qualify to receive His inheritance of life. (If we do not receive Christ, then we will stay in Adam and receive his inheritance
of death through identification with him). In Christ, this inheritance is ours through us becoming righteous sons of God through justification and adoption (as His sons, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, the firstborn son).

Upon the basis of this legal objective work done FOR US in establishing our COVENANT RELATIONSHIP with God as His righteous SONS possessing an eternal INHERITANCE in Christ, the Holy-Spirit begins to release that inheritance of LIFE to us and manifest it in us. This sharing of life is our COVENANT FELLOWSHIP with God, resulting in the manifestation of the covenant blessings in our life (our SALVATION), which includes our ongoing transformation by His life (our SANCTIFICATION). This is His subjective work IN US, sanctifying and transforming us, spirit, soul and body, into the image of Christ by the IMPARTATION of His life and nature (righteousness) to us (Romans 1:16,17). As we receive more of God’s life and love, so we give Him more of our life and love and as a result we are being changed from glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:17,18).

Our SALVATION begins at the moment of saving faith with our REGENERATION (Titus 3:5) - the salvation of our spirit, when the Holy-Spirit recreated our dead spirit. We received God’s ETERNAL LIFE and LOVE NATURE into our spirit (John 6:47, Ro 5:5) and became a New Creation in Christ, a new man, His workmanship created in His perfect image, in righteousness and true holiness for good works (2Cor 5:17,21, Eph 2:8-10, 4:24, 1Peter 3:4). We are born-again as children of God (1Jn 5:1,11,12, Jas 1:18, 1Pet 1:23). This New Birth is necessary to all men to enter God’s Kingdom and is an instantaneous, perfect and complete operation of the Holy Spirit upon initial faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:5-7, 14-17). So we are not just legally adopted, for God is now also literally our Father.

Adoption by the Father logically came first (John 1:12, Gal 4:5, 1Jn 3:1, Ro 8:15) securing (making sure) our full salvation (the impartation of our inheritance of the divine life and nature). Adoption to sonship provides the legal basis for our full salvation which starts with the regeneration of our spirit by the Holy-Spirit (John 1:13, Gal 4:6, 1John 3:2a, Ro 8:15,16), the downpayment of our full inheritance as sons of God.

This starts the process that will ultimately result in our glorification - the final complete manifestation of our adoption to sonship (Ro 8:17-23, 1John 3:2b). Our old man (spirit) was crucified, died and was buried with Christ, and our new spirit-man is dead to sin and alive to God, having been made alive together with Christ, raised with Christ far above all powers and seated with Christ at God’s right hand (Romans 6:3-11, 8:10, Ephesians 2;5,6, Colossians2:11-15, 3:1-3). This is a perfect work of God. Our spirit has been saved and is perfect and complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). It is begotten of God, possessing the resurrection life of Christ, which has already overcome the world, sin, satan and death (1John 5:4,5). Therefore it cannot sin, being free from the authority, power, presence and pollution of sin, satan and death (1John 3:9, 5:18). Therefore upon completing this work the Holy-Spirit can and does permanently indwell our spirit (John 14:16,17, 1John 4:4, Rom 8:9,11,15), so that we are now Temples of the Holy-Spirit (1Corinthians 3:16, 6:19, 2Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:21.22). We are sealed with the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) signifying that our spirit is a genuine, completed work, owned and protected by God. Therefore, we are secure in Christ’s salvation (unless we reject Him).

SANCTIFICATION. We believe in holiness of life and conduct in loving obedience to the command of God: “Be holy, for I am holy” (1Peter 1:14-16, Hebrews 12:14, Philippians 3:12-14, 1John 2:6). Sanctification is a definite, yet progressive work of grace, based upon the completed work of Christ in His death and resurrection (1Corinthians 1:30). It is the ongoing work of the Holy-Spirit setting us apart from sin and unto God, conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ as we obey God’s Word. It is God’s life working in us transforming us, changing us from glory to glory. It began with the regeneration (salvation) of our spirit. Now it is the outworking into our souls (our mind, will and emotions, our character and personality) of the salvation already accomplished in our spirit. This happens as we hear and do the Word of His grace (James 1:21-25), which tells us who we are and what we have in Christ (Positional Truth). As our mind is renewed by this Word and we live accordingly, putting on the New Man in our attitudes, words and actions, then we undergo a metamorphisis (transformation), where the life and nature of Christ within our spirits is expressed, revealed and manifested in our lives (Romans 12:2,3; 2Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:23,24). Jesus said that we were slaves to sin, but that He set us free and made us sons (in the New Birth). Then we will experience this freedom (reality) in our lives as we come to know and act on the truth in His Word of who we are in Christ (John 8:31-36). Thus by hearing, knowing and doing the Word, trusting in the help and power of the Spirit, we are to work out (express) in our lives the salvation that God has already worked within us (Philippians 2:12,13). In this way we bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in our lives - love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, humility, self-control (Galatians 5:22,23, 1Corinthians 13:1-13) Thus our ongoing sanctification is evidenced by our growth in grace and the fruit of the spirit, especially in love (2Peter 3:18).

This sanctification (salvation) continues until its consummation in our glorification at Christ’s Return, when our body will be changed to be just like Christ’s (Philippians 3:20,21, 1Corinthians 15). Then we will be able to enjoy our full inheritance
of glory as God’s sons. Thus (1) our spirit has been saved (in the New Birth),
(2) our soul is now being saved (by hearing and doing the Word), and
(3) our body will be saved (sanctified) at its resurrection (1Thessalonians 5:23).

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