WITH GOD EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE, Pt. 1 of 2
Understanding The Nature of Salvation
Pastor George W. Black
Confession: I am a victorious believer, redeemed by the Lord, washed from my sins in the blood of Jesus my Savior, saved by grace through faith, filled with the powerful Holy Spirit, poised for God’s eternal purposes, and boldly sharing the joy of God’s love, with my world.
I am a faith walking, Word talking, over-comer in this life. I am a Victor, not a victim. I can do, all things through Christ. Today, my mind is open and alert, and my heart is good soil, for the seed of God’s Word. I will be a diligent disciple, to apply its’ truths, for from this day forward, by the miracle of spiritual growth, I will never, ever, be the same again.
Matthew 19:16-26 “Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” 21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” 25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. 26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
- The nature of salvation is that we can never save ourselves. It is a supernatural gift that we receive by faith.
Titus 3:5 NKJV “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit”
A. Salvation begins as a “seed” of new life that is planted in our lives by God.
Peter 1:22 NKJV “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever”
B. This “seed” of salvation is planted when we are born-again.
John 3:3-7, 9-10, 16 NKJV “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
16 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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
- The nature of salvation is that it is a process, with a beginning and an end. This process begins in our spirit and travels outward, rather than the process of religion which starts on the outside and attempts to travel inward. This process is called the “Tenses Of Salvation.”
Matthew 13:33 NLT “Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”
TENSES OF SALVATION
A. We Have Been Saved – Justification.
This is spirit salvation when we are washed from our sins in the blood of Jesus and become born-again, or born anew, or born from above…a spiritual re-birth. As a legal matter, this is when all of our sins are expunged from our record. We are now “justified”, which means “just as if I never sinned.
B. We Are Being Saved – Sanctification.
This is soul salvation, which is a process. We are being changed by the renewing of our minds, and continually being conformed to the image of Christ in thought, word, and deed. We go from faith to faith, and from glory to glory. Sanctified means “set apart” from our old life and way of living and thinking, and becoming holy. Holiness is the nature of God. It is through sanctification that we can have the mind of Christ.
C. We Will Yet Be Saved – Glorification.
Glorification is the final salvation of our body when it is transformed from mortal to immortal, and from corruptible to incorruptible. God has promised us that in the resurrection we will have a glorified body like that of Jesus Christ when he arose from the dead. This new body will never die, never grow old, and never be subject to sickness, disease or decay.
- What must I do to be saved? We must do what the early Christians did when they repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Acts 16:29-33 NKJV “Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.”
The statement “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” meant something different to the people of Paul’s day than it does to us. Instead of adding faith in Christ to whatever other beliefs they may have already had, to them it meant “exchanging” their faith from other gods or religions, and placing it fully in Christ alone. Inherent in this process is that of repentance – a change of mind and direction. Jesus never said “only believe.” He said “repent and believe.”
Mark 1:14-15 NKJV “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
The Amplified Bible translates the original Greek text of “Repent, and believe” in this way:
“repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life] and believe [with a deep, abiding trust] in the good news [regarding salvation].” Mark 1:15 Amplified Bible
Acts 2:38 NKJV “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The Amplified Bible translates the original Greek text of “Repent” in this way:
“Repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways, accept and follow Jesus as the Messiah]” Acts 2:38a Amplified Bible
- The nature of salvation is that we are saved for a grand and glorious purpose that only begins when we repent of our sins and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord (Leader, Boss, CEO) and Savior. This grand purpose has no end and is the reason we exist.
God has a GREAT BIG PLAN that begins with salvation through the new-birth. However, becoming a Christian so you can go to Heaven when you die is not the full spectrum of salvation. God wants to put Heaven into our lives right now through a rich and fulfilling plan. Jesus said He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Jn. 10:10. Your inheritance in Christ begins the day you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, not just when you die.
Ephesians 2:4-10 NLT “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
What Is The Nature of Salvation? WITH GOD EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!