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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Two Kinds of Works, continued
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (II Corinthians 3:18—NIV)
Actually salvation is a change in the human being, a change brought about by our response to the grace of God given us under the new covenant. We do not change so we can go to Heaven, as though Heaven were the salvation. It is the change itself that is salvation. The change enables us to have fellowship with God and to fulfill all the Kingdom roles that have been prepared for us to inherit.
Salvation commences with the grace of forgiveness, proceeds to the grace of repentance through water baptism, then the grace of eternal life and being born again, then the grace of the New-Testament writings, then the grace of the assemblies of fervent Christians and the gifts and ministries of the Body of Christ, then the daily grace of the Holy Spirit as He adds to us the tremendous wisdom, virtue, and strength found in the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
All of the grace of God given through Jesus Christ is for the purpose of creating sons of God in the image of God, brothers of Jesus Christ, living stones in the eternal House of God, a royal priesthood to govern the saved nations of the earth, judges of men and angels, and all the other roles and tasks of the Kingdom of God.
Now let us contrast the two different kinds of salvation.
The first is the current "salvation formula."
We accept the blood of the cross as an atonement for our sins.
We choose to come out of the world and into the Kingdom of God, portraying our choice in water baptism.
We now are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We are eligible for Heaven when we die. We ought to do what good we can but no behavior on our part, righteous or unrighteous, has any bearing on our eternal residence in Heaven where we will have a mansion and perhaps a backyard full of diamonds.
We are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ and shall be regarded as righteous for eternity. We ought to do what we can to encourage others to accept the gift of salvation so they too can spend eternity in Heaven.
This is the current definition of being "saved."
The other definition is as follows: we are forgiven our sins by receiving the atonement made by Jesus Christ on the cross. We are baptized in water portraying our oneness with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our turning away from the world and entering the Kingdom of God.
Now the program of salvation begins. We start off making our way on the narrow, pressured road that leads to eternal life. Several passages of the New Testament warn us about starting and then not continuing.
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (Hebrews 3:14—NIV)
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (Hebrews 10:21—NIV)
To be continued.