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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Your Role in Your Salvation, #2
How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. (Hebrews 2:3—NIV)
What is salvation? Salvation is exactly what we have described in the previous essay. It is deliverance from the world, from lust, from self-will. It is being filled with all the fullness of God. It is the development of the moral image of Christ in us. It is untroubled rest in the Father. This is what salvation is, nothing short of this.
This is the goal.
I can't imagine any Christian finding fault with what I have stated thus far. The Scripture is undeniably clear that we are to be made in the image of Jesus Christ and are always to abide in Him that we might keep on bringing forth this image of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God.
Since there can be no problem with this goal, because every Christian believes we ought to be like Jesus and we should abide in Him, then the next step is to see what the Scripture states about reaching the various objectives that compose the goal. Does God accomplish His will in us sovereignly as we believe and praise Him, or is there something we have to do?
What do the four Gospel accounts, the Book of Acts, the Epistles of the Apostles, and the Book of Revelation have to say about how we are to attain the Divine objectives?
How about the forgiveness of our sins? Does God do this for us as we merely believe, or is there more we must do?
How about deliverance from the world system? What does the New Testament say is our role in being delivered from the world system?
How about deliverance from the lusts of our sinful nature?
How about deliverance from our self-will and disobedience to God?
How about having Christ formed in us?
How about the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell in the new creation that has been formed in us?
How about living in untroubled rest in the Father?
How about attaining the resurrection out from among the dead, the resurrection of the priesthood that Paul was seeking?
All of these are elements of the great scriptural goal of the new covenant. What efforts on our part are required in order to arrive at these objectives?
The only way we can find out is to see what the New Testament has to say about each objective.
Let's begin with the forgiveness of our sins, for this is the aspect of salvation that is most familiar to us. Does God do this for us as we merely believe and praise Him, or is there more we must do?
We know from the Scriptures that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2—NIV)
Here is a sovereign action of God. The Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary has made an atonement for the sins of the whole world.
Now, have the sins of everyone in the world been forgiven? Yes, by the sovereign action of God through Christ. No, in that in order to be forgiven there is something we must do.
To be continued.