The Trinity in Salvation
We serve one God in three persons. We see all three at work in our text.
vv. 4-6 God the Father is planning our salvation.
vv. 7-12 The Son is purchasing our salvation.
vv. 13-14 The Holy Spirit is preserving our salvation.
In 4-6 we see "Holy and without blame" How can that be when we are not? Only by trading our sin for God's righteousness!
We also see how God chose us, predestined us. How can this be? Does that fit our understanding about our free will? We need to understand that salvation is usually looked at from OUR perspective, but sometimes the Bible presents it from God's perspective. When from the latter, you will find terms like these, as well as election, foreordained, etc. When from our perspective, you see words like 'all' and 'whosoever.'
Don't get the mistaken idea that some are born for heaven and some for hell. Because the Bible is clear: If you want Jesus, He wants you.
There are whosoever wills and whosoever won'ts. The chosen are all who choose Him. The elect are all who elect to be saved. God is saving the elect...and He's still electing more! God votes for you, the devil votes against you, and you form a majority by which one you vote with.
In God's mind you were saved in eternity past. [foreknowledge]
In Jesus' mind you were saved at Calvary.
In the Spirit's mind, it was in that moment when you actually made your choice.
Like the woman at the well, Jesus finds us.
ill.--a little boy was asked if he had found Jesus yet. He said, "I didn't know He was lost!" You and I were the ones who were lost.
Don’t overthink it!
How can we rectify that God planned our salvation from eternity past with what we know about man's free moral agency and free will? The answer is found in the fact that He is God and we are not. If our half pound brain can have it all figured out about the One who is eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, then someone should gather around us and worship us! We believe it by faith.
And v. 6b says we are then 'accepted'. It's nice to be accepted. And God is no respecter of persons. Any and all are invited. All who elect to take God up on His offer will be accepted. All who don't, won't...no exceptions!
So, although God planned your salvation in eternity past, we can now see how Jesus purchased it in v. 7...we now move from eternity past to the 'time' God created...the historical fact of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
What are we saved from, saved by, and saved for?
1. We are saved from bondage. "In whom we have redemption"
3 words in the NT carry the idea of redemption:
'buy' - like in the marketplace - you want something, lay down the cash, and it becomes yours.
1 Corinthians 6:20
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
'buy' - not AT the marketplace, but OUT OF it. You see, you can buy something at the market and sell it at a market for a profit. But when you buy 'out of' the market, you are taking the item for your own personal use, never to be sold again.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law...
The third word is in our text, 'redemption' - meaning to liberate, and set free. Slavery was very common in those days.
You and I existed on a shelf in the marketplace of slavery and sin, and Jesus came and paid a high price of blood to make an emancipation proclamation - we are free indeed! He bought us, not to give us up to another, not for profit, but for Himself, so He could then set us free!
ill.--In 19th century America slavery was rampant, but sometimes men of conscience would buy a slave in order to set them free. What became the attitude of those liberated slaves? Devotion to the one who showed them such mercy!
Saved from bondage...
2. We are saved by the blood. - 'through His blood'
To purchase a slave you had to pay adequate price. And an immutable law of this universe is that there is no price higher than the price of blood.
ill.--the bleeding body of Christ, unrecognizable as a man, is offensive to some. But let's trace it back to its roots. What is truly offensive is the ugly sin which caused that blood to be shed. Pictures of aborted babies are offensive, but even more because of the ugly sin which brought those scenes to pass!
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
... without shedding of blood is no remission.
Some say, "Don't overemphasize the blood." I promise I won't...because I can't!
Blood makes the difference between human forgiveness and divine forgiveness.
Human forgiveness is based on the fact that a penalty is owed, but is not imposed. It is overlooking the crime.
Divine forgiveness is not a God who felt sorry for us and decided to overlook our sin. The penalty is owed, and the penalty is paid!
It's the difference between a judge letting a murderer go free and that same judge being willing to go himself to death row and take that man's place.
saved from bondage, saved by the blood...
3. We are saved for blessing - "according to the riches of His grace."
Not 'out of' but 'according to'.
ill.--John D. Rockefeller loved to play golf, and as rich as he was, he would pay his caddy ten cents. Not much even in those days. He was giving 'out of' his riches, but not 'according to' them, or else his caddy would have done pretty well himself.
Next time we'll see the Spirit's role in our salvation...
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