Man is an utter failure in the work of saving himself. Every person’s first priority is reconciliation with God (2 Cor 5:20). The reality of enmity between God and man must first be acknowledged (Jn 7:7; 15:18–9, 24–25; Rom 1:30). Man is the guilty party in the estranged relationship. Most people deny their dire status, being greatly deceived by Satan, the father of lies (Jn 8:44; 2 Cor 4:4). Man occupies himself with improving his lot in this world, only to die at the end of his life. That is simply meaningless (Eccl 1:2).
God has revealed His own successful plan of eternal salvation. It is revealed in the Holy Bible, God’s revelation of the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where man-made plans to repair man’s broken relationship with God fail (ie. religion, philosophy, psychology, etc.), God’s way of salvation has a perfect record for saving God’s chosen people from their sins (Jn 10:28–29; Rom 8:35–39). So, what is the way that restores a man back to a right position with God?
First, God, who has designed and built all things, has ordered all things to bring Him glory, for who He is and what He has done. He ordained the fall of His own creation (Gen 3; Rom 11:36), so that He would be the Savior of the world (Jn 4:42). By this, many of God’s glorious attributes are displayed for all to see. Simply put, the way of God’s salvation is God being the Savior (Titus 2:13; 3:4–6).
Second, God, being the one and only Savior of His people, is good news. The alternative is the myriad of failed schemes concocted by man. The news, broadcast to all peoples (Mt 24:14; Mk 16:15), is glad tidings for those who hear of God’s successful operation, and actually believe the report. This report explains man’s problem and God’s perfect solution to man’s problem (Rom 1:16–17; 3:10–12).
The Gospel of Jesus Christ should be the nightly news report. It should be the subject of every book, every song, and every movie. It is obvious, therefore, that a suppression of the truth is in full effect (Rom 1:18). Satan’s objective is to blind the minds of all people (2 Cor 4:4), so they would not believe the Gospel of God.
Satan’s work is to thwart man’s reconciliation with God. Each person who turns to Christ Jesus, in faith, is turning from allegiance to the devil (1 Jn 3:10). The enemy deceives man by creating idols of various kinds. Idols help keep people occupied with anything and everything other than God. Idols powerfully allure the people’s worship, by creating a false hope of securing the blessed benefits of true Salvation.
Third, God does not sit by idly and wait for helpless humanity (1 Cor 2:14; Eph 2:12). He knows we are but dust. He knows our pathetic state of total depravity, far better than we do (Gen 6:5; Is 64:6; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:10–12; 8:7). Therefore, God not only wills the salvation of His elect people (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 11:5), but God works all things for the salvation of His people (Rom 8:28). The work of salvation, from start to finish, is entirely God’s work (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rom 8:30; Rev 19:1). This means the Gospel is most powerful to overcome every idol, every obstacle, hindering man’s salvation.
In His active working, God the Father chose a people before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4–5). God sent His only begotten Son, our Lord, to redeem His beloved children (Jn 3:16; Rom 5:8; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph 1:7). God the Father and God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit to secure the people of God’s own possession (Jn 14:26; 15:26; Titus 2:14; 1 Pet 2:9). He saved us (Titus 3:5), by removing the enmity (Eph 2:15–16). The triune God is 100% successful in gathering His holy nation of saints into the church (Mt 16:18; 1 Pet 2:9).
Finally, the means of gathering God’s elect from every nation is the preached Gospel (Mt 24:14; Mk 16:15; Col 1:28). The Gospel of the kingdom is for all people to hear. All people are called to repent of their rebellion against God and believe the good news of God and His perfect work (Acts 17:30). Not all men have faith, however (2 Thess 3:2). The reason: God must give a man the gift of faith to believe in Jesus Christ (Rom 12:3; Gal 3:22; Phil 1:29; Heb 12:2). Where there is no faith, there has been no gift given (Jn 10:26). Thus, the unbeliever is devoid of the necessary grace of God unto salvation (Eph 2:8–9). Grace is not common to all people. It is the work of God, in salvation, toward His elect (Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9).
Having received this grace, every Christian is happy to report, alongside the apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe (Rom 1:16).” The believer in Jesus heard the Gospel of peace preached to her, and as she received the Gospel power, that is, the Holy Spirit’s baptism and indwelling (Mt 3:11; Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11), He caused her to be born again of God (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3).
Salvation is the will of God. It is all the work of God, and those souls God has made alive in the Spirit (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13), not only believe, but they preach, pray, and praise the author and perfecter of their faith (Heb 12:2). They have become unashamed witnesses for (Acts 1:8), and worshipers of (Jn 4:23–24), the one true God…all because of Him.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 6, 2021