The Power of God Unto Salvation
The Gospel of God, that is, the Gospel concerning His Son, is glad tidings for those given grace to believe it. It is good news that enlightens its hearers to the knowledge of the truth, pertaining to the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Although the world judges the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be foolishness, preached by babblers, it is actually the power of God unto salvation for those who believe (Rom 1:16). Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God and the power of God, and when the Spirit of Christ brings the Word of Christ to an elect unbeliever, He brings salvation.
The truth of this Gospel renews the mind of hearers, graced to understand. It sets free the captives to lies and deceit. These were blinded to the Gospel, in their minds (2 Cor 4:4). Their trust, for salvation, was in themselves, and in other people, things, or systems of the world.
Salvation must be understood. It is often distorted or diluted by the devil, the father of lies (Jn 8:44). Man is in trouble, and he has been since the Garden of Eden (Gen 3). His sin of unbelief has estranged him from his Maker. Man desperately needs a Savior, and only God can save him. What must a man be saved from? What is a man saved to?
First, salvation delivers one from sin, or more specifically, from the guilt of sin. Sin is a crime, committed against God. Each soul is born with original sin (Adam’s), into a world of sin, where sin is both one’s nature and one’s practice (Eph 2:3; Rom 3:23).
All humanity is guilty before God, who is the righteous Judge. He is the Law-maker, and the Police, and the Judge, and the Executioner. People who die in their trespasses and sins are punished in accordance to their crimes against the infinite Majesty of God. Their punishment is called, “eternal fire (Mt 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7).”
God saves sinners by choosing them for salvation (Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9), redeeming them by the precious blood of Jesus (Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:19), and giving them the Holy Spirit to permanently indwell them (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11). They are declared, “not guilty,” by Christ’s blood sprinkled on them (substitutionary death), by God’s grace, and by the faith given to them by the Spirit (Phil 1:29; Gal 5:23). These are men made righteous, who are saved to stand before God, holy and blameless, complete in Christ (Col 1:28).
Second, salvation delivers one from the power of sin. Sin is an oppressor. Sin reigns in the heart of unregenerate man (Rom 6:6). The power and wisdom of God are greater than sin, however.
Sin is a slave master to its subjects. Sin has mastered the will of sinners, who happily choose obedience to sin because they have been deceived by sin. Although sin leads to death (Rom 6:23), sinners are too distracted in their nugatory pursuits, to give attention to the resolution to their all-encompassing sin problem.
As slaves to sin, the unsaved sinner is hurtling toward eternal hell with reckless disregard. Man is helpless to the power of sin. This is the reason man must be saved by God.
Third, salvation delivers one from the pollution of sin. Sin is acid rain to humanity. It is a river of filth leading to an ocean cesspool. Man cannot escape the presence of sin. He is immersed in sin’s putrid stench and stain. As fish live in the sea, so sinners dwell in the domain of sin’s darkness (Jn 3:19; Col 1:13).
Sinners, saved by grace, are made to be saints. They are delivered from the guilt of sin. They are no longer slaves to the power of sin, but grace reigns in their hearts (Rom 5:17, 21). Despite their continued life on a circadian track in this polluted environment, holiness (Spirit and Word) is purifying them from within (Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2).
As the powerful Word of God, and Spirit of God, exact salvation in a vessel of God’s mercy, the effect is a permanent position, of legal right standing, before the Judge of all (Gen 18:25; Acts 10:42; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5). A second effect is the ongoing cleansing from unrighteousness. A third effect is the preservation of the saved sinner, being prepared for glory (Rom 9:23). There is the blessed assurance that our mighty Savior (Titus 1:3–4; 2:10, 13; 3:4, 6), who began a good work in His people (Phil 1:6), will bring each of them to God the Father, holy and blameless, in perfect righteousness (Eph 1:4; 5:27; Col 1:22).
Christian, you are the object of ongoing, irresistible grace. This is God’s work in you to give you faith, and to perfect you for the soon coming day of Christ Jesus (Mt 24–25; Mk 13; Lk 21; 1 Thess 4–5; Rev 19). You will be ready for that day…He has promised to make you ready, as the bride of Christ. Your salvation is near, even in you, and behold, your King is coming with great glory and power. The power of salvation, experienced in part, by you, will come for all to see. The prayer of your heart, “Come, Lord Jesus (Rom 22:20),” will be answered.
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 21, 2021