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What Is Salvation? #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 26, 2023 7:00 am

What Is Salvation? #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 26, 2023 7:00 am

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What is salvation? It is an unspeakably great eternal work of God to deliver us from sin so that we might be given to Christ as objects of the Father's affection and glorify Him throughout all the halls of eternity. This is the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello, I'm Bill Wright, and we're continuing a series titled, Key Questions Answered. Today, as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word, he presents part two of a message answering the question, What is salvation? Last time, Don defined the term as the divine deliverance of sinners to a position of righteousness and blessing in this life and the life to come.

It is only accomplished through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Don also gave us the first two of five aspects of salvation to consider. God's work in eternity past and His work 2,000 years ago on the cross.

We'll get the final three points today, so have your Bible handy as we join Don Green now in the Truth Pulpit. We've talked about God's work in eternity past. We go forward, we see God's work 2,000 years ago in the life and death and resurrection of Christ.

And now we step into time as you know it. We step into the realm of your life as a Christian. And we're going to look at point number three, God's work in your conversion. God's work in your conversion. There came a point where you repented and put your faith in Christ. There came a point where God worked in your heart and you personally turned from sin and put your faith in Christ. That was a work of God.

It was a multifaceted, perfect, unblemished diamond of a work that God did to secure the salvation of your soul in time, in your life, in your heart. What was God's work in your conversion? We're now talking about what has happened in time, in your life, if you're a Christian. What happened then? The Bible describes many things that happened at the moment of your conversion.

We're just going to touch on them. First of all, God's work in your conversion, first of all, he did a work of regeneration. He did a work of regeneration. You, as we saw earlier from Ephesians chapter 2, you were dead in sin. In order for you to be converted, in order for you to be given salvation, regeneration had to take place, by which we mean God imparted new spiritual life to you. God imparted new life to you. Look at Ephesians chapter 2 again. This makes it so plain when you just pay attention to who's the subject of the sentence, what the verb is, and who is the direct object. Who did this?

Who received it? And what was done? This is describing God's work of regeneration in our conversion. Look at Ephesians chapter 2, verse 4. Paul had just said, we're dead in sin, dominated by the devil, and doomed to suffer the wrath of God. And in that condition of your soul, verse 4, but God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, you see this is rooted in a benevolent attitude of God toward his people.

Mercy, love. Verse 5, even when we were dead in our transgressions, God made us alive together with Christ by grace. You have been saved. You were dead in sin, and God came and made you alive in Christ. God imparted a spiritual life from outside of you, and imparted life to you so that you would be converted. God, as part of his great work, it wasn't simply an abstract mathematical accounting exercise that he did before time began. It wasn't simply a historical fact of the death and resurrection of Christ. Oh, beloved, we're talking about the things upon which the well-being of your soul and your eternal destiny hinge.

This is kind of important. In time, in your life, God acted on your heart with love, grace, and mercy, and imparted new spiritual life to you where before there had been death. Through the proclamation of the gospel, through the Word of God, somehow the Spirit of God turned your heart so that that which you had once rejected now became that which you received. God imparted new life to you. He made us alive together with Christ. Now secondly, something else, another aspect of God's work in your conversion.

First of all, we said regeneration. Secondly, we can describe it this way as faith and repentance. Faith and repentance. The Bible commands us to repent and believe in Christ. All men everywhere are under an obligation, are under the command of the gospel to repent, to turn from sin, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Mark 15, repent and believe in the gospel. That's the message of the gospel.

And it is a command. Man is responsible to believe. And yet in that, the Bible says that it's a gift of God to believe. Look at Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 and 9.

Verses 2, 8 and 9. For by grace you have been saved through faith. Faith is the means by which we receive this grace. We believe in Christ. That is the way that we receive the gift. And yet, even though it's a command elsewhere in Scripture, we see that continuing on. You've been saved through faith.

And that, not of yourselves. The whole saving complex of faith, the whole act of salvation, the whole act of faith is not something that came from you. It is the gift of God.

It is something that God gave to you. It is part of his work in your life to bring that to pass in your heart. Verse 9, not as a result of work so that no one may boast. In 2 Timothy chapter 2, it speaks of those who are unsaved and says, perhaps God may grant to them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth. We stand here as believing, repentant people. We have that belief in repentance as something we received as a gift from God.

That's the testimony of Scripture. God so worked in our hearts that we willingly believed and repented of our sins so that we could receive Christ. So what was God's work in conversion, regeneration, faith and repentance? Thirdly, the whole issue of guilt had to be dealt with, and he dealt with that in the gift of justification.

Justification. God declares us righteous in salvation based on the righteousness of Christ. The perfect merit, the perfect obedience of Christ is credited to your account.

It is imputed to you. God treats you as though you had lived the perfect life of Christ and now deals with your soul on the basis of that perfect righteousness. Your legal status has been changed from guilty to righteous. Not merely not guilty, God has given you such a perfect gift that he now declares us righteous based on the perfect righteousness of Christ. That perfect righteousness of Christ has been credited to your account. Look at 2 Corinthians 5, verse 21. He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

A divine exchange. The sin that was on your account had been transferred over to Christ where it was punished in full. The perfect righteousness of Christ to which you had no claim freely graciously credited to your account, imputed to you. God's work in your conversion included a complete acquittal of all of your sins and a gift of declared righteousness that you never could have earned.

If you wonder how God looks on you, he looks on you in Christ. His law no longer condemns us because Christ met all of the demands of the law on our behalf. And God gave it to us. Regeneration, faith and repentance, justified, all in that moment of the saving act of God.

And that's not all. Even in that moment of conversion, there was another aspect of it. You were made a new creation.

You were made a new creation. Look at 2 Corinthians 5, verse 17. From your guilt and darkness to forgiveness and light. From a heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

2 Corinthians 5, 17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old things passed away, behold, new things have come. When you were born again, the old you died. You were made someone new in Christ.

Not made in perfection, that still awaits us. But you were given a new nature, whereas before you had been resistant and stubborn toward the things of God, now you were soft and tender and willing to receive and be instructed by them. Where before you cursed the name of Christ, where before you gloried in sin, now you love Christ, you praise his name, and you pursue holiness instead of sin. That is the mark of the new creation. That is the mark of the fact that God has made you new. It was part of the work that God did in your life at your conversion. Finally, for what we're going to say this morning, you were indwelt by the Holy Spirit. You were indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Go back to Ephesians chapter 1. God gave his Spirit to us in this work of conversion, in this work of salvation that occurred at a moment, at some point prior in your life, if you're here as a Christian. Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13. In him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed you were sealed in him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of his glory. You were sealed in the Holy Spirit. God gave his Spirit to every true believer.

There is no such thing as a Christian who does not have the Holy Spirit. God, in the perfection of his grace, gives his Spirit to indwell us, to seal us, and that acts as the pledge. It is a down payment for the certain ultimate outcome of our final deliverance in heaven. This is God's work at the moment of your conversion. Regeneration, faith and repentance, justification, a new creation, the indwelling of the Spirit, just like that at the moment of your salvation.

And I'm leaving out a whole bunch more just for the sake of time. When you think about your conversion, when you think about being a Christian, beloved, you need to think about it with a sense of awe, a sense of reverence, a sense of magnitude, recognizing that your conversion was a radical change in you. It wasn't a simple walk down an aisle and then you walked away and everything was the same. No, when a man comes to Christ, when a man comes to the cross of Christ, he dies.

The old man passes away and a new man walks away, never to go back again. That has to be the power of God, because our efforts to change ourselves are always futile and end in failure. You can't change yourself. We're miserably powerless. And so, if a perfect salvation has come to us, if there is an enduring spiritual power in your life that flows from your conversion, you can know that it had to be a work of God because you couldn't have done it on your own. The best and the most of self-disciplined people can only take it so far.

And it's like running on the beach and trying to jump over the Pacific Ocean. You just can't. And so if we're changed, it's a result of the power of God. That was God's work in your conversion, God's work before eternity began, God's work 2,000 years ago, God's work at your conversion at some point in the past, some of you maybe a few months, some of you a few decades. But there was that moment in the past at your conversion.

Let's look at it fourthly now. God's work in the present. God's work in the present.

We'll stay here just for a moment. Your salvation was perfect and secured at the moment of your conversion, and yet there's more to it than that. Salvation, your conversion, began a process of change known as sanctification.

Sanctification is a work of God in which the believer is brought closer to the likeness of Christ in his daily life. God commands this from us. 2 Peter 3.18 says, Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

And so we're under a responsibility to pursue this change. And yet God is working in us to make sure that that change is fulfilled. Look over to Philippians chapter 2, verse 12. Philippians chapter 2, verse 12. So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Here it is, verse 13. For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. We're commanded to pursue sanctification, and yet scripture alongside that says God is working to make sure that his purposes are accomplished.

It's a work of God. So we can say right now, right as we sit here today, right at this moment, God is at work in the lives of his redeemed. He's continually working out his purposes in our salvation. Go back to Ephesians chapter 2. And you see again, Ephesians chapter 2, verse 10, you see scripture describing us as the objects of God's work.

Verse 10. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. God ordained the circumstances of your life to be the stage upon which you would live out his saving purposes in your life.

Every stage a different one for every believer, but God prepared the steps so that we would walk in them. It's an unfolding day by day of the work of God in your life. That's the greatness of salvation. Before time began, at the cross, at your conversion, and at every moment from your conversion up until your life comes to an end, God is at work in you to will and to work for his good pleasure. There is so much divine power at work in our lives. There are such magnificent divine purposes being unfolded.

There's such love and grace and mercy and tenderness of Christ toward his sheep in our salvation. Lost in love and wonder and praise, what is salvation? It is a divine deliverance.

It is a divine deliverance of sinners from sin to a realm of righteousness. Not only in this life, but point number five, the life to come. God's work in eternity future.

God's work in eternity future. The fullness of salvation is not realized until this life is over. You and I as believers in Christ have a dwelling place in heaven reserved for us.

Look at 1 Peter chapter 1. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again, there's your conversion, to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away reserved in heaven for you. This perfect salvation culminates in greater glory than we could possibly conceive. God, in the ultimate final fulfillment of his purposes from eternity past, is going to bring you and me into heaven, a place reserved for us which can never be taken away, and that is the ultimate outcome of your salvation in mind. We end up in glory with Christ, perfected forever and ever and ever in a realm which will never fade away. God will perfect us spiritually and give us a glorified body. We will be like Christ.

We will live with him forever. Look at verse 4 there with me again. 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 4.

This is the purpose, beloved. This is the outcome that God has in store for you and me. An inheritance, that which we own but haven't yet possessed.

An inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. And in verse 5 Peter flashes back to look at the here and now. You see another aspect of God's work in the present, reserved in heaven for you who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. We were on the receiving end of God's choice. We were on the receiving end of the work of Christ 2,000 years ago. We were on the receiving end of the work of the Spirit in our hearts in conversion. We were on the receiving end of the work and the power and the protection of God. Here and now, right as we stand here, the perfection of this salvation is sure to come and we're being protected in this little interim time until we receive it. Beloved, from beginning to end, from before time began until after time is over, that is the realm, the sphere of God's salvation for us.

That is what God has done. What is salvation? It is an unspeakably great eternal work of God to deliver us from sin so that we might be given to Christ as objects of the Father's affection, a people given over to Christ who will love him and glorify him throughout all the halls of eternity.

What can you say to these things? You were utterly lost in sin. Now you should be utterly lost in a different way, utterly lost in worship, utterly lost in wonder, utterly lost in praising the God who has done all of this for you. This astonishing salvation gives us a window into the gracious, merciful character of God toward his people, and we worship him for his majesty, and we worship him for the tender grace and mercy that he's shown to us, and we worship him for securing it despite our ongoing unworthiness of it here today. Even in your unworthiness of this past week, God has not relented or turned away from his eternal purposes for you in Christ. We have no words to describe the greatness of this, but the least that we can do is thank him and hand ourselves over to the service and love and worship of Christ as long as he gives us breath. Then when we draw that last breath here on earth, we'll take our next breath in heaven, and we will see the fulfillment of it all.

That is going to be one great day. God's work of salvation spans the full spectrum from eternity past through all human history through the present and then into eternity future. It's truly a breathtaking reality that we can grasp only imperfectly this side of heaven. Well, next time, Pastor Don Green begins addressing the question, What is the Church? Join us then here on The Truth Pulpit.

But right now, Don's back in studio with some closing thoughts. You know, it's such a wonderful thing to be a true Christian. My friend, do you know Christ are the great blessings we talked about today yours? If not, I invite you to Christ. He loves sinners and receives people just like you who come to him in repentance and faith. You can have new life from above if you turn to Christ. Don't delay another day.

Come to the Lord Jesus and be saved. Thanks, Don. And friend, don't forget to visit to learn more about this ministry and the many resources available to you. That's For Don Green, I'm Bill Wright. We'll see you next time as Don continues in his ministry of teaching God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-26 05:04:37 / 2023-01-26 05:13:03 / 8

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