Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Salvation (Part One): It was God's Idea

The Psalmist declared that "Salvation belongs to the LORD" in Psalm 3:8. We also read in Psalm 68:20 that "God is the God of Salvation" That is why the Bible describes it as a "great salvation" in Hebrews 2:3. It is from the Lord, thought of by the Lord and executed by the Lord! Salvation is one of those subjects in the Word of God that on one hand is so simple and on the other it is so complex. Most of us know the simplicity of the John 3:16 or Paul's response to the Philippian jailer who asked "Sirs what must I do to be saved (Acts 16:31)? But on the other hand, when we start to ponder the meaning and result of salvation we find that there are many facets to it.

The first thing that should warm our hearts about this wonderful subject of Salvation is that it was God God's idea, meaning that He not only initiated it but had thought of it in eternity past, before the foundation of the world. The Bible calls this principle Election and Predestination. The main passages that speak of this in the New Testament are Ephesian 1:3-14, Romans 8:28-30, 9:6-24, John 6: 44, Acts 13:48, 1 Peter 1:2, 2:8 and Revelation 17:8. these passages deal with the questions of our rights verses God's right to elect. To say that this is a complicated subject is to put it mildly. But I would like to emphasize three simple points that we can see from these passages:

1. There is a people who have been chosen before the foundation of the world. We can not deny this teaching. It does not mean that He purposed others to hell. We can not find that idea anywhere in the Bible. But what we do find is that a loving God provided a way for us to return to Him At the time of our return we may think it was our own idea to return to Him, but once we do we fine it was His idea in the first place. 

2. There is a procedure which brings salvation to us. We read in 1 Peter 1:18-21 of the Lamb that was foreordained before the foundation of the world. It is faith in God's perfect spotless Lamb that brings about the realization of this salvation. Election does not relieve mankind from responsibility. We must repent (turn back to God) and trust in His only way of salvation for us. 

3. There is a product of Election which is a people who no longer live for themselves but for Him who sought us, and bought us with the blood of the lamb and then brought us to this privileged place to be called His own (Ephesian 2:10). 

So very first thing to see about wonderful subject of salvation is that it was God's idea before time even began. He planned it, He provided it and He even produces within each of us who accept His free give of salvation the faith to accept it (Ephesians 2:8-9). No wonder it is called a "great salvation."

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