|SALVATION A Short Study Written For The Novice.|
To write a proper study on the subject of Salvation, one would end up quoting the entire Bible. For is that not the subject of the Holy Scriptures? The Old Testament prophesying the coming of "Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14, 8:8). The New Testament informing the whole world of the arrival of "Emmanuel" which is to say, "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). The Good News of the defeat over death at the Resurrection and the freedom from bondage as we entered the dispensation of "grace" (Ephesians 1:7-10, 2:8, 4:7). Our heavenly Father is a God of the living, it's His will that none perish and that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9. John 6:39-40). You do believe the bible to be the "Living Word", right? Then understand that "belief" is a huge factor in the path to salvation. You may be asking yourself; so, just what is the path to salvation? Jesus taught this in the Gospel of John. Let's start there... John 14:6Let's Review:
6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. The only way to the Father is through the Son. The path to salvation is in Jesus. One must truly hold the belief that Jesus IS the "Christ" (Greek: Christos [Strong's #5547] = anointed) which is to say, the "Anointed One". Let's turn back to chapter 3 verse 16. In the Gospel of John, we see just how important the belief in Jesus is. John 3:16
16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We learn here that it's the love that Father has for all of His children, that He sent His only "begotten" (Greek: monogenes [Strong's #3439] = born). In the book of Genesis chapter 2, we read Adam was formed from the dust of the ground. However, Jesus is the only son begotten (born). The prophecy of the virgin birth was written in the scriptures hundreds of years before the fact. The foretelling of the One that would come and save the world, is, in fact, one of the first prophecies in scripture (Genesis 3:15). This in itself documents that the bible is true. There is an interesting word here in verse 16; "everlasting" (Greek: aionios [Strong's #166] = perpetual). It means the past as well as the future, that is to say, life from the age your soul was created through this age and even into the age of the eternity. However, that is another study for another time. John 3:17
17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke these very powerful words. You see dear one, Father did this for the salvation of the world. Man, himself cannot and will not ever obtain any kind of salvation without "Jesus" (Hebrew: Yehowshua [Strong's #3091] = Yehovah-saved). Man, tried to work out his own salvation once. Have you ever read about the Tower of Babel in Genesis chapter 11? They were trying to build for themselves a tower to reach heaven. It didn't work out at all. In fact, it brought Father down from heaven, He confused their languages and scattered them over all the earth. It's important for new students to understand that Jesus wasn't born into this world to "judge" man; but rather, to "save" man (of course, it will be quite different when He comes back at the Second Advent as "KING OF KINGS" and "LORD OF LORDS"). Open your bibles to the book of Hebrews and turn to chapter 2, verse 9. Hebrews 2:9
9. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Jesus came in the flesh, a lower state than that of an angel. Compared to the angelic body this flesh and blood body is weak and frail. So He came to earth in this weak and frail body (not in an angelic body), to suffer death in the flesh. Understand every man in the flesh sins, therefore he dies (Romans 5:12). However, Jesus being in the flesh didn't sin; He was crucified (put to death) innocent, without sin. Man, couldn't live in the flesh without sinning; therefore, He did it for us. Jesus tasted death being a man and without ever sinning, so by the grace of God "every man" may have salvation. Hebrews 2:10
10. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Remember all things were created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). Now, through the crucifixion of The Lord Jesus Christ, all of Father's children have that "perfect salvation". Hebrews 2:11
11. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Father created your soul. He is the Creator of "all souls". That makes us all brethren (family). It states here that Jesus is not ashamed of us. I don't know how anyone could be ashamed of Him, but I see it all the time in the world today, people that think Christianity is nothing more than superstition. Don't ever be ashamed of your Saviour! However, I digress... Hebrews 2:12
12. Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. This is a quote from the Old Testament, Psalm 22:22 Hebrews 2:13
13. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. This is also a quote from the Old Testament, 2 Samuel 22:3, let's turn there. 2 Samuel 22:3
3. The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. David was singing this song in the day that the LORD delivered him out of the hands of his enemies. Let me ask you this, who are the enemies of God? Satan, of course, the controversy has always been between God and Satan. The enemies of our Heavenly Father may be defined as those that destroy or desire to destroy Yehovah, His Anointed or any of His creation. They are not only the enemies of God but also of every Christian. That being said, it's imperative that the novice student understand those who don't believe or those who doubt the existence of God or in Creation; they are not enemies per se but are our brethren who have yet to see the light. This life is a test and everyone must make choices in this life, choices between right and wrong, between good and evil. Yes, there is evil in the world, but there is also good, if you're a believer, you know this to be true. The unbeliever doesn't see evil, as evil (Matthew 13:11-16), their eyes are still closed (yet, if opened could be partakers). When we choose to do the right things in life, it's called "righteousness". When we don't choose the right things in life we are choosing to sin. It's a fact that we all sin in this life, but Father has a plan, a perfect plan of salvation. Father is very fair; He wouldn't ask you to do something that He wouldn't do Himself. Let's turn back to the book of Hebrews and read where we left off. Hebrews 2:14
14. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Father placed your soul into a flesh body, so He also Himself came to earth in a flesh body. You were born of woman, so He also was born of woman. As students of the scriptures, we know that sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). However, He, never transgressing the law suffered death on the cross that through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, He might destroy the enemy that had the power of death, which is called the devil, which is to say Satan (him that had the power of death). This verse giving the bible student one of Satan's names, which is "Death". Defeating death at the Resurrection, Jesus our high priest is perfect and has become a greater tabernacle than that of any building, which was made by man. Being a spotless sacrifice Christ offered Himself; obtaining eternal redemption for us (Read Hebrews 9:11-15). Therefore, through Christ, we have become a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Knowing that the old things have passed away, becoming new (a new lump) Christ has become our Passover that was sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus has defeated the enemy and now has given us (through His name) the power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). Let's continue in Hebrews... Hebrews 2:15-16
15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. He didn't come with the power of an angel, but with all the weaknesses of the flesh and lived without sin. Moreover, by doing this He delivered us, who couldn't live under the law in the flesh without sinning. Hebrews 2:17
17. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Just think of it for a moment; He experienced life in the flesh just as we experience it, so that He might be an understanding and experienced High Priest that experienced the same things in the flesh which He would have us all experience in this life in the flesh, so that He could make reconciliation for the sins of the whole world. Hebrews 2:18
18. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Coming in the flesh and being tempted just as we are tempted. He knows what the flesh suffers through in life. He's experienced the requirements and needs of the flesh. He's experienced the craving, yearnings and desires the flesh has. We are weak and couldn't live without transgressing the law. However, He was perfect and because He loves us so very much He did this for us, He lived without transgressing the law. Bringing in the dispensation (age) of grace, which frees us from the bondage of the law, so that salvation is now possible by the repentance of sin through accepting (believing) Jesus Christ as Saviour. Concerning the law, it's imperative that the novice student understand that being in the dispensation of grace and being free from the bondage of the law doesn't mean that the law has been done away with, quite the contrary; the law is still in effect. Let me remind the student; Christ didn't come to change even the sound (of one jot or one tittle) of the law (Matthew 5:18. Luke 16:17). He came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17). So which laws were fulfilled and which ones haven't changed. Biblical law is an important and interesting subject. Every student of God's word should be familiar with the biblical law (biblical law, is composed of commandments, statutes, judgments, and ordinances). Nevertheless, for the purpose of this short study, it will suffice to know that the blood ordinances have been fulfilled. (Suggestion: read Hebrews chapter 10, this is a good place to start.) The shedding of Christ's blood on the cross blotted out all the ordinances of blood sacrifice. They were taken out of the way and nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14). It must be understood that Father wants our love, not our sacrifices (Hosea 6:6. Micah 6:6-8). Nevertheless, the law, that is to say, God's commandments, statutes, and judgments are still in effect and we must try our best to obey them. You see dear one, that's the beauty of "Christianity"; when we fail and fall short (and occasionally we all do), we can repent and through true repentance, we can be assured that we are back in Father's good graces. To make sure we're all on the same page, let's briefly discuss repentance and the meaning of it. Our English word "repent" is translated from the Greek: "metaneoe" (Strong's #3340). This is a combination of two other Greek words, meta (Strong's #3326), a primary word and noieo (Strong's #3539). To repent is defined as; to think differently or reconsider (morally: to feel compunction), it could be said that it means to turn or modify the thought process, to have a change of the heart which is to say, of the mind. To recognize and admit that the wrong one has done is a sin and to have remorse and the compulsion (with the intention) not to repeat it. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus teaches us how to pray, He also taught us to ask for forgiveness, let's turn there... Luke 11:1-4
1. And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3. Give us day by day our daily bread.
4. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. So the novice student may have a complete understanding of the subject, let me make a few points clear. It was stated earlier in this study that "belief" is a huge factor in the path to salvation. It must be clearly understood that if someone has truly repented for a specific sin, then that someone can be assured that specific sin has indeed been erased—blotted out. That specific sin no longer exists because Father has forgiven it and whatsoever Father has forgiven should never, ever be brought up to Him again. That is to say, one must believe that the sin which has been truly repented for has in fact been forgiven, therefore it would be very dangerous if one should bring it up again to Father. The point being: if one should keep asking for forgiveness for the exact same sin repeatedly, that is showing a lack of belief in Jesus' accomplishments on the cross. Without realizing it, that person is putting Jesus back upon the cross repeatedly (Hebrews 6:6). Dear one, one must believe (understand as a fact) Christ accomplished salvation on the cross at that time. One must believe (understand as a fact) in the power to forgive sin. I bring this to your attention because it seems that many new Christians tend to have a very hard time forgiving themselves. After coming to the knowledge and repenting for sins committed in their youth, some still can't seem to forgive themselves for their past sins (even thou Father has forgiven them). This is called doubt and no one should ever doubt the Father nor His Word. (Understand, I'm not speaking about a sin which is being committed over again; because if one commits the same sin over again, then it's a new sin, hence there must be a new repentance. I'm speaking about a sin which has already been repented for.) For the next point which must be made clear, we must turn to the Gospel of Mark. Mark 11:25
25. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Here in this 25th verse, Jesus is clarifying His teachings about prayer. We were taught in Luke 11:4 (above), that while asking for Father's forgiveness we also give our forgiveness: "And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us." If we want forgiveness then we must be willing to give forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15. Ephesians 4:32. Colossians 3:13). Mark 11:26
26. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Nowhere in the teachings of Jesus Christ does it say that Christians must just "forgive and forget" nothing of the sort. Just because you're Christian it doesn't mean that if someone has harmed or wronged you (or your family) then you somehow have the obligation to just forgive them and forget it, not so. Jesus' teachings are that, if we expect Father's forgiveness when we repent and ask for it, then Father expects us to have forgiveness towards those who repent and ask us for forgiveness (apologize) (Matthew 18:23-35), keep in mind that forgiving does not mean forgetting. Therefore let us have grace and serve Him with reverence (Hebrews 12:28). No longer being in the dispensation under the law, we now live in the dispensation of grace, but as Christians, we still utilize the law to become wise. Learning and understanding the law will give us the knowledge and wisdom to know what sin is (Romans 3:20). As students of God's word we understand salvation is freely given, but do you realize the awesome price Jesus paid for our salvation? He paid for our salvation with His life, that's no small thing. He, giving up His life, being nailed to a cross, fulfilling the law (Matthew 5:17-18), brought in the dispensation of grace and making reconciliation for the sins of the whole world.
In conclusion: The beginning of knowledge and wisdom starts with loving the LORD, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10). There are many salvation messages out there and that's okay. In this study, we covered the fundamental principles of salvation. Therefore the novice student may weigh for themselves, anything they may hear or read, rightly dividing the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). The simplicity of God's Word is so beautiful. Scripture reveals Christ. Christ reveals The Father. The Holy Spirit reveals both in the written Word. Oh, how wonderfully this magnifies the Word. When you realize we were created for God's pleasure (Revelation 4:11), and that Christianity is not a religion but, a way of life. Then you can begin to understand why Christians always prosper and are so successful in life. When you live according to God's Word, you have God's blessings. You can follow, man and his traditions or you can follow your heavenly Father. If you've read this far, I think you've made your choice. Keep studying, stay in Father's Word and your faith will grow (Romans 10:17). Remember, if you should ever lose your way; repent, Father loves you and will forgive you. He makes all things possible. Thank you for your interest in the subject of Salvation, and for your time, may God bless.
7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
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