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“GOD’S SALVATION”

 

READ IN THE BIBLE (2 Samuel 14:14)

 

 

We read in, (2 Samuel 14:14) “For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth He devise means, that His banished be not expelled from Him”.  This scripture brings before us two great truths.  On one hand we have the destiny of sinners and on the other hand we have the mercy of God.  Because of sin, “we must needs die”.  Here we have the CERTAINTY OF DEATH.  God’s Word declares this to be so.  (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”.  (Romans 5:12) “Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.  (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die”.  For mankind physical death is certain and for the unsaved eternal death is also certain.  Next we have the PERMANENCE OF DEATH.  They will not return to life again.  The death of the unsaved are like “water poured upon the ground that cannot be gathered up again”.  Finally, we see in this verse the DEFEAT OF DEATH because the mercy of God is revealed.  There are two ways in which God’s mercy is revealed.  First of all, God’s mercy is demonstrated by the PATIENCE He shows.  The thought of this verse is, that God does not immediately destroy an offender because He has devised means by which the sinner might be forgiven and restored.  Secondly, the mercy of God is demonstrated by the PROVISION He has made.  God has made provision for the restoration of the sinner even though by sin they have banished themselves from Him.  Poor banished sinners would be forever outcast from Him if God had not taken some course of action to prevent it.  God is not willing that any should perish therefore He has “devised means that His banished be not expelled from Him”.  This is called, “GOD’S SALVATION”.  “SALVATION”, this is one of the most wonderful words that mankind will ever hear.  This is one of the most important subjects you can ever consider in your lifetime.  This word appears in the authorized version of the Bible, the Word of God, 163 times (118 times in the Old Testament and 45 times in the New Testament).  Salvation is an all-pervasive subject in God’s Word.  It is the most comprehensive doctrine in the Scriptures of Truth.  “Salvation” has the meaning of rescue, deliverance, safety and perseverance.  Salvation is God’s saving work on behalf of His sinful and lost creation.  God’s salvation is great.  It is great because of the magnitude of the Divine work involved in order to make it available to fallen, sinful man.  All three persons of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit were involved in bringing about this amazing work.  We read of salvations provision and the involvement of all three persons of the Godhead in, (Hebrews 9:14) “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God”.    Christ, the Son of God was the offering.  His precious blood was shed.  It was accomplished by the Holy Spirit, the eternal Spirit of God that He offered Himself spotless to God.  The offering of Himself was to God, the Father.  All three persons of the Trinity are fully participant in the inception and culmination of this great salvation.  The question is asked in, (Hebrews 2:3) “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation”.  This is a question that every person should ask themselves.  The answer to the question, however, is rhetorical for there is no escape from God’s judgment if His salvation is neglected.  To neglect God’s salvation means to “make light of it”, “to be careless about it”, “to regard it not” or in other words to refuse it or not believe it.  Dear reader, we sincerely hope this is not a description of YOU?  If YOU have been careless or neglectful about God’s salvation up until now, the purpose of this message is to convince you to change your mind.   If YOU are unclear as to the way of God’s salvation, the purpose of this message is to make it as clear as possible to you.  In this message we want to consider “God’s Salvation” by way of the following simple outline:

 

  1. THE NEED FOR GOD’S SALVATION
  2. THE SOURCE OF GOD’S SALVATION
  3. THE WAY OF GOD’S SALVATION
  4. THE TIME FOR GOD’S SALVATION

 

Let’s consider first of all:

 

1. THE NEED FOR GOD’S SALVATION

There are two primary reasons why there is a need for God’s salvation, first, because of the sinfulness of man and secondly, because of the holiness of God. 

·        The Sinfulness of Man.  God’s salvation is needed because God declares man to be a lost, ruined sinner who needs shelter from God’s coming judgment.  Man is a sinner by nature and by practice.  The evidence of a sinful nature is sins in the life.  To understand why this is so, we need to go back to the beginning of God’s creation.  The perfection of God’s creation suffered a catastrophic change.  Satan entered the Garden of Eden and in his subtlety and work of temptation caused man to fall into sin.  Our first parents, Adam and Eve, by their disobedience to God’s command, sinned against God.  The sin that plunged mankind into sin was that of disobedience.  As a result, we have the entrance of sin into the man, and therefore into the world.  This caused their relationship and fellowship with God to be broken and the process of death to ensue.  Adam became the possessor of a fallen nature.  Not only was he a sinner, but each of his descendants inherited the same.  We read in, (Romans 5:12) “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.  The single act of one brought sin and death upon all.  It says in, (Romans 5:19) “by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners”.  Sin is universal in scope.  There are no exceptions and no exclusions among Adam’s descendents.  THIS INCLUDES YOU DEAR READER.  God’s portrait of fallen sinful man is found in, (Romans 3:9-23), where we read, “Jews and Gentiles, they are all under sin”.  “There is none righteous, no not one”.  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God”.  “There is none that doeth good, no, not one”.  “There is no fear of God before their eyes”.  “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.  “All the world is guilty before God”.  From this portion of God’s Word, we see the universality of sin.  The results of sin are all around us in the world.  Sin is practiced and enjoyed by man.  The increasing lack of morals in the world is an evidence of rampant sin and man’s complacency in such a condition.  Blatant sin is everywhere.  Men enjoy sin simply because it is evil, and they delight to see others in the same state of condemnation as themselves.   Sin has consequences, however.  We read in, (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”.  (James 1:15)”sin when it is finished bringeth forth death”.  Following physical death is the judgment of God.  We read in, (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.  The judgment of the unsaved is described in (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).  We read in, (Revelation 20:15) “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”.  Dear reader, is YOUR NAME written in the book of life?  Are YOUR sins forgiven by God”. Have YOU repented of your sins which mean to change your mind in regard to the sinfulness of your condition and God’s salvation?  The “lake of fire” is the final destiny and doom of the wicked dead.  This is the eternal dwelling place of all the unsaved.  All who have rejected God’s offer of salvation will be there.  Dear reader, will YOU be there?

 

·        The Holiness of God.  Sin not only had an effect on man it had an effect on God.  God’s salvation is needed because God is holy.  Sin in essence is wickedness.  It is contrary to the holiness of God.  We read in, (1 John 1:5) “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”.  His holiness means that He Himself cannot sin, nor is He the cause of sin in any other.  It says of God in, (Habakkuk 1:13) “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity”.  Sin, therefore, is against the very character of God and His holiness.  God hates sin and is angry with the wicked everyday.  God must punish sin.  He must put it out of His sight for ever.  God says in, (Ezekiel 18:4) “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”.  God’s law demands the death of the sinner.  The debt must be paid.  The penalty of sin must be endured.  Yet if we endure the penalty for our sins (eternity in the lake if fire) we will be doomed and damned eternally.  God must and will expose sin in the lives of men, and will judge the unrepentant sinner in His own time.  God is not only holy, just and righteous; He is also a God of love, mercy and grace.  How then can the problem of sin be righteously dealt with?  How can man escape from the power of sin, avoid the penalty for sin which is death and judgment, and ultimately be free from the very presence of sin?   The situation is not hopeless.  There is good news and it is called the “gospel”.  God has found a way by which He can forgive our sins without compromising His justice.  This leads us to the next subject we want to consider;

 

2. THE SOURCE OF GOD’S SALVATION

Man is not the source of his own salvation.  Man cannot save himself.  Most people think, and most religions teach, that salvation is by one’s so called good works.  It is believed that if one has good intentions or lives a good life or does the best they can, God will some how save them in the end.  THERE IS NOT ONE SCRIPTURE IN THE WORD OF GOD THAT SAYS YOU CAN BE SAVED BY GOOD WORKS.  On the contrary, God’s Word says, (Proverbs 16:25) “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”.  Salvation is not by meritorious works of any kind.  This is not the way to heaven.  If “good works” were necessary for salvation, how would you know when you had done enough good works or if you had done the right kind of good works?  No, salvation can not be obtained by any self effort or self merit.  It is not by baptism, church membership, putting money in the collection plate, or any other religious rituals.  The Word of God says, (Isaiah 64:6) “all our righteous nesses are as filthy rags”.  It says also in, (Titus 3:5) it is ”Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saves us”.  It says in, (Ephesians 2:8, 9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”.

 

God and God alone is the source of salvation.  We read in, (Psalm 68:20) “God is the God of salvation”.  The God of creation, the God of the Bible, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ says in, (Isaiah 45:21, 22) “There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none else beside me.  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else”.  Because He is a loving God and a Savior, it is not His will that man perish in his sins.  We read in, (1 Timothy 2:3, 4)”God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth“.  We read also in, (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is …longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance“.   God, in His love and eternal counsels, formulated a plan of salvation.  The hymn writer wrote of this when he said:

O the love that drew salvations plan

O the grace that brought it down to man

O the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary

We read in, (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son”.  We read also in, (Romans 8:32) “God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all”.  The Son of God, for all eternity, occupied His throne of glory in heaven.  But, “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son”.  He laid aside His garments of glory and majesty and in condescending grace came down into this world of sin, shame and suffering.  The Son of God became the Son of man.  Deity took on humanity.  The high and lofty One of heaven became the lowly man of Calvary.  We read in, (Hebrews 2:14) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same”.  And we are told in, (Hebrews 2:9) “Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man”.  The One who was rich became poor that we through His poverty might become rich”.   For thirty three years He was here always doing the will of His Father who sent Him.  He was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners.  When His time came to fulfill all that was written of Him it says, (Philippians 2:8) “He was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.  Death for every man is a necessity.  Death for the Lord Jesus was an act of obedience.  He could say in, (John 10:17, 18) “I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself”.  He permitted Himself to be taken from that garden of Gethsemane.  He was bound and led away.  He was condemned to be guilty of death.  They spit in His face.  He was reviled, reproached and rejected.  He was blindfolded, buffeted and beaten.  He said in, (Isaiah 50:6) “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting”.  A Roman scourge (whip) laid open His back as a plowed field.  They clothed Him in a purple robe and platted a crown of thorns upon His head to mock His kingship.  The immensity of His physical sufferings was so great that it says of Him, (Isaiah 52:14) “His visage (countenance, appearance) was so marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men”.  After they had done all these things unto Him, they led Him out to the place called Calvary and there they crucified Him.  After He suffered for three hours on the cross, there was a sudden darkness that came over the land.  It says in, (Matthew 27:45) “From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour”.  It was at that time that the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  He was stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.  God did make His soul an offering for sin.  Dear reader, He took YOUR SINS and my sins in His own body on the tree.   (1 Peter 3:18) “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God’.  On that cross, bearing our heavy burden of sins, He went under the wrath and judgment of a holy God.  The hymn writer wrote;

O Christ what burdens bowed thy head

Our load was laid on Thee

Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead,

Bear’st all my ill for me.

A victim led, Thy blood was shed;

Now there’s no load for me

The source of God’s salvation is found then at Calvary and in the Savior’s substitutionary death on the cross.  With the Savior’s sacrifice God was satisfied.  It was there that all the righteous demands of a holy and just God were satisfied.  God’s throne has been thoroughly vindicated.  All this is proven by the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and His subsequent ascension back to heaven.  The intrinsic worth of the ransom price paid by Christ Jesus (His precious blood) has also met the needs of sinful man.   The Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross to die as our substitute.  He died in our place.  He died the death that we should have died.  He paid the debt that we could not pay, the debt we owed because of our sins.  He endured the penalty that we should have endured.  At the end of those dark hours on Calvary He cried out, “It is finished”.  Salvation has been made available for sinful man.  The work of the Lord on the cross is sufficient for the salvation of all, but it is only effective for those who accept Him as their Savior.  How then can sinful man be made fit for heaven and the presence of a holy God?   This leads us to; 

 

3. THE WAY OF GOD’S SALVATION

We have mentioned previously that there is nothing that man can do to save himself.  Man is a poor, lost, helpless, hopeless sinner unable to do anything to affect his own salvation.  The Lord Jesus Christ preached, (Mark 1:15) “Repent ye, and believe the gospel”.  We read of this order again regarding the gospel message preached by the Apostle Paul, (Acts 20:21) “Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”.  Here then we have the order, and that which is necessary, for a person to be saved.  “Repentance is due to God, and faith is due to our Lord Jesus Christ”.  Dear reader, there must first be repentance in order for you to be saved.  The Lord Jesus said in, (Luke 13:3)”Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish”.  Repentance is absolutely necessary and is the first step in the salvation process.  In true repentance, there is an element of remorse for sins that leads to a definite change of attitude and action.  Repentance is a change of mind about sinful deeds that brings them to an immediate end.   The goodness and kindness of God ought to cause the sinner to re-think his attitude to God, and his sin against God.  Repentance alone is not salvation.  Repentance must be followed by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the only Savior of sinners.  He said in, (John 14:6) “I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”.  It says in, (Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other:  for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”.  Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation.  One asked the question, (Acts 16:30)”What must I do to be saved”?  The answer was, (Acts 16:31) “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”.   The all important question must be then, for YOU dear reader, Have YOU believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and by a definite act of faith received Him as your own personal Savior?  (John 1:11) “As many as received Him, to them gave He power (the right or authority) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name”.  Salvation comes simply, entirely and completely on one condition alone; that of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Savior of sinners.  It says in, (John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”.  In light of these words, dear reader, where do you stand?  Is it not time to get this matter settled?  Now is the time;

 

4. THE TIME FOR GOD’S SALVATION

The poet said, “Life at best is very brief, like the falling of a leaf”.  How true this is, life is brief.  In the light of an eternity ahead, to be spent in either heaven or hell, our lifetime on earth is so very brief.  We read in, (James 4:14) “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away”.   Notice two important truths from this verse;

 

  1. We Are Reminded of the Uncertainty of Life.  It is wrong to plan as if tomorrow was certain.  We “know not” what will be on the morrow.  It says in, (Proverbs 27:1) “Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth”.  Every day people rise and go to work or commence some activity, little realizing that before the day ends they will have to meet God.  Today, some will depart this earth due to a heart attack, an accident, a criminal assault, or some other reason.  The possibilities of sudden death are many.  Tomorrow is uncertain.
  2. We Are Reminded of the Brevity of Life.  Our life on earth is like a mist, like a vapor, like just a puff of smoke.  It says in, (1 Chronicles 29:15) “Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding”. 

 

Because of the uncertainty and the brevity of life the time for God’s salvation IS NOW.  God says in His Word, (2 Corinthians 6:2) “Behold NOW is the accepted time, behold NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION”.  NOW is the time of God’s acceptance.  Hell is full of people who have procrastinated, who have said “not now, but some other time”.  But, NOW is the time to come to Him and be saved.  He will receive all who come to Him in repentance and simple faith.  God has extended these “days of grace” that sinners might have the opportunity to come and be saved.  WILL YOU COME?  God offers His salvation as a free gift to all who will come and accept it.  His gracious invitation is still being extended.  (Matthew 11:28) “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.  Notice the Lord’s invitation is not addressed to the proud, to those who feel themselves righteous and worthy.  The offer is to “all that labor and are heavy laden”.  It is for the multitudes that are weary in this world.  The invitation is to those who feel a load on their heart, from which they desire to be free.  It may be a load of sin, a load of sorrow, a load of anxiety or a load of remorse.  No matter what it might be, all are invited to come to Christ.  O what a gracious offer, “I will give you rest”.  Unrest is a great characteristic of this day and age.  Hurry, vexation, failure, disappointment, all these things and many more surround us on every side.  The Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of sinners is an ark of refuge for the weary.  There is rest in Christ, rest of conscience, and rest of heart, rest built on pardon of all sin, rest that flows from peace with God and the certainty that heaven will be your eternal destiny.  WILL YOU COME TO HIM IN FAITH?

  

In closing, I urge YOU to take advantage of this present time while you can and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as YOUR personal Savior.  The Apostle Paul was traveling the Damascus road when God saved him.  The first African, an Ethiopian eunuch, was returning from Jerusalem in a chariot when God saved him.  YOU are traveling the “highway of life”, passing through time on the way to eternity.  There are only two destinations.  It is either heaven or hell.  Now that you have read about God’s Salvation you have come to a “crossroads” on your life’s journey.  Which way will you go?  You can remain on the “broad way” to eternal destruction and hell by doing absolutely nothing.  But, heaven can be your eternal destiny by believing the gospel message and by a definite act of faith, receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior.  Please give this matter your most serious attention.  Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.

 

Christian Messenger