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Thank you for joining us – we're in our 4th week through our series Everyone Is A Theologian: if you're visiting for the first time let us know www.transcendchurch.info

Posted by Transcend Church Harrisburg on Sunday, November 18, 2018

 

iTunes Podcast Link:

https://itunes.apple.com/sl/podcast/transcend-church-hbg-podcast/id1063461379

Faithlife Podcast Link:

https://sermons.faithlife.com/sermons/327791-everyone-is-a-theologian:-salvation

 

Everyone Is A Theologian:

Salvation

John Weathersby

Sunday November 18, 2018

 

Our topic this week is the concept, or construct, or doctrine of, Salvation.

 

But what IS Salvation?

 

I searched Google News for the word “savior”.  Here are a few results I got:

 

  • John Gruden hasn’t been the savior the Oakland Raiders thought he’d be.
  • Society’s Facebook dilemma: Desperately seeking Zuckerberg as a savior.
  • A rare chicken breed is a savior for rural women in India.

 

What is a savior or better still what is salvation?

 

Is it a football coaches realm, or a social media company founder and CEO, perhaps a breed of a chicken that grows so quickly in its first 6 months of life that it is a great profit center for women in rural India – perhaps these things reflect a type of salvation, an earthly salvation from an earthly problem.

 

But when we read of “salvation” in scripture what we see and what we’re talking about is our delivery away from the consequences of our sin.  The problem of our sin is the guilt that it creates, and by guilt I don’t mean only a weighty feeling that is heavy on us.

 

Consider this:

 

Romans 3:19–29 (ESV)

19        Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.

 

Stopped mouths.  No excuses, simply guilt.

 

Salvation is our delivery away from the consequences of our sin.

 

This section of Scripture Romans 3:19-29 is powerful at helping us understand ourselves and how we relate to God, sin, and how we’re relieved of our gilt.  The law shows our guilt before God, so a natural understanding then would be – OK, well maybe I should just follow the law.

 

Romans 3:19-29 (ESV)

19        Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.

20        For by works of the law no human being[a] will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21        But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—  

22        the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:

23        for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24        and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

25        whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

26        It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27        Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.

28        For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,

 

 

2 problems:

  1. You cannot remove your guilt by calling for a ‘do over’
  2. You cannot fully uphold the law, even when you know it.

 

So what are we left with?   A shut mouth and an accountability to God, says Romans 3:19.

 

The writer of the palms said some strange stuff about the law, He said

 

Psalm 119:97(ESV)

97        Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

 

The law is a reflection of the law giver, God.  It shows us His concerns for us in this life and demonstrates elements of His character.  Further – it allows us to see that we’re fallen away from Him.  It provides us with a mirror so that we can see ourselves.

 

James 1:23–24 (ESV)

23        For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  

24        For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

 

See why the Psalmist loves the law?  God’s law is even given to us to show us His Love and His Lovely character – and so we’re to be impacted by the reflection in the law this is why the psalmist loved the law, it showed Him something wholly wonderful outside this life which shows us rebellion from God’s character, murder, suicided, infidelity and pain.  Yet God shows us love and redemption and faithfulness and goodness.

 

So back to Romans 3:20 we know that….

 

Romans 3:20 (ESV)

20        For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

 

Justified.

No one will be justified by the law…

 

dikaioo justified, no one will show themselves as righteous” dikaioo, by the mirror of the law. The law gives us knowledge of sin, that mirror through which we compare ourselves to the law giver and say, nope, that’s not me.

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21        But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—  

22        the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:  

23        for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

So God takes up the task of making us free.  How, you ask.  Through Jesus, scripture answers, who is the only one who could have redeemed us.

 

How is it that we not simply walk away from the problem the law exposes but do something about it?  Remember James:

 

James 1:23–24 (ESV)

23        For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

24        For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

 

What are we to do?  This passage tells us through we’ve all sinned and are short of God’s glory, God’s own righteousness is available through faith (trust and hope) in Jesus for who… ALL who believe?

 

And I want to stop here.

 

For whom is salvation available?

 

To all who believe.

 

Would you add to that two step formula?  Her are the two steps again:

 

  1. By Faith
  2. To all who believe

 

24        and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

 

This is a MAJOR breaking point between the Catholic Church and Protestantism so please hear this distinction on Justification, the way you become innocent before God.

 

Either we work with Jesus’ grace to be saved which allows us to become better people – and then we’re saved based on whether or not we became better.  And if we’re became somewhat better but not good enough we go to Purgatory to finish up that work before seven.  Catholicism

 

Or b) apart from any personal works or character change – based on Christs righteousness added to us we’re saved.

 

OK – so if we’re saved through faith in Jesus when we believe, how doesn’t that work, well glad you asked:

 

V24 A gift.

 

You know what a gift someone has to work for is?  That’s a wage, it’s a job.

 

Do you know how frequently I’d go to work if they didn’t pay me, 0 times.  Their wage is the requirement of my work. Your work for God, will earn you nothing.  In fact, if you “work” for God, if God’s saving grace motivates to you to do things that glorify him, and magnify His character to the world around you, you’re a volunteer because no wage is available – you cannot add one thing to your salvation.

 

The volunteer who works does so with a pep in their step. They don’t have to be there, they want to.

 

We’re justified we’re dikaioo by God’s grace, as a gift, through simply our belief, our faith.

 

 

25        whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

26        It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus

 

God is righteous in passing over former sins.  And though his law is a reflection of His character he is justified (v26) because he’s the justifier of the one with faith in Jesus.  He isn’t breaking his law, because the person who is saved, isn’t saved because though they sinned in the past they worked and got better – no, rather Jesus lived in all ways like all of us, but never sinned – then he took on the anger of God towards our acts of disobedience to His character and offered it up to us, when we by faith believe in God’s word and ability to save us in that way – Jesus own righteousness is offered up in our place.

 

Doubting our salvation or ability to be saved, is doubting God’s plan to offer Jesus for our salvation.  Doubting our salvation is doubting God’s power to save –

 

Here is what that entire plan of God does:

 

27        Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.

28        For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,

 

Clear Conviction from Scripture:

 

This is one section from scripture that demonstrates salvation, Romans 3:19-29.  Scripture treats this issue fully, salvation and justification.  Scripture show us a right view of salvation is that by God’s own grace, we’re justified before Him as though we’ve never sinned, because by faith – through a gift of God, we believe in His word and His power.

 

That’s where our faith is, God’s word and His power, to save us through Jesus work, is the great gospel that is mighty to save!

 

Does This Matter:

 

Does this matter.

 

Oh yes!

 

It matters to us personally.

 

The devil is a liar.  You’ll be challenged, and confronted with ideas that you’re not good enough for God, you cannot be His because look at you, look at what you are and what you do.

 

We can often get our salvation and our performance tangled up.

 

While it’s true that we can look for evidence of our salvation in fruit, we can also become so caught up in inspecting our every action that we believe we cannot be saved.

 

And I’ll go back to the two step recipe in Romans 3:19-29

 

  1. By Faith
  2. Believe

 

So I ask this, do you?

 

If so, let’s deal with expectations for life as a Christian after that, maybe some blogs this week, but for now, the question is salvation and the answer is Jesus, savior and Lord.

 

So back to my search and our quest to know salvations savior:

 

  • John Gruden hasn’t been the savior the Oakland raiders thought he’d be.
  • Society’s Facebook dilemma: Desperately seeking Zuckerberg as a savior.
  • A rare chicken breed is a savior for rural women in India.

 

The raiders want to be saved from losing. Society – while I’m not sure what society things Zuckerberg is doing or will do.  And the chicken my help – but it won’t save.  But what IS salvation:

 

Salvation is described like this: God’s character is perfect and good as revealed in the law, we naturally violate and resist His law and thereby His goodness and character.  Our rebellion to the eternal God’s own character is resistance to Him and must be dealt with – our guilt could not be repaired because we could never justly be joined to Him, so His own son Jesus entered life lived perfectly in all the ways we failed and was punished for our sins directly.  Our simple belief that God’s plan in Christ is good and enough allows us to receive Jesus righteous spinelessness in God’s own eyes, then we relieve God’s amazing and powerful gift – salvation which sold be heralded, God’s Gospel is amazing.

 

Jesus, and our faith in his ability and believe in God’s plan IS a gift from God.  It’s the ability to undo the lack of faith in God’s word (don’t eat that, you’ll know evil) by restoring faith in God’s word, believe in that and you’ll know only good eternally.

 

Whetting of the Appetite for More:

 

I want to encourage you that your continued faith and believe are tied to your ability to trust God.

 

And you’ll be continually offered opportunity for that, I’ll write about trusting God more this week, but start here:

Proverbs 3:5–6 (ESV)

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

    In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.

 

With Romans 3:22 (ESV)

22        the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.

 

Are justification/salvation/grace for you – is life with God for you?  I don’t know, do you believe in Jesus’ life and righteousness and trust God?

If so, then yes.

If you’re realizing this for the first time, let’s talk!

 

Whetting of the Appetite for More

By |2018-11-25T11:47:48+00:00November 18th, 2018|Comments Off on Salvation

About the Author:

Pastor John is a Christian, Husband, and Father of 5 amazing children. He enjoys The Bible, good times, and Christian Community. He preaches 50-ish weeks a year at Transcend Church and can be found easily.