Sin and Salvation
When we are born into this world we are born in the image of Adam with sin natures. We are separate from God because of our sin and we all fall short of attaining God’s divine approval and his righteousness because of our sins. We are enemies of God. We are destined for hell with no hope of salvation, for we cannot save ourselves. We can do nothing in ourselves to earn our own salvation (Rom 3:23; Rom 5:10-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49; Eph 2:8-9).
But, thanks be to God, that is not the end of the story. Jesus Christ, God the Son, was crucified on a cross for our sins. He who had no sin took upon himself the sins of the world, putting our sins to death with him that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who died and rose again on our behalf so that we might delivered from our slavery to sin.
In order to receive that salvation from sin we must be believing in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of our lives. But even the faith to believe in Jesus is not from ourselves but it is a gift of God, not of our own fleshly works lest we should boast that we did something to earn our own salvation. But our salvation is not absent of works, they are just now the works of God that God planned in advance that we should walk in them.
Therefore, when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith in him, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin, but so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness.
For, Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die with him to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. And he said that if we try to save (hold on to) our old lives (of living in sin and for self) that we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives (die with him to sin) for his sake, we will have life in him. And this is the essence of the gospel of our salvation.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17]
Isaiah 25:6-9 ESV
“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’”
Our salvation from sin is not a one-time event that takes place in our lives, then we live our lives, and then one day when we die, or when Jesus comes to take us home, we go to heaven to be with him forever. Our salvation is progressive, it is continuous, and it will not be completed until Jesus returns and he takes his bride to be with him for eternity.
And this is why we have so many Scriptures teaching us that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, for if we walk according to the flesh, in deliberate and habitual sin against our Lord, we will die in our sins. And if obedience and righteousness are not what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God.
And it is why we have so many Scriptures telling us the things we need to put off (forsake) and the things we must put on (apply to our lives), and the works that are required of us and the warnings with regard to how we are all going to be judged by our works (by our deeds). And then we have all the “if” verses which teach us the conditions for our salvation, too.
We have to continue in the word of God, and we must continue in his grace which instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. And we are saved if we hold firmly to the gospel Paul preached, and we must continue in our faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. And we have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first, etc.
But not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ believes in the true gospel. Not everyone who makes a profession of faith in Jesus Christ has the hope and the promise of eternal life with God in heaven, for most have not surrendered their lives to Christ, at least here in America, and they are not walking according to the Spirit but they are still walking according to the flesh, for they are being given permission to. So sin is still their covering and the veil that blinds them from the truth has not been lifted from their eyes.
Only those who are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, who are believing in the Lord (current), and who are continuing in him and in his word will be among those receiving eternal salvation and their eternal inheritance with God. They will have their tears wiped from their eyes and they will rejoice in their long awaited salvation which will be complete when our Lord returns. And death will be no more.
[Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 3:6, 14-15; Heb 10:26-27; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 8:31-32; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 1 John 2:24-25; Rom 11:17-24; 2 Pet 1:5-11]
Isaiah 25:10-12 ESV
“For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain,
and Moab shall be trampled down in his place,
as straw is trampled down in a dunghill.
And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it
as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim,
but the Lord will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands.
And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down,
lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.”
But sadly not everyone has turned his heart to the Lord Jesus, not even all who make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Many remain as enemies of the cross of Christ, for they continue in willful defiance in disobedience to the Lord. They continue making sin their practice and they follow after a cycle of addiction to sin. Yet, many of them have convinced themselves that God will not judge them and that heaven is still their eternal destiny.
But they are sadly mistaken. God will deal with their pride for thinking that they can ignore God and his commands and deliberately and habitually sin against him and that they can keep on in insulting the spirit of grace without consequence. They will not inherit eternal life with God.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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