In Romans, where Paul sets forth the Word of our Salvation, we find six words pointing us to our hope of freedom from lostness. They show us what becomes ours in Christ. Each word presents us with something far more powerful than any of the lostness. They're wonderful words. We need to get to know them, and in knowing them, open ourselves to the fullness of our salvation. What a hope we have!
While the six words occur in a few verses, it takes several chapters to tell of their glory. See them here first:
There is another term with which we should become acquainted although we don't find it, as such, in the Scriptures. It is substitution, a powerful and important concept set forth in Rom 5:8--But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He became our Substitute in the battle with sin, Satan, and the world. What a victory He won!
This gives us seven powerful words to describe that victory of Jesus
for us. As seven is the number of perfection, so there's a perfection
in our salvation. At no point of lostness are we left to wander about
trying to find our own way. It's all ours in Jesus, for He is able
also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him--Heb
Those were special days, so powerful with the moving of the Holy Spirit that we approach the same study now with extreme care. There's something holy and awesome in the truth we are about to take on--and it grows with us as we grow in our relationship with the Lord.
The words drawing our attention are for sinners. They were dear to the Apostle Paul who called himself the chief of sinners--I Tim 1:15. How great must have been the conviction that had come upon his soul for him to say this! What he wrote, especially in Romans, is all about being delivered from the penalty, the power, and the results of sin. It was just after he made the grand statement that all have sinned in Rom 3:23, that he presented most of the words we're considering. Because many souls never know the depth of their lostness. they never know the power of the redemption. They never know what actually took place when Christ's blood became the propitiation for their sins. They never know the full peace that could have been theirs because of the remission of their sins. They never know the joy of the atonement or the full extent of their justification. For those who don't know the extent of their lostness, the term salvation remains distant. It seems to mean some kind of remote hope about going to heaven--maybe. But our Substitute has obtained far more for us than a distant hope--even though He has secured that also.
There is a holy majesty about what the words convey. They take us out of sin's power and condemnation and lead us through human hopelessness to a relationship with God that reaches into the heavens. There is an awe about the words that only the Holy Spirit can reveal. This is because they work at describing something that can never be fully known, for they lead us into eternity. Yet, they all remain simple enough to reach into the condemnation of any sin and bring life to anyone who will simply believe.
Each word is like an aspect of a beautiful gem catching every glimmer
of light that comes-both from the soul who is undergoing enlightenment
as well as from the Holy Spirit Who brings the light.
The word salvation is related to the word salvage. Early I came to know the meaning of this word. I grew up in the years of World War II. My father and both brothers participated in the war, but I was too young. To help, I went out into the fields around our house and found some old aluminum pots that could be taken to the salvage depot. We were told they could be used in the manufacture of airplanes. Youngster that I was, I remember looking at that "useless" trash wondering how that could ever be. I was told to get every piece. There was nothing useless. There was a process, I learned, by which all the aluminum could be reclaimed-salvaged-and made useful.
That's only a glimmer of what salvation can mean to the life of a ruined sinner. But, we are learning there is no life too ruined. There is no trash-heap of humanity where any ruined soul can be found that cannot be salvaged by God's grace for His Kingdom.
What a full word salvation is! The Greek is sotería.
Basically, it means "deliverance, safely and soundly, out of a
difficult situation." It took on greater meaning than this, however, in
the New Testament. It is related to the word sózo
which means "to save." In fact, we have three words related and with which
we need to become acquainted. Besides sotería and
sózo, there is sotér which means
"savior." The first occurrence of any of them in the New Testament is
in Mt 1:21. It instantly defines for us the source and the extent
of our salvation. . . . and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He
shall save His people from their sins. The Source is Jesus-none
other. The extent is His people. We soon learn this embraces
the whole world for all things were made by Him--John
1:3. For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son--3:16. Every person in the world who
has sinned and come short of His glory can be saved. That's everyone!
We soon see the word means not only salvation from sins, but from physical danger, from sickness, from the perils of being a Gospel witness, and from the perils of the tribulation.
In Luke's Gospel sózo takes on an even fuller meaning. Being a physician, he used it with reference to the healings and deliverances that took place through the ministry of Jesus. We find it in the following passages. There is the enlightening hope that our salvation also includes deliverance from demons. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed--Lk 8:36. It includes release from long-standing disease. Jesus, speaking to the woman healed of the issue of blood, said, Daughter; be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole--8:48. It reaches even into the powers of death. To the ruler of the synagogue whose daughter had died, Jesus said, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole--8:50. It reaches into physical uncleanness and blindness. He said to a leper who was healed, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole--17:19. To a man born blind, Jesus said, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee--18:42.
We find the same word in John 3:17, For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. This is where I first saw the word saved in the Bible, followed soon after by Eph 2:8--For by grace are ye saved through faith...
That we are saved from the penalty of sin was the first thing I perceived
regarding my salvation. But when I saw sózo used
in other places with more meaning, light began bursting upon my soul.
Our salvation includes not only our deliverance from sin's penalty and
power, but it includes also our healing, our deliverance from Satan's
domain, our protection from danger, and our security for the final days
of peril. And, its power follows us into death.
The words sorrows and grief are revealing when we understand their fuller meaning in the original Hebrew. Dr. I. W. Slotki, a Jewish theologian with no desire to prove that this passage has reference to the Lord Jesus, but with open honesty, translated verse 3 this way: "He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease." Then in verse 4, "Surely our diseases he did bear, and our pains he carried..." (Isaiah Hebrew Text & English Translation; Soncino Press, London).
Sorrows, from the Hebrew machohv, means "pain," whether physical, mental, or emotional. Grief, from the Hebrew gholee, means "sickness, disease, or affliction." It even covers what is brought on by calamity, or by the waywardness of ones own actions.
One young man in that class asked if Isa 53:3, speaking of His being acquainted with grief, might not mean that Jesus was acquainted with pain and disease much like a physician who understands and recognizes all types of illness. The question was quickly answered by the next verse which says, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows... Like no other physician, He has born our diseases and carried our pains. He offers more than a remedy; He, Himself, becomes our remedy.
Soon we were learning to say, "Healing is in the atonement"--something
we had not known before.
What did this mean? Simply that when Jesus died with those stripes on His back, He accomplished our healing.
Can we dare reach through the maze of human reasoning--and pain--and lay hold on this? Whereas our human faith may fail in it, there is a faith born of the Holy Spirit ready to work in us that can receive it. Paul touched on this kind of faith when he said, I live by the faith of the Son of God--Gal 2:20b. The grace that makes this faith available is open to us all. Let us receive it now.
But what is the healing of which Isaiah spoke? Matt 8:16,17 helps our understanding. . . . they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Jesus cast the spirits out of those possessed with devils. This meant He delivered those who were oppressed, suppressed, depressed, as well as possessed by demons. The Greek word from which possessed with devils comes is daimonízomai. It means "afflicted, or vexed, by a demon" with no particular reference as to whether the demon is possessing or merely afflicting the person.
Jesus cast evil spirits out by His word. We might take note that "His" is not in the Original. The verse should simply say, "He cast out the spirits with a word." As we watch Him in other passages, we find the word He used was simply, "Go!"
But, oh! What was behind that word! In this passage the word word comes from the Greek lógos. This is more than a rhéma word about which so many are inclined to speak today. Rhéma means a word which is spoken. Lógos means a word spoken, but also includes all that is behind the word to give it its power and authority. Behind the simple word Jesus spoke to demons lay the power and authority of God's Kingdom.
I JOINED THE CHURCH when I was a young boy, but I wasn't saved then. Coming forward in that Sunday morning meeting, filling out that little card and giving it to the church secretary, and going through water baptism all left me the same lost boy I was before. I became a lost church member. I could have been saved then. I was ready, but no one knew to show me the Scriptures or even to pray with me. It was when I was a senior in High School that conviction took hold on me that I was a lost sinner.
And, indeed, salvation is only for sinners.
I came home one night from a Gospel meeting where I had gone with my girlfriend. The fiery young preacher had said something simple that stuck with me. He said, "When Jesus comes again, He will not ask for the church membership roll. He knows who is saved and who is not." For a week I was rather miserable--and frightened.
I went with that girl again the next Sunday night. Then I heard something I'd never really heard before. Jesus died for me. Oh, I'd heard about that as long as I could remember, but it had never dawned on my heart that He actually died for me.
Not knowing what to do, I went home--still lost. I didn't know I could
go forward at the invitation. I thought it was for those who were
not members of the church. Frightened and alone, I went to bed--but with
conviction. Late in the night, I got out of bed and on my knees. I didn't
know what to say to the Lord, but I did know I was a sinner. For the first
time I knew Jesus died for me. In that condition I trusted He saved me
then. That was fifty years ago.
PAUL SAID SOMETHING in II COR 1:10 that illustrates the power and extent of our salvation.... Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us. Delivered is from the Greek rhúomai and means "to drag, or rescue, out of danger." It's similar in meaning to our word for saved. The thing to note is that there are three stages in it. • He delivered us. It's past, finished, accomplished. This points to a salvation that knows all its completeness in what Jesus did. In the sense of my trusting Him, I can never be more saved than I was when I first believed. Yet, • He doth deliver us. There's something going on right now. This salvation that became so complete that night fifty years ago continues its work. It goes deeper and deeper into the lostness with which I was once overcome. It never gives up searching out and destroying the pain, and rebellion, and sickness of my inner man--as well as continually offering me healing and deliverance for my conscious soul and body. Then there's more. • He will yet deliver us. This is the confidence that has overtaken me. There shall come no testing, difficult trial, or even death itself, but that the work He has begun in me will continue and bring me through in His victory.
I remember the night when that word from Paul in Phil 1:6 became very real to me. Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit released that into my own heart. Something became settled as to whether or not I would hold out in the salvation that had begun its work in me.
Look at that word perform. It's from the wonderful Greek
word epiteléo that means "to carry out to completion."
What a word to hold us through the days ahead! There's no sickness, no
attack from demon or man, no enticement from the world, and no failure
of our own minds, that can overcome the work He has begun in us. There
is no sin that can arise in us from what we are by nature but that the
power of the salvation that is ours in Christ can overcome
© Berean Ministries
Continue in the SALVATION series:
Visit Us at http://www.maschil.com