Dear friends, Hebrew & Greek terms salvation denotes, deliverance from evil & oppression but in spiritual sense it is forgiveness of sins, mediated by Christ’s redeeming activity, saves us from judgment & admits us to God’s kingdom.
1) SINNER CANNOT SAVE A SINNER: – God created all things in good pleasure & found it good. But first man sinned & transgressed against God by which all have sinned. Thus there is spiritual unrest, an accusing conscience, fear of death, diseases, misfortunes & eternal perdition whose master is Satan (the old serpent who had bounded all in his custody) Man being alienated from life of God for being fearless & ignorant to God, their understanding became void & heart darkened. So sinner affects his salvation by his efforts of goodness through many Gods (Pelagianism). (Ref:-Rom-5:12, Rom-3:23, Rom-3:10)ILLUSTRATION: –When cat bearing mews die, the mews naturally die, also a sour tree bears sour fruit. When the first Adam sinned, he died from eternal life, so we all have died the death & sinned against God.
2) GOD IS THE ONLY AUTHOR OF SALVATION:- The righteous & holy God whose loving-kindness is better than our life hated sin instead of sinners with active desire to reclaim man by redeeming plan to send his only begotten Son, because God alone effect sinner’s salvation(Monergism). (Ref:-Ezek-18:32, Rom-5:17-19,Acts-4:12)ILLUSTRATION: – An ensnared bird can’t come out of fowler’s net until someone liberates it. So after sinning we gave our hands to Satan & someone’s help to liberate us from Satan i.e., nobody except Lord who can liberate us.
3) GOD IS THE HOPE OF SALVATION:- Though messianic hope of salvation voiced time & again in (O.T).Yet the world through good deeds & wisdom tried to attain salvation still pervading in world through power of darkness which God considers foolish. (Ref:-Isa-64:6, Rom-1:22, 1 Cor-1:25)ILLUSTRATION: – A sour tree repeats bearing sour fruits every season & can’t change to bear sweet fruits by any means. So a man becoming sinner by first Adam’s sin & can’t change himself again through own efforts into image of God as in genesis.
4) GOD’S BLOOD BRINGS SALVATION: – God (love) wanted to save sinners by sending his son in flesh to earth not to bring wrath (except Noah’s time) God’s love is unconditional involving giving not taking. So without any condition God emptied himself by shedding blood on cross & raising from death on third day coz in Christ’s blood there is life saving us from sin & death. (Ref:-Jon-3:16, Jon-1:29, Heb-9:22, Isa-1:18, Phil-2:7, 8, and 1 Cor-1:30, Rom-8:2, 3)ILLUSTRATION: – Mr. X has to be imprisoned for murder but his friend Mr.Y putting Mr.X’s blood stained cloth gets imprisoned & saves Mr.X.Seeing such conduct Mr.X repents.But had he been punished as per law he would surely have continued his same gruesome act but given the grace from Mr.Y he changes.Thus grace is above law. It is to Jews a stumbling block & to Greeks foolishness but to the saved gospel it is power of God.We are saved by Lord Jesus’s righteousness, wisdom, sanctification & redemption and not by our own.
5) GOD’S GRACE BRINGS SALVATION:Lastly it is not our wisdom, deeds & righteousness but by grace of God we are saved from uttermost & have attained salvation.His bruising, wounding & chastisement for our transgression, iniquities & peace shows his grace.(Ref:-Jon-1:12,Isa-53:5,Eph-2:8)ILLUSTRATION: – A sour tree bearing sour fruits when cut & grafted to a sweet tree starts bearing sweet fruits. So when we cut (humble) our heart seeing the holy & righteous Lord Jesus being cut for our sins then we are grafted into Christ’s holiness by our mouth confession & hearts believe that since Christ is raised from dead so we are saved.
VERDICT: Dear Friends, as we have been hearing God’s salvation plan for us that due to sin, consequences become death physical& eternal, So we all have to believe & confess & walk in the God’s way by being grafted to righteousness of God not by our good deeds & wisdom but by his grace.
BETHEL APOSTOLIC ASSEMBLIES ,WEST BENGAL