Friday, September 14, 2007


Further meditations from John 15:18-16:15, Romans 8, and Ephesians 1:2-14:

These passages also help us understand our salvation. Specifically, we gain insight into God’s decision to save people, the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our salvation, and several blessings saved people receive now and in the future.

We are saved because of God’s decision before creation. Jesus told his disciples that he had chosen them out of the world (Jn. 15:9), and Paul teaches us that we were “chosen before the foundation of the world” and that the purpose of God’s choice was “that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Eph. 1:4). We also learn from Paul that God foreknew us; that is, in eternity past he thought of us in a special relationship with himself, and as a result of this foreknowledge he predestined us to be adopted (Rom. 8:29, Eph. 1:4-5). We have been predestined to receive a wonderful inheritance prepared for us by God (Eph 1:11), and the reason God predestined us to adoption is to bring glory to himself for his grace (Eph. 1:6). Those predestined to life before the foundation of the world are called and justified during their earthly lives, and will one day be glorified (Rom. 8:30). These truths remind me that salvation is all of grace. I have no ground for boasting. I thank him for showing kindness and mercy to me by setting his electing love upon me.

God the Son and God the Spirit are active in our salvation. God gave his Son as a sacrifice for sins (Rom. 8:3, 32), and we were chosen “in [Christ] before the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:4). It was the Spirit who convicted us of sin, righteousness, and judgment when we were unbelievers (Jn. 16:8), and the indwelling Spirit is the firstfruits of our coming inheritance (Rom. 8:23) and the seal (Eph. 1:13) and guarantee of future glory (Eph. 1:14). Our salvation is truly Trinitarian: determined by the Father, accomplished by the Son, and applied by the Spirit! Thus I give thanks to each member of the Godhead for his work in my salvation. Salvation is of the Lord from first to last!

Finally, these passages reveal many blessings that come to us because we are saved. Some are present blessings we can enjoy now, while others are future blessings that we will receive when Christ returns. Presently, there is no longer any condemnation because of sin for we who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1). Instead it is sin that has been condemned through Christ’s death (Rom. 8:2). We now relate to God as a loving Father (Rom. 8:15), and we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9). We who are in Christ no longer have to fear God’s judgment (Rom. 8:15). Additionally, we can rest assured that God uses all circumstances for our growth in Christ likeness (Rom. 8:28), even painful and difficult events (Rom. 8:32-39). Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:39), through whose blood we now have forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7). Many future blessings of salvation await us as well. We will be raised from the dead by the power of the Spirit (Rom. 8:11), we will be glorified (Rom. 8:20, 30), and then the entire created order will be redeemed from decay (Rom. 8:20). At that time we will receive the full blessing of our inheritance (Eph. 1:14) and all things will be united under Christ (Eph. 1:10). I am so thankful for the present blessings of salvation, which impart great peace in the midst of difficulties! These present blessings cause me to long for Christ’s return, when full salvation will become a reality, and the very presence of sin will vanish! These truths also remind me that I have God's favor and that he cherishes me as his child. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ--God is for me!

1 comment:

James and Christen said...

Hey Josh,
Just wanted to let you know that I've been reading your blogs and enjoying them very much. This last one is very encouraging. I've been studying and preaching on what is the "true Gospel". People here seemed so deceived by false gospels that it has truly burdened me to know what the gospel truly is and preach it clearly and faithfully.
I miss our challenging talks. I have some friends whom I've had some challenging spiritual talks with, but I feel that they have gone too liberal in their theology and Biblical knowledge. I want to be open-minded but alert as well. Somehow I think they've let down their guard too much. Does that make sense?
Anyways, we think of you and Gretchen often and hope to see you soon.