Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Completeness of Salvation’

All of Salvation is for Today

Sunday, 27 May 2012 Leave a comment

Today we have the final installment of a 9 part series on the completeness of salvationWe will begin with a well known scripture.

For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (II Corinthians 6:2)

The word “salvation” was translated from the Greek word soteria, the noun form of the verb sozo. This verse is most commonly used when encouraging a person to accept salvation. If the person is being moved in their heart, we encourage them to not delay – now is the day of salvation. But, I believe this verse has applicability to every Christian every day. So, let’s briefly review where we have been in the last eight installments of this series on the completeness of our salvation using the Greek word sozo.

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

In verse 17, we saw the word “saved” comes from the word sozo and the word “condemn” indicates we are looking at our standing in the eyes of God. The Lord has lovingly and graciously provided a way for us to come into right-standing with Him. This is the spiritual aspect of our salvation.

And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. (Mark 5:34)

The phrase “made whole” was translated from the word sozo. In this case, a woman had been physically ill from a long-term ailment. This illustrates the physical part of our salvation – healing (see part 1 and part 2). Since Jesus also tells the woman to “go in peace,” we also see the soulical part of our salvation. Our salvation should bring us peace in our soul. This can also be seen in the following verse.

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

Here we see explicit reference to salvation for our soul through receiving the Word of God with meekness.

So, now return to the verse we started with, I Corinthians 6:2 – “now is the day of salvation.” Now is the day of your salvation – spirit, soul, and body. While your spiritual salvation was fully accomplished the day you believed on Christ, almost every one of us has a small (or large) need in our soul or body each and every day. Now is the day of your salvation. God has provided for your need today through the finished work of Christ.

God has provided salvation for us today in all of its forms. If you need to be saved and come into right-standing with God, today is the day of salvation. If you need healing in your body, today is the day of salvation – the day of healing for your body. If you need peace or your emotions are in disarray, today is the day of salvation – the day of peace, order, and rest for your soul. Now is the accepted time. Simply receive from Him today.

As Daniel Amstutz says, “There is something about life that is so daily.” I think we could modify this to say, “There is something about salvation that is so daily.”

– Be loved and blessed to be love and a blessing

Indeterminate Usages of sozo

Saturday, 26 May 2012 Leave a comment

Part 8 of a series on the completeness of salvation.

The most powerful passages of scripture that contain the word sozo are those in which the usage is indeterminate, meaning the component of your being the salvation pertains to is not made clear. Now that we understand the diverse usages of the word, these indeterminate passages can open up a world of love and provision for us from the Lord. All of these passages tend to describe the way in which we can receive salvation in all of its forms from God.

Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. (Luke 8:12)

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus describes four different types of hearts into which the Word of God is sown. The first type of heart is represented by the wayside – hard-packed ground. This seed does not penetrate the ground (heart) and is stolen away by the birds (the devil). This prevents the person from believing (with their heart) and being saved. The word “saved” is the word sozo. This passage is not only describing spiritual salvation, although that is its first and primary meaning. It is also describing all of the other aspects of salvation. For a Christian who needs healing or provision in any other aspect of salvation, if their heart is hardened the Word will not penetrate their heart and they will not be healed (saved).

This is a great truth in learning to receive from God. We need to prepare and soften our hearts so that we will receive the engrafted Word with meekness and its power will be released in our life. This must happen at our initial salvation, but as we have seen, God wants to provide continuously for us in this life. We will continue to receive deeper and broader aspects of our salvation as our hearts progress into or remain in the more favorable grounds described in the parable.

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

Once we are saved, why would Jesus need to continue to make intercession for us? The reason is because God wants to provide for us in this life past the point of initial salvation. God does not just want us saved spiritually, He wants us saved (and He is able to save us) to the uttermost. He wants us provided for completely. And, this is clearly the heart of God. “He ever liveth” to make intercession for us. It is His primary focus. It is the heartbeat of His life. It is because He loves us.

8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)

And, we now return full circle to the scripture that sent us down the path of discovering the aspects of salvation beyond just our spiritual salvation. Now that we have been reconciled (saved spiritually), there is much more to our salvation through the life of Christ living in our hearts. There is healing – salvation for our body in all respects. There is peace and comfort – salvation for our soul. Our entire being – spirit, soul, and body – have been provided for in salvation. And, it is all because “God commendeth His love toward us” in that “Christ died for us.”

We should also note in verse 10 that the “much more” of salvation comes through the life of Christ. This relates to His continued intercession for us (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25) and also the mystery of Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Paul prays for us in Ephesians 1:16-23 that we would know “the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us” (Amplified version). This is His life saving us – by the power that raised Him from the dead working in and for us to produce healing, deliverance, and peace.

 – Be loved and blessed to be love and a blessing

Deliverance

Friday, 25 May 2012 Leave a comment

Part 7 of a series on the completeness of salvation.

Another aspect of salvation involves demonic deliverance. Since deliverance could be classified as either physical or soulical salvation, we will briefly treat it separately.

They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. (Luke 8:36)

While there are other examples of demonic deliverance in the New Testament, this is the only instance in which the word sozo appears. But, it illustrates yet another dimension to salvation. God’s love in salvation provides for freedom from demonic oppression in your soul and/or body.

– Be loved and blessed to be love and a blessing

Salvation for Your Soul

Thursday, 24 May 2012 Leave a comment

Part 6 of a series on the completeness of salvation.

Along with our physical body, our soul (the mind, will, emotions, etc.) is where we spend most of our time. When it is not set in order, it can provide as much or more pain than a physical ailment. Surely if God has provided salvation for our spirit and our body He will not have left out provision for our soul.

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

Here it is, plain as day. The Word, when received with meekness, will save your soul. But, what exactly does salvation for your soul mean? From John 3:16 we know that salvation brings eternal life. But, John 17:3 says that eternal life is knowing God and Christ. Finally, Peter tells us that as we increase in knowledge of God, grace and peace are multiplied to us (II Peter 1:3). Therefore, salvation leads to peace, which is one aspect of salvation for your soul.

48And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven… 50And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. (Luke 7:48, 50)

And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. (Luke 8:48)

When the sinful woman ministered to Jesus in the house of Simon the Pharisee, Jesus clearly communicated to her that salvation should bring her peace. When the woman with the issue of blood was healed, Jesus told her to “be of good comfort” and “go in peace.” The concepts of peace and comfort relate to our soul. We should find comfort, peace, and rest when salvation comes to us.

When our spirit is still controlled and influenced by the kingdom of Satan, our soul will not be at peace because of disturbances in our spirit and the presence of our sinful nature. When our body is still sick, diseased, or deformed, our soul may not be at peace because of pain, discomfort, or other issues. Salvation is meant to most completely affect your soul through not only the removal of the sin nature and freedom from condemnation (Romans 8:1, Hebrews 10:2) but also freedom from sickness and disease. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3) As we trust in the Lord and keep our mind (part of our soul) upon Him, the effect will be peace for our soul.

We should not lose sight of where we started: James 1:21. When we receive the Word, it will provide for our salvation even to the soul part of our being. As we properly understand the finished work of Christ, the unconditional love of God, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our heart, we will change effortlessly. This will be the cause of laying aside such sins as described by James. Change does not happen from the outside inward, but from the inside outward.

For independent confirmation of the soul component of our salvation, we can once again use Isaiah 53:4-5 where it says that “the chastisement of our peace was upon him.” In the Amplified version it says “the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him.” God foresaw what we would need. Sin would not only ruin our relationship with God and cut us off from His spiritual provision, it would affect our bodies and our souls. His remedy would therefore need to address all of these areas – and so it has. What great love the Father has for us (Ephesians 2:4)!

By now you have surely realized that we have used Isaiah 53:4-5 for independent confirmation of God’s provisions in salvation for each part our being: spirit, soul, and body. This is a wonderful, beautiful, concise, and complete commentary on our salvation. The only thing missing is a declaration of God’s love as the motivation. But, yet it is not missing…

9For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. 10For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. (Isaiah 54:9-10)

The new covenant is rooted in God’s kindness, peace, and mercy towards us.

– Be loved and blessed to be love and a blessing

Salvation Reflected in Communion

Sunday, 15 Apr 2012 Leave a comment

Part 5 of a series on the completeness of salvation.

Before discussing the other aspects of sozo, it is well worth pausing to further tie spiritual salvation to physical healing.

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. (I Corinthians 11:23-26)

In communion we remember the sacrifice of Christ. Communion consists of two distinct components for a reason. What was accomplished in Christ in His crucifixion and resurrection was not just our spiritual salvation. If it were, communion would consist only of the wine which represents the shed blood of Christ for our sins. But, communion also includes bread which represents the body of Christ that was broken for us. If it was broken for you, there must be some benefit derived from it to you. Therefore, our salvation must extend beyond simply a spiritual component to a physical component. But, what exactly is the benefit? By His stripes we were healed (I Peter 2:24). This was how His body was broken for you.

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14)

Because God loves you, He wants to provide for you today not just in eternity.  And, He has already provided for you.  The price for your healing has been paid.  The provision for your healing has been made through the placement of the Holy Spirit – the same Spirit that healed through Jesus as He walked the earth – in your heart.  It is available to you right now.  The power that healed all the sick in the ministry of Jesus, the power that raised Him from the dead, lives on the inside of you.  Christ in you, the hope of glory!

– Be loved and blessed to be love and a blessing

Salvation for Your Body, Part 2

Saturday, 14 Apr 2012 Leave a comment

Part 4 of a series on the completeness of salvation.

Problems with our body can be quite varied and include among other things: communicable diseases (sicknesses) like colds, the flu, and plagues; diseases such as cancer; and, deformities due to genetic defects. So, it is natural to examine the areas in which God’s heart for healing was demonstrated by Jesus. This will point us to the extent of the provision for healing in salvation.

And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole. (Mark 6:56)

This verse is not terribly specific about the nature of the “sick” that were healed, but the Greek words used in verses 55 and 56 mean “diseased or sick.” Presumably, this includes communicable type diseases. But, other examples in the Gospels (such as the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever) support the assumption that Jesus healed many people of sicknesses that were due to communicable disease. This is clearly a provision in the atonement.

And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way. (Mark 10:52)

Blind Bartimaeus was presumably not blind because he was sick at the time Jesus ministered to him. Perhaps he became blind in the past because of sickness, but surely his blindness was due to some type of physical damage or deformity whether due to sickness, genetics, or accident. No matter the cause, physical organs can be restored through the power of God’s healing provision for us in the atonement.

8And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: 9The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 10Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. (Acts 14:8-10)

The impotent man at Lystra provides a very likely example of healing of a problem that is not due to sickness. Since he was an impotent cripple from his mother’s womb, it is likely this was a genetic type problem, a physical deformity rather than a sickness. No matter! He was healed without being touched even.

So, we have several examples indicating that healing is not limited to merely sickness and disease; it extends to all aspects of physical dysfunction. But, if there is any doubt, resurrection should cover just about all the bases…

But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. (Luke 8:50)

Jesus had just been informed that the daughter of Jairus had died. He would soon visit her and raise her from the dead. Here He uses the word sozo to describe her resurrection and complete healing. Hallelujah! There are many complexities when dealing with the resurrection of a dead person and healing in general, but we see here that the basic provision or foundation exists.

– Be loved and blessed to be love and a blessing

Salvation for Your Body, Part 1

Friday, 13 Apr 2012 Leave a comment

Part 3 of a series on the completeness of salvation.

As we saw in the part 1 of this series, God wants to deliver us from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). With the verses below, we will begin to see what this means.

28For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole29And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague… 34And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. (Mark 5:28-29, 34)

After the woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, she knew she was healed. The Greek word for “healed” in verse 29 is iaomai which is only used to describe physical healing. Therefore, when the woman was “made whole” at least a part of this was physical healing. The Greek word used for “be whole” and “made whole” in these verses is sozo! In the time of Jesus and the early church, “being saved” meant more than just right standing with God (salvation for your spirit). It meant salvation for your body.

Behold the provision! This flows from God’s love for us. God not only wants to spend eternity with you, He wants to provide for you in this life. This was dramatically illustrated time and time again in the life of Jesus. He was the perfect representation of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3), and in response to a person’s faith He routinely intervened in the lives of those who needed physical healing. He had compassion on all of the sick (Matthew 14:14), and He only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). Jesus loved the sick because God loves the sick. Jesus healed the sick because God healed the sick. This is God’s heart, love, and provision for you even today – to be whole in your body.

9If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; … 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:9, 12)

It is clear enough from other passages of scripture that Peter is referring to spiritual salvation in verse 12 when he says that we can be saved (sozo!) only by the name of Jesus. But, this is only 3 verses after the word sozo was clearly used to describe the physical healing of the impotent man at the Beautiful gate to the Temple. So, we have a close juxtaposition of usages of sozo to illustrate physical healing and spiritual salvation. In the minds of the apostles, to “be saved” meant to be made whole in your spirit and in your body.

Now, Peter was not the first to illustrate the connection between God’s provision for sin and sickness as we saw in Acts 4. Jesus demonstrated this when He ministered to the man let down on a bed through the roof of the house Jesus was ministering in. The man was healed because his sins had been forgiven. Physical healing flows from the provision for our spiritual healing – salvation. We may have forgotten it, but this was even clearly taught by David in Psalm 103:3 where he says that God forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases.

Again, before leaving this topic we should verify that the truth of physical healing being part of the atonement with scriptures independent of sozo. Aside from Psalm 103:3 cited above, we can point to Isaiah 53:4-5 again. In those scriptures, Isaiah says that Christ bore our sicknesses, carried our pains, and by His stripes we are healed. Check a Strong’s Concordance if you doubt that “griefs” means “sicknesses” and “sorrows” means “pains.” Or, why trust Mr. Strong? Matthew 8:16-17 clearly demonstrates that Isaiah is referring to physical healing.

16When the even was come, 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: 17That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. (Matthew 8:16-17)

And, to finalize the point, consider the words of the Apostle Peter.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (I Peter 2:24)

The Greek word used for “healed” is the word iaomai again. By His stripes we were physically healed.

– Be loved and blessed to be love and a blessing