My Understanding of Salvation

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Below is a short description of how I, as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, understand the gospel. God bless!


The Problem

God is love (1Jn. 4:8). He created everything to be in harmony with his love (Gen. 1-2). Adam and Eve were thus created to love God, each other, and the world around them. However, a fallen angel named Lucifer led our first parents into sin (Gen. 3:1-7). Upon the entry of sin our first parents were no longer under the power of love but the power of sin (Gen. 3:8-13; 1Jn. 4:18). Adam and all of his descendants, down to this day, are born under the power of sin and consequently are born with a sinful nature that is corrupt and bent to evil (Mic. 7:2-4; Mar. 7:21-23).
The Complication

Not only are we born under the power of sin with a natural inbuilt lust for evil but each of us without exception actually commit sin (Rom. 3:23; Isa. 53:6). Because we commit sin God, who is the governor and judge of the universe, must punish us (Psa. 145:20; Mat. 10:28). The penalty of sin is death, therefore we are all under the death penalty (Rom. 6:23). The only way to avoid this penalty is to perfectly keep Gods law which no one can do. So we have two problems: 1) we are under the power of sin which corrupts our very nature and 2) we are under the judgment of God which inflicts the death penalty on the sinner. Being a just God, God could not ignore man’s sin (Deut. 32:4). However, the Bible tells us that God loves us and because of his love he wants to spend eternity with us (John 3:16). How could he do so if all of us are under the death penalty?

The Resolution

Sin did not take God by surprise. From eternity past God already had a plan to save the fallen human race – He would not overlook our sin, but would instead take its punishment upon himself (Rev. 13:8). John 3:16 summarizes God’s remedy to the problem of punishing sin (death penalty) while simultaneously wanting to spend eternity with the people he created and loves. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He entered our world and lived a perfect, sinless life in human flesh (Joh. 1:1, 14). His perfect life and his death became a replacement for my life and death (Isa. 53; 2Co. 5:21). Those who believe in Jesus as their savior receive his perfect life to their account and their imperfect life is wiped away (Rom. 8:1). In this way, man can be forgiven. The moment we receive Jesus we stand complete in him and are considered perfect by God, not because of our good works, but because of the perfect life of Jesus (Eph. 2:8-9).

Fruits of the Resolution

This perfect life and death of Jesus also provides us power and an example for godly living, that by fixing our eyes on him and being filled with him we can become new creatures that love to keep Gods law of love (Exo. 20:1-17; Joh. 14:15; 1Jo. 5:3). In this way man can be restored. This restoration is evidence of conversion for a saved man is a changed man (Eph. 2:10). It is important to note that this restoration does not form the basis of man’s salvation. Our salvation is already secured “by grace through faith” because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. But this restoration is always the evidence that I have been saved. A truly born again person is not just a forgiven sinner but a forgiven and changed sinner growing in the grace of Jesus Christ.

The Final Resolution

While sinners are being saved today the problem of sin has not been fully resolved and will not be until Jesus returns to establish his eternal kingdom without end on the earth (Daniel 2). The second coming of Jesus is the final step in redemption. The saved will go to live with him forever, and the wicked will be eternally destroyed. Sin will be completely eradicated from the universe and the law of love will once again reign absolute (Rev. 21:1-7).

Comments

  1. Hey Marcos, long time no talk (about death and soul), and you are probably Really Very Busy now. So, Just wanted drop in and leave you this little 2-part “relevant comment” about “your” well-thought-out statement:

    "'Our' salvation is already secured 'by grace through faith' because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus"

    I think this could/should?/would be better "clarified/defined" with the following:

    (1) The Most Important Criteria for 'my' life is to exalt His Holy Name above all else, so I would be inclined to Identify God, The SON Better than just "Jesus" (as some may only think in terms of some modern day "Jesus" - like Jesus Alou [baseball], or maybe a neighbor named Jesus Garcia/Gonzalez, etc. instead of The SON God or God The SON - you "see" what I mean?). Sorry if this is not making sense ):

    So, I would/and do Identify HIM More with JESUS CHRIST, CHRIST JESUS, and Better: The LORD JESUS CHRIST, and Best of ALL = The LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST.

    (2) Salvation (or deliverance) actually has 3 parts (or tenses, so to speak - I think you touched on two of them):

    "Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us" (2 Corinthians 1:10)

    So, when you speak of "our" salvation, you will run into the "snag" that confuses people with this verse:

    "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12)

    So, then most would immediately think "works" instead of (or in addition to) "by Grace through faith" (and repentance?). (which would then "negate" The Perfect Sacrifice, correct?)

    So, my "recommended" clarification is:

    Use the entire passage:

    "For by Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is The Gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in CHRIST JESUS unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    This “complete” Scripture would then better complement (or vice-versa) The First Two of These Three:

    A) God's Salvation is from the Penalty of sin (past tense) (Yes, "Eternally Secure" - we agree with God on That Part, Amen!)

    B) "Our" salvation is from the Power of sin (HE Helps us Now as we "work this out" in this life) (present tense)

    C) Future Tense of God's Salvation - HE will "yet" deliver us from the Presence of sin (resurrection – hallelujah!)

    (Marcos, this is Awesome = Can we call it: The ABC's of Salvation! - Bible study anyone?)

    And finally, my favorite passage, of course is: 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18! (See ya'll in GloryLand? Amen and amen!)

    Sincerely yours and Securely HIS,

    Chris Endrizzi

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    1. Marcos, I just found this "Eternally Secure" piece on "The Three Tenses" in my archives - hope and pray it is helpful:

      I have not been much on Arminianism vs Calvinism, but more on getting what The Plain and Clear Scriptures teach so that They can Then be compared to the Obscure/Difficult (often "isolated") verses (which "need to be" interpreted) to keep God's Word Harmonious.

      Three Tenses of God's Eternal Salvation

      Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life [present], and shall not come into condemnation [future]; but is passed from death unto life [past]. (John 5:24)

      Additionally there are also three phases/tenses in the realm of SIN & DEATH that should help all of us even further understand God's Eternal Salvation:

      [God, Who raises the dead] Who delivered us from [the penalty of sin] so great a death, and doth deliver [us from the power of sin]: in Whom we trust that He will yet deliver us [from the presence of sin]
      (2 Corinthians 1:10)

      Penalty of sin [past tense] – DEBT Paid in FULL by the BLOOD of The LORD JESUS CHRIST

      Power of sin [present tense] - we can ask for God's Grace to help overcome sin in time of need

      Presence of sin [future tense] - The LORD JESUS CHRIST will deliver us at the Rapture/resurrection

      As always - Sincerely yours and SECURE-ly HIS!

      Chris

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    Replies
    1. Well said Chris! As Billy Graham used to say, "I am saved [justification], being saved [sanctification], and will be saved [glorification]." And it is all the work of our savior!

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  3. Hi, here's how to live life by God's Amazing Grace:

    Change my mind about my sin (repent)

    Completely 100% trust The LORD JESUS CHRIST and HIS BLOOD for forgiveness and washing away my sins (faith)

    Receive the "peace that passes understanding" (from HIM)

    Diligently study HIS Holy Word, Rightly Divided (HIS Approval) *

    Praise HIS Holy Name (worship)

    Make requests known to HIM (prayer)

    Give thanks to HIM in/for all things (gratitude)

    Love my neighbor (fulfills ALL of the law/manifests The Fruit of The Spirit)

    Give material things Cheerfully (as you purpose in your heart)

    Go on Home to be with HIM (death or live Departure)

    Receive rewards (Judgment)

    Live with HIM Eternally
    ========================

    Sincerely yours and SECURE-ly HIS!

    * More Resources:

    FREE Monthly Study = BereanBibleSociety.org

    Training for the Ministry = BereanBibleInstitute.org

    Missions = http://www.tcmusa.org/

    Grace ambassador = endrizzi.chris@gmail.com

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