There is Hope because we have a Complete Savior in Christ
What does it mean to be saved? Many of us live our entire life with this hope of salvation; but what is it?
The Bible presents one gospel, broken down into three different phases. Salvation in the past, Salvation in the present, and Salvation in the future. Salvation in the present and the future all depends on Salvation in the past. Unless you understand this, you will be frustrated in your Christian experience. Each of these phases has its foundation in Christ.
Many Christians teach that first, you must hear the Gospel (the good news of salvation through Christ). Second, you must believe the Gospel. Third, you must repent and confess your sins to God. Fourth, you must invite Jesus into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord. Thus, you receive salvation because you took these steps into God’s grace. Your faith and work of repentance allow Christ to cover you with His perfect life and to make you appear justified, guiltless, righteous, and sinless before God.
The steps above may be involved before someone experiences salvation personally or internally. However, they neglect a vital part of the Gospel: God’s initiative in justifying and saving all mankind in Christ before the steps of faith and the works of repentance have ever been taken (John 6:33, 51; Romans 5:17, 18). In this case, the saving is already done. All are already experiencing the benefits of temporal life. However, God never forces the gift of eternal salvation on anyone. We must simply believe and accept this gift of perfect and complete salvation wrought out for us in Christ. Then, we experience eternal life internally (1 John 5:11, 12).
Jesus came to save the whole human race. But the personal experience of salvation happens when you believe Christ and what he's accomplished. Unfortunately, not everybody's going to believe this good news and accept the personal experience of salvation. God took an initiative, and he did something to save the human race from extinction. Every person is benefiting from his cross, but the fact is that unless a person responds to God's work on their heart through his spirit, through his word, through his agents, they won't accept it.
What happens when one rejects the work of Christ on their behalf? Obviously, they will not be a part of the world to come. but oh my friends; I hope you've decided to accept what Jesus has done for us. He is our only solution from death, and he will grant us life eternal.
The Bible presents three phases of the saving work that God has sent his Son to do for us.
Note: Please understand that these are three phases of salvation and not three phases of the gospel. There is one gospel.
In Christ, we have been saved from the penalty of sin. This is a historical fact! All humanity has been bought back or redeemed from the curse of the law. This first phase or past-tense salvation, including all that God has already accomplished “in Christ”, is the gospel! The first phase gives us temporary life. 2 Corinthians 1:10 says: “who delivered us from so great a death”, referring to immediate extinction. That gives us the opportunity to make a decision to receive or reject the gospel. It depends on us, as to how we respond to what he has done for us. if we believe it and accept it according to the word of God, we experience personal salvation. You experience this through faith.
Second phase - deliverance from the power of sin. The second phase of salvation, present-tense, is justification by faith which is unto eternal life and which produces sanctification. This is the fruit of the gospel (also called the fruit of the Spirit). Many of us want to focus solely on what Christ did for us in the past. Jesus has done something for all of us in the past, but he also wants us to experience here, in this life, victory over the world, over sin, and over the devil.
God's grace is the power to not only do what is right but also to overcome what is not in harmony with God's will. when we believe on Jesus and experience this personal salvation, he saves us from the penalty of sin, which is death, but he also delivers us from the power of sin in our lives. We all want to do better. We long to be good. We realize that we can’t be good in our own strength, but God, through his grace, gives us the free gift of the Son, and the power and life of Christ which can cause us to not only have those desires but to fulfill those desires to resist sin. The addict overcomes his addiction. the alcoholic overcomes alcohol. The wife-beater stops beating and starts treating his wife well; all because of this transformed life which we receive by faith.
We yield to the cravings and longings of this flesh and without God, that's what we'll do - we'll be faithful to the flesh. but when we receive God's spirit by faith we have something stronger and more powerful than our flesh, and now we have a choice; we have the ability, now, to choose. it's not like we're slaves to sin anymore. those who are in Christ have been set free from the power or rule of sin over their lives. which is a beautiful experience. you are made free in Christ.
Third phase - Deliverance from the presence of sin: 2 Corinthians 1:10 also bring to light a third phase of salvation: “in which trust that he will still deliver us”. The imperative is “will”. Christ “will still deliver us”. From what does he deliver us? The penalty of sin, the power of sin over our lives, and also the presence of sin. The third phase of salvation is yet future and is called glorification which is the hope of the gospel. Jesus wants to prepare us for His soon return.
If we miss any aspect of this salvation, that means that we really haven't experienced Christ and are still in that state of needing to be saved. We need to make sure that we have experienced all aspects of God's salvation.
Christ is able to continue to deliver us and keep us until he comes to do the third aspect of salvation, which is to take us to heaven.
The storms of this life often threatens to overflow and overwhelm us; but in God's Word we find reasons to keep swimming; keep striving; keep pressing and holding on. In this series we explore 21 reasons why we can have hope, even in a world, or personal experience, that feels hopeless.