The mission He is with us 'Til and thru the end
The mission He is with us 'Til and thru the end
Do we really need ‘Salvation’? How do we attain it?
Man has ‘sinned’ (what is sin?)
First of all, we need to understand our need for salvation. Salvation is what delivers us from our sin which is disobedience to God’s Word and brings us back into right standing with God, our Creator.
The dictionary defines sin as transgression of God’s law or a polluted or an ineffective state of human nature.
Ten Hebrew words are used for sin in the Old Testament all of which are translated as sin while their depth varies. Here are some: asham (H817) guilt, trespass; ashmah (H819) offend; chata (H2398) bear, blame (also opp.); chet (H2399) fault, offense; avown (H5771) fault, iniquity, punishment; pesha (H6588) rebellion; shagah (H7686) stray, deceive, error. Get the idea?
Three Greek words are translated with similar definitions (as the Hebrew) with slight differences. Along with ‘sin’ and they are harmartano (G264) miss the mark, offend, trespass, hamartema (G265) sin and hamartia (G266) offence.
Note that all these words do relate to some variation of sin.
So why are we concerned about sin? Thank you Adam and Eve, for they were the first ones to go against ‘one, simple thing’ God asked them not to do, that is eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:1-24 foc v 11). This act of disobedience polluted their nature for all time and because all of man descends from Adam and Eve, we inherit their nature by birth ((Psalm 51:5, Rom. 3:10, Rom. 5:12, Rom. 5:19). Soman is sinful, by nature, from birth. Yet, don’t get too down for little children are sanctified by at least one believing parent (1 Corinth. 7:14-15. We adults are sanctified (G37 – purified, made holy) through our faith in Jesus Christ. That is God looks at us through Jesus so our sin is covered because of our faith. God sees our children through us, through Jesus – until they can make their own decision for Christ, for themselves.
We see sin (our disobedience to God) compounding through Cain’s murder of his brother Abel (jealousy, Gen. 4:1-15, foc v 8 & 10) and as we read the Old Testament, we see sin growing and compounding more and more. How many times have man and Israel come to God and then strayed from God? The farther man gets from God, the fewer restraints encouraging us to keep God’s commandments. Not to cite all Ten Commandments here but the first two say it all “You shall have no other gods before Me” and “You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain’. God, and respect for Him, come first, then everything else follows. As we read through the other eight commandments, God explains how His love works for us. a couple of ‘do’s’ and a lot of ‘don’ts’, but they are for our own good (Exod. 20:1-7).
Paul tells the Romans that we (all of man) have sinned (Rom. 3:23). James goes on to tell us that because we are drawn away by the lusts of our own heart, we ‘mess up’ (James 1:12-15). When the Jews actually performed (the ‘act of) a commandment, they were guilty, but Jesus comes back and tells us that once we have determined to do something, in our heart) we are guilty! And Paul tells the Romans it goes even a bit farther. Everything we that we do ‘not in faith’ becomes sin (Rom. 14:22-23). So we believe that God will do what He says as long as we ask in His will (1 John 5:14).To help clarify the situation, Paul gives the Corinthians a list of those who will not see heaven (read it – 1 Corinth. 6:9-10).
So, sin, basically is not abiding in Gods’ will.
Consequences of sin
So why do I even care about trying not to sin?
The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23)!
The dictionary defines death as cessation of all vital functions or a loss of life,
The Hebrew words translated as death give us an idea of the ‘how’, and they are: muwth (H4191) destroy, die, kill; maveth (H4194) violent death, ruin; tsalmaveth (H6757) shadow of death; muhthah (H8546) as in execution.
The Greek words used for death are: anairesis (G336) act of killing; anaireo (G337) abolish, murder, kill, slay; apago (G520) put to death, take away, lead away; apoasthnesko (G599) dead, slain, dying; apokteino (G615) kill, destroy, slay, put to death; epithanatios (G1935) doomed, appointed for death; eschatos (G2079) point of death; thanatos (G2288) death, dead; thanatoo (G2289) kill, mortify [destroy strength, deaden]; teleute (G5054) decease, die.
Again, these words do mean ‘death’ but they also imply ‘how’ and the condition of.
One may say “But Adam & Eve didn’t die as soon as they ate the forbidden fruit.” Correct! Adam lived for 930 years (Gen. 5:5) presumably after being kicked out of the garden. But God also prevented them from accessing the ‘tree of life’ (Gen. 3:23-24), which gave man access to in eternity (Rev. 2:7, Rev. 22:1-2). God declares that he gives man 120 years (Gen. 6:3), so man’s time is limited, in this world.
Man does not, necessarily, immediately die a physical death because of sin. Yet Paul tells the Corinthians that the wages (payment) of sin is death (Rom. 6:20-23). Moses was 120 years old when he died (Deut. 34:1-7). We read in the bible where the angel of death came through Egypt slaying the first born of those not covered by the blood (Exod. 12:1-29, foc. V12). Even those who had professed Jesus were ‘taken out’ because their hearts were not right such as Ananias and his wife Sapphira, as they lied to the Holy Ghost and suffered the consequences (Acts 5:1-11).
Separation from God (Spiritual Death)
But ‘death’ initially meant(s) separation from God as Adam & Eve were expelled from the Garden, the presence of the Almighty God. So just what is separation?
The dictionary defines ‘separation’ as alone, apart, a division, sever, existing by oneself, dissimilar in nature or being.
The Hebrew words used for separation are niddah (H5079) set apart [as unclean]; and nezer (H5145) as in removing a crown or hair; taking consecration [calling].
I found no Greek words listed as meaning ‘separation. (??? – interesting)
So separation means being alone or being set apart from something else (God). Interesting the definitions include the parting from a consecration or a calling – in other words, what has God intended for us can be taken away.
Nonetheless, separation means that we are set apart from God’s love and mercies. He is no longer with us!
Back to Adam & Eve. Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden (Gen. 4:23-24) meaning that God would no longer come into the garden and spend time with them, as He apparently had been in the habit of doing (Gen.3:8-11). The Lord tells Isaiah that sin has separated man from Him (Isa.59:1-2, also note Room. 3:21-23). Peter helps us understanding sin and punishment by citing a list of sins (2 Peter 2:1-22). Paul reminds the Romans that, if we insist, He will give us over to our sins (v24) and, a bigger issue, that even when we know the result of our sin, we still may take pleasure in doing them (Rom. 1:21-32).
So death means exiting life from this world but also involves a separation from God. And being separated from God means while we are yet here on the earth or forever (Rev.20:11-15).
Danger of eternal Hell
What does separation from God involve? Heaven is living eternally in God’s presence. There is only one alternative and the opposite of heaven is hell (Matt. 7:21-23).
The dictionary defines hell as a nether world where dead continue to exist and/or it is a place or state of torment,
The Hebrews had one word used for hell, sheol (H7585) hades, world of the dead, subterranean ‘retreat’. “A subterranean retreat”?(lol).
The Greeks used several words to describe this final destination: hades (G86) place of separated souls, grave; geenna (G1067) place of everlasting punishment and tartaroo (G5020) eternal torment, cast down to … The Greeks realized that this was not a place to have a springtime picnic enjoying fun and games.
Those not found in God’s Book of Life are cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15) (eternal death).
So just who is hell reserved for?
The angels who rebelled against God and the beast and false prophet of Revelation (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6-8, Rev. 20:10). Those who have rejected God as the rich man, who treated Lazarus badly (Luke 16:191-331). Simon the sorcerer who thought he could purchase the ability to give others the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:9-24). And, of course, all those who had to stand the ‘Great White Throne’ judgment (again Rev. 20:11-15).
Hell is reserved for all those who have rejected God! Man and angels!
Okay, so let’s turn the page now.
Exactly what is salvation?
The dictionary defines salvation as: saving a man from the power and defects of sin; liberation from clinging to the phenomenal world of appearance or final union with ultimate reality; preservation from failure or destruction; agent, means or discourse of spiritual experience determining the soul’s redemption; something that saves from danger or difficulty.
Hebrew words representing salvation: yeshuwah (H3444) welfare, something saved; yasha (H3467) preserve, rescue; yesha (H3468) liberty, deliverance, prosperity; mowshaah (H4190) deliverance; teshuwah (H8668) help, safety, rescue, deliverance
The Greek words are: soteria (G4991) save, rescue, deliver; soterion (G4992) defender
Salvation and redemption go hand in hand. When we are saved, we are redeemed and when we are redeemed, we are saved. Take not of the name of God, “Yahweh” or Jesus “Yeshua”.
Let’s take a look at redemption
The dictionary definition for redemption is an act of redeeming, buy back, liberate, change for the better, restore, free from, atone.
The Hebrew words: gaal (H1350) purchase, buy back, redeem, revenger; geullah (H1353) also right to redeem; padah (H6299) rescue; peduth (H6304) as deliverance; pidyown, pidyon (H6306) redemption.
Greek words: apolutrosis (G629) deliverance, redemption; exagorazo (G1805) rescue from; iutroo (G3084) redeem; iutrosis (G3085) redemption
So, salvation and redemption carry the connotation of being delivered, saved, rescued or brought to safety or to bought back, purchased or rescued (in a nut shell).
That is both salvation and redemption from sin is being rescued and/or bought back by a loving God who has forgiven us.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever should believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16-18).
Salvation/redemption is the greatest expression of God’s love as Jesus gave His life for us (John 15:1-15). Jesus tells us that to receive this gift of salvation, we must come humbly, as a little child (Matt. 18:1-6). Consider that a child accepts what mom and dad say without question, without doubt. God is our heavenly – what? – Father! Do we trust Him completely?
We believe that we are redeemed (saved) through the blood of Christ (Col. 1:12-15, foc v 14). Jesus is an advocate for us and a propitiation (stand-in) for our sins (1 John 2:1-2). As Jesus has forgiven us, we should also forgive our brothers (Matt. 6:14-15) and should we have something against a brother, we should reconcile that issue (Matt. 5:23-24).
Jesus says that if we love Him, we need to keep His commandments (John 14:15). Am I talking about the “Ten Commandments”? No, but yes. The Ten Commandments are a very basic explanation of how Father expects us to express our love for Him. And just what are the most important “love” commandments? Love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and then love our brothers as ourselves” (Mark 12:29-31). Matthew adds the “why”, for the Law and the prophets all rely on these two commandments Matt. 22:40). Everything we believe.
Learning how to live in God’s love is paramount to our Christian walk and we’ll talk about that in another session. However, remember, our salvation is imperative in keeping our names in the “Book of Life” (Rev. 3:5).
Psalms 51:1-19 is a magnificent prayer for salvation and our commitment to God. Read it!
Salvation begins with our confession of faith in Jesus Christ. We must confess Jesus as Lord (Phil. 2:9-11) and Savior (Acts 4:10-12) and believe in our heart that God has indeed raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9).
Life and death is in the tongue (Prov. 18:21) so we need to speak out loud our confession of faith, whether there is anybody else around or not.
Hebrew words meaning confession are yadah (H3034) and towdah (H8426), both which carry the same idea to be thankful, praise or cast away.
The Greek words are exomologeo (G1843) acknowledge, agree, profess; homologeo (G3670) acknowledge, promise, give thanks; homologia (G3671) acknowledge or profess.
Note that the meanings are consistent with ‘speaking out’ because we acknowledge what we have done and then are giving God thanks for pulling us out of the former ‘mess’.
God tells us that we need to confess our sin before Him (Psalms 32:5). Jesus tells us that we access Father through Him (Eph. 2:13-16). In confession we know that God will forgive us our sin (1 John 1:9). As we confess our sin, God remembers the covenant (of life) He has with man (Lev. 26:40-42). We always sin against God (Psalm 51:4) but at times, we sin against others so we also need to confess those sins to that person and we all need to pray for one another so we all might be healed (James 5:16).
So, once we’ve handled our end, what does God do? He sets our sin behind His back (Isa. 38:17) and our sins are cast into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).
Now that we have confessed our sin and asked/given forgiveness (as necessary) we need to repent those sins. So, just what is repentance?
The dictionary defines repentance as to turn from sin and amend one’s life or feel regret or contrition.
Hebrew words for repentance are: nacham (H5162) breathe heavy, comfort oneself, avenge oneself; nocham (H5164) rueful (very sorry), stop; shuwb (H7725) turn away from, return to starting point, convert, recover, refresh.
Greek words are: metamellonai (3338) regret; metaneo (G3340) reconsider, feel guilt or remorse; metanoia (G3341) reverse decision.
Should we let out a heavy sigh because of what we have done? Surely, we need to be truly sorry for what we have done and make the decision, the determination, not to do it anymore.
God asks us to repent our sin and come back to Him with all our heart (1 Kings 8:46-50).
When we have experienced a deep-felt (Godly) sorrow, that will re-secure our right standing with God (2 Corinth. 7:10). When we truly repent, our sins are blotted out (Acts 3:19, see above). When we have repented what we have done, we do a 180 degree turn and do what Father has called us to do (from the beginning) (Acts 26:20). And now that we are back on the right track, we continue pressing forward, living for God (Rom 11:6-24, foc v22) as e continually renew our minds in His word (Rom. 12:2).
Acceptance of forgivenes
Once we’ve asked God and/or others for forgiveness, one of the hardest things for people to do is receive that forgiveness for themselves.
The dictionary defines acceptance as: concluding a contract, receive with consent, respond to favorably, approve, endure without protest,
Hebrew words for acceptance are: yatab (H3190) amend, rightfully use, make better, trim; laqach (H3947) bring, buy, draw, get, receive; naphal (H5307) acceptance; nacah (H5375) to lift up, raise up, pardon; ruwach (H7306) breathe, enjoy, help understand; ratsah (H7521) be pleased with, satisfy, approve, reconcile self; ratsown (H7522) acceptable, delight, pleasure.
The Greek words: apodechomai (G588), welcome, receive gladly (G1184); dechomai (1209) accept, receive, take; euarestos (G2101) acceptable, wellpleasing; euprosdektos (G2144) well received; charitoo (G5487) highly favored.
So accepting forgiveness is actually receiving it for ourselves.
The dictionary defines forgive as a pardon.
kaphar (H3722) cleanse, atone, forgive, mercy, purge away; nacah (H5375) fetch, pardon, raise take away; calach (H5545) forgive, pardon, spare; celilychah (H5547) forgiveness, pardon.
apoluo (G630) divorce from, release, set at liberty; aphiemi (G863) lay aside, relieve, put away; give, charizomai (5483) grant as a favor.
So forgiveness is being released (or releasing another) from something. It is purged, pardoned or put away – for good.
Upon confession, God forgives us our sin(s) and forgets it (them) and restarts us with a clean slate (Rom. 12:1-2). Likewise we should forgive others and they should do the same. Finally we need to forgive ourselves (Satan WILL try to keep us down).
But our eyes should be opened to turn from darkness to see God’s light because we have tuned from the powers of Satan towards God. We are now sanctified, by faith, in Christ Jesus (Acts 26:18). God gives us the power (Acts 1:8) to, at least, live this life. AND, as we have also seen, we need to renew our thinking processes.
Renunciation (Determine not to repeat sin)
Part of confession and repentance is determining not to do, whatever our sin was, again – from our heart. The key here is sincerity. God knows our heart (1 Kings 8:39, Rom. 8:27).
The dictionary defines renunciation as to give-up, refuse, resign by formal declaration, refuse to follow
Interesting, I could find no Hebrew words to define renunciation.
However, the Greek word used is epeipomen (G550) disown.
Sounds a bit like forgiveness, doesn’t?
Jesus healed the lame man by the pool of Bethesda. Questions ensued how could Jesus heal on the Sabbath. At the end of the scenario Jesus tells the healed man “You ae made whole. Sin no more unless something worse comes upon you (John 5:1-14). A woman is taken in the act of adultery. Jesus stops the stoning and draws in the sand. After all her accusers have gone, Jesus says ”Neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-11, foc v 10-11). Paul tells the Romans that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. For whom would a man die? God reconciled us through the death of Jesus so how much more are we saved through His life? We have received atonement for our sins through Jesus (Rom. 6:1-7, foc v 7). We should live, like we understand this! Our commitment for change is evidenced in our prayers. The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man means a lot to God (James 5:16). Those prayers effect what we do so ew implement them into our own lives.
Our life-style changes when we decide to turn completely away from our old way of living. And our determination is ‘not to go back’!
When we’ve sinned against another, we might just have to make some reparation (repairs) as necessary.
The dictionary defines reparation as to repair or make amends, to keep in repair, payment for damages, satisfy.
The Hebrew word for reparation is shalam (H7999) render, make restitution, restore.
Greek words for reparation are: antapodidomi (G467) repay, render; apodidomai (G591) repay, render, restore, yield; apotino (G661) repay (in full)
According to the Law, Exodus cites offence and repayment. Read the list (Ex. 21:1-22:9). God tells Moses that there is reparation for offences (Num. 5:5-7). This is exemplified even though a thief steals out of need, he still needs to repay (Prov. 6:30-31). Zaccheus, a tax collector, vows to repay all, and even more, because of his dishonesty (Luke 19:1-10, foc v 8). There may be ‘payback’. That is, we may have to make restitution.
So, just what does our salvation mean to us? Jesus says that if we love Him, keep His commandments (John 14:15). His commandments are to love Him and others as He has loved us (John 15:12).
When we love, we endeavor not to sin and we find that salvation brings us deeper into God’s realm of love. We discover that violation of God’s law of love is sin. We have seen that when we sin there are consequences and the ultimate consequence of sin is physical and spiritual death. And that means eternal hell.
We’ve seen that salvation is being saved from the consequences of sin - eternal destruction. But for us – eternal life! To obtain salvation, we need to confess our sins, be truly sorry we committed them, determine not to do them again and make any reparation, as necessary to those affected.
Our biggest gain is existence with our eternal Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. And this is where get our biggest reward and that reward is the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16-17, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-4) to help us in this life and of course, eternal fellowship with the Father through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
What is salvation? You tell me!