IMPORTANT SALVATION CONCEPTS
The “Foundation of the Church” rests firmly on our great Savior, Jesus! There are several other terms regarding salvation that have been used in this issue. These and others will be used in future issues of ACTS Magazine. Because of their importance, it would be good to list and define them at this time.
This refers to the work of God’s grace in Christ by which we are:
- Saved “from” the penalty, power and future presence of sin.
- Saved “for” God’s purpose, and placed in His family in which we express the likeness of His Son.
When Christ died on the cross for our sins, He became our Savior. He died in our place and paid the price (penalty) for our sin. When we by faith receive Him as our Savior, we also receive the power of His resurrection life. As this new life flows into us, it brings wholeness (healing) for our spirit, soul and body.
To be “saved” means to be forgiven, healed, released, made whole (or complete) and restored. We are safe, sound and set free. We are free to become everything God has called us to be as His royal and beloved sons and daughters.
The term “generates” means to create or produce life. Regeneration, as we learned above, refers to the return or restoration of life after death.
We are “dead” in our sins. Therefore we must have a “new input” of spiritual life (be born again) to be brought back into the family of God.
There is only one way we can be born into an earthly family. That is by the impartation or input of natural life. This occurs through the process of biological reproduction. The germ or sex cells bring together the life that is needed to produce a new little baby boy or girl.
The same is true when it comes to being “born” into the family of God. There must be an input of spiritual life -a Divine seed. That “Seed of Life” is a Person -and that Person is Jesus Christ. When we receive Christ into our heart, He is the Life which brings us to birth in God’s holy family. Therefore every Christian has had two births: a natural birth and a spiritual birth. This is what it means to be “born again.”
The word “atone “means to become “at-one” with another (at one-ment). It speaks of agreement and peace which is the result of making wrongs right.
Sin is a wrong against God. Therefore it separates or “alienates” us from God. We need to be “reconciled” or brought back into fellowship with Him.
The only way the results of sin can be made of no effect is by “justification” (counting a sinner righteous). Justification is not the act (as some suppose) of overlooking sin or blindly ignoring transgression. A holy and just God cannot overlook sin.
Sin can be canceled, covered or put aside only if the penalty of sin has been paid. Only then can justice be satisfied and the sin be blotted out. When the penalty for the wrong has then been fully paid, fellowship can be restored.