Sermon #1591[1]                   Miscellaneous Sermon


     Title:          Salvation As God Describes It

     Text:           Psalm 68:18-20

     Subject:      Nine Bible Descriptions of Salvation

     Date:          Sunday Morning—October 3, 2004

     Reading:    Ephesians 1:3-2:10

     Tape #        Y-44b



Turn with me to Psalm 68:18-20. This Psalm is a prophetic declaration of Christ’s resurrection, ascension and glory as our Substitute. We know that because that is the interpretation given to this passage by God the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 4. Let’s begin at verse 18.


Verse 18 —”Thou hast ascended on high.” — Having accomplished all that he came here to accomplish, having redeemed his elect from all sin, having brought in everlasting righteousness for us, when he had made an end of sin, having obtained eternal redemption for us, the Lord Jesus took his seat in glory by the merit of his own blood as our Mediator. Read on


Thou hast led captivity captive.” — We do not have to guess what this means. The Apostle Paul tells us that our all-glorious Christ, “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:14-15). He took every enemy of our souls into captivity. That includes Satan (Rev. 20:1-3).


Next we read, — “Thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” — The ascended Christ, who entered into heave as a Forerunner for us, received gifts for us? What gifts? All the gifts of grace, righteousness, and salvation for men, even for us rebels “who are by nature children of wrath even as others,” that God the Holy Spirit might come down here and dwell in our hearts in grace and that the Holy Lord God might dwell among us forever in the world to come. As the result of this, he daily loads us with the benefits of grace (v. 19).


Verse 19 — “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.” Now, read verse 20…


Verse 20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.” He who is our God, he alone and none but he, this holy Lord God, Jesus Christ our almighty, effectual Savior, he is the God of salvation. To him and to him alone belong the issues from his death. That is to say, all the fruits, benefits, and blessings issuing from his death as our Substitute are his to give.


I want to talk to you about salvation. The title of my message is Salvation as God Describes It.


We all want to be saved. We all want salvation. But if you asked a dozen men to describe salvation, if you asked them what salvation is and where it is to be found, you would get a dozen or more answers.

·       Some say, “Salvation is in the church.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is in baptism.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is in the Lord’s Supper.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is found in meditation and prayer.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is in religious works.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is in moral decency.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is in love and kindness.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is in doctrine.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is in a decision.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is in surrender, brokenness and humility.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is in an experience.”

·       Some say, “Salvation is grace plus... or Christ plus…”


With all the confusion and babel there is in this world, I think it might be wise for us to lay aside the church creeds, confessions, and catechisms, all of them! Lay aside the theology books, the religious papers, and even the opinions of great men of the past. Let’s try to forget what Calvinism says salvation is and what Arminianism says salvation is, and try to find out what God says salvation is. Can you, will you do that? Will you lay aside everything you have ever heard, or thought about salvation, and look with me into the Word of God to see what God says about it? Turn to Ephesians 2:8-9 and read these two verses with me).


(Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.”


1.    First, we must be agreed upon what we are talking about when we are talking about salvation. Salvation is the deliverance of our souls from sin: from its curse, its dominion, and its consequences, and ultimately even from its being. Salvation is our complete restoration to God and holiness in the eternal glory of heaven. That is what I am talking about when I am talking about salvation.

·       Not an Experience but an Emancipation!

·       Not a Decision but a Deliverance!

·       Not a Reformation but a Restoration!


2.    Secondly, I want you to see that wherever salvation is spoken of in the Word of God four things are always asserted emphatically about it.

·       Salvation is by grace alone!

·       Salvation is through faith alone!

·       Salvation is in Christ alone!

·       This salvation, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone is accomplished entirely without works on the part of the one saved.


Be sure you hear me right – My relationship with the eternal God does in great measure determine what I do; but what I do does not in any measure determine my relationship with God. God’s grace has much to do with my works; but my works, good or bad, have nothing to do with God’s grace. Now let’s see if this is or is not what the Book of God declares (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:28; 4:3-5, 16; 9:15-16; 11:6; Galatians 2:16; 5:2, 4; 2 Timothy 2:9-10).


(Romans 3:28) “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”


(Romans 4:3-5) “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”


(Romans 4:16) “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.”


(Romans 9:15-16) “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”


(Romans 11:6) “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”


(Galatians 2:16) “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”


(Galatians 5:2) “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.”


(Galatians 5:4) “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”


(Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.”


(2 Timothy 2:9-10) “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. (10) Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”


Proposition: This then is clearly the doctrine of Holy Scripture. — Salvation is the work of God alone, a gracious work of God wrought for and in sinners, without their aid or assistance, through the mediatorial work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit.


Divisions: Now, I want us to look at nine passages of Holy Scripture and see Salvation As God Describes It. Here are nine Bible descriptions of salvation. It is not my purpose in this message to expound these verses in their context. I simply want to pick from them nine descriptions of salvation, nine God given descriptions of salvation. This is salvation as God describes it in the Book he has written.


1.    “Thy Salvation” (Gen. 49:18).

2.    “Eternal Salvation” (Heb. 5:9).

3.    “The Salvation of the Righteous” (Ps. 37:39).

4.    “Common Salvation” (Jude 3).

5.    “My Salvation” (Ps. 118:21).

6.     “Your Own Salvation” (Phil. 2:12).

7.    “So Great Salvation” (Heb. 2:3).

8.    “Everlasting Salvation” (Isa. 45:17).

9.    “Salvation Ready to be Revealed” (1 Pet. 1:5).


Thy Salvation


I. The very first time the word “salvation” is used in the Bible, it is used by Jacob in the prophetic words given to his sons, regarding the twelve tribes of Israel in Genesis 49:18. There Jacob says, “I have waited for thy Salvation, O LORD.”


If we had nothing else to go on but the law of first mention, this is enough to teach us that wherever the Bible talks about salvation it is talking about something that is the peculiar property of God alone. “Salvation is of the Lord!” And “salvation is the Lord’s” (Ex. 14:13; 2 Chro. 20:15, 17; Isa. 41:10, 11, 13, 14).


(Exodus 14:13)  “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”


(2 Chronicles 20:15)  “And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”


(2 Chronicles 20:17)  “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”


(Isaiah 41:10-11)  “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (11) Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.”


(Isaiah 41:13-14)  “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (14) Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”


Illustration: Jonah in the Whale’s Belly.


Salvation is Gods work alone, Gods possession alone, and Gods prerogative alone. He gives it to whom he will (Rom. 9:16; John 1:11-13).


(John 1:11-13)  “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”


(Romans 9:16)  “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”


This is the universal message of Holy Scripture – Salvation is of the Lord!


A. He planned it! God the Father did!

B. He purchased it! God the Son did!

C. He performed it! God the Spirit did!

D. He preserves it!

E. He perfects it!

F. He shall have the praise of it!


When you think or talk about God’s salvation, remember these two words – Thy Salvation!” Salvation is the Lord’s!


Eternal Salvation


II. Second, in Hebrews 5:9 we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Author of “Eternal Salvation” – “Being made perfect, he became the Author of Eternal Salvation unto all them that believe.”


Now listen carefully. — Though it was purchased at Calvary by the blood of Christ, though it is wrought in the hearts of chosen sinners by God the Holy Spirit at God’s appointed time of love in regeneration, salvation is an eternal work of God. It was devised and secured, predestinated and purposed, and in the mind and purpose of God, it was performed in the covenant of grace before the world began.


Read your Bible and you will see that this is so. I am not talking to you about what Calvinism says, or even what logic and reason necessitate. I am talking to you about what God says.


A. Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).


(Revelation 13:8)  “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”


B. We were chosen and predestinated unto salvation, and blessed with all the blessings of salvation in Christ before the world began (Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Tim. 1:9-10).


(Ephesians 1:3-6)  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”


(2 Timothy 1:9-10)  “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”


C. We were redeemed, justified, called, and glorified from eternity (Rom. 8:28-30).


(Romans 8:28-30)  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”


D. We were accepted in the Beloved before we were ruined in Adam (Eph. 1:6).


(Ephesians 1:6)  “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”


E. We were blessed of God with all the blessings of salvation and grace in Christ before ever the worlds were made (Eph. 1:3).


(Ephesians 1:3-6)  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”


Our salvation in time is neither more nor less than the outworking of “eternal salvation!”


The Salvation

of the Righteous


III. In Psalm 37:39 God the Holy Spirit describes salvation in another way. He calls our salvation — “The Salvation of the Righteous.


(Psalms 37:37-40)  “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. (38) But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. (39) But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. (40) And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.”


A. Here is the gospel of the grace of God. — “The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord” (v. 39). The righteous is the perfect man, made perfect by grace spoken of in verse 37. The only difference between him and the transgressors who shall be destroyed (v. 38) is the difference grace has made (1 Cor. 4:7).


B. Here our experience of grace is stated. — “He is their strength in the time of trouble” (v. 39).


C. The promises of grace summarized in verse 40. — “The LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them.”


D. And the great evidence of grace declared. — “Because  they trust in him” (v. 40).


Common Salvation


IV. Fourth, Jude writes to us of the common salvation”. (Read Jude 1-3).


(Jude 1:1-3)  “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: (2) Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied. (3) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”


Certainly, Jude does not mean for us to think that God’s salvation is common in the sense that it is ordinary or cheap. Not on your life! But he does mean for us to understand that salvation is the same wherever it is found. It is the same in the experience of all who are saved. Every true child of God has experienced the same salvation. All are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.


A. We do not all experience grace the same way. — Paul’s experience was not the same as Lydia’s. Both experienced the same grace, but not the same way.


Illustration: The Two Blind Men (Mk. 8:22-25 cf Mk. 10:51-52).


(Mark 8:22-25)  “And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. (23) And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. (24) And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. (25) After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.”


(Mark 10:51-52)  “And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. (52) 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.”


The experience of grace is not always the same. Our needs are the same, the grace is the same, and the results are the same; but the experience is not the same.


B. Yet, all who are saved have a common salvation.

·       A Common Savior!

·       A Common Family!

·       A Common Hope!

·       A Common Blessedness!

·       A Common Inheritance!


My Salvation


V. How do you imagine that salvation is most often described by God in his Word? What term do you think is most frequently used in connection with salvation throughout the Book? If I were a betting man, I would give good odds that no one in this building could tell me. Turn to Psalm 118:21, and I will show you. God’s most commonly used description of salvation has to be the very sweetest. Here that salvation which God gives to and works in chosen sinners is called “my salvation.” — “I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:18).


(Psalms 118:21)  “I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.”


How I love the way our great, gracious, all-holy God teaches us to use this personal, possessive pronoun in connection with his great gift of grace! I am talking to you about — “My salvation!

·       My salvation is God my Savior. — Not a Doctrine! — Not a Decision! — Not an Experience!

·       It is my salvation because God gave it to me and wrought it in me.

·       It is my salvation because I receive it as my own by faith from his bounteous hand of grace.


·       This is what Moses taught the children of Israel to sing, as they stood on the glory side of the Red Sea.


(Exodus 15:2)  “The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”


·       This is the song David taught us to sing in the inspired hymnbook of Zion.


(Psalms 18:2)  “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”


(Psalms 18:46)  “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.”


(Psalms 25:5)  “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”


(Psalms 27:1)  “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”


(Psalms 62:1-2)  “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. (2) He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.”


(Psalms 62:5-7)  “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. (6) He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. (7) In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.”


(Psalms 118:14)  “The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.”


·       This is the song our God teaches us to sing in the day of his visitation.


(Isaiah 12:2)  “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”


Yes, “I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.”


Your Own Salvation


VI. Sixth, the Apostle Paul speaks of salvation in terms almost as sweet. He calls salvation, your own salvation (Phil. 2:12).


I like that! If you are saved, the salvation you have is “your own salvation.” God devised it for you. Christ purchased it for you. The Holy Spirit brought it to you and wrought it in you. It is your possession forever! If you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, all that is included in that word “salvation” belongs to you by the grace of God!


A. Here is An Admonition“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”


That does not mean, “work that you might be saved.” It means “work outwardly the salvation that God has wrought inwardly.”

·       Philippians 2:1-5

·       Let your light so shine before men.”

·       Be careful to maintain good works.”


B. Here is An Assurance“For it is God which worketh in you both to will (to desire) and to do of his good pleasure.” If you are saved, your salvation is Your Own Salvation!”


So Great Salvation


VII. Seventh, Hebrews 2:3 describes salvation in these words: so great salvation!”“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed with us by them that heard him?”


That is a good description of salvation – “So Great Salvation!”


·       It comes from a great God!

·       It is for great sinners!

·       It comes to us thought the merits of a great Savior.

·       It flows to us from a great reservoir of great grace – The Heart of God! — The Love of God!


“Could we with ink the oceans fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a guile,

And every man a scribe by trade –

To write the love of God above

Would drain the oceans dry;

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky!”


·       It secures for us a great inheritance in heaven!


An Everlasting Salvation


VIII. Eighth, the prophet Isaiah calls it An Everlasting Salvation“Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end!” (Isa. 45:17).


Salvation is eternal both ways. It is from everlasting to everlasting. If salvation is God’s work, it is an everlasting work (Eccles. 3:14).


(Ecclesiastes 3:14)  “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.”


Sinners saved by grace shall never perish. They are beyond the reach of condemnation, or even danger!


·       God’s love is an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3).

·       His election is an everlasting election (Mal. 3:6).

·       His grace is everlasting grace (Rom. 11:29).

·       Christ’s redemption is an everlasting redemption (Heb. 9:12).

·       The Spirit’s seal is and everlasting seal (Eph. 1:14).


What is God’s description of salvation? It is…

1.    “Thy Salvation!”

2.    “Eternal Salvation!”

3.    “The Salvation of the Righteous!”

4.    “The Common Salvation!”

5.    “My Salvation!”

6.    “Your Own Salvation!”

7.    “So Great Salvation!”

8.    “An Everlasting Salvation!”


Turn to 1 Peter 1:5 and I will give you one more blessed description of salvation. This is salvation as God describes it.


Salvation ready

to be Revealed


IX. Here the Apostle Peter tells us that it is a “salvation ready to be revealed.”


(1 Peter 1:3-9)  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (8) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (9) Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”


·       Heavenly glory is a kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world.

·       Eternal life is that which God who cannot lie promised us before the world began.

·       And he has made us worthy to be partakers of the kingdom in Christ by his matchless grace.

·       Yet, “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him!


“We read of a place that’s called heaven.

It’s made for the pure and the free.

These truths in God’s Word He hath given.

How beautiful heaven must be!


In heaven no drooping nor pining,

No wishing for elsewhere to be.

God’s light is forever there shining.

How beautiful heaven must be!


Pure waters of life there are flowing;

And all who will drink may be free.

Rare jewels of splendor are glowing.

How beautiful heaven must be!


The angels so sweetly are singing

Up there by the beautiful sea.

Sweet chords from their gold harps are ringing.

How beautiful must be!


Refrain — How beautiful heaven must be!

Sweet home of the happy and free,

Fair heaven of rest for the weary,

How beautiful heaven must be!”


Conclusion: Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end” (Isa. 45:17).




          Illustration: Rowland Hill’s Dream

[1] Gospel of Grace Church — Ross, OH (Sunday PM — 10/03/04)