Sermon #1091 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: SALVATION AS GOD DESCRIBES IT
Text: Isaiah 2:8-9
Subject: Six Bible Doctrines of Salvation
Date: Thursday Evening - May 20, 1993
Reading: Ephesians 1:1-14; II Kings 22:1-20
We will begin tonight at Ephesians 2:8-9. 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.
· 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? Let’s begin at Ephesians 2:8-9. (Read these two verses with me).
1. First, we must be agreed upon what we are talking about when we are talking about salvation. Salvation is the deliverance of men and women from sin, from its curse, its dominion, and its consequences, ultimately even from its being, and their 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.
1. Salvation is By Grace Alone!
2. Salvation is Through Faith Alone!
3. Salvation is In Christ Alone!
4. 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 the doctrine of Holy Scripture.
· Ephesians 2:8-9
· Romans 3:28
· Romans 4:3-5, 16
· Romans 9:15-16
· Romans 11:6
· Galatians 2:16
· Galatians 5:2, 4
· II Timothy 2:9-10
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 six passages of Holy Scripture and see Salvation As God Describes It. Here are six 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 six descriptions of salvation.
1. “Thy Salvation” (Gen. 49:18).
2. “Eternal Salvation” (Heb. 5:9).
3. “Common Salvation” (Jude 3).
4. “Your Own Salvation” (Phil. 2:12).
5. “So Great Salvation” (Heb. 2:3).
6. “Everlasting Salvation” (Isa. 45:17).
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!”
· Exodus 12:13
· II Chronicles 20:15, 17
· Isaiah 41:10, 11, 13, 14
Illustration: Jonah in the Whale’s Belly.
Salvation is God’s work alone, God’s possession alone, and God’s prerogative alone. He gives it to whom he will.
· Romans 9:16
· John 1:11-13
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!
II. Secondly, 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 was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
B. We were chosen and predestinated unto salvation before the world began (Eph. 1:4-6).
C. We were redeemed, justified, called, and glorified from eternity (Rom. 8:28-30).
D. We were accepted in the Beloved before we were ruined in Adam (Eph. 1:6).
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; II Tim. 1;8-10).
Our salvation in time is neither more nor less than the outworking of “Eternal Salvation!”
III. Thirdly, Jude writes to us of “The Common Salvation”. (Read Jude 1-3).
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.
1. Paul’s experience was not the same as Lydia’s .
2. Both experienced the same grace, but not the same way.
Illustration: The Two Blind Men (Mk. 8:22-25 cf Mk. 10:51-52).
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.
1. A Common Savior!
2. A Common Family!
3. A Common Hope!
4. A Common Blessedness!
5. A Common Inheritance!
IV. Fourthly, the Apostle Paul 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.” I Thess 5:25 If you are saved, your salvation is “Your Own Salvation!”
V. Fifthly, 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!”
A. It Comes from A Great God!
B. It is for Great Sinners!
C. It comes to us thought the Merits of A Great Savior.
D. 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!”
E. It secures for us A Great Inheritance in Heaven!
What is God’s description of salvation? It is…
1. “Thy Salvation!”
2. “Eternal Salvation!”
3. “The Common Salvation!”
4. “Your Own Salvation!”
5. “So Great Salvation!”
VI. And, sixthly, 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).
Sinners saved by grace shall never perish. They are beyond the reach of condemnation, or even danger!
A. God’s love is an Everlasting Love (Jer. 31:3).
B. His Election is an Everlasting Election (Mal. 3:6).
C. His Grace is Everlasting Grace (Rom. 11:29).
D. Christ’s Redemption is An Everlasting Redemption (Heb. 9:12).
E. The Spirit’s Seal is And Everlasting Seal (Eph. 1:14).
Conclusion: “Ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.” Amen!
Illustration: Rowland Hill’s Dream