What is salvation?

293 what is thatWhy do I live? Does my life make sense? What happens to me when I die? Urfragen, probably everyone has ever asked. Questions to which we answer you here an answer that should show: Yes, life has a meaning; yes, there is a life after death. Nothing is safer than death. One day we receive the dreaded news that a loved one has died. It reminds us that we must die tomorrow, next year or in half a century. Fear of dying has driven some of the conquistador Ponce de Leon in search of the legendary fountain of youth. But the reaper can not be dismissed. Everyone comes to death.

Many today place their hope for scientific-technical life extension and improvement. What a sensation when scientists succeed in discovering biological mechanisms that may delay or perhaps even stop aging altogether! It would be the biggest and most enthusiastically welcomed news in world history.

Even in our super-technical world, however, most people realize that this is an unattainable dream. Many cling to the hope of living on after death. Maybe you are one of those hopefuls. Would not it be wonderful if humanity really had some great destiny? A destiny that includes eternal life? This hope exists in God's plan of salvation.

In fact, God intends to give people eternal life. God, who does not lie, writes the apostle Paul, long ago promised the hope of eternal life ... (Titus 1: 2).

Elsewhere, he writes that God wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1, Timothy 2: 4, Quit.). Through the gospel of salvation, preached by Jesus Christ, the salutary grace of God has appeared to all men (Titus 2: 11).

Sentenced to death

Sin came into the world in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve sinned, and their descendants did it to them. In Romans 3, Paul declares that all human beings are sinful.

  • There is no one who is just (verse 10)
  • There is no one who asks about God (verse 11)
  • There is no one who does good (verse 12)
  • There is no fear of God (verse 18).

... they are all sinners and lack the glory they should have with God, Paul declares (verse 23). He cites evils that stem from our inability to overcome sin-including envy, murder, sexual immorality, and violence (Romans 1: 29-31).

The apostle Peter speaks of these human weaknesses as carnal desires that fight against the soul (1, Peter 2: 11); Paul speaks of them as sinful passions (Romans 7: 5). He says that man lives according to the nature of this world and seeks to fulfill the will of the flesh and the senses (Ephesians 2: 2-3). Even the best human action and thinking does not do justice to what the Bible calls justice.

God's law defines sin

To sin, to deny what God's will is, can only be defined against the background of divine law. God's law reflects God's character. It sets the norms for sinless human behavior. ... of sin Sold, writes Paul, is death (Romans 6: 23). This pairing of sin with capital punishment began with our forefathers Adam and Eve. Paul tells us: ... as sin came into the world through a man [Adam] and death through sin, so death came to all people because they all sinned (Romans 5: 12).

Only God can save us

Sold, punishment for sin is death, and we all deserve it because we have all sinned. On our own we can do nothing to escape certain death. We can not act with God. We have nothing we could offer him. Even good works can not save us from our common destiny. Nothing we can do by our own power can change our spiritual imperfection.

A delicate situation, but on the other hand, we have a certain, certain hope. Paul wrote to the Romans that humanity was subject to transitoriness without their will, but to the one who subdued it, but to hope (Romans 8: 20).

God will save us from ourselves. What good news! Paul adds: ... because also the creation will become free from the bondage of transience to the glorious freedom of the children of God (verse 21). Now let's take a closer look at God's promise of salvation.

Jesus reconciles us with God

Even before the creation of humanity God's plan of salvation was established. From the beginning of the world, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was the chosen sacrificial Lamb (Revelation 13: 8). Peter declares that the Christian will be redeemed, with the precious blood of Christ, who was previously chosen before the foundation of the world (1, Peter 1: 18-20).

God's decision to provide for a sin sacrifice characterizes Paul as an eternal purpose that God executed in Christ Jesus, our Lord (Ephesians 3: 11). God wanted to show in the coming times ... the exuberant wealth of his grace through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2: 7).

Jesus of Nazareth, incarnate God, came and dwelt among us (John 1: 14). He took humanity and shared our needs and concerns. He was tried like us, but remained sinless (Hebrews 4: 15). Although he was perfect and sinless, he sacrificed his life for our sins.

Jesus, we learn, has put our spiritual debt letter on the cross (Colossians 2: 13 to 14). He has erased our sin account so that we can live. Jesus died to save us!
God's motive for sending Jesus is expressed succinctly in one of the most famous Bible verses of the Christian world: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but eternal life have (John 3: 16).

Jesus' deed saves us

God sent Jesus into the world to save the world through him (John 3: 17). Only through Jesus is our salvation possible. ... in no other is salvation, nor is there any other name under heaven given to men by which we shall be saved (Acts 4: 12).

In God's plan of salvation, we must be justified and reconciled to God. Justification goes far beyond mere remission of sins (which, however, is included). God saves us from sin, and through the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to trust, obey, and love Him.
Jesus' sacrifice is an expression of the grace of God that redeems the sins of man and abolishes the death penalty. Paul writes that through the righteousness of the One, the justification (from the grace of God) has come for all men that leads to life (Romans 5: 18).

Without Jesus' sacrifice and God's grace, we remain in the bondage of sin. We are all sinners, we all face the death penalty. Sin separates us from God. She builds a wall between God and us that must be torn down by His grace.

How sin is condemned

God's plan of salvation demands that sin be condemned. We read: By sending out his Son in the guise of the sinful flesh ... [God] condemned the sin in the flesh (Romans 8: 3). This dam has several dimensions. In the beginning stood our inevitable punishment of sin, the condemnation to eternal death. This death sentence could only be condemned or annulled by a complete sin offering. This caused Jesus' death.

To the Ephesians, Paul wrote that when they were dead in sins, they were made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2: 5). Then a key sentence that clarifies what we achieve salvation: ... by grace, you have been saved ...; it is only by grace that salvation is accomplished.

Once upon a time, as a result of sin, we were as good as dead, even though alive in the flesh. Those who have been justified by God are still subject to carnal death, but are potentially already an everlasting one.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 2: 8: Because by grace you have been saved by faith, and not from you: God's gift is it ... Legal fatigue means being reconciled to God. Sin creates alienation between us and God. Justification removes this alienation and leads us to a close relationship with God. Then we are redeemed from the terrible consequences of sin. We are saved from a world that is held captive. We get share ... of the divine nature and have escaped ... the perishable desire of the world (2, Peter 1: 4).

Of the people who are in such a relationship with God, Paul says: Since we have become righteous through faith, we have peace with God dm-eh our Lord
Jesus Christ ... (Romans 5: 1).

Thus the Christian now lives under grace, though not yet immune to sin, but continually led to repentance by the Holy Spirit. John writes: But if we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1, John 1: 9).

As Christians we will no longer have a habitual sinful attitude. We will be carrying the fruit of the divine Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5: 22-23).

Paul writes: For we are his work, created in Christ Jesus to good works ... (Ephesians 2: 1 0). We can not gain justification through good works. Man is justified ... by faith in Christ and not by works of the law (Galatians 2: 16).

We will do justice ... without the law works, by faith alone (Romans 3: 28). But if we go God's way we will also try to please Him. We are not saved by our works, but God has given us salvation to do good works.

We can not earn God's mercy. He gives it to us. Salvation is not something we can do through penance or religious work. God's favor and grace always remain something undeserved.

Paul writes that justification comes from the kindness and philanthropy of God (Titus 3: 4). It does not come for the works of righteousness that we have done, but for His mercy (verse 5).

Become a child of God

Once God has called us, and we have faithfully and faithfully followed the call, God makes us his children. Here Paul uses adoption as an example to describe God's act of grace: we receive a childlike spirit [Quit: Spirit of Sonship] ... through whom we cry: Abba, dear Father! (Romans 8: 15). Thereby we become God's children and thus heirs, God's heirs and co-heirs of Christ (verse 16-17).

Before the Grace Reception, we were in the bondage of the powers of the world (Galatians 4: 3). Jesus redeems us so that we receive the childhood (verse 5). Paul says: Because you are children now ... you are no longer a servant but a child; but if child, then also inheritance through God (verse 6-7). That's an amazing promise. We can become God's adopted children and inherit eternal life. The Greek word for childhood in Romans 8: 15 and Galatians 4: 5 is huiothesia. Paul uses this term in a special way that reflects the practice of Roman law. In the Roman world in which his readers lived, the assumption of the child had a special meaning which it did not always have in the peoples who were subject to Rome.

In the Roman and Greek world adoption was a common practice in the social upper class. The adopted child was individually selected by the family. The legal rights were transferred to the child. It was used as an heir.

If one was adopted by a Roman family, the new family relationship was legally binding. Adoption not only entailed duties, but also conferred family rights. The assumption in the child's place was something so final, the transition into the new family something so binding that the adoptee was treated like a biological child. Since God is eternal, the Roman Christians surely understood that Paul wanted to tell them here: Your place in God's household is forever.

God chooses adopted us specifically and individually. This new relationship with God, which we gain by this, expresses Jesus with another symbol: In conversation with Nicodemus, he says, we would have to be born again (John 3: 3).

This will make us God's children. John tells us: See, what a love the Father has shown us, that we should be called God's children, and so are we! That is why the world does not know us; because she does not know him. Beloved, we are already God's children; but it has not yet become clear what we will be. But we know that when it is revealed, we will be like him; because we will see him as he is (1, John 3: 1-2).

From mortality to immortality

So we are God's children already, but not yet glorified. Our present body must be transformed if we want to attain eternal life. The body of the physical, decaying body must be replaced by a body that is eternal and immortal.

In 1. Corinthians 15 writes to Paul: Someone might ask: How will the dead be raised, and with what kind of body will they come? (Verse 35). Our current body is physical, it is dust (verse 42 to 49). Flesh and blood can not inherit the Kingdom of God, which is spiritual and eternal (verse 50). For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (verse 53).

This final transformation does not occur until the resurrection, at Jesus' return. Paul declares, "We expect the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our vain body, that he will become like his glorified body." (Philippians 3: 20 to 21). The Christian, who trusts and obeys God, already has civil rights in heaven. But only realized at the second coming of Christ
this definitively; only then does the Christian inherit the immortality and the fullness of the kingdom of God.

How grateful we can be that God has made us efficient in the inheritance of saints in the light (Colossians 1: 12). God has saved us from the power of darkness and has put us into the kingdom of his dear Son (verse 13).

A new creature

Those who have been received into God's Kingdom enjoy the inheritance of the saints as long as they continue to trust and obey God. Because we are saved by God's grace, healing is completed and completed in his view.

Paul explains: If anyone is in Christ, then he is a new creature; the old has passed, see, new things have become (2, Corinthians 5: 17). God has sealed us and in our hearts as
Pledge the spirit given (2, Corinthians 1: 22). The converted, God-given man is already a new creature.

He who is under grace is already a child of God. The people who believe in his name give God power to become God's children (John 1: 12).

Paul refers to God's gifts and God's calling as irrevocable (Romans 11: 29, MengeÜbers.). Therefore, he could also say: ... I am confident that he who started the good work in you will also complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1: 6).

May the man, to whom God has granted mercy, also occasionally stumble: God remains faithful to him. The Story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) shows that God's chosen and chosen ones remain his children even in the event of missteps. God expects the stumbled to go inside and return to him. He does not want to judge people, he wants to save them.

The prodigal son in the Bible was really absorbed in himself. He said: How many day laborers has my father, who have bread in abundance, and I perish in hunger! (Luke 15: 17). The meaning is clear. When the prodigal son understood the folly of his actions, he repented and returned home. His father forgave him. As Jesus says, when he was still a long way away, his father saw him, and he was lamented; He ran and fell around his neck and kissed him (Luke 15: 20). The story illustrates God's faithfulness to his children.

The son showed humility and trust, he regretted. He said, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son (Luke 15: 21).

But the father did not want to hear about it and arranged a feast for the return home. He said my son was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and found (verse 32).

If God saves us, we are his children forever. He will continue to work with us until we are fully united with him at the Resurrection.

The gift of eternal life

By His grace God gives us the dearest and greatest promises (2, Peter 1: 4). Through them we get a share ... of the divine nature. The mystery of God's grace is in
a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1, Peter 1: 3). This hope is an everlasting inheritance kept for us in heaven (verse 4). At present, we are still preserved by God's power through faith ... to the blessedness that is ready to be revealed in the last time (verse 5).

God's plan of salvation will finally be realized in Jesus' second coming and the resurrection of the dead. Then the mentioned metamorphosis of mortals to immortals takes place. The apostle John says: But we know that when it is revealed, we will be like him; because we will see him as he is (1, John 3: 2).

Christ's resurrection warrants that God will redeem the promise of the resurrection from the dead. Behold, I tell you a secret, Paul writes. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed; and suddenly, in a moment ... the dead will rise incorruptible, and we will be transformed (1, Corinthians 15: 51-52). This happens at the sound of the last trumpet, just before Jesus' return (Revelation 11: 15).

Jesus promises that everyone who believes in Him will attain eternal life; I will raise him up on the last day, he promises (John 6: 40).

The apostle Paul explains: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, God will bring those who have fallen asleep through Jesus through him (1, Thessalonians 4: 14). What is meant again is the time of the second coming of Christ. Paul continues: For he himself, the Lord, when the command sounds ... will come down from heaven ... and first the dead who have died in Christ will be resurrected (verse 16). Then those who still live at the time of Christ's return will be caught up with them on the clouds in the air, against the Lord; and so we will be with the Lord all the time (verse 17).

Paul calls on the Christians: So comfort yourself with these words among themselves (verse 18). And with good reason. The resurrection is the time when those who are under grace will attain immortality.

The reward comes with Jesus

The words of Paul have already been quoted: "For the salutary grace of God has appeared to all men (Titus 2: 11). This salvation is the blessed hope that is redeemed when the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (verse 13) appears.

The resurrection is still in the future. We wait for it, hopefully, as Paul did. Towards the end of his life he said: ... the time of my passing has come (2, Timothy 4: 6). He knew that he had remained faithful to God. I fought the good fight, I completed the run, I held faith ... (verse 7). He was looking forward to his reward: ... henceforth, the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me that day, but not to me alone, but also to all who love His appearance, is ready for me ( Verse 8).

At this time, Paul says, Jesus will turn our void body ... that he will become like his glorified body (Philippians 3: 21). A transformation accomplished by God who raised Christ from the dead and also brings to life your mortal bodies through His Spirit that dwells in you (Romans 8: 11).

The meaning of our life

If we are God's children, we will align our lives fully to Jesus Christ. Our attitude must be like that of Paul, who said he thought his past life was filthy, so that I might win Christ ... I want to recognize him and the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3: 8, 10).

Paul knew he had not reached that goal yet. Forgetting what is behind, I reach out for what is ahead, and chase after the goal set for it, the prize of victory for the heavenly calling of God in Christ Jesus (verse 13-14).

This prize of victory is eternal life. Whoever accepts and loves God as his Father, trusting him and walking his way, will live forever in God's glory (1, Peter 5: 1 0). In Revelation 21: 6-7, God tells us what our destiny is: I want to give the thirsty from the source of living water in vain. He who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son.

Brochure of the World Church of God 1993


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