Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.
Have you ever wondered whether God’s salvation is only to save us from eternal perdition? Wonderful as that is, if that’s all, then what’s the meaning of the rest of our lives on earth?
The Bible tells us that God’s salvation includes much more than we might have thought. It’s a complete salvation.
God’s purpose with mankind
To see the completeness of God’s salvation, we first have to know God’s original purpose for man. Revelation 4:11 tells us God created everything for His will, His purpose:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, for You have created all things, and because of Your will they were, and were created.”
God intentionally created man in His own image and formed the spirit of man within him. This deepest part of man’s being is uniquely able to contact, receive, and contain God.
God made man this way because He wanted to come into, be joined with, and dwell in man so He would be life and everything to man, and man would live by God Himself. Through a loving union in the divine life, God would have a dwelling place in man, and man would express God. This expression of God in man is God’s purpose.
A twofold problem
Satan, however, stepped in and tempted Adam and Eve soon after their creation to disobey God’s command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As we saw in a previous post, this resulted in a twofold problem.
1. Mankind came under God’s condemnation
Adam’s disobedience was sin, and God, being righteous, had to judge sin. He loved Adam, but He had no choice. His righteousness required Him to condemn Adam.
Because of Adam’s disobedience, all his descendants also became sinners. Since God must judge sinners, before God we’re condemned sinners.
2. Mankind was poisoned with the satanic nature of the devil
Paul speaks of our inward problem in Romans 5:19:
“Through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners.”
The first paragraph of note 1 in the New Testament Recovery Version explains what constituted sinners means:
“Whether we are sinners or are righteous depends not on our actions but on our inward constitution. Through his fall Adam received an element that was not created by God. This was the satanic nature, which became the constituting essence and main element of fallen man. It is this constituting essence and element that constituted all men sinners. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.”
How pitiful! Our soul and body was polluted with the evil nature of Satan, and our spirit became deadened. Instead of contacting, containing, and expressing God, fallen human beings spontaneously reject God and express the satanic nature of God’s enemy.
Nothing can frustrate God
Judged by God and sinful in constitution, mankind looks utterly hopeless. The fulfillment of God’s purpose seems impossible. But Ephesians 3:11 tells us good news: “According to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God’s purpose is eternal and unchangeable; nothing can frustrate Him from fulfilling it.
Despite what Satan did, God can never be defeated. Instead, God’s great wisdom is displayed in His twofold solution to our twofold problem: His complete salvation.
How God carries out His complete salvation
Romans 5:10 tells us God carries out His complete salvation through two things: redemption and life:
“For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled.”
1. Redemption saves us from judgment
God’s Son Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, died on the cross to bear the judgment of God upon all of us! Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, God can release us from our sins and grant us forgiveness. Through the death of His Son, we’re saved from God’s condemnation. We can never thank the Lord enough for this.
We’re no longer under God’s condemnation, headed for eternal perdition. We sinners who were once God’s enemies were forever redeemed and reconciled to God the moment we believed in Jesus Christ and received Him as our Savior.
2. Life saves us inwardly from our sinful constitution
God’s complete salvation is also carried out by Christ’s life.
Jesus not only died on the cross to redeem us, He also resurrected from the dead, and in resurrection, He became the life-giving Spirit. When we believe in Jesus Christ, He as the Spirit comes into our human spirit to give us divine life and to live in us. From our spirit, He wants to spread into our soul and even into our body until we’re saturated with Him. This is how He saves every part of our being from the harmful effects of the fall of mankind.
Salvation in the life of Christ solves the problem of our sinful constitution and is carried out daily in us, for the rest of our life.
Note 4 on Romans 5:10 in the Recovery Version explains the meaning of being saved in Christ’s life:
“To be saved in Christ’s life is to be saved in Christ Himself as life. He dwells in us, and we are organically one with Him. By the growth of His life in us, we will enjoy His full salvation to the uttermost. Redemption, justification, and reconciliation are for the purpose of bringing us into union with Christ so that He can save us in His life unto glorification (8:30).”
Praise the Lord for such a complete salvation! Christ wants to save our whole person in His life. The more He grows in us, the more we enjoy His full salvation and are restored to God’s original intention to be His dwelling place and expression.
Why it’s important to know God’s salvation is complete
If we only know God’s salvation is to save us from eternal judgment, we might be satisfied and content. But our Christian life, which is meant for God’s purpose, would be directionless and goalless.
We appreciate Christ’s death for us to save us from God’s judgment. But our whole life takes on meaning if we know that God’s complete salvation includes being saved in the life of Christ. He wants us to be filled with His divine life and to enjoy Him as everything so His purpose can be fulfilled.
We’ll be conscious of our need to be saved in the life of Christ in many areas—in our thoughts, ideas, and concepts, in our feelings, attitude, and reactions, and in our intentions, aims, and goals. We’ll turn to Him in all the situations of our life to cooperate with Him and let Him grow in us. As we receive and enjoy His grace, we’ll be saved daily from our self, the world, sin, and all negative things, to become part of His glorious expression.
“Lord Jesus, thank You for Your complete salvation. Thank you for saving me through Your death on the cross. Oh Lord, daily save me in Your life. Lord, save me in every part of my being so Your eternal purpose can be fulfilled. Amen.”
You may also want to read our post “The Two Halves of the Gospel in Romans 5:10.”
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