Ok so in Part 1 we looked at what salvation is. In its essence biblical salvation is agreeing with God that you are a lost sinner who cannot save himself (or herself) and turning to God for forgiveness of a debt you cannot pay (your sin). Christ paid the price of redemption on the cross so that everyone can be saved but only those who believe on Him will be saved.
But now that we know what salvation is we should probably look at what salvation does. If salvation was only “fire protection” from hell that would be a sad thing indeed. Real salvation has real results! Being a believer is to obey Christ, to rest on him for salvation, and by God to be committed unto heaven’s doctrine of salvation. We accept Jesus as our Prophet, Priest, and King. Salvation is much more than just “a rescue from hell” although it is that. Let’s see what the Bible says salvation does!
Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.
1 Corinthians 6:19
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
What did Christ teach during His ministry? He taught that the Spirit of God was going to indwell believers which is much different from the Old Testament experience where indwelling was a temporary thing and the Spirit of God would come and go. Since the day of Pentecost when the Spirit of God descended (and after the transitional experiences of early Acts) we see that all believers are immediately indwelt by the Holy Spirit permanently. This CANNOT be lost. This is probably the most important aspect of salvation. Why? Because the Christian life is actually impossible without the Spirit of God. We have a teacher, a guide, a leader, a provider, a comforter, and a witness. Salvation is a fresh start and it gives us the ability to live the life that God intends for us.
A New Man
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
Salvation is not “a license to sin” because a person that has come into the good of God’s salvation realizes the price of it. A person who has been saved knows that the price of salvation was the shedding of the precious blood of Christ on the cross of Calvary so to continue sinning is to add to the punishment of Christ. Would a true believer ever think that salvation gives the freedom to sin? God forbid! But as Christians we are given new life as a new man (or woman). We can be assured like Paul in Romans 7 that our sinful nature is still within us and shall be until we die or are taken up with Christ by the rapture but with Salvation we are able to serve the law of God. Now, I made a comment in an earlier post that just because you are a Christian does not guarantee you will produce fruit for God. I think I should clarify that statement a bit. Christians will fail and fall, stumble and stagger, and sometimes be shipwrecks but the overall tenor of a life that has been saved by God should be of victory and bearing fruit. What I meant by my comment was that just because we are saved does not guarantee that we will not fail and always produce fruit for God. If we continue to feed our fleshly nature then we cannot produce fruit for God but like David in Psalm 52 there is always restoration for believers (and salvation for unbelievers). God gives us the power to overcome our sinful nature and gives us new life as a new man but we must walk in it to be victorious and a true Christian will not be happy unless they are abiding in the vine. Now, we are not to be the salvation police going around and declaring people to be saved or not but if I am claiming to be a true Christian who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and given new life as a new man I had better be living to prove that and if I’m not I would hope that my fellow Christians would rebuke me and straighten me out. We have a tremendous amount of “Christians” in this world that confess to be so but from their lifestyle it appears that this is just a nominal title. Christianity is not a religion it is a relationship with God through a man who gave His life at Calvary. So when we say we are tied with that man and act nothing like Him, why would anyone else want what “we have” (i.e. a changed life, a new man). True salvation does change lives! James gives us that when he says “show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.”
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For me, one of the best things of salvation is that it brings peace. Peace is something that this world is searching for. Peace in the Middle East, peace in schools, peace in homes, peace of mind, etc. Everyone is looking for peace. I would argue that the reason drugs and alcohol are so rampant is this one simple word: peace. Everyone is looking for it somewhere. What most people fail to realize is the reason there is no peace is because peace comes from God. Now, I am not saying that Christians have no problems and enjoy very peaceful lives from the moment of salvation until the end of their life here on Earth, but what I am saying is that true Christians enjoy peace for the entirety of their lives. When God gives peace it is not just peace from certain circumstances and dangers, and it is not just empty peace that things will turn out ok, but it is peace that whatever God is doing is the best possible plan for me. Since we have been justified (made righteous by Christ), we have peace with God. It is very important that this is only through the Lord Jesus Christ. We won’t find this true peace anywhere else no matter how long we look. I personally knew a former drug addict and dealer (who was actually the largest dealer in PEI, Canada) who got real salvation and it was the first time he EVER had real peace. God’s salvation brings real peace because there is now no fear of death, no fear of the “afterlife,” no fear of what life may bring, because God gives peace.
So salvation is much more than being saved from hell, it is to know your sins forgiven, to be adopted into the family of God, to be coheirs with Christ, to be justified, to be sanctified, indwelt by and sealed by the Spirit of God, and the list could go on. But as Christians we are given a new standard of living and should consider Christ as our role model. Our lives should reflect well of Him who we claim to trust. Let that salvation you have be the change that a chaotic worlds needs to see and be a light for the Gospel!