Alright, I’m not a great theologian or anything, but I am a theology student. I believe that Theology is crucial for faithful christian living. You have to know what you believe. Yesterday I wrote some thoughts on the Bible. Today I want to share some thoughts on Salvation.
God is not a vengeful, spiteful being. God is a Creator, God is love, and God is a God who saves and rescues.
In Genesis 3 Adam and Eve sinned. God created humanity even though he knew that we would sin. And he knew that he had a plan to bring people back into relationship with him. IN the OT we see that God rescues Israel and gives them a law, which they were going to ghave to follow very closely, and every year they would have to make sacrifices for their sins. God knew that ultimately he was going to send the Son to be the final sacrifice for humanities sins. God knew that we could not pay for our sins our selves. On the Cross the Trinitarian God provided the ultimate means for our salvation. He paid the price that we could not pay on our own.
Sin is anything that separates us from God. Because of the Sin of Adam and Eve we are sinful by nature. We are selfish. We desire our own gratification. Left to ourselves we would end up destroying our lives or trying to become our own Gods. We try to save ourselves. But God always had a plan for us and he is redeeming us.
There are two terms that people use when they talk about the work of God in salvation.
Sanctification & Justification
Sanctification: the process of being made holy only through the merits and justification of Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Justification: is God’s act of declaring or making a sinner righteous before God. Justification is a singular act in which God declares an unrighteous individual to be righteous because of the work of Jesus. Justification is granted to all who have faith, but even that is viewed as a gift from God
Both of these things are a part of salvation. Justification happens at the moment where we surrender our lives to Jesus. It’s immediate and effective. We are not longer deemed sinners in God’s eyes.
The process of becoming more like Jesus in behavior and freedom from sinful activities is Sanctification. When Paul says work out your salvation this is what he means. Not work for your salvation, but work it out, become more like Jesus. This is the life long process of salvation.