Blessings of Salvation in Christ
The word "salvation" is found more than 150 times in the Bible. The meaning of the word relates to deliverance, preservation, and safety. The word "salvation" can refer to our present spiritual relationship with Christ or it may refer to future salvation in heaven where you see the sum of the benefits and blessing of Christianity. In Christ we are saved. We are saved from the presence of sin, we are saved from the pleasure of sin, we are saved from the power of sin, and most of all we are saved from the penalty of sin. Peter spoke of the "end of our faith -- the salvation of our souls.” He wrote, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9) Because of the blessings of salvation in Christ our preaching should be designed to: (a) encourage those who have never obeyed the gospel to do so (Acts 2:36-41), (b) encourage the unfaithful Christian to come back home (Acts 8:14-25), and (c) encourage those who are faithful to remain faithful. (Revelation 2:10)
Salvation is needed by every sinner: A greater need does not exist than man's need for salvation. Men rape and rob. They murder and molest. They steal and kill. No race or nation is immune to the problem of sin. Paul said, "But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe." (Galatians 3:22) How many of us do well on our own? Hear God's answer, "Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one." (Psalm 53:3) Our sins have literally taken us away. "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)
Sin causes us to be un-God-like. In our world "ungodliness and unrighteousness" is seen everywhere. Paul said, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." (Romans 1:18.) Sin is rebellion against God and it results in the loss of our soul. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Sin is caused by selfishness and brings about eternal death. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
Salvation is available to every sinner: God's Son came as a sacrifice for our sins. He is our sin offering. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:17-18) Sin has separated mankind from God. (Isaiah 59:1-2) Jesus, by His death and resurrected life, brought reconciliation. "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." (Romans 5:10)
Thank God! Through Jesus' death and resurrected life we can be saved from the guilt and punishment our sins deserve. The Gospel is the great news that Jesus suffered sin's penalty in our place. "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) Peter said of Jesus that He, "Bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness -- by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:24) Mankind needs salvation and through Jesus this salvation is available.
Salvation brings tremendous blessings: The blessings relating to salvation are many. Observe the following: In Christ we are forgiven. Paul wrote, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." (Ephesians 1:7) It is true, "the soul who sins will die." (Ezekiel 18:4) Because Jesus came to the world, man can again be knowledgeable about walking with God and be in a right relationship with Him.
In Christ we have a new life. The believer who repents and is baptized is raised to a new life in Christ. "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4) Baptism in Paul's day was (a) for adults and not for infants, (b) connected with salvation, and (c) to end an old life and start a new one. Baptism was the point of beginning the spiritual life and starting anew in our relation with God.
In Christ we are redeemed. Redemption means, "Liberation or freedom brought about by the payment of a ransom." Redemption is "deliverance." Paul wrote, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:14) Through Jesus we are freed from Satan and made part of the family of God. Christ, by His blood, obtained redemption for us. We read, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)
In Christ we have a heavenly inheritance. Our inheritance is our heavenly share in God's eternal blessedness. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:3-5) Peter says our heavenly inheritance is: (a) incorruptible, (b) undefiled, and (c) it does not fade away.
Those who are in Christ are member of our Lord's church. The church is God's family. The church is those who are hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus. Christ has one church. The whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth is called "the church." Acts 2:47 says, "Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." The early church was "one" body. All the saved were added to it.
The saved have hope. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Romans 8:24) The saved enjoy spiritual blessings. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3) The saved are new creatures. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The saved are God's children and they have hope of eternal life.
Will you be baptized into Christ to put on Christ so that your sins can be forgiven by His blood? "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) Believers contact Christ's saving blood by being baptized into His death. John said, "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:11-12) We join with Paul in saying, "To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:21) Are you a faithful member of the church of Christ?
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA