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Salvation 101

When referring to the goodness of mankind, Isaiah says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”1

When it comes to us relating to and finding God, Paul says, “as it is written: 'There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.'”2
 
And regarding the consequence of the above, “For the wages of sin is death”3. But contrary to contemporary thought that Christianity is all about judgement and damnation, this verse ends with “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”4

When it comes to drawing conclusions from Scripture we need to ensure that we are being led by our God and not our opinions. Whatever answers we are looking for it is good to be reminded of the following i.e. God never changes:

  • Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever
  • Malachi 3:6 – God does not change
  • Isaiah 40:8 – God's word stands forever
  • James 1:17– there is no variation or change in God
  • Psalm 102:25-27 – God is eternal and does not change

 

When it comes to sin and judgment, this is confirmed:

  • Old Testament: Ezekiel 18:20 – the soul that sins will die
  • New Testament: Romans 6:23 – the wages of sin is death

 

It is important to realise that God's take on sin has and never will change and that His judgment that was swift and total in the Old Testament will be the same at the end of the New Testament. This fact that God will judge the world (even though it might seem that at present He winks at our sin) is born out in verses like Habakkuk 2 (God's judgment will take place) and in 2 Peter 3 where he talks of the day of the Lord. However the good news in all of this is that the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2 and Romans 1).

With all of the above forming a foundation as to where we stand before God, we can now jump to two wonderful promises in the New Testament that we are now able to appropriate for ourselves.

Psalm 8:1-9

  1. To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
  2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
  3. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
  4. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

This weekend was indeed a challenging, encouraging and refreshing time. While I am writing this, I am reminded of the following old chorus: