TEEN TREE OF LIFE
October 30, 2016
BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).
Salvation is the work of God in the saving of mankind from the power and effects of being born in sin and therefore spiritually dead and separate from God. This has been accomplished by means of the Finished Work of Jesus Christ on The Cross. Any member of the human race can acquire the Grace Gift of Salvation by simply believing in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior: They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (ACT 16:31)
The word salvation is used in the Bible to indicate a Work of God on behalf of man. In the present dispensation – the Church-Age – its use is limited to His Work for individuals only and is given to them with one definite condition: to believe in Jesus Christ. It is extremely important to remember that according to the Bible, salvation is the result of the Work of God for the individual, NOT the work of the individual for God. Eventually the one who is saved by the power of God may do "good works" for God – for salvation is said to be "unto good works" in EPH 2:10: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
In TIT 3:8, we are told to be "careful to maintain good works." This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. Good works are made possible by salvation; but these good works, which follow salvation, do not add anything to the All-Sufficient and Perfect Saving Work of God. Never forget this in your Christian walk as this is a trap that catches many people.
In the New Testament, the word salvation may refer to all or a part of God’s Work. This larger use of the word, therefore, combines in it many separate Works of God for the individual, such as Atonement, Grace, Propitiation, Forgiveness, Justification, Imputation, Regeneration, Adoption, Sanctification, Redemption and Glorification. Please note that some of these things occurred in other dispensations and are talked about in the New Testament.
The two following passages describe a person before and after salvation. EPH 2:11-12 states: Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Then look at 1JOH 3:1-2 which states: See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. That’s quite a transformation, isn’t it??
This transformation represents the greatest thing the infinite God can do for man because it makes the believer conformed to the Image of his Son. Much of the whole Divine undertaking in Salvation is accomplished in the saved one, at the moment he believes. Additionally, portions of this work are in the form of a process of transformation after belief is accomplished.
Salvation, then, in the Church-Age, may be considered in three tenses as it is revealed in the Scriptures: the past, or that part of the work which already is wholly accomplished in and for the one who has believed; the present, or that which is now being accomplished in and for the one who has believed; and the future, or that which will be accomplished to complete the work of God in and for the one who has believed.
The following passages are clear statements of these various aspects of the one Divine undertaking: And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (LUK 7:50); and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (ACT 16:30-31); For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1CO 1:18); For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing … (2CO 2:15); For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [a]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God….(EPH 2:8); …who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity… (2TI 1:9); Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1PE 1:3-5)
Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is the only system of perception that is totally devoid of any human merit. Only the object has merit, and in salvation the object of faith is Our Lord Jesus Christ. No one has ever been saved by asking Jesus to come into his heart or life. How much faith does it take to be saved? It takes just a little bit more than no faith at all.
The perfect salvation work of Christ on the cross, which is called expiation, excludes anything else being added to faith. No works of any kind are allowed: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that [salvation] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (EPH 2:8-9)
What is grace in relationship to salvation? Grace is all that God is free to do for unsaved mankind on the basis of the saving work of Christ on the cross. Grace is extended to unbelievers, who are living under spiritual death in total depravity and total helplessness regarding salvation. Therefore, salvation is a matter of grace, and entirely the work of God. Salvation is the work of the Father in judging our sins, the work of the Son in being judged for our sins, and the work of the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace. This is why the way of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ -- faith alone with no works or emotions added to it.