Three Aspects Of Salvation
In the New Testament, we see three different kinds of salvation. We must be careful to recognize the three distinct salvations and keep them in their context so as to not cause confusion. Each of these three salvations is distinct and each one has its own outcome.
The first salvation that Jesus and the apostles address is the salvation from our sins. While we have sin associated with our life, we do not have God in our life (Ephesians 2:1-3). Paul explains that before we become a Christian we are separated from God and we have no hope of eternal life. When we obey the gospel teaching and are baptized for the remission of sins, we have our sins washed away (Acts 22:16) and removed from our record. As long as we had sin in our life, we were separated from God (Isaiah 59:2). We could say in a sense that God did not want anything to do with us (1 John 1:5) because we were stained with sin. Yet Jesus said that the truth would make us free (John 8:32). In another sense, Go does want everything to do with us because He loved us (John 3:16). God provided the means and tools (Bible Teaching) necessary for us to make the right choice of obedience resulting in salvation from our past sins. Now that our sins are washed away, we can begin a relationship with God. Before we obeyed the gospel we had sin in our life, and God does not tolerate sin in any form or fashion. So now, we can begin a relationship with God.
The second salvation that is mentioned is the removal of our present sins. This is necessary because we all make mistakes, boo-boo's, errors, or anything that is considered a transgression of God's laws. In other words, sin. Somewhere along the line of not being perfect as we are supposed to try to be, we lose our relationship with God once again. This is because God does not tolerate anything that defiles, or anything that is sinful. When we realize that we have sinned before God, and His grace and mercy have been removed from us, we have the privilege to confess our sins and ask God for forgiveness. But we do not need to be baptized again to have our sins removed. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and Just to forgive our sins. God is more than willing to forgive us our sins, and Christ plays a big part in that forgiveness. It is only through the sacrifice of Christ that this happens (1 John 1:7). So, now, we can return to God and have a relationship with Him once again. Now if we can continue serving God through our obedience and accepting the terms of His grace, we will eventually experience the third salvation.
The third salvation is the part that comes after judgment day (not before). The righteous will be welcomed into heaven to sit around the throne of God, and worship Him forever. We will dine at His table because of his invitation. That invitation is only offered to the righteous. Those not righteous will be told to depart into everlasting darkness, torment, destruction, and the absence of God. This place is called hell. It is this third salvation in which we strive every day to be pleasing to God in order to be invited into the abode of God called heaven.
While we are all looking for the ultimate salvation of spending eternal life in heaven with God, we must realize that eternal life is only the result of the third salvation.
Some false teaching that takes place teaches that this third salvation is given at the first response of the gospel. Have you heard of the "once saved, always saved" doctrine? That is false. We are cleansed of our sins and we enter a relationship with God, but the eternal life does not happen then. Only after doing the will of God continuously can we receive the salvation associated with eternal life in heaven. There is too much Bible that stands at odds with those who teach this false doctrine. There is a lot of people who believe that "faith alone" can save and give us this eternal life. This is also a false doctrine. Our lives must be dedicated to serve the Lord diligently until the day we die. Let us seek to keep our lives pure through obedience so we can enter heaven. The Bible tells us how to get there. It is ours to make that choice of serving God, and if we do so, we will enjoy eternal life in heaven.
By Carey Scott
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