Monday, September 4, 2017

Is there More to Salvation?

It is a right and proper claim that Jesus came to seek and save the lost and to give His life a as ransom for many.  (Luke 19:10;Matt 20:28).  Salvation is mentioned over 165 times in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.  This is a major theme for us in scripture.  We all want to be saved.  Salvation is core to our belief in Jesus.  He gave His life for ours so that we may gain salvation.  But is there more to salvation than escaping consequences?  What if God has a bigger perspective?

From the beginning of Creation, God's purpose was to create a people for Himself who would love Him as much as they could as He loved them.  Creation comes out of the heart of God.  He already created angels with free will to love Him or not. Still, His heart of love continued to create a different kind in people who would need to trust Him and obey Him like a Father to survive and thrive in the new creation.  He created people with free will to love hm or not and to win our love through His own grace and love.  He was seeking a people after His own heart...a people for His own possession.

As we all know, we cannot become His people in our condition of slavery to sin, under judgement of death for sin. A price needed to be paid.  Jesus paid it. Hence the great blessing of salvation.

Salvation begins for us as escape from our judgement of death, separation from God in eternal punishment.  Our Salvation for God is that we become "a people after His own heart"..."a people for His own possession".   Our view of salvation so often is limited by our own desire for safety and avoiding punishment.  Too many view salvation as a "get out of jail free card" and there is an element of that in Jesus' sacrifice for us.   Still, isn't salvation is more than that?  Isn't salvation, from God's perspective, really the freedom to choose God's presence, to join with His people, a people called by His name, a people for His own possession, a people after His own heart enjoying His presence for all eternity.  This is His big picture and His big plan.

The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13:14

and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods? 2 Samuel 7:23

James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me. 14  Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name. Acts 15:13-14

 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12  instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13  looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14  who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:11-14

 But you are A chosen race, A royal priesthood, A holy nation, A people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10