Yesterday, we zeroed in upon the word “proto-Evangel” or “the first Gospel” and rejoiced together in the fact that God has always had a plan for His fallen creation, yes even in the very beginning…and that wondrous plan was THE GOSPEL.
Today, let’s examine another Gospel word that should cause the heart of the redeemed to leap and bound in gratitude.
It’s been the case that among the many thousands of words in the English vocabulary, the three most difficult to say are probably either, “I am sorry” or even “I was wrong”. Two I the most delightful words could be “check enclosed” or for me…”Braves Win!”. Now, I realize that is my opinion and there could be some debate with either of those two subjects but be that as it may, I do believe that it can be safely concluded that the most dynamic single word in our language is the word salvation.
We sing often about salvation in our Gospel centric churches, we speak of salvation during our divine evangelistic encounters and the subject of salvation is often the focus of our prayer lives, whether praising God for the salvation we now enjoy as believers or pleading for it concerning a loved one who does not profess Christ as Savior.
So, if Salvation is to central to everything we are as believers, we’d be wise to examine it together and at minimum be reminded today as to why salvation is such Gospel (Good news).
Salvation, whether defined in a spiritual or secular manner means essentially the same thing.
Salvation – to fully and successfully deliver someone or something from impending danger
The word and it’s definition carry two very important implications
1. That Something or Someone Needs To Be Rescued
*Only a sick man needs a doctor….and man is desperately ill.
“But when He heard this, He said, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do.” (Matthew 9:12) ……”All have sinned and fallen short of Gods glory” (Romans 3:23)
* Only An Accused Person Needs A Lawyer…fallen man stands condemned in Gods court of law.
“There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become useless. There is no one who does what is good,not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips.Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and wretchedness are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known.There is no fear of God before their eyes.Now we know that whatever the law says speaks to those who are subject to the law,so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment.” (Romans 3:10-19)
* Only A Drowning Man Needs A Lifeguard….fallen man is helplessly flooded by the black waters of sin
“Save me, God, for the water has risen to my neck. I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no footing; I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me” (Psalm 69: 1-2)
So, it’s obvious that man perfectly fits the definition of someone who is in need of rescue from impending danger. In “Church” terms, we identify them as being lost. Now I realize that many who have joined us for this blog series on the Gospel aren’t familiar with those terms the church employs and may have some disagreement or questions with what was written above so allow me to elaborate as to why fallen man is considered to be lost and in need of salvation
He Is Lost because of his relationship to sin (Gen 2:17, 8:21, Job 14:4, Mark 7:20-23, Romans 5:12, 7:14)
He Is Lost because of his relationship to Satan (Matthew 4:8-9, John 8:42-44, Col. 1:13)
He Is Lost because of his relationship to the world (Ephesians 2:2, James 4:4, 1st John 2:15-17)
He Is Lost because of his rejection of Biblical Truth (Psalm 19:1, Acts 14:17, Romans 1:19-20)
He Is Lost because of disobeying his own conscience (Romans 2:14-16)
Ultimately, He is Lost because of his relationship to God
“The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36)
So the First implication of the definition of salvation…”the succesfull rescue or someone or something from impending danger“…is that in order for salvation to be attained, there must be someone or something that needs rescue…and fallen man fits that bill.
But there is a second implication to that definition as well. In order for salvation to occur, not only MUST there be someone who needs it, there also must be….
2. Someone Or Something Who Is Able To Carry Out The Rescue….A Savior
A Savior Who Can Rescue someone from sure doom must meet two essential requirements. He must be able and he must be willing.
He Must Be Able. Think about it. It’s entirely possible for someone to have the desire to rescue but not the ability. On numerous occasions, I’ve personally sat at the bedside of a dying individual and watched a Physician stand there in utter frustration, 100% willing to aid but 100% unable to do so.
He Must Be Willing. It’s also possible for a person to have all of the ability in the world to save but no desire to do so. I read once about a man dying from a rare blood disorder and needed a transfusion if he was going to survive. Because of his condition and rare blood type, they had to search night and day to find someone whose blood type would match. It was finally found that out of the thousands who’d agreed to donate blood, there was only one man who’s blood type was a perfect match. Yet the end of the story is a tragic one as that man who had the ability to save, had no desire to. He stubbornly refused to donate his blood. A Savior MUST be willing.
The GOOD NEWS…The GOSPEL of Salvation is that Jesus Christ meets both requirements of a Savior!
JESUS IS AN ABLE SAVIOR –
“For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested.” (Hebrews 2:18)
“Therefore, He is always able to savethose who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25)
“Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy” (Jude 24)
JESUS IS A WILLING SAVIOR
“This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1st Timothy 2:3-4)
“The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance” (2nd Peter 3:9)
As we conclude this blog post I hope and pray that you’ll rejoice in The Gospel of Salvation….that man needed rescue, and God provided an able and willing Savior in Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! What GOSPEL (good news)! As always, if you have anyquestions please feel free to ask.
Soli Deo Gloria! – Pastor Kyle