Salvation – It’s a Done Deal

Nov 10, 2015 2630

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History matters. History matters more than most people know. When you find out just how much history matters, it totally transforms your life. Here’s why…

Two thousand years ago all your sins were forgiven, you were given a free pass into the Kingdom of God, and you were granted eternal life. The language of the New Testament is entirely consistent in assuring you of this.

Consider 1 Corinthians 6. After telling the Christians of the church at Corinth that they had previously been sexually immoral, thieves, drunks, and cheats, Paul writes to them that,

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:10).

In verse 20 he also tells them that,

…you were bought at a price (v.20).

Here is some of the grammar of this passage:

“Bought”, “Sanctified,” “Justified” = aorist, passive, i.e. meaning that you were the recipient of the action in the past.

“Washed” = permissive middle, aorist, i.e. this refers to having allowed someone to do an action for you on your behalf in the past. A direct translation would be, “You allowed yourselves to be washed.”[1]

Paul is referring to what happened at the Cross. The epistle to the Hebrews says the same thing,

But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Heb 10:12–14).

Sin is dealt with in our lives through a once-for-all and totally sufficient sacrifice. Through it we have been made perfect forever.

“Made perfect” = perfect tense, referring to an action in the past that is completed and does not need to be repeated.

This verse in Hebrews says that at Calvary we were made perfect, and as a result of that, we are now being made holy. That makes sense because there is still sin in our lives. However even that “being made holy” totally depends on the Cross, it comes about because God already made us perfect at the Cross, and it is a gift that we simply receive day to day. It is one of the benefits of the complete salvation that Christ provided at the Cross.

However, because we still live in this world of sin, and we still sin, the greatest benefit of salvation is the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul assures us that,

you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory (Ephes. 1:13-14).

The Holy Spirit assures our hearts that when Christ said, “Father, forgive them,” that his prayer was answered. The Holy Spirit guarantees to us that when Christ cried out, “It is finished!” no matter what our struggles against sin may be, it really is finished – two thousand years ago at Calvary.

For whom did Christ accomplish a complete salvation? For the world (John 3:16). How is it received? It comes by faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (Rom 3:22).

That’s why history matters. I have to believe in Jesus Christ who died and rose for my salvation, at a historical event that happened outside Jerusalem in the first part of the first century. My salvation depends on it. It happened in the past! It’s a done deal!

Our challenge as Christians is not to wring out hands about our salvation and worry about the future. Instead it is to hold on by faith to the gift we have been given (Heb 10:23). And having obtained salvation, we are challenged now to live up to it’s privileges,

let us live up to what we have already attained (Phil 3:16).

That’s why I love history. It tells me who I am. It assures me of my salvation in Christ. And it continually challenges me to be who I have been saved to be.

– Eliezer Gonzalez

[1] Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p.427.

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