Real Salvation - What is it?
Man has his own ideas of what salvation is, as to what he is saved from and what he is saved to.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12 (KJV)
But then, “the Word of God” also reveals what God has to say about salvation, being saved from what and saved to what.
These two lines of thought are not parallel; man and God do not agree on these matters. Man has set up what he thinks is the penalty for sin, and then expects God to save him from that.
Mankind’s problem is more than man thinks. God has revealed that man is in ‘bondage to sin’ and God has provided a way by which man can be released from or saved from Sin’s bondage and Sin’s penalty.
Yet, man will not easily accept it God’s way. Man likes his sin and its bondage and would not have that part changed; yet man wants to be saved from what he thinks is the penalty for sin.
So, instead of the ideas of man and God being parallel… they are clearly at odds. The result is that man spurns Gods salvation and invents one of his own… in the form of ‘manmade religion.’
We do not have to look far these days to see evidence of what we just said. Man has made a churches and false gospels as a misrepresentations of Gods real church and gospel of salvation. Man’s manmade churches are a sort of ‘fire insurance’ to keep him from reaping sin’s penalty. Man, independent from God, imagines that if anyone simply joins his church, that person is safe from the penalty of sin.
So, in a large measure man’s churches have taken the place of the crucified Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. Man’s churches are the supposed mediator between man and God. So, it’s by the man’s church that man thinks he can approach and please God.
Then what of Man’s bondage to his inborn Sin-nature? Note that the bondage of sin isn’t just confined to its dominion over him in this life, but this bondage is also the prison house of death. Only Christ’s “Spirit of life” is able to liberate man from “Sin and Death.”
“For the law (operating principle) of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law (operating principle) of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2 (KJV)
So, salvation is not only release or redemption from bondage in this life, but it is also a release, or resurrection from the prison house of death. Therefore, real the Salvation that is of God includes resurrection to new and eternal life.
Then there are some kindhearted men are repulsed by the inventions they have made of the penalty for sin. Being still under the sway of “the lie” of Satan concerning immortality, they have made a new plan to escape the penalty of sin - they foolishly misuse Scripture to claim that all men will be resurrected or saved. This lie of the devil is known as universal salvation.
They deny Jesus’ words;
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Today, only those believers of Christ's church, the “body of Christ” are the saved ones, such that that the grave (the prison house) will not be able to hold them.
Man's idea of salvation usually includes good works in some form or other. There’s always something for man ‘to do’… in order to be saved. Whereas God's plan from the beginning has been a salvation by grace (as a gift of God) ... through faith alone…totally apart from man’s works (Eph. 2:8-9).
There has never been any other way to be saved. The blood of the lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world was just as efficacious in prospect for Adam as it is in retrospect for you and me today. God's plan and a way of salvation has never changed. We might add that sin has never changed either. There are no dispensational aspects to these fundamental facts.
Man vainly dreams that he can make his flesh, his old sinful nature, fit for the presence of God, and that by doing good he can obtain he can attain unto salvation. But this “old” or original nature is not in the realm of “the spirit of life” and never can be. If one does not have the new nature, that is the “spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2) he is none of His.
Now the question all men have to face is this. Are you saved according to God's plan or are trying to do the impossible yourself, through human effort?