Summary: The Bible is a book that reveals the way of salvation. Jesus Christ came to be our Savior. He lived a sinless life in order to be our Savior and died as a substitute for our sin. He rose from the dead, triumphant and victorious, to bring us salvation. Now
Title: Partial or Complete Salvation
Text: "How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?" (Heb. 2:3 NIV).
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 2:1-4
The Bible is a book that reveals the way of salvation. Jesus Christ came to be our Savior. He lived a sinless life in order to be our Savior and died as a substitute for our sin. He rose from the dead, triumphant and victorious, to bring us salvation. Now he lives at his Father’s side making intercession for those who trust him.
Our text speaks about salvation as being a great salvation. Unfortunately, many have made only a halfhearted response and have only a fractional understanding of the great salvation that is available through Jesus Christ.
Our text also speaks about the tragic possibility of believers ignoring their great salvation. This verse has often been used as the text for an evangelistic sermon, emphasizing that unbelievers should no longer neglect to respond to Jesus Christ as Savior. In reality, the text is addressed to those who have already entered the gateway of salvation but who face the peril of ignoring certain phases of it, resulting in their own hurt and the injury of others. Have you made a halfhearted response to the great salvation that God offers to you through Jesus Christ?
Only Jesus can save us from the death that sin brings. Salvation from death, however, is only part of the great salvation that is offered to us. Christ alone can save us from the downward drag of our inherited evil nature. And he alone can save us from the hopeless destiny to which sin leads. We should make a complete response to our great salvation rather than ignoring some aspect of it.
For many people salvation from the penalty of sin is a past experience. We are justified in God’s sight through faith in Jesus Christ. Those who have already experienced salvation from the punishment of sin should now be in the process of being saved from the power and practice of sin. This is salvation and sanctification in the present tense. Further, all who have trusted Jesus as Savior in the past and who are presently experiencing the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives look forward to salvation from sin in the future. This is salvation in the future tense; the Bible calls it glorification.
As you take inventory of your own heart and your own faith, have you become satisfied with partial salvation, or are you hungry for and seeking the complete salvation that God offers to you through Jesus Christ? If you have trusted him as Savior, you should desire his full salvation in the present. To experience complete salvation in the present, you must do a number of things.
I. Respond to Jesus as the teacher who came from God.
A. Jesus was more a teacher than a preacher: His disciples and others addressed him as Master. This was the title of an authoritative teacher.
B. Jesus came bringing God’s truth from heaven to the hearts and lives of people. We must accept him as an authoritative teacher who came to reveal the way to live if we are to experience his full salvation in the present.
C. His followers were called disciples and learners. This meant they had "enrolled in his school" and were seeking to receive new truth about God, life, and the issues of life in the future.
The Sermon on the Mount closes with an exhortation not only to hear but also to do the things Jesus taught. Are you seriously committed to the practice of Jesus’ teachings? To be halfheartedly committed is to fail to experience the great salvation God has for you in the present.
II. Let the Holy Spirit work within you in the present (I Cor. 3:16; 6:19-20).
Some people in the church at Corinth were uninformed of the glorious truth that the Holy Spirit had filled them the moment they trusted Jesus as Savior. To be uninformed about the personality, presence, and purpose of the Holy Spirit is to live on crumbs rather than feast at the Lord’s table.
A. The Holy Spirit convicted us of our need for Christ.
B. The Holy Spirit effected the miracle of the new birth.
C. The Holy Spirit assured us of our relationship with God.
D. The Holy Spirit came into our hearts to change us. He resides within us to transform our lives and cause us to be in harmony with the mind of Jesus Christ.
E. The Holy Spirit wants to correct and instruct us. He desires us to live in the ways of our Lord, and he recalls to our memory things that Jesus taught.
To ignore the Holy Spirit or to respond negatively to him is to deprive yourself of the fruit of the Spirit in your heart and life. There is no escape from living an unproductive and unhappy "Christian" life if you ignore the Holy Spirit’s influence.