Summary: Experiencing Salvation - Freedom from the Penalty of Sin.

December 05, 2020

In the spring of AD 31 Satan became a defeated foe, but the war is not yet over and full victory is in the future. We are living in the MEANTIME between the defeat of Satan and final victory.

Today we are going to learn how to Experience Salvation while we wait for Jesus to return. But before we can experience salvation, we need to understand why we need to be saved in the first place:

• John Eldredge {Epic pg. 64} – The challenge God faces is rescuing a people who have no idea how captive they are; no real idea how desperate they are.

War in Heaven –

According to Ez. 28:12-15 Lucifer stood in the very presence of God. Little by little he came to indulge his desire for self-exaltation. The Scripture says:

Ezekiel 28:17 - Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor…

Isaiah 14:13-14 - But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'

Creation –

Sometime later God came to our little corner of the Universe and He said…. Let there be….. And there was…. And it was GOOD. Then came man, the crowning achievement of creation week, the object of God’s greatest affection and a target for Satan. He hates us for the very fact that we are so loved by God.

• John Eldredge {Epic pg. 39} – I am staggered by the level of naivete that most people have regarding evil. They don’t take it seriously. They don’t live as though the Story had a Villain. Not the devil prancing about in red tights, carrying a pitchfork, but the incarnation of the very worst of every enemy you’ve met in every other story…… life is very confusing if you do not take into account that there is a Villain. That you, my friend, have an Enemy.

Fall –

Our need for salvation came the second Adam and Eve chose to believe the lies of Satan. We became a doomed planet enslaved to sin with no power and no natural desire to resist it. Notice how quickly sin took over --- Genesis 3:6 Eve took the fruit and then shared with Adam:

• V 7 - They notice that they are naked and they try to cover their own nakedness with leaves.

• V 8 - They hear God walking in the garden and they are afraid and they hide.

• V 12 - Adam blames Eve for giving him the fruit.

• V 13 - Eve blames the snake for lying to her to get her to eat the fruit.

Saved –

As we’ve noted in previous sermons, there was a Plan in place --- just in case. When Adam and Eve sinned, The Plan kicked in:

• John Eldredge {Epic pg. 65-66} – God himself --- the King of all creation --- takes on human flesh and enters our story as one of us. He sets aside his glory, clothes himself with humility, and sneaks into the enemy camp, under cover of night, to whispers words of love to hid own; “I have come for you.”

Genesis 3:14-15 - So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Romans 5:6-8 - For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

How do we Experience the Salvation that cost heaven so much?

We sense our need: The road to Experiencing Salvation begins when we become aware that there is something terribly wrong in our lives and we are no longer content with how things are.

Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

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