Summary: This pre-Christmas sermon deals with salvation in the past, present, and future tense.
Why He Came
CHCC: December 12, 2010
We’re reached that time of year when we focus on the birth of Christ. We think a lot about HOW He came --- and the details about HOW Christ came to earth give us probably the most beautiful and surprising story in the Bible. But today, instead of focusing on HOW he came, I want us to focus on WHY He came.
About 30 years after his birth, Jesus answered that question in Luke 19:10 when He said, "I have come to seek and to save that which is lost." Jesus came to be our Savior. He came to offer salvation to everyone who will believe.
Have you ever seen signs like these? (pictures on screen of "Are you Saved?") Do you remember singing the old hymn, “We have heard the joyful sound, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves!” Has anyone ever asked you the question: “Are you saved?”
There’s a story that years ago in England the Bishop of Durham was riding on a train when a young girl wearing a Salvation Army uniform sat down across from him.
She was a new convert and was eager to witness to someone, so after a few minutes, she blurted out, “Excuse me, sir. Are you saved?”
The Bishop was caught off guard by the unexpected question and he said, “Am I saved?”
“Yes!” She repeated, “Are you saved?”
“Well, my dear,” the Bishop answered with a smile, “Which kind of saved do you mean? Do you mean esosen or sodzomenois?
Then for the rest of the trip, the Bishop explained to the new Christian the wonder of God’s salvation in 3 tenses – past, present, and future.
Today we’re going to look at what it means when we say "Jesus Saves." The full meaning is found in the word soteria (salvation) which speaks of deliverance, preservation from danger, wholeness, and soundness.
When the Bible talks about our salvation through Jesus, it speaks in 3 tenses: Past, Present, and Future. II Corinthians 1:10 shows all three tenses in one verse: God has saved us (past) from so great a death, and He does save us (present); and we trust that He will yet save us (future.) (paraphrase of KJV )
The salvation Jesus offers us is EVERYTHING we need.
• He has saved us from the guilt of our sins – this is called JUSTIFICATION – it means Jesus saves us from the PENALTY of our sins. The picture here is Jesus as the LAMB who was slain for our sins.
• He is saving us minute-by-minute as we live our lives – this is called SANCTIFICATION – it means Jesus saves us from the POWER of sin in our daily life. The picture here is Jesus as LORD of our lives.
• and He will save us on that future great Day of Judgment – this is called GLORIFICATION – it means Jesus will one day set us entirely free from the PRESENCE of sin. The picture here is Jesus as the source of eternal LIFE.
1. esosen (Gr.) – Past Justification – freedom from the Penalty of sin - Jesus, the LAMB
Titus 3:5 says, He saved us (esosen) not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
There is, first of all, a sense in which Salvation is an accomplished fact. We know that Jesus paid the full price for our sins 2,000 years ago on Calvary’s cross. Jesus before his death, Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” (Tetelestai in the Greek being a book keeper’s term that means “Paid in full.”)
Jesus, the LAMB of God who took away the sin of the world, has offered us complete JUSTIFICATION. We are able to stand before God just as if we had never sinned.
On the day that you first put your trust in Jesus as your Savior, you can look at salvation in the past tense. The penalty of sin has been erased; the weight of sin’s guilt has been lifted from our shoulders. In its place, the perfection of Jesus Christ covers you. At that moment you received the gift of the Holy Spirit who brings your spirit to life and who stamps you with the guarantee of all these promises.
Example: (give an example of a life that was changed by conversion to Christ)
2. sodzomenois (Gr.) – Present Sanctification – freedom from the Power of sin – Jesus, the LORD
I Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved (sodzomenois) it is the power of God.
Most Christians get the PAST and the FUTURE meaning of salvation, but too many of us miss the experience of our PRESENT, progressive salvation. Just as it is true that we are saved from the penalty of our past sins, it is equally true that we are being saved daily from the power of sin in our lives.