Peter 09 - Salvation
Save My Soul
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries … (1Peter 1:8-10)
This past week, on multiple occasions, I have overheard phrases regarding the salvation of souls. However, the phrases were not uttered within a Biblical context at all. At least one was spoken within a political context and another spoken from one individual to another in regard to assistance rendered—“You saved my soul.” It is obvious, then, that those of the world have lost sight of salvation. Are Christians losing sight of the importance of salvation? Can Christians lose sight? Clearly God thought so—multiple references to salvation are made in His word. It is one of the very things of which the apostle Peter was inspired to remind Christians through his letters.
I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind. (2Peter 1:12-15)
Understanding salvation is vital. It is even the very thing which the the prophets sought information regarding and that into which angels desired to look (1Peter 1:10-12). The message of the gospel is that message of salvation. It is the very reason the Son came: “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21);
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
What is salvation? Salvation, from a modern dictionary, means “deliverance from ruin.” Etymologically, the word comes from roots that have the idea of “safely recovered.” People understand this well enough if it refers to shipwreck, illness, or the like. Ultimate salvation has
to do with our safe recovery.
In the New Testament, salvation is the word used to describe the deliverance from sin. Sin brings about ruin; it leads to eternal torment and the death that is separation from God: “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). People can be saved from their sins (1Corinthians 1:18; 6:9-11). How can people have this salvation? God speaks of many things involved in salvation. God saves (2Timothy 1:9). Christ saves (Luke 19:10). God’s grace saves (Ephesians 2:4-9; Titus 2:11). The blood of Christ saves or justifies (Romans 5:8-9). The gospel saves (Romans 1:16). Teaching saves (Titus 2:11). Faith, belief, saves (Acts 16:30-31). Repentance saves (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30-31). Confession saves (Romans 10:9-10). Baptism saves (1Peter 3:21; Acts 22:16). Hope saves (Romans 8:24). No one thing will save apart from the others—this is God’s plan.
Peter also reminds us that this deliverance from sin is also a grand outcome. He writes of “the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1Peter 1:9). Other references to take note of are: 2Thessalonians 1:5-9; 2:13-14; and 2Peter 3:14-17. This is why it is worthy to understand salvation. It reaches its greatest majesty in the end. It is now “reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Peter 1:4-5).
How can we make this salvation sure? We can make it sure by keeping the faith so as not to fall: “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12). We can make it sure by being faithful to the end:
“Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). We can make it sure by continuing to obey: “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). We can make it sure by spending time with the word: “you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2Timothy 3:15); “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).
We can make it sure by bearing fruit: “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:1-7).
If you were in bondage as a galley slave and could be saved from such a lot in life, wouldn’t you? If you were adrift on a raft at sea and could be rescued or saved, wouldn’t you? If you are bound for torment in your present state and can be saved, won’t you?