We’re in a message series called “My Salvation.” Salvation is the story of the whole Bible. God created man to live in relationship with Him as His children in a beautiful paradise called the garden of Eden. However, by the third chapter of Genesis, that paradise had been corrupted by the curse of sin and man had been enslaved by an alien spirit being called Satan. The rest of the Bible is about God’s plan to bring salvation to mankind. Rescuing us from captivity, restoring us to a relationship as God’s children and ultimately recreating paradise for us to live in forever.
Today, our message is entitled “Salvation Benefits” and we’re going to be talking about the benefits of salvation in this life. Next Sunday, we’ll be concluding this series with the message Ultimate Salvation and we’ll be talking about eternity. To begin today, let’s look at how the Bible describes salvation in
Romans 6:23 (ESV) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Each person on this planet is a sinner and we work, as it were, for sin. However, the wages that sin pays are not good. Oh, there might be some momentary pleasure, but the ultimate payback is death. The death spoken of in this verse us more than just physical death, it is eternal death, separation from God in the place of eternal torment, hell. On the other hand, salvation is a free gift of God, offered freely to every person. But this free gift must be received through faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is referred to here as eternal life, a life that begins here and now and continues forever. It is eternal life, that exists in fellowship with the Lord Jesus.
Now, lets meditate a bit longer on the concept of salvation as a free gift. It is true that the entire population of the world can be divided into two kinds of people, those who have received God’s free gift of salvation and those who haven’t. Yet, just because you have received a gift doesn’t mean that you fully understand or have utilizing all of its benefits. Have you ever gotten a gift for Christmas or a birthday and you unwrap it, but you never take the time to read the instructions and put it together or use it? That’s true of salvation for all of us, to one degree or another. We are not using or walking in all the benefits of salvation.
Philippians 2:12b-13 (ESV) … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
There are many aspects of our salvation, benefits of our salvation, that we need to work out. We are not alone in this, for God is working in us to help us with our salvation benefits. So, let’s begin to talk about the benefits of salvation that we can enjoy in this life.
John 1:12-13 (ESV) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
This is really one of the most remarkable aspects of salvation, that we become children of our heavenly Father. Unfortunately, this oftentimes lacks impact because our culture thinks of everyone as children of God. This is completely false. Jesus spoke of unbelievers in John 8:44 and said “You are of your father, the devil.” All those who are not believers are children of Satan, part of his family. Human children are conceived through the will of the parents, but God’s children are conceived through God’s will as we put our faith in Jesus. As children of God, we are …
Romans 8:17 (ESV) and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
God has provided an incredible inheritance for His children. Some of this inheritance we enjoy in this life, but the fulfillment of the entire inheritance awaits eternity. As the Scripture speaks of our inheritance in this verse, we see that there will be suffering in this life before our glorification in the next. Just as Christ suffered before He rose from the dead, so we suffer in this life. But one day, we will also be resurrected to enjoy our complete and ultimate inheritance. The inheritance that God makes available to us in this life provides us all the resources that we need to carry out God’s assignment for our life. As God’s children, not only are we heirs, but we also enjoy a …
Romans 8:14-16 (ESV) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
As sons of God, we are led and guided by the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us. We have been adopted into God’s family. And the Spirit helps us in talking to our heavenly Father in prayer. The word Abba in the Hebrew language was a term of endearment that children would use to address their fathers. It indicates a close and tender relationship. The Holy Spirit, living inside of us, takes away all worry and fear and gives us the confidence that we truly are God’s children and everything is going to be OK.
What benefits do earthly parents provide for their children? Parents protect, provide food, clothing, shelter, teach, counsel and help, love, assist in spiritual, mental and physical growth. God desires our relationship with Him to be closer than the relationship of a child with their parents. How can this be? It can be because God is with us every minute of the day, His resources are limitless, as is His wisdom and understanding. God loves you more perfectly than you parents ever could. Each of us has had imperfect parents, by God is a perfect Father. He can give you everything you need for this life and the next. May each of us grow in living as God’s children. Our second salvation benefit is …
To be righteous in Christ is to have our sins forgiven, to know that the penalty for our sins has been paid for. To be righteous is to be in right standing before God, accepted in His presence as His child. To be righteous is to have our guilt removed and our consciences cleansed. This righteousness is not based on our good works but we are …
Romans 4:4-5 (ESV) Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
We’ve already seen that salvation is not a reward or wages for having worked for God. No, salvation is a free gift, given to those who believe in Jesus. It is our faith that is counted as righteousness, not anything that we have done. This faith that leads to salvation is not simply a one time act, faith is a state of believing. You make a choice to believe in Jesus Christ and you keep on believing, you persevere in your faith. Not only are we justified through faith, we are also …
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
When one becomes a believer, we become a new creation. Jesus calls it being born again. We were born for the first time physically. When we were saved, we were born a second time spiritually. Our old way of life, our old sins and thought patterns have passed away. We no longer live for ourselves or to server sin, but to serve Jesus and others. These verses speak of us be reconciled to God. You see the Bible calls unbelievers enemies of God. God loves unbelievers, but they are in rebellion against Him. Christ’s death and resurrection made reconciliation possible, our broken relationship with God could be restored through salvation. Every believer, every child of God has been reconciled to God and we have now a ministry of reconciliation. This means that we called to work with God to see others reconciled to God by becoming His children. Being righteous is the second benefit of salvation.
Sometimes believers struggle with guilt over past sins. Even though past sins may still have consequences in our lives that we have to deal with, those past sins have been forgiven. You don’t have to live in guilt or any kind of bondage to past sin. Jesus has set you free and wants to give you the strength to walk in the freedom that He has provided. Jesus wants you to think of yourself as righteous in His eyes and live righteously. He has provided the means through the Holy Spirit to help us live with a clean conscience. As we walk righteously, God desires to use us to help others who are struggling with guilt and shame in their own lives. Our third salvation benefit we want to talk about is …
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (ESV) And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
In this verse, God’s Word speaks of three aspects of the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer’s life. The first is that the Spirit has anointed us. An anointing in the Scripture is an empowerment to carry out God’s plan for your life. Kings were anointed to lead, prophets were anointed for their ministry. The plans that God has for your life cannot be carried out with the Spirit’s anointing. The anointing is available to every believer, but it must be sought and received.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
The second aspect of the Spirit’s work is that He has put His seal on us. In the ancient world, important people had rings which were used to put their unique impression in wax on important documents or packages. This seal established the sender’s identity and represented ownership. The Holy Spirit has put God’s seal in our hearts, God owns us, we are His. We have been purchased through the blood of Christ and now serve Him as our Lord and Master.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV) In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
These verses again speak of the Holy Spirit as sealing us. But they add the third aspect of the Spirit’s work, as a guarantee or deposit of our inheritance. In the ancient world, a deposit or guarantee worked just as it does today. Today, if you wish to buy a house or a car, you put a deposit or down payment down. This deposit is your guarantee that you will pay the full price for the item purchased. In the same way, The Holy Spirit in our hearts is God’s deposit our guarantee, that we are going to receive our full inheritance of salvation in the future. We’ll talk more about our ultimate salvation next Sunday. But suffice it to see, there is much that we deal with in life that we won’t have to deal with in eternity. One of the biggest aspects of our future inheritance is the promise of the resurrection of our bodies, resurrected as immortal glorified bodies, fit for the presence of God. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
God is a trinity, consisting of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. God the Father and Jesus are in heaven. Even though Jesus may appear to people in visions, most of us don’t experience Him that way. What we do have is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus living inside of us. The God who created the universe lives inside believers as the Holy Spirit. As we learn to listen to Him speak to us, as we learn to talk to Him and follow His directions, we reap more and more of salvation’s benefits in this life. We live our lives as followers of Jesus through His Spirit.
Sometimes we forget to think about or praise God for all the benefits of salvation. We are children of God, what an awesome privilege and responsibility. We have been declared righteous in Christ, no matter what we’ve done in the past. We can live in freedom from sin, serving Jesus as our Lord and Master. Finally, we have God Himself, through the Holy Spirit, living within us. Speaking to us, guiding us, comforting us, encouraging us. May we be daily praising God for His salvation. May we be seeking to tell others about the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to anyone, being saved.