“Receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”
the salvation of your souls
The word “salvation” occurs in verses 5,9,10. We live in a day of religion. The Bible uses the word “religion” but never uses it as a synonym for salvation. It is possible to have tons of religion but not one ounce of salvation.
In verses 1-12 we meet the name of our Lord Jesus Christ seven times. Apart from him there is no salvation (Acts 4:12). Religion will teach us ethics but not afford salvation. It will give us a veneer of ethics but not eternity. God does not give us heaven on the basis of religious ideals. God’s system of salvation pivots around the person and work of the Lord Jesus. These are the facts of the Bible. Do with them what you will.
Christians rejoice because they are in the process (present tense) of realizing the goal of their faith — salvation. Salvation in the New Testament has three phases.
1) The past – our sins were once for all cleansed on the cross of Christ (Gal. 1:4)
2) The present – we are being saved from the power of sin (Rom. 8:2).
3) The future – we will be saved from the presence of sin (II Cor. 5:1).
Salvation means deliverance. God saves the soul in two ways:
1) We are being spiritually saved in the here and now.
2) The soul will be physically saved when it receives its resurrection body.
The resurrection body is where the soul will be housed forever. So there are both a spiritual and a physical deliverance of the soul. This is positional and ultimate sanctification. Both are involved here.
The “soul” is the central personality of the being. The salvation of our souls is the salvation of the being that lives within our body. Every human body has a soul inside it. The soul persists after we put the body into the casket and buried.
We are not our body. If we lose a leg we are still the same person we were. We would be no less us. We are not our body; we live in our body. Our body eventually dies but our soul continues forever. We put our physical body in a cemetery. Our soul goes into hell or heaven. If a person dies without Christ he goes to hell; if he dies with Christ he goes to heaven. It does not matter what denomination we join. That is incidental, irrelevant and inconsequential.
When God saves he does a total job. At the point one accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, not only is he saved from hell but he is now has the potential of salvation from daily sins (Rom. 6:6,7). One day the believer will be saved from the very presence of sin.
We not only have a Savior but a Sustainer.
Salvation began at one point and continues into eternity. We presently possess eternal salvation (Jn 5:24). Christians also daily receive the salvation of our souls from sinning. This is progressive salvation. When in deep present distress we need to focus on the long-range view of our salvation. God is saving us in the trial we face.
A wonderful thing about knowing the Lord is that we not only have a Savior but a Sustainer. If we fall into sin, there is the temptation to despair of our sinning. If we feel that we are not getting our share of life, we do not draw upon the end of our faith. If others say that it is not right that we should suffer so, we put our eyes on the wrong place. The Lord both understands, knows and concurs with everything that happens to us.
We need to cast all our heartaches at the feet of the Savior (Heb 4:16). Then we can get up from our knees and go out with a life of joy. Troubles have not changed; we have changed. Our vantage point is nowadays different; we now look at problems from God’s viewpoint, not our own viewpoint.
If we look at problems, they are mountain high. When God looks at them, the problems are as pebbles. God is still on the throne and Jesus is still seated at the right hand of the Father. Are you open to stage a spiritual comeback from lack of trust in what God will do with your life?
Do you know that you possess salvation? You say, “I hope I’m saved.” That is like saying, “I hope I am married.” If you do not know whether you are married or not, you are not married! God does not save you without letting you know about it! We cannot be saved without making a definite decision. We cannot be married unless we say “I do.” We cannot be married against our will. We cannot become a Christian against our will. You must make a decision, “I will accept the death of Christ as payment for my sin.”
If we wait until we die to find out whether we have salvation we have waited too long (Mark 8:36).