Salvation – BT2
But what really is salvation and how do we get it?
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The Greek word soteria for “salvation” from sozo “to save” and the Hebrew word yeshuw’ah from yasha’ means “rescue, deliverance, and restoration or reconciliation by ‘sewing back together what was torn’ for healed relationship and wholeness.” Sometimes this it is an ‘event’ accomplished in an instant, as with the Holy Spirit coming into a person to make them completely-different-in-kind “NEW creations, fully delivered from their sins by Jesus’ blood, and thus fully reconciled and at peace with the Father.” However, in many cases salvation is a ‘mending process’ accomplished ‘stitch by stitch’ as we take “one step of obedient faith to another.” For example, every time you are “routinely filled-to-completion with the abundant-completeness of God by routinely being filling-to-completion by the means of the Spirit” per the strong urgings of Ephesians 3:19 and 5:18, then more and more of God’s divine nature replaces our flesh nature for more healing and wholeness. Every time we “forgive the debts/sins of others” the more we are “delivered from the evil one” – see Unconditional-Love – BT16 thru – BT24. Per 1 John 1:9 every time we disobey and thus sin, we can surrender this to Jesus thru confession for Him to restore our confidence that He forgives us and cleanses us from ALL unrighteousness by HIS perfect obedience through HIS sacrifice of blood. This is another “obedient step of faith” that builds our trusting-relying-faith in HIM, not us! Every experience of forgiveness because of unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace is one more “mending stitch of healing toward the wholeness” of salvation.
The NT is filled with people who asked the question, “What must we do to be saved?” and the answers are always the same – simple “trusting-relying-faith in the Messiah-Savior Jesus Christ” (a). Jesus famously says (b): “God SO unconditionally-loved the world that He gave His only-begotten (c) Son, that whoever routinely puts their trusting-relying-faith toward/reaching Him should not perish but have zoe genuine-life everlasting. For God did absolutely in fact not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever routinely put their trusting-relying-faith toward/reaching Him is absolutely in fact not ongoingly judged guilty, but whoever does not in possibility routinely put their trusting-relying-faith [in Christ] is already judged guilty [with ongoing results] because he has not in possibility already [with ongoing results] put their trusting-relying-faith in the name/authority of the only-begotten (c) Son of God.” <Notes> a) Acts 16:30-31, b) John 3:16-18, c) monogenes: one-of-a-kind, unique child.
A careful study of pistis trusting-relying-faith and the verb pisteuo reveals that it is “a moral conviction/persuasion/assurance from a relational trust and dependence in God’s faithfulness or trustworthiness.” The standard scholarly Lexicon BDAG notes that trusting-relying-faith is: “on the basis of the reliability of the one trusted.” The Greek god Pistis was “The Trustworthy One.” That’s why the same word for “trusting-relying-faith” is used for “faithfulness,” so only the context can help you figure which is being emphasized! Pistis is a characteristic or ‘flavor’ of “the [singular] fruit/essence/nature of the Spirit that IS-defined-as/exists-as [singular] Unconditional-Love (a) just as “God IS-defined-as/exists-as [singular] Unconditional-Love” (b) period! Therefore, it makes sense that if we have more of the Holy Spirit’s nature living in us, we will be more faithful simply because we will have more trusting-relying-faith! <Notes> a) Galatians 5:23, b) 1 John 4:8, 16.
New Testament trusting-relying-faith is also closely tied to genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knowing and/coupled unconditionally-loving God. Thus, the more deeply you actually know Him, the more you will “trust, rely, and depend on” Him for more and more of your life, and thus the more you will unconditionally-love Him. But as this “Vertical-Love” grows, the NT says “Horizontal-Love” grows: the more you will unconditionally-love all of God’s children meaning His Son Jesus and His Christian brothers and sisters. It’s all inseparably intertwined! See Unconditional-Love – BT9.
It’s no wonder that trusting-relying-faith and/coupled unconditional-love are the only 2 commandments in the NT (a), and that “trusting-relying-faith thru-the-realizing-channel-of unconditional-love routinely, actively, energetically, and effectively being worked is all that counts (b) for anything” (c), and that we see these 2 commandments so often integrally related (d). Hebrews 11:1 also ties trusting-relying-faith to elpis hope that really is “a confident, expectant faith in future things.” But this verse also defines pistis faith as: “confident-trusting-assurance and/coupled conviction-confession (e) in things not seen that we elpis hope for.” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that “trusting-relying-faith, hope, and unconditional-love” are all that will meno “continue-remain” (f). <Notes> a) 1 John 3:23 – see Only 2 Commandments for many other verses, b) is strong, forceful, robust, sound, able, serviceable, c) Galatians 5:6, d) 1 Corinthians 13:2; Galatians 2:20, 5:6, 22; Ephesians 1:15, 3:17, 6:23; Colossians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 3:6, 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:5, 14, 2:15, 4:12, 6:11; 2 Timothy 1:13, 2:22, 3:10; Titus 2:2, 3:15; Philemon 1:5; James 2:5, e) like a court ‘plea’, likely during water-baptism: Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:5; 1 Peter 3:21 – see Surrender Control, f) see also 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 5:8.
One of the worst things bibles have done is translate pistis (noun)/pisteuo (verb) trusting-relying-faith as “belief/believe” which our English dictionaries simply defines as “mental assent or agreement.” However, Helps Word-Studies notes: “Pistis/pisteuo does involve belief, but it goes beyond human believing because it involves the personal ‘in-working’ of revelation from God, and thus is always a work of God,” not simply the result of man’s “might and power” efforts! Paul says: “Every work of trusting-relying-faith is by the means of God’s dunamis dynamite-like enabling-power” (a), as likely are the “labor of unconditional-love and/coupled steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” that Paul combines with “the work of trusting-relying-faith” (b). Yet Paul tells the Christian to “put on the breastplate of trusting-relying-faith and/coupled unconditional-love, and the helmet of the hope of salvation (c). However, elsewhere (d), Paul says it’s the “breastplate of righteousness, the shield of trusting-relying-faith, and the helmet of salvation.” <Notes> a) 2 Thessalonians 1:11, b) 1 Thessalonians 1:3, c) 1 Thessalonians 5:8, d) Ephesians 6:14.
Again, trusting-relying-faith goes way beyond having theology from gnosis info-knowledge or belief in bible doctrine but requires God’s dunamis dynamite-like enabling-power to even comprehend/know (a), as Paul proseuchomai conversationally-prays in for Christians: “to be strengthened/empowered with dunamis enabling-power thru-the-realizing-channel-of His Spirit within your inner being, [that is] Christ to dwell thru-the-realizing-channel-of The-Trusting-Relying-Faith in your hearts, by the means of unconditional-love, already having already been [with ongoing results] rooted and/coupled already having already been [with ongoing results] grounded in unconditional-love, in order that you comprehend/know (a) . . . [Paul lists the dimensions of this unconditional-love] . . . thus to experientially, relationally ginosko know The Unconditional-Love of/belonging-to Christ that ongoingly surpasses gnosis info-knowledge, in order that you may be routinely pleroo filled-to-completion with [the content of] all the pleroma abundant-fullness of God” (b). And later Paul says how: “by [passively] being routinely pleroo filled-to-completion by the means of the Spirit” (c). <Notes> a) grab down-from/according-to from what is above, b) Ephesians 3:16-19, c) Ephesians 5:18.
Do you see God’s amazing process? It takes the Holy Spirit’s dunamis dynamite-like enabling-power dwelling within us for Christ to continue living after our initial rooting and grounding in God’s unconditional-love, where this indwelling began by trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love, and this is the only way to grasp-down-from-heaven-comprehend/know and experientially, relationally know the dimensions of Christ’s unconditional-love, which far surpasses bible gnosis information, all in order to be filled-to-completion with the abundant-fullness of God. Wow, what a divine process!
Trusting-relying-faith doesn’t even come from the work of studying or believing the bible as we are told so often, but instead Paul says: “trusting-relying-faith comes from akouo hearing/listening-to-understand/know thru-the-realizing-channel-of the directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema word of Christ” (a). That’s the Voice of Jesus (b) not gramma writings about Him! That’s because Christians are “God’s workmanship” (c), for “it is God who works in you, both to desire/will and to do/work for His good pleasure” (d). <Notes> a) Romans 10:17, b) John 10:27, c) Ephesians 2:10, d) Philippians 2:13.
When you are born again from above by the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit, you become a completely-different-in-kind, superior “NEW creation.” Jesus made it crystal clear to one of the smartest bible scholars and teachers of the day, Nicodemus: “Unless one is definitively/wholly born again/from above he absolutely in fact is NOT ongoingly dunamis enabled-by-power to definitively/wholly eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know the kingdom of God . . . unless one is born of water and/coupled the Spirit (a) he absolutely in fact is NOT ongoingly dunamis enabled-by-power to definitively/wholly enter the kingdom of God . . . that which has already been [with ongoing results] born of the Spirit is ongoingly Spirit . . . You ALL ongoingly must definitively/wholly be born again/from above” (b). Paul says Christians are “born kata down-from/according-to the Spirit” and are the ones being persecuted by Jews “born kata down-from/according-to the flesh” (c), but there also many verses about Gentile religions persecuting Christians. <Notes> a) likely an allusion to water-baptism according to all rabbinic thought of Christ’s day, b) John 3:3, 5-7, c) Galatians 4:29.
Make sure to read the 5 simple steps to salvation in the previous Salvation – BT1 BLOG.
As Christian musicians, don’t we want to live and communicate the central logos message of Christ to be “saved – rescued, delivered, reconciled, and restored to wholeness” by His blood sacrifice and Holy Spirit? However, unlike the Old Testament covenant or any other religion of works to be ‘right with God,’ in the completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW Covenant Christ’s perfect obedience by His blood sacrifice done for us because of His Unconditional-Love for us NOW makes everyone ‘right with God’ simply through trusting-relying-faith in the Son and His gospel logos message that it was the Father’s Unconditional-Love for us that intentionally planned to send His only-begotten Son to take OUR place in death for the penalty of OUR sins so that the Christ’s righteousness could then be transferred to US – this 2-way transference is called “atonement or propitiation.”
This is the ONLY WAY to go from condemnation deserving eternal death to salvation for eternal zoe genuine-life. Jesus said in John 14:6 that “He IS-defined-as/exists-as The WAY, The Truth, and The zoe Genuine-Life. Absolutely in fact ou NO ONE comes pros toward/reaches to the Father if in possibility me not through-the-realizing-channel-of ME.” This use of the double negative ou me is the strongest possible way to say there is absolutely in fact and in possibility NO other WAY except Jesus! All roads absolutely do NOT lead to God. It’s either Jesus or eternal death. Jesus forces you to make a choice! You either are “born again from heaven by the supernatural enabling-power of the Holy Spirit” that comes into you during water-baptism, thus “being born of water” per John 3:5 and “be saved as thru water” per 1 Peter 3:20-21, and become a completely-different-in-kind, superior “NEW creation” under a likewise NEW Covenant, or you remain as you are “in the flesh” as your “old man” to die in your sins, face condemnation on Judgment Day, and then be separated from God and all that is zoe genuine-life forever. It’s your choice – God is gentle, never forcing anybody to violate their free-will He gave them, being made in His own image.
Pistis faith is NOT a mental agreement about some THING, like believing the chair behind you will hold your weight, or believing bible verses that talk about Jesus. It goes way beyond agreeing with gnosis informational-knowledge, even from a bible! It is a conviction that puts your trust, dependence, and reliance in the faithful or trustworthy persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are Unconditional-Love by nature and that their unconditional-love for us desires to save us and bring us into a genuine, experiential, relationship epignosis knowledge of them! Trusting-relying-faith doesn’t come from reading words in a bible, but akouo hearing/listening-to-understand/know the directly-heard/spoken rhema words of Christ” – “His Voice” if you want to be considered one of “His sheep.” This has nothing to do with bible knowledge but personally experiencing God!
In our unfaithfulness by our disobedience to God, we have a choice to “trust, depend, and rely on” Jesus who was faithful by His obedience to God and thus be saved have eternal zoe genuine-life. If we don’t we die in our sins. Can you see how trusting-relying-taith and unconditional-love are inseparable? Thus they are the only 2 commandments in the NEW Covenant. Our Christian lives are based on it and grow because of it. “Only faith in the present, hope (faith in the future), and unconditional-love will remain” for eternity, because they are the basis for our relationship with God and always will be! This is simple enough for a little child or the other “least among us” to understand!
Lord, we choose to surrender our lives to You! We exchange our unfaithfulness, disobedience, unrighteousness for Your faithfulness, obedience, and righteousness by putting our trusting-relying-faith in Your death on a cross to pay for our sins, and also that it was accepted by God as full payment so Jesus was raised from the dead by the dunamis dynamite-like power of the Holy Spirit, so that we too can become completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW creations as we actually join with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection through water-baptism in order to thus be saved: rescued, delivered, and reconciled to God and begin the saving-sanctifying-holiness process of being restored to wholeness, finalized at our glorification at Your coming when we are transformed completely into Your likeness! What a “blessed hope” we have!