A Fulfilled Grace Perspective
we shall be saved
[Rom 5:9-10; 8:24; 1Cor 15:2]; and
lift up your heads, for
your redemption draws nigh [Lk 21:28]; "
has reconciled us to Himself
" [2Cor 5:18]. These expressions
'redemption, reconciliation and salvation' although indelibly linked
and often appearing as interchangeable terms in Scripture, are not
always saying the one or same thing, especially so when it comes to
defining the contexts between that which is temporal and that which
eternal. There are important and significant differences between them,
and some crossover of thought does occur where salvation or
saved are used in the global sense properly referring to
as in reflecting the essence of Divine deliverance from sin
[Mt 1:21; Lk 1:77]. "Redemption" however literally means to be
bought back this is what God has done in Christ; similarly
"reconciliation" where He paid a price in ransoming and thus reconciling
the world back to himself [Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45; 1Tim 2:6].
"Salvation" in comparison, is to be brought into an experience
which those who through belief in God through Christ appropriated i.e.,
they enter into through faith.
To further clarify this distinction that can be between
redemption-reconciliation and salvation, consider the following.
Specifically we can see Paul defining these differing aspects of God's
grace at work:
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through
the death of His Son
His death, redeemed-reconciled Israel-humanity corporately
back to God [Isa 53:11; Col 1:20-22].
enables us to find the Way of Salvation, that being Christ
alone this is the work of divine grace and is not the result of our
"believing". If our believing could produce our
redemption-reconciliation then Jesus died in vain. However,
redemption-reconciliation on the other hand CAN produce belief;
the working of repentance in turning mind and heart in thankfulness to
God thus bringing confidence before God and so deliverance in
life salvation of the soul, i.e., of the inner man. Or as Paul
goes onto say:
much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
His life, brought and brings salvation to those who will grasp
as just stated "of the inner man"
on the other hand, is the realisation or revelation of mind and
heart that knows I am loved and accepted by God that
knows all are loved and accepted by Him. The work then of
salvation is that of assurance the confidence in knowing
that I have been restored unto favour with God accepted in the
Beloved [Eph 1:6]. This knowledge of acceptance or,
assurance, is what multiplies grace and peace and works
divine growth, grace and transformation [2Pt 1:2-4].
There is another aspect of salvation as found in the contextual
setting of the New Testament that must also be acknowledged that of
the literal flight of the first-fruit saints out of Palestine before and
during the Jewish-Roman wars; specifically culminating in the
destruction of Jerusalem in their generation. The root meaning of the
word "salvation" is to deliver this in the "this generation"
[Mt 24:34] time-frame, particularly the calamities of AD 66-70
had a very temporal outworking for those who heeded Christ's words to
flee. Salvation then, is not always something that is restricted to the
"spiritual" sphere of operation.
Having said that however; the covenantal overtones of being
redeemed-reconciled means that, covenantally, there can be a
personal salvation occurring in the heart of a believer that is
working deliverance from toxic life patterns i.e., those things
that work foster and occupy temporal pain in our lives:
[toxic thinking] Hurts [toxic emotions] Habits
[toxic behaviour] Head-Heart-Hands; one invariably
follows the other in actions and consequences.
Again, it is the embracing of this assurance that grasps the
reality of redemption-reconciliation that can then work personal
deliverance. Without Christ one cannot fully know the associated
blessings of forgiveness that does not mean we have not been forgiven,
we have [Jn 1:29; 1Jn 2:2], it simply means that without
Christ we cannot know it i.e., we cannot grasp the reality of
our forgiveness. Peter indicates similar:
To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever
believes in Him will receive remission of sins."
The word here translated "receive" [labein
λαβειν] means to grasp,
and is in the active voice meaning that the subject [the
believer, not God] produces the action cf. Mt 21:34; Heb
10:26. In other words: believing or having faith in
Christ enables one to grasp a hold of the actuality of
with certainty the remission of sins, i.e., coming into the reality of
Christ's redeeming-reconciling work of "
not imputing their
trespasses to them
" [2Cor 5:19b].
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
in whom we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of sins.
The apostle Luke further demonstrates the dual nature of God's grace at
To give knowledge of salvation
[deliverance] to His people by the remission of their sins
The end result of this is knowing peace with God. It becomes our
heart's assurance that redemption is ours the promise secure, and
this is what "saves" the soul:
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise
assurance] by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to
them that believe.
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward
Borrowing a couple of paragraphs from the article
The biblical term "salvation" is as broad an expression as one can find
in relation to the ministration of God's grace; however the turns of
phrase to be
saved or being saved must be understood as being
descriptive of the subject to which it is being applied; and as
explained above there are a number of different biblical aspects to what
being saved means. Pertaining to REDEMPTION everyone IS
saved, having been delivered from sin's offence
adjudged so by God i.e., reconciled. Likewise, just as humanity
was not involved in the imputation of guilt through Adam's sin
adjudged so by God, so man was not involved with his
redemption-reconciliation either, that was between God and Christ
man however was the recipient of it, the beneficiary.
Thus there was established through the Cross of Christ a broad all
encompassing unilateral and universal deliverance [Heb 9:26]
what we call salvation; it brought redemption-reconciliation TO
the whole world collectively. This redemptive and reconciling
act of God in turn has the potential of bringing a personal
deliverance again, what we call salvation, to those OF the
world individually. Thus humanity truly IS already saved
objectively [de jure in principle, in law] and "in Christ"
collectively, yet when one comes into a personal revelation of
Christ's meritorious grace this salvation truly works subjectively
[de facto in reality] an apprehension, acceptance,
appropriation and application of Christ's saving work, individually
and THIS IS the assurance of salvation.
Just as the promise is there for all who will grasp it in faith [Act
10:43], there remains yet no less the promise to those who
either in ignorance or arrogance do not or will not grasp it it is
true however that in this life they will be less for not having
apprehended it. Yet as the apostle Paul said:
Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that
the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only
to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the
faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all
for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to
Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children--
but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.
The 'father of faith' and 'the mother of us all' extends to more than
just the seed that acknowledge or confess their linage. The truth is,
there are many who through lack of knowledge wander aimlessly [Prov
29:18] through life, bogged down in an identity crisis it is this
message of Gospel i.e., the revelation of God's righteousness [Rom
1:17] that will dispel and dismiss this veil of ignorance, for God
is the loving father of us all [Psa 24:1; Act 17:29].
For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the
faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not!
For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have
mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and
knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past
To summarise: In spite of the similarities, there are differences
between how and through whom these three biblical themes all work out:
The force of biblical REDEMPTION is towards Israel microcosmic.
The focus of biblical RECONCILIATION is towards humanity
The fullness of biblical SALVATION is upon those called to
minister God's change agents in a changing world; those who are saved
David G. Embury
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