Our Beliefs: 6. Salvation

Posted on 02/05/2017 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:

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Please click one of the offering plates in Second Life or at http://almcyberchurch.org, and give as the Lord leads.

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JOYFUL JOYFUL
lyrics by Henry van Dyke
music by Ludwig van Beethoven

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
Op'ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow'ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o'er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.


POWER IN THE BLOOD
by Lewis E. Jones

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o'er evil a victory win?
There's wonderful power in the blood.

There is power, power,
wonder-working power
In the blood
of the Lamb;

There is power, power,
wonder-working power
In the precious blood
of the Lamb.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary's tide;
There's wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin-stains are lost in its life-giving flow;
There's wonderful power in the blood.

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There's wonderful power in the blood.


MY HOPE IS BUILT ON NOTHING LESS
by Edward Mote

Verse 1:
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
but wholely lean on Jesus' name

Verse 2:
When darkness fails his lovely face
I rest on his unchanging grace
in every high and stormy gale
my anchor holds withing the veil

Verse 3
When he shall come with trumpet sound
O may I then in him be found
Dressed in his righteousness alone
faultless to stand before his throne

Chorus:
On Christ the solid rock I stand
all other ground is sinking sand
all other ground is sinking sand


*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***


For awhile, with some detours, we've been going through our Statement of Beliefs.

And you can find the items we're covering by going to almcyberchurch.org and clicking the "What We Believe" link, or here in Second Life by clicking one of the "Church Information" signs.

As as we've done for all the other items on our list, I'd like to begin by clarifying the reason for sharing these beliefs with you.

That reason is NOT because these beliefs will somehow make you more spiritual than those who disagree with them, nor is it to grant you Salvation.

For your Salvation, put your trust fully in Jesus, not in your understanding of doctrinal issues.

As Proverbs 3:5-6 (TLS*) says,

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not dwell in or rely upon your own understanding.
6 Know Him in all things, and He will direct your paths, making them plain and straight.

And also keep in mind that these beliefs are not infallible truth, for none of us are infallible. The truth is, we ALL see through a glass dimly, and the conclusions your mind embraces as indisputable truth just might be wrong.

I choose to demote the mind to its rightful role as a tool, not as the one who leads us into all Truth -- that's the job of the Holy Spirit. So while we employ the mind to use words and concepts to communicate today, realize that these words are only arrows, and the mind is only being used as a road sign, while the Truth is that to which these tools are intended to point.

So let's bring our attention back into the Presence of God in His Holy Temple, the body in which You and He currently reside, and feel His Breath, His Presence, His Life there, for He is the One to whom any worthwhile teachings point.

And now, let's read the next item on our list.


6. Salvation

Salvation is free and, apart from any work of man, is a result of the Sovereign Grace of God. The shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation. We partner ourselves with Salvation when we place all our trust in Him.


Ephesians 2:8-9 (KMV*)

8 For you are saved by grace through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 Not of works, lest anyone should boast.

So it's the Gift of Grace from God that grants you Salvation, not your belief. But this verse does say, "by grace THROUGH FAITH." What does that mean?

Well, both the English word "Faith" and the Greek word translated as "Faith" can have more than one meaning. We generally think of "faith" as the belief in something, and some people think of faith as blind belief.

And our English word "faith" does include those possible meanings.

On Dictionary.com, the second meaning of the word "faith" is, "belief that is not based on proof."

However, Hebrews 11:1 (TLS*) tells us this:

1 Now faith is the concrete reality of things hoped for, the solid proof of things not seen.

So the second definition of the word "faith" does not appy to the faith that is involved in Salvation, for if you have the solid proof of a concrete reality, you cannot have a belief that is not based on proof, for faith IS the proof. Faith cannot be void of proof, since faith IS proof.

Just like Grace, Faith is a gift from God. It is not in the realm of the mind, which is where the confusion arises. The mind tries to understand Faith. It asks, "what IS faith? Is it a material object? No. So it must be something mental. And since it is mental and not physical, and since it does not require anything physical, and since only physical, measurable phenomena can qualify as proof, then faith must be a belief that is not based upon proof."

But the mind does not understand the spirit. It does not understand non-physical proof.

Now, when God gives someone the gift of Faith, that Faith does produce a mental belief, just like something in the physical world.

Let's say you want to know if your chair exists. If you have eyesight, you can see it. Even if you can't see it, you can touch it. You can feel it. You can sit on it, and it supports your weight. And because of this proof, you believe your chair exists.

Faith is the spiritual equivelant of a physical object. It is just as real. It is concrete reality. It is solid proof. And just as with your chair, your mind believes what the Faith proves. It is not a blind belief, but it is a belief based upon observable evidence and solid proof.

Since the mind cannot understand and measure the realm of the spirit, it tends to reject the nature of Faith, and demotes it to a blind belief. But to the one who is given a gift of Faith from God, there is that moment before the mind explains it away, in which they are sitting in that chair -- they have the absolute proof that is just as tangible as anything in the physical world, perhaps even more so.


So Biblical Faith is not blind belief. Rather, it is belief in something for which their is tangible evidence, solid proof.

Okay. Well, how about the THIRD definition of the word "faith?" The dictionary says this:

3. Belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.

And this is the definition generally accepted by Christians as Faith. But what does James 2:19 (KMV*) say?

19 You believe there is one God. You do well. The demons also believe, and tremble.

The demons believe in God. The demons believe in Jesus. The demons believe Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for sin. The demons believe Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father. The demons believe Jesus is coming again. Are the demons therefore saved?

Perhaps just believing is not enough.

And so, "by grace through faith" cannot mean "by grace because you blindly accept," or "by grace because you believe."

In fact, "because" isn't in there. Rather, the word is "through." Salvation is not by, or because of, belief. Instead, Salvation is by, or because of, Grace.

And that Grace is THROUGH Faith. Which brings us to the first definition of Faith:

Confidence or trust in a person or thing.

And in this context, to have Faith is to put your trust in Jesus.

By Grace through Trust. or, By Grace through the Spiritual Proof of the Saving Power of Christ.

Do you trust in Jesus? Do you have the spiritual proof that He is with you and you are His?

Well, that's the Grace of God. God has done that in you. And because of His work in you and on the cross, you are the heir of Salvation.

8 For you are saved by grace through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 Not of works, lest anyone should boast.

So let's read today's item again:

"Salvation is free and, apart from any work of man, is a result of the Sovereign Grace of God. The shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation. We partner ourselves with Salvation when we place all our trust in Him."

Is your trust in religion? Put that trust in Him.

Is your trust in doctrines? Put that trust in Him.

Is your trust in beliefs? Put that trust in Him.

Is your trust in your mind's understanding of truth? Put that trust in Him.

Do you find yourself unable to put your trust in Him? Trust in Him to take care of THAT, too. After all, when it happens, it will be God who is doing it because of His Amazing Grace.