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Exploring the meaning of salvation

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Today’s bible study is Romans 5:1-2: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

This reassuring scripture verse remi9nds us, once again, of the peace of God and the grace of our Christian faith. Through Jesus, our Lord and Savior, we have access to this grace and, we are also reminded, to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

The glory of God is something that we can rejoice in every day. It is not limited to the glory of the kingdom of God that we hope to enter upon our death, but is an ever present glory that is within us and all around us every day of our lives. The glory of the sunrise, the sweetness of fresh mown grass, the tinkling laughter of little children and the bright flourish of blossoms are reminders to all of us of the glory of God.

Romans speaks of the peace of God, not as subjective peace of mind, but the objective state of peace that is the cessation of hostilities, living one’s life in the situation of no longer being at war with God, no longer alienating and hostile, no longer under the threat of God’s righteous judgment. Peace also connotes the objective state of well-being, the good life God intends expressed in the Hebrew shalom.

The second verse speaks of the language of salvation. Paul repeatedly emphasizes the three dimensions of God’s saving act. (1) Salvation is really based on something that really happened in the past, namely, Christ’s death and resurrection, and the believer’s conversation and coming to faith. (2) Salvation is a present process, a matter of present experience. (3) The process is not yet complete, but awaits a future consummation.

This three dimensional, already-but-not-yet understanding of salvation is characteristic of biblical theology, so that the biblical answer to the question: Are you saved? is, ‘Yes, I was saved by God’s act in Christ; yes, I am in the process of being saved, and no, I am not yet saved but confidently await salvation at the victory of God’s kingdom.’

May we serve you, dear Lord, as children of God and faithful followers of our Lord and Savior. May we continue to glory, each moment of our lives, until we finally attain the magnificent glory that awaits us in the kingdom of God. This we ask in the name of our crucified and risen Lord.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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