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- Jewish preacher and religious leader, central figure of Christianity
The Bible is a record of salvation by grace. God is revealed throughout His word as a Savior (Is 12:2; 45:21-22; 1 Tim 4:10) — the One who saves by grace. To be saved, one must acknowledge his great distress and need for great deliverance; finally, he must confess his great Savior. These three essential notes resound the chord of biblical salvation. Without them, the music of redemption is incomplete, no chorus of praise, only the dissonance of an unfinished symphony.
First, every person who has ever been saved was delivered from a Great Distress brought upon him by political, military, natural, or spiritual enemies. Those in distress have no way or power to save themselves, so they must turn for help from another. The deliverance of the children of Israel from the pursuing army of the Egyptians is an example of just such a salvation, the Lord throwing both horse and rider into the Red Sea. At the same time, Israel safely escaped (Ex 14:30. 15:2).
The evangelists recount how a woman had suffered from a hemorrhage for 12 years and, to no avail, had spent all her resources on medical help. But one day, grabbing hold of Jesus’ garment, she told herself, “I shall be made well” And that’s exactly what happened. Jesus said to her, “‘Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has [saved you]. And the woman was [saved] from that hour” (Matt 9:22).
During an early morning storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus invited Peter to leave the boat's safety and join Him for a walk on the water! Suddenly realizing his predicament, the frightened disciple cried out, “Lord, save me” (Matt 14:30). Salvation then, as always, was of grace — unearned, undeserved, unmerited, and afforded those who in no way could save themselves.
The other implication involves a Great Deliverer who acts on behalf of the distressed. God might work His salvation through human agency, but it is nonetheless still His hand of salvation by grace at work. In this way, He saved ancient Israel through their judges (Jud 2:16-18; 6:14) and kings (2 Kings 14:27).
Again, His salvation was by grace – completely apart from any deserving of those whom He saved. Jesus Christ is spoken of as “our Great Savior” (Tit 2:13) who “came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15). He is the incarnate “grace of God that brings salvation to all men” (Tit 2:11). He was divine grace come to light (Is 9:2; Luke 1:79). The purposes of God, so settled before time began (2 Tim 1:9-10), made His grace appear at the due time in the birth, life, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of His Son (Gal 4:4).
Great deliverers accomplish great deliverance. Theirs’ is not possible salvation, but actual salvation; not a fictional or figurative deliverance, but a historical and literal release from the source of suffering. In this way, King David writes of “the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior” (2 Sam 22:3-7). The writer of Hebrews also speaks of the salvation afforded by Jesus Christ as “so great a salvation” (Heb 2:3).
Great Declaration wraps up the experience of salvation. When people are saved from otherwise overwhelming distress, they recognize that someone greater than themselves has accomplished that deliverance, and in turn, confess their savior and swear allegiance to follow him. The children of Israel so delivered out of Egyptian bondage became God’s special possession (Ex 6:6-7; Deut 7:6-7). In like manner, those whom Christ has delivered from the eternal penalty and enslavement of sin likewise confess Jesus as Lord (Rom 10:9-10) and become “His special people, zealous for good works” (Tit 2:14).
Are you aware of your great need for salvation? Because we have transgressed the law of God, our distress before His holy judgment is great indeed. Only God’s Son, Jesus Christ, can save us from the eternally great distress of divine wrath. Confess Him as your Savior and Lord today, and he will save you by grace for time and eternity. For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom 10:13).
Pastor Chandler serves Victor Valley Bible Church at 16439 Hughes Road in Victorville. Services are held each Sunday at 10:15 a.m. and Live Streamed on Facebook. For more information visit our website at www.victorvalleybiblechurch.org or email the pastor at email@example.com
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Pastor Column: Find salvation, grace through Bible