salvation – (soteria) 1.a. Preservation or deliverance from danger, evil, or difficulty. b. A source, means, or cause of such salvation. 2. Deliverance from the power or penalty of sin: REDEMPTION.
The Old Testament is full of stories of God’s physical salvation or deliverance of His people:
*He saved Noah from the flood.
(Genesis 6-8 / 1 Peter 3:18-22)
*He spared Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
(Genesis 18-19 / Matthew 11:20-24)
*He guarded the Israelites from the Egyptian Army at the Red Sea.
(Exodus 14 / John 2:11, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13)
*He shielded Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego from the fiery furnace.
(Daniel 3 / Hebrews 11:30-40)
*He protected Daniel in the lion’s den.
(Daniel 6 / Matthew 27:65-66)
These beloved Sunday School stories of physical deliverance are meant to point us to the spiritual salvation He accomplished for each of us through the death and resurrection of His Son which saves us from the eternal consequences of our sin. They point to the gospel of spiritual salvation and eternal life in Christ. He appointed us to receive salvation through His son from the beginning of creation.
Salvation was God’s plan all along.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 tells us that “God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”
Our salvation came to us in the form of God born in the flesh who received the punishment for our sins so we won’t have to endure it (mercy) and to secure for us the ultimate blessing of an eternity spent in fellowship with Him (grace).
We receive this salvation as living believers (by faith) in Christ the Messiah who died for our sins and descended into hell to defeat the evil foe. In this life, salvation saves us from being slaves to sin and the devil. As believers our salvation gives us the power and authority to claim victory over them through the power of His Spirit that comes to live inside each of us.
Because He rose again from the grave on the third day, we, too, are assured of our own bodily resurrection when He returns to once and for all vanquish satan and establish His eternal Kingdom. This is the ultimate deliverance from all temporal pain and anguish.
Because of Jesus we enjoy salvation from both the devil in this life and its effects of eternal separation from God in the next.
Jesus is the source, His death and resurrection the means, and the Father’s love for Him the cause of our salvation.
Application: Pick one of the Old Testament stories with the selected New Testament passage to read through now and leave a comment about how it helps you better understand God’s plan of salvation for us all.