In our discussion of the helmet of salvation this month, we will be looking closer at salvation itself. There is nothing that we need to understand more than how we are saved by God. We dare not misunderstand this vital information provided in God’s word.
I. What does it take to save a sinful person? There may be both simple and complex answers to that question. In the opening statements of John’s gospel we can recognize some necessary elements that God has supplied through the coming of Christ. These elements are the basis for every Christian’s salvation. Let’s follow John’s declaration:
A. Christ, Light & Life John 1:1-5 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. – The word of God is identified as the eternal Christ Himself, who is the light of all men. If anyone has light or life, it is through Christ alone. But the darkness of men does not recognize the light that comes through Jesus.
1. John 1:9-14 – 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. – As many as receive Jesus, He gives the right to become the children of God. This is made possible through the coming of Christ.
a. Jesus has everything that sinful people need to become the children of God. They need grace (God’s mercy to cover their sins) & truth (the objective message of God that tells us how we can be reconciled to Him.) Jesus is full of grace & truth.
2. John 1:16-17 – 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.– What Jesus has brought to us we have received. The law was given through Moses, but grace & truth came through Jesus.
II. Jesus brought Grace with Him
A. The O.T. system of sacrifice involved vicarious suffering. The innocent lamb taken to the altar had never transgressed God’s law, the person doing the killing had. The Law of Moses provided for remission of sins through sacrifice. But the lamb that was offered was provided by the sinful person himself. The sacrifice offered was..
1. It was a measure of his own ability to provide for his sins.
2. It was never designed to be the redemptive element of his salvation.
3. It was only a shadow (or representation) of the true sacrifice that was needed. The true sacrifice of grace. Heb 10:1-4 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
B. The writer of Hebrews accounts the transition from those weak sacrifices to the one effective sacrifice of Christ. Heb 10:5-10 – “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come– in the volume of the book it is written of Me– to do Your will, O God.’ ” 8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” – The Father “had no pleasure in the sacrifices of the O.T. – they were not enough to redeem men.. They did not provide for the approval of God. But the sacrifice of Jesus’ body did.
1. So in Christ salvation could be accomplished the only way it was possible – through the grace of God. Rom 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
III. John also says that Jesus brought Truth with Him:
A. There are 2 possible thoughts in this verse. The word truth (aleetheia – al-ay’-thi-a) can be translated as “true, genuine or according to reality.
1. The truth mentioned here is the true substance of the shadows of the law of Moses. What was foreshadowed in the Law of Moses is brought to fruition and reality in Christ.
a) Jesus is the true Light. John was not the Christ and readily made it known He was only a lesser light shining until the true Light was revealed. John 1:6-9 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
b) Jesus was the true bread (manna) John 6:32-33 “Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”.
c) Jesus was a minister of the true tabernacle. Heb 8:1-2 “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.”
d). Jesus is the true sacrifice –” John 1:35-36 “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
2. The Truth is the true & final message of God that came through Jesus. Heb 1:1-2 “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
a) The truth of God has been revealed by the Spirit through the apostles and prophets, and written down and preserved for us. John 16:12-13 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. Eph 3:4f — “By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit.” You cannot be saved apart from a knowledge of the truth that has been revealed in Christ through His apostles. Jesus brought this message with Him from heaven and no man can set it aside or abrogate it. Paul says it is it ( the gospel) is the power of God unto salvation.
b) 2 Peter 1:10-12 “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth”. What is this present truth that Peter was to establish them in? It was the final revelation of the gospel… the prophetic word confirmed.. 2 Peter 1:19-21 “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
c) Jesus commissioned these apostles to preach the gospel (truth) to the whole world. What did they preach?
- Luke 24:45-47 “And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
- Acts 2:38-40 “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”
What do you need to be saved?
You need grace and truth. Where can we find these?
You need Jesus.