Knowing God’s plan of salvation helps us know what He’s done for us and helps us share it. It’s more than just forgiveness.
13b The one who confesses and renounces their sins finds mercy.
Yesterday morning in the service, I mentioned the fact that God created the framework of salvation before He created anything pertaining to this world. There were two verses on which I based my statement. They were:
4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4
8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Revelation 13:8
I would like to add another, but I want to use the New Living Translation because it comes the closest to the Greek:
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
The difference is in emphasis. “For God so loved the world” places the emphasis on God’s immense love for us, which He has! But, that is not the main emphasis of the verse. The emphasis is on HOW He loved us, which is through Christ and His substitutionary death on the cross for us. As was pointed out to me this morning in Romans 8:29, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Notice the bolded parts. They all are in past tense. Why? Because the deed has already been done! So, when Isaiah had his sins forgiven (Isaiah 6:6-7), it was with the already-shed blood of Jesus Christ.
What does this knowledge do for us? Well, IT MAKES ME GRATEFUL! It also means that the framework for salvation is there for anyone who believes, who places their faith and trust in Christ and His atoning work on the cross. We Westerners tend to stop right there, but Easterners know better. They know that faith and trust are a “buying in” to the Plan, which requires an adoption on our part of Christ’s life, ways, and commands even as He signs our adoption papers.
If a person is not willing to serve Christ,
then He doesn’t really believe Christ.
His plan has always been PLAN A. There’s never been a PLAN B. That’s the kind of love God has for us in Jesus Christ! He Has loved us from the Beginning. As Beth Moore said, “She didn’t need to make promises to God in order to be free. She needed to believe the promises God had made to her.” Chasing Vines pg. 171. True freedom comes when we believe that God has already paid the price for our sin and is waiting on us to come to Him. What are we waiting for?! Let’s run to His arms! As we sang yesterday morning,
Oh, I’m running to Your arms, I’m running to Your arms!
The riches of Your love will always be enough.
Nothing compares to Your embrace;
Light of the world, FOREVER REIGN!
Abba, may we run to Your arms every morning. You offer love and joy and peace; You give us Your security and Your presence. You speak to us in the quiet times and through Your Word. You prepare us for the day, and give us rest at night. You relieve the weight of today’s burdens and remove the worry about the future. I don’t need to know what You are going to do; I just know that You’re in control. I TRUST YOU. Have Your way in me today, LORD. Amen.