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What Does It Really Mean to Be “Saved”? (A Study of Galatians 1:3-5) Part 3b

We’re asking the question, what does it mean to be saved?  And we are looking at the first few verses of Galatians 1 where Paul writes: “3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Five truths jump out at me which I think help explain salvation from this passage. The first truth is we are at peace with God! (v. 3). The second truth in this text about being saved is we have been paid for (v. 4)! Jesus “gave himself for our sins”! Our sins separated us from a holy God. Jesus paid that debt for us.  The third truth in this text about being saved is — we have been rescued! Jesus gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age.  We want to focus a bit more this morning on that truth that Jesus “rescues us from the present evil age.”

We live in an evil age, right?  I get news updates on my phone about this broken world.   Here’s one i got the other day.

Great way to start your day, huh?

We would love to be rescued from this present evil age.  But how does the Lord do that?  He does that by saving us out of this lost and broken world.  As much as look forward to the Lord’s return, the Bible doesn’t encourage us to embrace a kind of evacuation theology.  In fact, our longing to leave this present evil age is, in some sense, in opposition to the plan He has for us while we are here on planet earth!

A homework assignment:  You’re aware that the word “cosmos” can be

Zachariah, 6 lbs, 13 oz, 18 inches, born 6/30 @ 2:17am to Amy & Thom.

translated planet, the people of the planet, or the pagan system opposing God and the things of God, right?  Read through John 17 (Jesus’ high priestly prayer for His followers), where the world “world” (cosmos) is used seventeen times and ask the following question of each occurrence of that world:  What meaning does “world” have here?  Is Jesus referring to the physical planet, the people of the planet (compare John 3:16 and I John 2:15!), or the pagan system opposing God?  It will be an eye-opening study, I promise you!

We’ve been rescued from this present evil age, not by evacuation but by redemption.  And we are to be here to join Jesus’ rescue team to find others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2018 in being saved

 

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What Does It Really Mean to Be “Saved”? (A Study of Galatians 1:3-5) Part 3a

“If you’re saved, and you know it, clap your hands!”  We used to sing that song at camp when I was a child (and after most of the dinosaurs on planet earth had become extinct).  What in the world does it mean to be saved?

We’ve been looking at the first few verses of Galatians 1 where Paul writes: “3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

There are five truths that help explain salvation from this text. We’ve seen the first truth which is we are at peace with God! (v. 3). The second truth in this text about being saved is we have been paid for (v. 4)! Jesus “gave himself for our sins”! Our sins separated us from a holy God. Jesus paid that debt for us.

The third truth in this text about being saved is — we have been rescued!  Jesus gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age.  Do you feel “rescued”?

On this issue of being rescued, allow me a brief story. When I was in college, I took a life-saving course with about 25 other students. The Bible college I attended had a swimming pool in the basement and the young man who taught the course was not a student at the Bible college, was mean as a snake, and apparently didn’t want to teach us how to rescue drowning swimmers.

I remember his telling us one night to come wearing a pair of pants over our swim suit because he was going to teach us how to use our pants as a flotation device. He had us jump into the deep end of the pool, pull our pants off, blow them up, and then use them as a kind of buoy. My only problem was that that night I wore a pair of tight, bell-bottom jeans, and I couldn’t get mine past my ankles. I began to drown — in lifesaving class! No one noticed my predicament. I saved my own life by doggie-paddling to the side of the pool.

The instructor taught us how to rescue someone drowning when we had nothing to reach out to him with, or no rescue buoy to throw to him, but had to swim out to the drowning person and physically rescue them. He explained that a drowning person will climb on our heads and drown both of us. So he taught us to dive down when we got within 8 feet of the victim, grab them by their hips, spin them around, and come up holding them in a head lock. If they struggled or panicked and tried to climb on top of us, we should take them to the very place they did not want to go — under water — so they would give up and let us rescue them.

After the month’s worth of grouchy classes, our instructor said, “Your final exam will be next week and it will be simple. I will jump in the deep end, pretend to be a drowning victim, and your job will be to rescue me. One after another.  AND I WILL TRY TO KILL YOU!”

Each of us, one after another, rescued the instructor. Each of us took the instructor to the bottom of the pool — whether he struggled or not. It was a glorious ending to a grueling course. (from my book Saved: Rescued from God, by God, and for God).

We’ve been rescued by the Lord Jesus giving Himself for us.  Do you feel rescued?  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2018 in being saved

 

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What Does It Really Mean to Be “Saved”? (A Study of Galatians 1:3-5) Part 1

Friends:  For the next few posts I want to look at a topic which is often misunderstood.  The topic of being saved.  The Apostle Paul writes the following to the Galatian believers:  “3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Gal. 1)

There are five truths that jump out at me from this text.  Let’s look at the first one this morning.  We are at peace with God! (v. 3).  Peace with God!?  One of Satan’s greatest lies is to help people to think that if there is a God, He must like us and be happy with us.  Or not be all that interested in us.  Seldom do people think, “I’ll bet that if there is a holy God like the Bible says, I’m in a lot of trouble!”

Scripture is clear that God is angry with the wicked every day (Ps. 7:11), that we come into the world under the wrath of God (Jn. 3:36), and that it is a “dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).  Someone has said that we prefer to believe what we prefer to be true.  We prefer to believe that all is right with us and God — and the biblical picture is just the opposite.  An enemy of God?!  Yes!  That’s what the Bible says.  “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Rom. 5:10).

In Jesus we have “grace and peace.”  And they are not of our making.  Self-salvation is a myth.  We needed a Savior outside ourselves who could extend us grace (unmerited favor) and peace (an end of the enmity between us and God).  And that’s what Jesus did.

I understand that when a wealthy man was on his deathbed, one of his servants mustered up the courage to whisper to the man, “Sir, do you not think that you need to make peace with God?”  The rich man snorted, “What?  I never knew we argued!”  We are not naturally at peace with God. And that’s why we needed to be saved.

 

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2018 in being saved

 

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What Does It Mean to Be “Saved”? A Sermon Preached in Korea!

Just preached this past Sunday in Korea while teaching at Word of Life Bible Institute.  Please watch this less-than-20-minute sermon!

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2018 in being saved

 

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