When Salvation Comes
When Salvation Comes…God’s lovingkindnesses come to us
Lovingkindness…hesed in the Hebrew, is one of my favorite words in the Scriptures. It is part of the Lord’s self-revelatory declaration in Exodus 34:6…The Lord, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and truth…The Lord here not only declares that He possess lovingkindness, but that He abounds in it. It is a vastly rich and nuanced word and has a depth of meaning and a breadth of application as you can see through its use throughout the OT.
What makes it this way, though, is pretty simple when we boil it down to its essence. Lovingkindness is God’s love in action. It is His love exhibited in and through His actions towards His own. It is His strength, mercy, compassion, grace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, steadfastness, commitment, gentleness, benevolence, truthfulness, and favor towards His children, those with whom He is in covenant.
Of note here is the lovingkindnesses of salvation….plural….there are many that are part of salvation, included in our salvation, without which our salvation would not be complete….including salvation itself. His lovingkindness for us starts with our salvation and continues on in a myriad of ways throughout this life and then on into eternity. God’s lovingkindnesses toward us are part and parcel of our salvation. They are for us and us only; they are not for those who have not come to Him through faith in Christ.
We see this very richly and wonderfully expressed in Ephesians 2:4-7 (all one sentence) But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
When Salvation comes…it comes according to His Word.
It is His salvation to give….salvation belongs to the Lord.
Psalm 3:8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be upon Your people.
Psalm 13:5 But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
Psalm 18:35 You have given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great.
The Lord gives salvation in accordance with His word. He brings it through His word. We must depend on His word for the knowledge of salvation. We must believe, and therefore trust His word for salvation. His word is the basis of our faith His word is the means of salvation.
Romans 3:20…for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Galatians 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ….
Romans 10:13 So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth…
James 1:21…in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
II Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have know the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation.
Ephesians 1:13…you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation---having also believed
When Salvation comes….we have an answer when scorned or ridiculed for our faith
I Peter 3:15-16 But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. And keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Our ready response is our testimony, the reality of our personal experience with the lovingkindnesses of God, His mercy, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, wisdom, compassion, power, grace, protection, and provision…His love in action that comes with salvation….His promises made real to you…for you…in your life.
Your answer is your personal experience of the realities of salvation and how they have proven His word. Your personal testimony of God’s truth made true in your life is the ready defense of your faith.
When salvation comes….so does our trust in His Word
We cannot separate our trust in the Lord, from our trust in His word. To trust Him, is to trust His Word. To trust His Word is to trust Him. We understand implicitly, that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. In fact, our trust in His word becomes part of our testimony.
Titus 1:2…we have a God who cannot lie
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has he said and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Jeremiah 1:12 Then the Lord said to me, "You have seen well, for I am standing over My word to perform it.
Proverbs 16:20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
When salvation comes….so does hope and encouragement through His word
Romans 15:4-5 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encrouagement…..
Hebrews 12:5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, My Son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him.
Hebrews 13:22 But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.
Paul speaks of his preaching of the gospel as encouragement…I Thessalonians 2:3 for our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit;
Psalm 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.
To exhort someone is to speak to the need of the moment, and the dynamic of the living Word of the living God is that Scripture always speaks to the need of the moment.
When salvation comes…….so does perseverance in the word
II Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
Titus 1:9 holding fast to the faithful word which is accordance with the teaching…..
I Corinthians 11:1-2 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you
We hold fast to the Lord, by holding fast to His word. When we abandon His word, we abandon Him.
Psalm 119:11a Your word I have treasured in my heart...
We persevere in the Word because it is not just in the mind as part of our intellect, but is in the heart as part of our will.
When salvation comes…….so does freedom that the word brings
Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free….
John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
James 1:25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
James 2:12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.
I Peter 2:16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
II Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty
When salvation comes…..so does a love for His word….which causes you to
Delight in His Word
Revere His Word
Meditate on His word
Delight…to take joy or enjoyment….to take pleasure in…to receive pleasure from….
Psalm 119:140 Your word is very pure, therefore your servant loves it.
Psalm 119:167 My soul keeps your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly.
Job 23:11-12 My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.
Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart...
Ezekiel 3:3 He said to me, "Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you." Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.
Lift up my hands...to give honor to, to revere
Psalm 138:2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and your truth; for You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.
Psalm 56:4, 10 In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust…In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord whose word I praise.
Isaiah 42:21 The Lord was pleased for His righteousness sake to make the law great and glorious.
Meditate...to ponder, to consider, to apply, to think long and deeply on
Psalm 119:15 I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways
Psalm 1:1-2 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
When you meditate on His word, you are approaching Scripture to learn from it, and you receive its counsel, you let it counsel you.
When salvation comes, your relationship with God changes, and your relationship with His word changes. The Word is no longer foreign and unknown, but becomes cherished and an integral part of your life. In fact, this new relationship with His word is one of the many lovingkindnesses of our salvation. It is one of the many blessings of God.
All Scripture references are from the NASB.
All Scripture references are from the NASB.