Psalms 119:81, ďMy soul fainteth for Thy salvation: but I hope in Thy word.Ē
What is salvation? Salvation refers to being rescued and delivered from the power of sin, the consequences of sin, and the judgment for sin.
Salvation is a free gift of God to all those who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Itís that simple. Jesus is God. He has always existed. He came to this earth born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, suffered and died on the cross for the sins of the world, and rose from the grave the 3rd day then ascended into heaven.
Those who truly want to be saved will believe the gospel and call out to Christ to save them. Those who prefer their sins will reject Jesus. For those who turn to Christ there is that desire, the desire for salvation. Such a person recognizes their own sinfulness and wants too be freed from the power of sin, such a person realize the consequences of sin have damaged their life and wants to be freed from it, such a person realizes they will die one day and then will come the judgment of God and they want to escape that judgment.
If you call out to Jesus and Jesus saves you at that very moment then why would we find a verse like Psalms 119:81, ďMy soul fainteth for Thy salvation: but I hope in Thy word.Ē
To faint means to utterly expire, to waste away, to consume away. If salvation is immediate then why would the soul faint? You have to understand how salvation works. In regards to salvation God has made many promises. Some of those promises are fulfilled immediately at the moment of salvation other promises are not fulfilled immediately.
This situation was true even for the great mean of the Bible. If you read Hebrews chapter 11 and read about such people as Noah, Enoch, Able, and even Abraham it says of them in Hebrews 11:13, ďHeb 11:13† These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.Ē
Itís very important to understand your own salvation. And so its very important to understand how the promises of God work. Some promises God fulfills in this life and some promises God will fulfill in the next life.
When a person comes to Jesus there are certain things Jesus does immediately for that person: forgives them of their sins, givens them spiritual life (eternal life) and gives that person the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
So in talking about what we are saved from: the power of sin, the consequences of sin, and the judgment for sin, two of these we are immediately saved from: the power of sin and the judgment for sin. Once in Christ you have the ability to do what is right. Once in Christ you never have to worry about the judgment of God because righteousness has been imputed unto you and God looks at you and does not anymore see your sins but sees the righteousness of Christ. When the times comes for you to stand before God God is going to declare you righteous because you put your faith in Jesus. That is the power of salvation and the great power of the blood of Jesus.
Despite these two things there is one thing we are not immediately saved from and that is the consequences of sin you could also say the presence of sin. Unless you are alive at the rapture when Christ takes His bride the church off the earth, unless you are alive then you will age and die. And we know that death came into the world because of sin.
Romans 8:22-25 says, ďRom † For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Rom 8:23† And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Rom † For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? Rom † But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.Ē
You see even though a person receives eternal spiritual life at the moment of salvation and even though a person receives a new nature at the moment of salvation, a person does not immediately receive a glorified body. You still life in a sinful fallen world and you still remain in your old flesh and you will remain in it until Jesus returns or you die.
Its important to understand how salvation works because you have many challenges to face in life once you are saved. As you go through this life there will always be the conflict between the old man and the new.
Romans chapter 7 talks about this. Romans 7:21-25 says, ďRom † I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. Rom † For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: Rom 7:23† But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Rom † O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Rom † I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.Ē
It is important to understand salvation, to understand all the promises of God that pertain to salvation, to understand what God has done for you immediately and what God has not yet done for you but is going to do for you in the future. Some people are very confused about this difference.
Some people teach and believe that once a person is saved they can no longer sin. They misquote, misinterpret, and misunderstand verses in the Bible. Verses such as 1 John 3:6 which says, ď1Jn_3:6† Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.Ē
Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not. Such people take this verse to say that means a saved person cannot sin. But thatís not what its saying. It says whosoever abideth in Him. To abide in Christ speaks of your position in Christ. It means† that God looks at you and does not see your sin but sees the righteousness of God because you have put your faith in Christ. You still have the same flesh you had before you were saved. Youíre body hasnít been glorified yet. Creation hasnít changed either. This should be obvious.
The glorified that we will receive when we see Jesus will be a sinless body and indestructible body. Death will not touch it. There are a few other verses that are used by some people to support this false teaching. But they basically say the same thing as 1 John 3:6.
Its important to not be confused about salvation. Make sure you know the promises of God and understand the things God has done for you and the things God has yet to do for you and the difference between the two.
††† Concerning salvation the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:8-15, ďPhp 3:8† Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, Php 3:9† And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Php 3:10† That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Php 3:11† If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Php † Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Php 3:13† Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Php 3:14† I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Php † Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.Ē
Notice in these verse that Paul said, ďNot as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.Ē
Paul knew He wasnít perfect. Paul knew he was still a sinner, Paul knew he made mistakes, Paul knew he had not yet attained, Paul knew He still had to strive for the gospel. In other words He like all Christians are a work in progress. There was more to learn, there was more ways in His character to be conformed to the image of Christ.
Now one might ask the question why would God when He saves us not glorify us immediately? After all our sins are washed away and we have become children of God. I think the answer to this is that God has a work He is doing in this world, the saving of other souls not just yours, and he wants you to be a part of that. So He keeps you in this world so that you can serve Him.
God also loves freedom, freedom of choice. God loves the fact that those who choose Jesus choose to serve Him. Every day over and over choosing again and again to make the right decision to pick that† cross and follow Christ and to live by faith. This pleases God. And one day, in the next life, it will be a great many more reasons and plans that God has purposed which will explain why God does things the way He does them, things such as making us wait until the next life to received that glorified body and to be freed from the prescence of sin.
Psalms 119:82-84 says, ďPsa 119:82† Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? Psa 119:83† For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. Psa 119:84† How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?Ē
Once you understand salvation then you are prepared to face life as a Christian. And you better get prepared because there are sufferings and sorrows and persecutions to face. Thatís what these verses are talking about when they say, ďI am become like a bottle in smoke.Ē A bottle in those days was more like a leather container and in the smoke such material could dry, crack, and wither.
As you walk through this life it can get to you, age will creep up on you and age is a consequence of sin, the sorrows and tragedies of life can wither you and weigh you down. And most importantly when persecution comes your way and people do evil unto you youíre going to cry out to God for justice and wonder when God will bring that justice. And the answer to that question is not in this life. Ultimate justice and judgment comes at the judgment seat of Christ.
But ultimately we are like bottles in smoke: we age, we wither and we die. But there many spiritual benefits to growing old.† Walking through life and waiting and looking forward to the day that God will fulfill his promises does a great work to refine our faith in Christ. Slowly growing old and dying gives us time to truly understand the weakness and frailty of the flesh and the consequences of sin. This is a good thing to understand because it will result tin us valuing our own salvation more, appreciating and being more thankful for the great forgiveness that we have through the death of Christ on the Cross.
Psalms 119:85-87 says, ďPsa 119:85† The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. Psa 119:86† All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. Psa 119:87† They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.Ē
Persecution was mentioned briefly and these verse now go into more detail about what sinful men often try to do to Christians. Of course they do it to eachother as well: dig pits. Digging pits means plotting against someone, laying a trap. When you dig a pit for an animal you cover it up so that it looks like the pit is not there. Then the animal comes along and steps on it and falls into it. And thatís the idea.
Now there are many kinds of pits. Letís talk about a few of them. One way the proud dig pits is with† words. They look for opportunities. This is why as a Christian you need to be very wise in what you say to people. Donít curse donít, donít speak hastily out of anger, the proud will use it against you. They will be glad and quick to point a finger at you. In addition to that the more dangerous of the proud will find a way to try and take everything you say and paint it in a negative light. They do this to make you look bad, to discredit you, to try and cause others to hate you and to not listen to you when you speak the truth of the gospel.
Not just words but actions too. The proud will did a pit for you by looking to see if they can find you doing anything sinful and wrong; if they do they will use it against you. This is why you need to be above reproach and avoid all appearance of evil. If the proud canít find you doing anything wrong then they will try to get you to do wrong. One of the common things that they do is try to make you angry so that you will react out of anger and do or say something you shouldnít. Then they will have an excuse to accuse you and to point a finger at you and say A hah!
If you want a good example of what the proud are like just look at how they treat our current president Mr. trump. There was a situation recently that happened where some people were killed and the President came out and gave a speech and condemned violence and racism. But the proud who oppose him respond by saying well He did not condemn them enough and he did not specifically name certain groups. That was their criticism and that was their way of trying to make Him look racist. He did not condemn them enough so he didnít really condemn them so heís racist they said.
The proud will do the same thing to you. They will find any way they can to dig a pit for you to oppose the gospel of Jesus Christ and to trap you. This is why you will need wisdom and a lot of it to serve Jesus Christ.
The key thing to do is found in the last part of verse 87 in the phrase I forsook not thy precepts. In the end it does not matter what others say and what other do, no matter how many pits they dig for you, no matter how much opposition you face, just keep doing what is right. Thatís what matters to God. Stay faithful under pressure and in the end you will be victorious.
You donít have to be one of the proud. You can be a person that understands salvation and the great blessings and promises that come with it. All it takes is for you to confess your sins to Christ and He will save you and give you eternal life. Jesus loves you. Jesus suffered and died for your sins. And Jesus has been waiting patiently for you to turn to Him. Wonít you turn to Him? Wonít you trust in Him? Wonít you accept His love and then at the judgment you too can face it knowing you will be declared righteous not because of your own works but because of Jesus Christ.
Copyright; 2017 by Bruce
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