Key Scriptures: Titus 2:11; 2 Cor. 6:2; Isa. 56: 1–7; 61: 1 – 3.
Life rolls on but not without its daily tragedies. From automobile accidents to deadly diseases on the rampage, dangers stalk us at almost every turn. Redemption is an urgent human need – if we are to regain the kind of life God originally intended man to live. Thanks to our Almighty Father, we are not short of a redeemer. Jesus Christ is the grace of God (Heb 2:9) that has appeared in these last days for the salvation of mankind. Though a free gift of God, salvation as found in Christ also entails a life of godliness and righteousness. (Titus 2:11 – 14). Yahshua’s mission is to restore to us the status of the original man created in God’s image. (Acts 3: 21; 2 Pet. 1:3 – 4). Thus salvation, in its fullest sense, is a transition from this life of carnality into the divine life of spirituality.
Old Testament Example:
The liberation of the children of lsrael from Egyptian slavery is the most notable O.T. example of God’s salvation work among men. As the scriptures make it clear, God saved Israel on the basis of grace not because of their own good works (Deut 9:3 – 6). Even so, He sternly warned them not to abuse His grace though disobedience. (Vs 7).
It is instructive to learn that in the New Testament, where we are also saved by grace (Eph 2:8), this same warning is repeated. 2 Cor. 6:1 – 2 issues a timely admonition: “Receive not the GRACE of GOD in vain [in this day of salvation].” Christ has emerged as our Saviour to save us from this life of untold suffering and eventually from the stranglehold of death. (See lsa. 61: 1 – 4; “the spirit of the Lord is upon me”). For us in Africa, the redemptive gospel of Christ relates directly to our present – day concerns: poverty, disease, and hunger among other chronic privations. While in the here and now, we can escape some of these curses through repentance and faith in Christ, it’s in the kingdom of God that the saints will be totally free from all the evils that presently plague our world – full–scale salvation as it were.
Again, a life of spirituality in Christ is of the essence. (John 4:24). And the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the key to it all. Once we are anointed with the Holy Spirit, the seed of the divine nature is planted in us, and we reach full spiritual maturity on the last day when mortality shall put on immortality. (I John 3:9; I Cor. 15:53; 2 Pet. 1:4 ).
In the meantime, we are to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5: 16) and produce the fruit of the Spirit (vs. 22 – 23) in reflection of our budding spiritual status. The Galatian Church (as presented in chapter 3) is a study in spiritual failure! They began in the Spirit but soon faltered and relapsed into the sins of the flesh. (Gal. 3:3; 5:19 – 21).
All the evil in our world today – and since the fall of man – is traceable to “the works of flesh.” But it violence or war, the culprit is the flesh! As we commit ourselves to a life of spirituality in a materialistic world, we must realize our need for God’s help. Grace is divine ability from above; believers can never enough of it.
We need God’s grace every step of the way:
“If any men speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of he ability which God giveth.” (I Pet. 4:10 – 11) In fact, Grace will ensure our entry into the kingdom if only we would fulfill our part of the bargain: “serve God acceptable with reverence and godly fear.” (Heb. 12:28).