For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
The gospel is the power of God for salvation. In the gospel is God’s enabling power to save us and keep us saved. But let’s stop right there. What is “salvation” anyway? What does it mean when we say that a person is “saved”?
There are three critical parts to salvation, each described by a rich theological word. When we trust in Jesus alone as the only way to have a relationship with the living God, these three things happen.
- Justification: An instantaneous act of God in which He sees our sins forgiven and Christ’s righteousness applied to us. He declares us “Not guilty!” and “Righteous!”(Right before God.)
- Sanctification: The progressive work of God in our lives. As we partner with God to allow the Spirit’s control we grow in our Christian life.
- Glorification: The final work of God in salvation when He delivers us home to heaven with our resurrected bodies created for eternity.
We could say it like this:
We are saved: Justification
We are being saved: Sanctification
We will be saved for eternity: Glorification
Salvation declares me not guilty; it produces spiritual growth; it delivers me home. That’s why Paul can say, and we can say with him, “I am not ashamed of the gospel!”
Father, thank You for the gospel – the good news of victory. Thank You for declaring me “not guilty”, for producing spiritual growth in my life, and for the promise that one day You will deliver me safely home. Thank You for my salvation! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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