- THE SPHERE OF SALVATION
We are still discussing some issues relating to balance in truth. Balance is important in everything we do. In fact balance is a principle both in nature and in the scripture. Naturally speaking shortage of anything is not healthy neither is excess of anything. That is we could have a problem in our lives when certain things that should be present in our systems are lacking or in short supply. So also is a depreciated gospel i.e. a gospel that excludes from it certain stuffs or truths that God himself has included.
For instance is it an incomplete gospel and a perverted gospel that exclude fruits from its teaching. Fruits are inherent in the gospel of Christ. So to exclude it is to pervert the gospel.
Mat 3:1 “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea”,
Mat 3:2 “And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
Mat 3:5 “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan”,
Mat 3:6 “And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins”.
Mat 3:7 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come”?
Mat 3:8 “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance”:
Mat 3:9 “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham”.
Mat 3:10 “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire”.
In this above passage John the Baptist confronted the Pharisees and the Sadducees for attempting to exclude from the gospel the issues of fruits. They thought that just saying and claiming to be children of Abraham is sufficient irrespective of their fruit. But John Baptist demanded them to bring forth meet for repentance and told them that if they don’t bring forth good fruits they will be hewn down.
Joh 8:39 “They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham”.
The truth is if you are the children of Abraham you will do the works of Abraham was the challenge from the Lord to them. Trees bring forth fruit after their kind. No farmer cultivates a vineyard without expecting to reap and enjoy fruit from that vineyard. So also God who is also called a husbandman expects to harvest good fruits from our lives as a result of our being joined to the lord. Anything that excludes that or denies God of such a fruit is an antichrist i.e. against Christ.
Col 1:5 “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 “Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth”:
It is very clear from this passage that the gospel brings forth fruit in us. So our gospel is deficient if we exclude the fruits of good works from it.
Eph 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”.
We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus, this is the aspect of our union with Christ Jesus. It was in Christ Jesus that God created as to be His workmanship. But also notice that our identity as God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus is unto good works. Good works are not deeds of the law. Good works are not necessarily the nice stuffs we do base human approval. Good works are not necessarily conformity to some religious and external activities, rituals, laws, and ceremonies. No! Good works are the fruits that flow out of our lives because we are union and relationship with Christ Jesus.
From the natural we also learn that too much of everything is not good. This is excess. This putting more than is required. It is adding to the gospel what is not ordained to be there. This is “the gospel Plus something else” kind of teaching. For this kind of teaching Christ is never presented as being enough. He is not esteemed as sufficient so they add other things to it. An example of such addition in scripture is circumcision and the works of the law.
Act 15:1 “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved”.
In this situation it was the gospel plus circumcision. It is Grace plus human performance. Christ plus religion/tradition of Men. It is trust in Christ plus trust in self. It is the Spirit plus Flesh. But such admixture perverts the gospel and dishonors the lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work”.
So we should avoid the gospel that excludes fruits from its teaching. That is a deficient gospel. We should also avoid the gospel that adds works of the law/human external and religious performance. Both with be judged by God
Rev 22:18 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”:
Rev 22:19 “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book”.
So we are not add to the gospel and we are not to take away from the gospel.
Jos 1:7 “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest”.
We are not to move to the right or to the left of the gospel. Let’s stay on course. Let’s maintain the true balance. Christ Jesus and everything he is, everything in Him and everything He represents belongs to His Church i.e. it flows to the church. Let’s not settle for anything less than all. Also Christ is perfectly sufficient for us. We don’t need to add anything to Him for Him to be effective. Let’s stick with Him and all will be just what God has promised.
Having underscored the importance of balance, I want us to look at this question “where/what is the sphere of salvation”? Fish live and fulfill their existence in water. So water is the sphere of swimming creatures. Land is the sphere of creeping animals, cattle and beasts. So they live and fulfill their existence on land. The sphere of birds is the air so the live and fulfill their existence on the air. So nothing can live and fulfill its existence outside of its sphere.
So also salvation is not a reality that lives and exists independent of a sphere. Salvation has its sphere. In fact when you remove salvation from its sphere it ceases to be the salvation that God gives. Because sometimes we talk about salvation as though it is something that exist on its own. No! Salvation only exists in its sphere. So what is the sphere of salvation?
Act 4:12 “neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”.
From this passage we see at least five truths. While I am going to bring out this five points that are evident from that scripture, my focus will be on point number two because that is the point that relates to our discussion in this particular article. The truths from this passage are;
THERE IS SALVATION —FOR YOU. That is salvation real and available. It is not imaginary. It is not a cunning device fable. It is not a once upon a time thing. It is not a myth. It is real and available. So it can be experienced and enjoyed. We can have an actual experience and enjoyment of salvation. The testimonies of people who have experienced and enjoyed this salvation are countless. Starting from the day Jesus Christ was raised from the dead with the old testament saints to the birth and growth of the church in Acts of the apostles, through church history up to this present hour, people have and are still experiencing and enjoying salvation. So salvation exists. Salvation is real. It is not a make believe. It is not a philosophical or religious idea neither is it one abstract stuffs beyond the reach of some people. Anyone irrespective of race, educational level, sex, age, social status, good or evil etc. can experience salvation.
Salvation has a sphere. This point is the emphasis of this particular article. Salvation is in the name of Jesus Christ. That is, salvation is in the person of Jesus Christ. So Salvation is not a reality that exists on its own. It has a sphere a place where it exist. It exists in the name of Jesus Christ. If we take it out of that sphere it ceases to be salvation. So God does not give salvation to people apart from Christ. No! God only offers and gives salvation to people in Christ. It is like the days of Noah when salvation was only guaranteed if you are in the ark. Outside of the ark is destruction.
1John 5:11 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son”.
1Jn 5:12 “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life”.
Salvation is inseparable from Christ Jesus. So to enjoy salvation was must have the Son. We cannot say God should give us salvation but we don’t want to have Son. There is no salvation like that from God. For the salvation that God gives is in the Son. So to possess that salvation, we must possess the Son. I believe that it is because salvation is inseparable from the name of Jesus Christ that is the reason He is called our salvation.
Psalms 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid”?
The Lord is our salvation. The Lord is our life. Hence some basic nature of the Lord is attributed to salvation or the life in Him. For we are not surprise when the life in Christ is called eternal life. So also we should not be surprised when the salvation in Him is also called eternal salvation. For the Lord is eternal. So as long as salvation remains in its sphere, it is eternally secured. A fish is preserved “all things held constant” as long as it remains in water. We will talk more on that in the future. The implication of this is that there can be no salvation apart from a contact, union and relationship with Jesus through faith. Salvation is inseparable from Christ. You can’t say you want salvation but you don’t want to have anything to do with Jesus Christ. So what God through the Spirit does really is to baptize and emerge us into Christ Jesus that we may enjoy the salvation that is in Him. Matt 28:18; Gal 3:26-27. What the gospel also does is to inform us that there is salvation in the name of Jesus Christ alone and invites us to seek safety in Him. Hence in response to the call of the gospel we run into Him through faith that we might be saved. Proverbs 18:10. So simply put Salvation as far as an actual experience of it is concerned is a product of being joined to Christ by Faith. 2 Cor. 5:17 says if any man BE IN CHRIST….So the emphasis is being in Christ. There is no new creation apart from a union with Christ through faith.
Salvation is in no other sphere/name. There is just only one sphere/name under heaven in which salvation exist-the name of Jesus Christ. There are no alternatives
Salvation in the name of Jesus Christ is given to men. So it is God’s gift to mankind. It is not earned nor worked for. It is of grace and by grace.
Salvation in and by the name of Jesus Christ is a necessity. It is a need. It is a command. Men must be saved. The truth is what you really need is Salvation. This is the craving of our hearts, souls and body. So we should neglect so great a salvation that God has made available in Christ Jesus.
Thank God salvation is in the name of Jesus Christ and not in my self. If salvation was in us then there will be no need for us to have the Son for we will not need him. But now we need Him. Also if salvation was in us it could never be reliable or preserved. But thanks be to God that salvation is in the son of God. Now that song that says “I cannot live without you/2x, cannot live without you o Lord” makes a lot of sense to me now. My dear brethren and friends Jesus Christ is all and in all. Anything you take out of Him dies and becomes corrupt. Let us stay with Him. Let us remain in Him. For that is where our salvation lies.