Friday, April 29, 2016

Jesus is the Savior of the world and Savior of His people

1 Timothy 4:10 "For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers."

In yesterday's post we began to consider how God has always been the eternal Savior and Redeemer. We looked at how this proper identity is expressed with the Triune nature of God. We also got to glimpse at what the scripture teaches about the plan of salvation worked out between the Father, Son and Spirit. Then we concluded by making some remarks concerning God's revelation of this plan in history through both the Old and New Testaments. Today we narrow our focus upon the Person of the Son as He revealed Himself in His incarnation. 

Such truths are rooted in the overall doctrine of the Trinity and God's eternal identity as Savior. We will see how it is that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Savior of His people. 

How the Person of the Son has been eternally the Savior
The plan of redemption was worked out by the Triune God before time began (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2). The Father's plan of salvation is described by scripture in the language of foreknowledge, predestination and election (Ephesians 1:4-11; Romans 8:28-31; 2 Peter 1:1) or what the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 describes in its fifth article as "God's Elective Purpose of Grace". Let the reader be reminded that such a purpose of grace has no conflict with the Biblical teaching on man as a responsible moral agent who is to repent and believe on Jesus Christ as Personal Lord and Savior. 

In sharing the same full Deity with the Father and Spirit, the Son agreed with the Father's plan and chose to come into history. He after all is described as the "Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 10:4-5; Revelation 13:8). 

The Son would assume unto His Person full humanity by way of the virgin birth and be revealed what He had always been - namely, "the Savior of the world" (Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 10:4-5). 

As a man, the Son would die for the sins of the world in a general sense and be the Savior of His people in a specific sense (1 Timothy 2:2; 4:10; 1 John 2:2; 2 Peter 3:9-10).   

Passages such as Luke 19:10 describe the Son's coming into the world as a search and recovery mission (Luke 19:10). In any search and recovery mission, the expectation is not to find life, but corpses. Such stark imagery describes the spiritual condition of every sinner born or ever born into this world. All are spiritually dead, in need of a new birth issuing forth from the Son Himself (John 5:24-28; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23). Sinners are incapable of contributing anything to their salvation apart from God's grace (Romans 3:10-21; Ephesians 2:1-4).

The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 includes this idea of God having been always the eternal Redeemer and thus Savior in its article on "God":

"There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures."

The Son as Savior of the world also came to be the Savior of His people
The Son as eternal Savior and redeemer came to save the world from swift Divine judgment. As we already noted, He came historically to save the world and thus post-pone judgment for the sake of the Gospel going forth to all nations (Matthew 24:14; Acts 17:31; 2 Peter 3:9). His achievement on the cross as Savior of the world was also focused on the target of saving His church, hence with respect to redemption being the Savior of His people (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:23). 

Such a binocular understanding of Jesus as Savior of the world and Savior of His people aids in handling all the relevant passages that speak of Him as the Savior. Tomorrow we will consider Jesus Christ as Personal Lord and Savior.

No comments:

Post a Comment