Part 2 – Who are we?
CHAPTER 3 continued – WHO I AM IN CHRIST BECAUSE OF WHO CHRIST IS IN ME
EXPOSITION OF THE 50 FACTS OF SALVATION
In Ward Brandenstein’s introduction to chapter three he writes: “There is freedom from living a guilt-ridden life to those who have received Christ, once the person learns his true identity in Christ. All of the amazing facts occur at the moment that a person receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Saviour!” Towards the close of his introduction to the 50 Facts he adds: “All of the facts are positional truths. Some may not be apparent as an evident experience at the moment of salvation. (What the believer is to do as a practical result of knowing who he is will be considered under the last section of walking in the Spirit.) These wonderful facts of salvation allow us to know who we are in Christ.” In our online presentation of these 50 facts of salvation we will consider one or more facts per week. We trust that you will be blessed as you follow along Ward Brandenstein’s unfolding of these precious truths.
FACT 42 – SAVED, SALVATION
Acts 2:47, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Acts 4:12, Neither is there salvation in any other (than Jesus Christ-V.10); for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Acts 16:31, And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Rom. 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom. 10:9,10, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Ephesians 1:13, In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation…
Ephesians 2:5, Even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ (by grace ye are saved).
Ephesians 2:8,9, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God- Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Philippians 2:12, Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
I Timothy 2:4, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Titus 2:11, For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.
Titus 3:5, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
I Peter 1:9, Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
II Timothy 1:9, Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
The best-known term that pertains to the benefit received by a believer in Christ is the term, saved, or its derivative, salvation. In the original Greek language in which the New Testament was written, the words also carry the meanings ofheal, preserve, do well, be made whole, deliver.
As it relates to that which occurs in an individual at the time of regeneration, the word, saved, indicates that the individual is delivered from the penalty of sin through faith in Christ when he trusts first in God’s Word concerning his own sinful condition, and secondly, in God’s willingness to forgive his sin based on Christ’s death on the cross.
Salvation from the penalty of sin is the beginning of a person’s salvation experience. There is also a progressive phase, which is salvation from the power of sin. This second phase of salvation seems to be what Paul is speaking of in Philippians 2:12 and in II Timothy 1:9 (See verses above.). Likewise, in I Timothy 4:16, salvation from sin’s power also seems to be that which Paul has reference to in this second phase of salvation when he says,
Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee, I Timothy 4:16.
Similarly, in James 1:21, it says,
Wherefore, put away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Since James already addressed the ones in verse 19 as beloved brethren, he is referring to the salvation which is still being perfected in the life of the believer, that is, salvation from the power of sin.
A third phase of salvation is that which is in the future, deliverance from the presence of sin. Peter seems to have that idea in mind as he tells believers that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, I Peter 1:5. The third phase of salvation in its completed stage at the return of Christ, when believers are delivered from the presence of sin, seems to be in the mind of the writer to the Hebrews when he says,
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation, Heb 9:28.
In Hebrews 7:25, there is the inclusion of all three phases of salvation in the one statement:
…He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them, Heb. 7:25.
The saving to the uttermost literally means full-ended or to completion, referring to salvation from “start” to completion. The statement, them…that come unto God by Him refers to the first phase of salvation. He is able also to save them to the uttermost covers the second and third phases. Thus, the salvation a person receives by believing in Christ begins a process that Christ will bring to its ultimate conclusion by means of the three phases of past, present, and future salvation.
FACT 43 – SEALED BY THE SPIRIT; HAVING THE EARNEST OF THE SPIRIT
II Corinthians 1:21,22, Now He who establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
II Corinthians 5:5, Now He that hath wrought us for the very same thing is God, Who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13,14, (Christ) In Whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in Whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 4:30, And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
II Timothy 2:19, Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His; and, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
The seal that God has placed in the believer in Christ is the indwelling Holy Spirit. A seal in Scriptural usage has the dual significance of personal ownership and permanent protection. When applying the two-fold meaning of the seal to the child of God, we find that the presence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling the believer assures him of his belonging to God, and serves to protect him from anything that would prevent him from finally arriving at the determined goal of sharing in Christ’s eternal glory.
Linked closely with the truth of the Holy Spirit’s sealing the believer is also the truth of the earnest of the Spirit. The word, earnest, is traced back through the Greek to the Hebrew of the Old Testament with the thought of a pledge. For the believer, the Holy Spirit, as the earnest or pledge, signifies that the benefits the child of God presently enjoys through the indwelling Holy Spirit are temporal and partial in contrast to the ultimate blessings and glory throughout eternity.
The Spirit as the earnest is illustrated in the principle of a person’s making a down-payment, or earnest money, with the pledge that the total payment will be made later. The Spirit as the earnest speaks of the fact that the present benefits He provides the believer are a sampling of the greater and complete blessings that will be experienced in the eternal condition in glory.
(In the printed edition see: SEATED IN THE HEAVENLIES – See UNITED WITH CHRIST, p. 19.)
FACT 44 – SHEEP OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD, GREAT SHEPHERD; GOD’S FLOCK
John 10:14-16, I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.
John 10:27,28, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Hebrews 13:20,21, Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
I Peter 2:25, For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Acts 20:28, Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.
I Peter 5:2,3, Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight of it, not by constraint but willingly; not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.
Jesus, as the Good Shepherd, lays down His life for the sheep. This was accomplished on the Cross. Sheep are those persons who know the Shepherd and follow Him. They are given eternal life from the Shepherd and will never perish. In John 10:16, Jesus distinguishes the flock which includes believers from among Gentiles as well as Jews, from the fold, a reference to Israel. Therefore, the flock is a term that Jesus uses to show the limitless scope of people who will follow Him.
The picture of sheep under the Great Shepherd is used to describe the unique relationship that the believer in Christ experiences. The sheep refer to those who have believed in and received Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. As the shepherd provides sustenance, refreshing drink, protection, guidance, rest, and compassion for his sheep, so Christ as the Great Shepherd of the sheep provides Himself, Jesus, for the child of God as the Bread of Life, the Water of Life, with safe-keeping for time and eternity, with purposeful direction, rest, and His love ( love) to and for the believer’s benefit and ministry.
As sheep submit to the shepherd in dependent obedience, the child of God will sense the inner desire to show his love to Christ in submitting himself willingly and in delighting to do Christ’s will as He delighted to do the Father’s will.
FACT 45 – SON OF OBEDIENCE
I Peter 1:13c-16, …Hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, As obedient children (sons), not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance But, as He who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of life, Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
II John 4, I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
Unbelievers are spoken of in Ephesians 2:2 and 5:6 as children of disobedience. In contrast, in Romans 16:26, the gospel is said to have been given to all nations for the obedience of faith. Since the obedience of faith is essential to become children (sons) of God, then believers, as children of obedience are exhorted in I Peter 1:15,16, to be holy as God is holy. Thus, being children of obedience affords an opportunity to each believer for obedience, but does not guarantee it. It is up to the individual’s choice to live obediently; as he does, he experiences a righteous walk.
FACT 46 – SONS OF GOD
Galatians 4:5,6, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
II Corinthians 6:17,18, Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Romans 8:14, For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Romans 8:19, For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Hebrews 2:10, For it became Him (God), for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain (Christ) of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Hebrews 12:7, If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
As a son of God, the believer is brought into close identity with God’s Son, Jesus Christ. That identity is evident, as seen in Galatians 4:5,6, through the placing of the believer into mature sonship (adoption) to have an inheritance with Christ. The benefit of that identity is assured in the life of the believer as the Spirit enables him to regard God as Abba, Father – a term of close endearment.
During the believer’s present earthly experience, holiness will become a reality as he separates himself from uncleanness and as the Father works with him as a son (I Cor. 6:18), which guidance can include chastening as it is determined by the Father to be needed (Heb. 12:7). As sons of God, believers are led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14), and believers ultimately will be manifest for all of creation to see them in the glory they will share with Christ (Rom. 8:19).
Next Week: Facts 47 to 50
Copyright © 1996 A. Ward Brandenstein
Used with permission.
A. Ward Brandenstein
Pastor Ward earned an M.A. in Guidance and Counselling from Eastern Michigan University after taking special courses in psychology at Wayne State University, and earned a Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.) from Baptist Bible College and Seminary with Greek and Hebrew studies, and earned a diploma from Philadelphia Bible Institute (now Cairn U.), including New Testament Greek studies. His knowledge of the Bible and close walk with God are appreciated by all who know him and have sat under his teaching. Pastor Brandenstein and his wife Rose Ann reside in California, teaching college level singles and married couples, young professionals, and retired pastors and missionaries.