Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 5 Study # 11
Thesis: The salvation of God's people from their enemies is yet future, but it is not uncertain.
Introduction: Last week we made a great "to do" about the integrity of God's "noises". We trust that this "to do" was in harmony with Luke's intentions in regard to generating a strong confidence in Theophilus that God's promises are true. There is little that is more important for the people of God than that they have "strong confidence" that He means what He says. Once that is in place, what He has said, and what He meant by what He said, can be dealt with as the problems arise. This morning we are going to look into what God has said about "saving us", and we are going to consider what He meant and how we are to live until He does it.
September 26, 2004
- I. Zacharias' Focus Upon "Salvation".
- A. The general biblical issues in "salvation".
- 1. Salvation is a very broad concept, but it has one central idea.
- a. The one central idea is "deliverance from whatever threatens to destroy".
- b. The broadness exists because the threats are very numerous and they have implications in multiple areas.
- 1) A person can be "destroyed" in multiple areas...body, soul, and spirit.
- 2) The possible "destroyers" are legion...
- a) Just as the body can be attacked and destroyed by an almost innumerable host of ways, so also can the soul, and so also can the spirit.
- b) Just as an almost innumerable number of colors can be generated by the mixing and mingling of only three primary pigments, so also can a person be subjected to disaster from a ga-zillion different directions.
- 2. Salvation has been addressed by words from God that, properly understood, will fortify man to stand in the face of the entire onslaught without fear.
- B. Zacharias makes it clear that the aspect of "salvation" of which He is speaking is that aspect that is brought on by external enemies.
- 1. He originally raised the issues of the divine "visitation" as two: a redemption price that would address the destructive impact of our sins; and a horn of salvation that would address the destructive impact upon us of the sins of others.
- 2. But, the "horn of salvation" issue is revisited by 1:71.
- a. Zacharias makes clear what his idea of "salvation" is by two statements.
- 1) It is deliverance from the destructive behavior of "our enemies".
- 2) It is deliverance from the destructive behavior of "the hand of those who hate us."
- b. By these two statements, Zacharias reveals that he is considering our ultimate "salvation" -- that "salvation" that will come in the day when the Son of David ascends the throne of David as the Preserver of Righteousness.
- II. The Requirements of the Latter Day "Salvation".
- A. The Scriptures are clear that the salvation that is dependent upon the right behavior of all who participate requires that all be "born again".
- 1. Jesus said no one would enter His Kingdom without being born again.
- 2. Paul said that when Jesus comes to ascend the throne of His Kingdom, He will "deal out retribution to all who do not know God" (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10).
- 3. Thus, there will be none who enter into Messiah's Kingdom who have not been made a part of the people of God by the new birth.
- B. The Scriptures are clear that the salvation that is dependent upon the right behavior of all who participate requires that all be "Spirit empowered".
- 1. Paul made it abundantly clear that the "flesh" produces all manner of unrighteous behavior (Galatians 5).
- 2. Likewise, he made it abundantly clear that the "Spirit" produces no lack of love (Galatians 5:23).
- 3. Compatible with this requirement is the promise that all under the New Covenant will have the Spirit poured out upon them and the Law of God written into their hearts.
- C. The Scriptures are clear that even the latter day salvation is not going to be without its complications for the first 1,000 years.
- 1. There is a wealth of material that projects Jesus' identity as the Lion of Judah during at least the initial phases of His Kingdom.
- a. The Kingdom will not come without the "roaring" of this Lion (bringing about the Great Tribulation).
- b. The Kingdom will be established by the imposition upon the world of a sanctified host of bureaucrats whose tasks will include "wielding the rod of iron".
- c. The Kingdom will not be without occasions of judgment upon offenders.
- d. The initial phase of the Kingdom will climax in a huge world-wide rebellion after a 1,000 year reign of relative peace.
- 2. This has huge implications for our expectations in the present: if there will be problems then, how much more should we expect problems now?
- III. The Point?
- A. Zacharias points to a far distant time.
- B. Zacharias makes no promises of this kind of "salvation" in the near time.
- C. Luke wants no one to be disillusioned by the absence of the ultimate salvation before its time.
- 1. Man has only one greater need than to rejoice in the future hope by faith: to love what is ultimately going to be.
- 2. Once man begins to hunger and thirst for what is going to be, he is ready to live with what currently is.
- 3. As long as men demand that their hunger be fulfilled immediately, they really have never come to grips with the truth about their own "hunger" (one cannot hunger and thirst for righteousness as long as he entertains a demanding spirit).