Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 3 Study # 11
Thesis: The Man, Jesus, is humanity's true hope for salvation.
Introduction: As we have considered Simeon's words about the six-week old baby whom Joseph and Mary brought into the Temple, we have seen that his perspective was completely determined by the promise of God that he would see the Lord's Christ before he died. It is, clearly, Luke's intention that his readers understand that Mary's baby is that Christ. But, what will happen if a person comes to grips with Jesus as the Christ? The big answer is: he will be "saved". Simeon, upon seeing Jesus and recognizing that the promise of God had been kept so that he was seeing "the Lord's Christ", said "My eyes have seen Thy Salvation". Thus, we conclude that the big ticket item in Simeon's view of the Christ was Salvation. But, under that umbrella, there are multiple others things that will occur. This morning we are going to see what it means to be "saved".
July 17, 2005
- I. First, Being "Saved" Means to Have the Real Ability to Bless God.
- A. The text tells us that Simeon burst out in "blessing" because his eyes had seen the Salvation of God.
- 1. The promise of God to Simeon had been that he would not "see" death until he had "seen" the Lord's Christ.
- a. This means that "seeing" does not mean simply "looking at": it means going into the experience of a thing.
- b. Simeon's action of taking Jesus to his chest in an embrace as if he could pull Him into his own soul was a demonstration of his experience.
- 2. It was the experience of God's salvation that sponsored Simeon's outburst.
- a. This was not the experience of "justification".
- 1) It does not exclude that experience; but it does not include it either: Simeon had been "justified" for many years.
- 2) A one-time experience does not have the "lasting" power to sponsor multiple outbursts of blessing.
- b. This was the experience of the fulfillment of the words of God in personal history.
- 1) All of God's words are unto salvation for those who believe them.
- 2) Any faith-rooted experience of those words in time is an experience of His salvation.
- B. The text, therefore, insists that "blessing God" results from "being blessed by God" in terms of "experiential salvation".
- II. Second, Being "Saved" Means to be in a State of Blessing.
- A. All experiences have "residue"...they leave their tracks all over us.
- B. "Justification", being the first event of "salvation", lays a foundation that cannot be overturned.
- C. "Justification" ushers us into a state, a condition, in which the words of God begin to become the discernible guides of all of our experiences.
- 1. We have no experiences which are not addressed by the words of God.
- 2. We only have "blocks of ignorance" which keep us from knowing what His words are and how they address our experiences.
- 3. As God exposes us to more and more of His words and sheds light upon how they address our experiences, we knowingly experience our blessed state...this is the inevitable consequence of justification as it leaves its tracks all over us.
- III. Third, Being "Saved" Means to be Convinced of the Efficacy of Jesus' Labor as God's Method of Salvation.
- A. There is no way to separate our experience of salvation from Jesus.
- 1. Simeon had "been saved" for years.
- 2. But he clearly recognized that Jesus is God's Salvation -- meaning that Jesus is the foundation for any person's experience of God's Salvation.
- a. This does not merely mean "justification".
- b. This means having Jesus "attached to your soul" [Romans 7 -- married to a new husband].
- c. But it also very clearly means that Jesus' activities in bringing us to justification are permanently effectual. His actions have left tracks all over us.
- 1) God's gift of salvation is irrevocable, being based upon Jesus' activities and not ours.
- 2) Nothing -- no matter what it is -- can separate us from both the irrevocable past actions of Jesus and the irresistible present actions of Jesus in our daily experiences.
- B. Thus, being convinced of His past works, we are convinced of his present ones; there is no way to separate our present experiences from Jesus.
- 1. We may be ignorant, but we are not abandoned.
- 2. We may not know how the words of God address our circumstances, but they do.
- 3. Because the words of God continually address our circumstances, if we are given the ability to "see" how they do, we are given the ability to bless God continually.
- IV. Fourth, Being "Saved" Means to be Released From Fear.
- A. Jesus was "prepared" by God "according to the standard of countenance" of all of the peoples (of the world).
- 1. This does not mean that all of the peoples "saw" him.
- 2. This does mean that He was just as human as all of the peoples.
- B. This preparation meant, for the Gentiles, that there is a better way to live than the one they are pursuing.
- 1. The Gentiles were noted for a failed approach to life...seeking wisdom [1 Corinthians 1:22].
- 2. Simeon said that Jesus' humanity was a "light of revelation" for the Gentiles.
- a) The "ignorant religious" approach (Acts 17:23) of polytheism motivated some to seek wisdom to protect them from the gods who were mere supermen with all of the evil passions of humanity. The "humanity" of Jesus was a problem for these.
- b) But, once the humanity of Jesus is clarified as a non-Adamic human -- erasing the problem of the evil passions of humanity -- He becomes a light of revelation to bring salvation.
- c) And, once the humanity of Jesus is clarified as a sacrifice for human sins, the disposition of the "God" is revealed to be salvific instead of selfishly whimsical.
- C. This preparation for the Gentiles addressed their real problem: fear of the whimsical gods.
- D. Thus, being "saved" means to be free of fear.
- V. Finally, Being "Saved" Means to be Released From Humiliation.
- A. God's preparation of Jesus was for the glory of Israel.
- B. Israel's greatest problem was that the Law revealed that none of his works were of any true worth. This was humiliating to the max.
- C. God's preparation of the humanity of Jesus through the nation of Israel, however, meant that Israel's greatest contribution to God's program was his instrumentality under God for the production of the Christ.
- D. This meant that Israel's humiliation was erased.