Robert Morris — Amazing Salvation
All right, I want you to turn to two passages of Scriptures. Ephesians 1 is where we'll begin. That's not actually where we'll begin, but it's the first one that I'll ask you to look at, and then Luke 15. We'll end up in Luke 15. Ephesians 1 and Luke 15. We're in a series called "Amazing Grace", and I'm titling this message, "Amazing Salvation". Is salvation amazing? And I believe it is. I believe it's completely amazing, when you think about that we're saved by grace.
Let me read you a very well-known Scripture, Romans 10:13, "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved". Now, this is a Greek word, saved, here, sozo. We would spell it S-O-Z-O in English, but it has a D in there, sounding, in Greek. Sodzo, sodzo. And let me show you some of the definitions of this word, sozo, all right? To save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, to save a suffering one from perishing, to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to deliver from the penalties of the judgement, to make one whole, spirit, soul, and body. So, I have two points, but I really only have one burden for the message, and I'm going to cover that in the first point, and then the second point, basically, is so what do we do now? All right? So, here's the first point. Salvation is eternal, past, present, and future.
Let me just show you a few things to understand the eternalness of salvation. Romans 6:23, "For the wages", the pay, "for sin is death, but the gift", that's grace, free, "of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord". 1 John 2:25, "And this is the promise that He has promised us, eternal life". 1 John 5:13, one of my favorite Scriptures in the whole Bible. "These things I've written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know", not that you may hope, but that you may know, "that you have eternal life". Since God is eternal, salvation is eternal.
But when we think of eternal, we tend to only think of the future. But, eternal is that God has always existed, does exist, and will always exist, but He existed before time. If you remember, Moses said to Him, what's your name? And He reveals for the first time, Jehovah, "I am that I am". In that statement, "I am that I am", He's saying, I'm eternal. "I am that I am". You go tell Pharaoh I am sent you. And He didn't say this, but I think He was thinking, and he'll have a few questions, so I've got ten answers prepared for him. "I am that I am". Here's what I want you to know about God. Here's what He was really saying to Moses — I was. Before you were here, I was here. I am right now, and I will be. "I am that I am". I am eternal.
Now, let me show you. Again, I ask you to turn to Ephesians 1, and I'm going to show you some other Scriptures first, but let me show you a phrase that you're familiar with, probably, but what you might not know is it's only in the Book of Revelation, and it's only in the Book of Revelation five times. But, most of us are very familiar with this phrase. Revelation 1:4, this is John writing. He says, "Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come". Now, he writes Revelation after his encounter, so I'm going to show you where he gets that phrase from. Verse 8 is when Jesus shows up, first verse in red. He says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end", says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty".
Now, I think John just thought, that'll preach. I like that phrase right there. And he starts using it in the book, and there are times when that phrase is repeated in the book by angels, and by the 24 elders, and the four living creatures. Revelation 4:8, "And they do not rest day or night, saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come". Revelation 11:17, "We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the one who is and who was and who is to come". Revelation 16:5, "And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be". Hebrews says it this way, Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever". He is the author of eternal salvation, eternal salvation.
So, there is a past, present, and future tense of salvation, and I want to talk about that, and I brought the board up because I want you to see what we're talking about, all right? So, I want to talk about the past, the present, and the future tense of salvation. So, this is salvation. And, let's just take the verse in John, "who was, who is, and who is to come". Right? Past, present, and future. Everyone got that? Okay, let's address this. This is salvation. According to the Bible, you have been, you are, being, we could say... you're being, and you will be saved. You follow me? You have been saved, you are being saved, and you will be saved.
Let me say it another way, and I showed you this when we talked about sickness, to understand sickness. You have been saved from the penalty of sin. You are being saved, as you learn and grow in Christ, in your soul. Your soul is being converted from the power of sin, and you will be saved from the presence of sin. And just one other analogy — it's not really an analogy, but I don't have time to go in and explain all of it. You have been saved in your spirit. You are being saved, converted in your soul, and your body will be saved one day. Does everyone follow that? Okay. Here's where I want to go. Here's my burden, though.
I don't want to talk today about the present and the future tense. I want to talk about the past tense of salvation, because, please hear me. If you don't understand that you have been, then you have an incorrect view that you are being, and that you will be. If you don't understand what the Bible says about salvation in the past tense, let me say it another way. If you do understand what salvation says, then you will have peace in the present and faith for the future. But if you don't understand past, then you will have pressure in the present, and fear of the future. This is good, by the way. Just so you know, this is really, really good! All right?
Now, so this is if you understand, and this is if you don't understand. Okay? Now, just a few words here. "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved". Here are some words God uses. Justified, sanctified — I know we're being sanctified. I understand that. Sanctified. Accepted, in the Beloved, redeemed. I'm going to get me one of those boards that writes by itself, that I just point and it's already there, someone else wrote it. Here's one that doesn't end with an -ed, but it is past tense, forgiven. This is the Bible. If you have believed, you have been saved. And if you catch that, it'll change your life. You'll be so excited! If you don't catch it, you'll always be trying to achieve something.
I want to say a quote here that I hope you never forget it. Salvation is not a goal to be achieved, it is a gift to be received. Let me say it again, because it was better than you thought. Salvation is not a goal to achieve. It is a gift to be received. All through Scripture, it is described as a gift, a gift from God, a gift of God. All right, so I want to show you now Ephesians 1, and you know what? I thought about one other -ED word here, and Jesus Himself said it. Are you ready for this one? FinishED. It is finished. It's finished. And if I believe, I can receive the finished work of Christ in my life.
When I was 19 years old, in a motel room, I was saved, -ED. SavED, forgiven — that didn't work. JustifiED, sanctifiED, acceptED. Okay? I'm telling you, if you just believe the past part of salvation, it takes care of the present and the future. It's wonderful! All right, so Ephesians 1, I want you to look for past tense. Okay? Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed", blessED, "us"... okay, let me just ask you something. Does it say will bless us, or has blessED us? Is that future or past tense? Past tense? That's the Bible. "Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing", wow! "In the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us". Is He going to choose you, or did He already choose you? Past tense. "He chose us in Him". Now, you're going to see, here's a big past tense. "Before the foundation of the world". Okay, that's past tense! "That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love".
Now, stop just a moment. How are you ever going to be holy and without blame, except by the blood of Jesus Christ? That's the only way. It's the only way, by His blood. "Having predestined"... now, I know there's a lot of speculation on predestination. I believe in the predestinated God according to the foreknowledge of God, that God knew and that He predestined. But I also believe that "God predestined" simply means to predetermine a destiny. That's all it means. Predestined, to predetermine a destiny. Can I tell you, God has a good destiny for every person that will choose it? Every person. He has a good destiny for everyone that will choose that good destiny. So, don't get hung up on that word, but I do want you to notice that it's past tense. "Predestined us to the adoption as sons by Jesus Christ Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved". re you going to be accepted one day, or have you been accepted?
Okay, and all I'm doing here is reading the Bible. This is the language the Bible uses, past tense. Ephesians 1. Now, I mean, I'll tell you what. It also talks about the present and future tense. I understand that, and I'm not doing away with us continuing to grow in Christ or walking in Christ. I'm not doing away with that. I'm simply saying that this will change your life, when you understand that you received, and I'll show you in a moment how He uses past tense to say, when you trustED, when you believED, you receivED. I'll show you that, all right?
Look at Verse 11. "In Him also we have obtained an inheritance". Now, does that say we will one day, or we have? Have, we already have. "Being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted", past tense. If you're a believer and you've come to the place where you've trusted Christ. "In Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted". He's talking to the Ephesian Church here, the believers, past tense. "After you heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation". We can say amazing salvation. "In whom also having believED", past tense. I did that when I was 19, in a motel room. "You were sealED", past tense, "with the Holy Spirit of promise". You were sealed.
Can I put that in Texan, and lick it and stick it? Lick it and stick it! You have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. If that doesn't light your fire, your wood's wet! There's something wrong if you don't get excited when you read Ephesians 1! You follow me? You were sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. Now, watch this. "Who is the guarantee", wow! "Of our inheritance until the redemption", now watch this, "of the purchasED", past tense, "possession". Purchased possession. Can I just remind you of a very famous Scripture? You were bought with a price. You are not your own. I could do a whole message on that one. You don't even belong to you anymore. You're owned by God. How could God ever lose something that He owns? "To the praise of His glory".
One other Scripture on this verse, 1 Corinthians 6:11. First of all, before I read Verse 11, go on and take that down. I'm sorry. There's a list of sinners, of sins and sinners, people who were involved in these sins before. You can go back and you can read this list, but let me just say this much. I am not reading it just simply for the sake of time, because I just don't have the time to do it, but you're in the list. Okay? Debbie's in the list. That's amazing. That's amazing to me, okay?
You all made the list. We're in the list. 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, "And such", this list of sinners, "such were", past tense, "some of you. But you were washED". I ought to add that one up there on the board, washed. "But you were sanctifiED, but you were justifiED in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God". Past tense! I was washed by the blood of Jesus. I could not be standing in front of you now, preaching God's Word, if He had not washed me, and sanctified me, set me apart, and justified me. It's amazing.
So, here's point number two. So, what do I do now? Luke 15. So, what do I do now? Luke 15, we can't read it all, but let's just read a little so we can get it. Luke 15:4, "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost"! I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost"! Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents".
Okay. So, what do you do when you find something that you've lost? Rejoice, right? I mean, we just read that. This goes on to talk about the prodigal son. And, the father throws a party when he comes home. So, you need to understand something. This is talking about the person who finds what he's looking for. Okay, God is rejoicing over you accepting His Son. He's rejoicing over that. Okay? But, I want to flip this for a moment. We were born looking for favor with God.
Now, I asked you a moment ago, what do you do when you find what you're looking for, and I said rejoice. But, I want to change that question just a little bit. What's the first thing you do when you find what you're looking for? Now, listen, here's the first thing. You might not have thought about it. The first thing you do when you find what you're looking for, is you stop looking for it. You never find it and keep looking. Is that right? And then, we even have a little saying, that's kind of a stupid saying. But it says, I know it will be in the last place I look. Of course it will! Because you don't find it and keep looking! What are you looking for? My keys. They're in your hand. Yeah, I found them a little while ago, I'm still going to keep looking. Right?
Do you know why many believers don't rejoice during our time of worship? Because they're still looking for favor with God. And I'm telling you, you've found it, if you believed, if you believe. Now, some of you haven't found it yet, because you haven't believed. You do in your mind, but not in your heart. The Bible makes it very clear, you have to believe in your heart. You say, what's the difference? Ephesians 1 used the word trusted. Trusted. Some of you aren't saved. You're not saved, that you haven't been saved, because there's no place where you stopped going your way and started going God's way. And I know what you're thinking.
See, here's why I'm saying this. The Bible says you will know them by their fruits. And you're probably thinking, well, you're not my judge. No, but I'm your fruit inspector! If you're still living for you, if you're still going your way, if you're still in charge, you'd better listen to me carefully, because you'll regret it if you don't. You're on your way to hell. You are on your way to hell, sir, if you're still the boss of your life. The way you get saved is you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. And when you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you will be saved at that moment.
I want to encourage you to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and Him alone, today, for your salvation. It is absolutely amazing that yes, we will be saved, we are being saved. But according to the Bible, when we put our faith in Christ, we are saved, we have been saved. We begin a new life in Jesus Christ, and you can do that right now by simply telling the Lord, "Lord, I put my faith and my trust in you today. I receive you today as my Lord and my Savior. And you can experience this amazing grace. Amazing grace. Hey, thanks so much for watching. We're continuing this series next week, "Amazing Grace".