The Present Work of Salvation Has Several Aspects
- Justification - “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:24, 26). To justify means to declare or count as righteousness. This involves forgiveness of sin, including removal of all guilt and punishment, and imputation of Christ’s righteousness. It does not mean that simply believing, instead of doing right, saves us.
- Regeneration or new birth - "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 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 Ghost;” (Titus 3:5) This is more than a reformation; it is the impartation of a new nature—God’s nature—with a change of desires and power to live a new life.
- Sanctification, or separation - “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10). At conversion, a person is set apart from sin. The Holy Spirit then continues to transform him, perfect him, and make him holy (“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” II Corinthians 3:18; Thessalonians 3:13,To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 5:23).And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus' Death Became A Propitiation
Propitiation is an appeasement or atonement. Because we all deserve death for our sins, in order to provide a suitable substitute, Jesus Christ became a propitiation - the means by which God can pardon sins without violating His holiness and justice I John 2:2.And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world).
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” Romans 3:25;
Christ’s death fulfilled God’s just requirements thus purchasing remission of sins (Matthew 26:28; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. This substitution avails to us when we place our faith in Christ and apply His gospel to our lives.
The Importance of Blood in the Old Testament
The first Biblical reference to the sprinkling of blood is in Exodus 12:22. The Israelites were commanded to take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood of a slain lamb, and sprinkle it onto the lintel and two side-posts of their front doors. That night, when the death angel came and saw the blood on the doorposts, he would pass over the house.
Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. (Hebrews 11:28)The blood had to be lifted out of the basin and sprinkled on the door to fulfill its purpose of protection. If the blood was left in the basin, it was of no effect; it was merely blood that had been shed. The blood only had the power to save when it was lifted out of the basin and sprinkled.
The Blood of Jesus Redeems Us From Our Sins
Without a doubt, the blood of Jesus is the most precious gift our heavenly Father has given to His church, yet, so few Christians understand its value and virtue.
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)
Faith is Linked to the Remission of Sins
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” (Romans 3:25)
"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." (Acts 10:43)
Repentance Linked To The Remission of Sins
"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:47)
Baptism is Linked to the Remission of Sins
“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 Ghost.” (Titus 3:5)
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
When you approach God in faith and are washed or baptized in water, your heart is spiritually sprinkled with the blood of Christ which cleanses your conscience.
“Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” (I Peter 3:20-21)The floodwaters of Noah’s day symbolizes baptism which saves us in the same sense that Noah and his family were saved from judgment. Peter teaches us that baptism is as essential to us today as the ark was to Noah in his day.