Salvation from A-to-Z
I have been reading Frances Schaeffer's Salvation: Past, Present and Future. Many restrict their understanding and application of "salvation" to conversion but neglect to acknowledge the Romans 1:16-17 concept of the A to Z nature of the gospel's power. Be encouraged to read Schaeffer's thoughts.
But we must not make a mistake here. Salvation, as the word is used in Scripture, is wider than justification. There is a past, a future, and just as really, a present. The infinite work of Christ upon the cross brings to the Christian more than justification.
In the future, there is glorification. When Christ returns, there will be the resurrection of the body, and eternity. But there is also a present aspect of salvation. Sanctification is our present relationship to our Lord, the present tense.
Salvation is not just justification and then a blank until death; God never meant it to be so. Salvation is a unity, a flowing stream, from justification through sanctification to glorification.
The word “salvation” encompasses the whole: justification, sanctification, glorification. “For in it is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” This is not just the “once for all” faith at justification, but faith from faith to faith. “As it is written, The just shall live by faith” — not just be justified by faith: the just shall live by faith. Salvation is all one piece.
All salvation — past, present, and future — has one base. That base is not our faith. If we are confused here, we are confused completely. A man can never be justified on the basis of his own faith. Through all of salvation, the only base is the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross in history.
Faith is the empty hand, the instrument by which we accept God’s free gift. Faith is simply believing God. The how of the Christian life is the power of the crucified and risen Lord, through the agency of the indwelling Holy Spirit, by faith moment by moment.