At BSSM, we have theological lectures called Kingdom Foundations. This message on salvation was given by one of the most powerful women I have ever seen. She is so passionate about God and if you only need to read one sermon in your life, this is one of them! It provides simple definitions of faith, righteousness and other questions related to salvation that will change your life.
Credits: Teaching by Bernie Ooley, BSSM First Year 2015/2016
‘SALVATION’: BSSM LECTURE NOTES
I love the powerful definition of Salvation – soteria. Salvation is an all-inclusive word signifying forgiveness, healing, prosperity, deliverance, safety, rescue, liberation and restoration. Wow! Enough said.
LIVE OUT OF YOUR ABUNDANCE, NOT YOUR RESTRICTIONS
Since the fall in the garden of Eden, the Enemy (Satan) tries to put our focus on our restrictions and not our abundance.
In reading Genesis 1:26 – 2:25, we learn that we are made in His image (image means ‘resemble’ and to ‘represent’). Our Daddy is Spirit, and like Him, we are spirit and eternal. Likeness means ‘pattern of’. We are the pattern of God. Beautiful!
We are to extend His Kingdom and co-create with Him.
When God walked in the garden of Eden, the Hebrew word for this was ‘Ruach’, which means ‘wind and spirit’. God is compared to a cool wind that refreshes us.
Here are a few of the consequences of the Fall of man:
- Shame of being known
- Painful childbearing
- The ground is cursed, resulting in toilsome labor
- Gender inequality
JESUS REVERSED THE CURSE
When Jesus was crucified, He had a crown of thrones on His head because he has redeemed the curse of the earth.
In Isaiah 53 and Psalm 103:1-6, we can see that Jesus reversed the curse:
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.”
“Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.”
In these verses healing and forgiveness gets married. Jesus also took care of all emotional torment when the veil was torn. He crowns you with good things.
The earth responds to the spiritual condition that inhabits it. That is why there is a possibility of living in an open heaven.
WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN TO BE BORN AGAIN?
When we are born again in the Spirit of God, we carry the DNA of God and are 100% like God. We don’t have a human nature and a God nature. We only have one nature and that is the nature of God. A newborn doesn’t have a history. However, she has all the potential in the world. She is innocent and an heir. Innocence is not naivety. Likewise, when we are born again, we are pure. When something is called pure, it means 100%. Pure gold is 100% gold.
WE ARE REDEEMED AND ADOPTED
We are no longer slaves who live in fear. We are God’s sons and heirs. In Roman society, masters would sometimes adopt slaves. After they had a ceremony of adoption, slaves no longer needed to call their masters ‘Master’ but could then call them “Abba”. It changed the nature of their relationship. It is the same with us as children of God. We are adopted as sons and daughters of the King and now we can hop on His lap and be honest with Him about everything. He can redeem everything – all our sin and the years that have been wasted.
All is not lost. During those years that seem to be wasted, you developed a compassion and level of authority (after you had overcome whatever bound you) that has the potential to set others free. He can use what the enemy has planned for evil, turn it around and even use it to promote you. He is a Faithful Redeemer. He can take any mistake and turn it into good. We are justified. God looks at me ‘just-if-I’d’ (justified) never sinned. Justification means we are realigned with our original design.
Righteousness is right standing with God. So thanks to the cross of Jesus Christ, as soon as we become born again, we are already 100% righteous.
God came down to earth and lifted us up where we are “seated with Him in Heavenly places.” We can’t work for His love, righteousness and justification. Religion says we need to work for these things. This is simply not true. His love is a gift given to us.
FAITH IS OUR DOORWAY TO BREAKTHROUGH
Faith is needed to walk in justification and righteousness. Faith is a shield and a doorway. Faith is an access point for everything that God has for us. The shield that Roman soldiers used a long time ago was not made out of steel. It was made out of strips of leather. The soldiers had to take good care of their shields because if they neglected to do so their shields would become dry and brittle. The soldiers had to dip (i.e. ‘anoint’) their shields in oil before going into battle. After they had dipped it in oil, they would then dip it in water. We can use this method of preserving the shields as a colorful illustration that reminds us of the importance of our faith. When we fellowship with the Holy Spirit (anointing ourselves in oil) and then dip ourselves in the Word (water), our faith (shields) will be able to fight against the fiery darts of the enemy.
There is a great definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1 in the Amplified Bible:
“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”
Faith is when you lean with your entire human personality into Him with absolute trust and confidence in His wisdom and His goodness. Faith is not living for something but from something. You have faith because He says you have faith. The most powerful prayer is ‘Thank you’. It is finished. It is done. Faith is seeing things from God’s perception and truth. Some people think faith is living in denial of your problems. Faith does not deny the existence of a problem. It simply takes the truth of God, sees things as temporal and then applies the truth of God to the circumstances. When we do this the facts change. Faith simply denies a problem the right to dominate our lives.
Jesus didn’t tell us to deny a problem but to speak to it. Take hold of the truth of God in a situation and then speak God’s truth over that matter. Make declarations over your life. You create your world over and over again by the words you use. Death and live are in the power of the tongue.
One day Berni was stuck in an elevator on the first floor. After a while, she realised that she had been pressing the button for the first floor, not the second floor. God said to her: “This is what my kids do: they tell Me where they are stuck while all along they should just press 2 and go!”
THE POWER OF TRUE REPENTANCE
Repentance means ‘renewing your mind’. It means to change direction. God cares about the way we think. We need to see things the way that He sees them. Salvation is supposed to change the way we think. Restoration of the soul is a process. Every day we need to choose to think His thoughts.
The world will see the glory of God when we get our minds renewed.
We are 3-part beings: spirit, soul and body. What is in the middle? The mind (the soul). It is the gatekeeper. Every day we need to choose whether we will live from the spirit, body or soul. We do not have the right to think any other thoughts about ourselves but the thoughts that God thinks about us.
WHY ARE RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE STILL ADDICTED TO THINGS IF THEY HAVE BEEN REDEEMED FROM IT?
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”
The most important reasons why people are still addicted to sin or in bondage is because:
- They don’t realize their authority and their true identity in God.
- They think the Kingdom of God is something that will be accessed ‘one day’. They don’t realise that they can live in the freedom of heaven NOW and that it is not something only reserved for later.
- They don’t reckon themselves dead to sin. They choose to sin. Instead, they need to consider themselves dead to sin. We all have the ability to walk and rule over sin because we have His mind and Spirit in us. As soon as we are born again, it is no longer our nature to sin. We can all speak life and prophesy. We are renewed forever!