The death of Christ on Calvary made salvation possible for every person who has ever lived or who will ever live. Unlike the promise of the seasons, salvation is not unilateral—it is not given to everyone, regardless of what they do. The belief that everyone will be saved is called “universalism.”
Instead, Jesus clearly taught that, though He died for all humanity, many people travel the broad way to destruction and eternal death (Matt. 7:13, 14).
What do the following texts have to say about how people receive the gift of salvation in Jesus?
Paul understood the bilateral nature of the salvation covenant. Knowing that he was soon to be executed, and in spite of the fact that many of his companions had forsaken him, Paul confidently told his dear friend Timothy that he had upheld his end of the bargain. “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:6–8).
Paul says, “I am ready [because] I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” Paul, though, was always very clear that salvation is by faith alone, not by the deeds of the law, and so here he is not somehow looking at his works or achievements as earning him merit with God. The “crown of righteousness” awaiting him is the righteousness of Jesus, which Paul, by faith, has claimed for himself and has held on to until the end of his life.
Though salvation is an unmerited gift, what’s the difference between those who accept the gift and those who don’t? What does accepting this gift require that we do?
Saturday, January 07
Sunday, January 08
The Salvation Covenant
Monday, January 09
Tuesday, January 10
Wednesday, January 11
Thursday, January 12
Friday, January 13