|Romans 2: 28-29|
[ read Part One ]
Many definitions and meanings can be derived from a single word, or a name.
What other terms are synonymous (meaning the same) with “salvation”?
See synonyms for “save” (the root of salvation) and “salvation”.
'Yeshua' is a Hebrew word / name which means “to rescue” and “to deliver” and is synonymous with “salvation”.
In the context as an expression, we read:
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the Name Yeshua, because He will save His people from their sins.”
- Matthew 1: 21- “He will save His people from their sins”
Keep this question in mind: who are the Messiah's people?
The Jewish definition of the Messiah is of a savior, a rescuer, from both temporal and spiritual fatality.
The Messiah (and His salvation) was promised / prophesied to be revealed prior to the destruction of the second Jerusalem temple.
That temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. and is still in ruins, having had several pagan temples built over its ruins...while Today a pagan temple still stands upon its ruins.
This was allowed by God, bringing to a close the prior age under the law of Moses.
The physical temple was only for a time, under the prior covenant, and Today God's temple is not one built by the hands of men, but something quite different:
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
- 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17- you yourselves are God’s temple
- you together are that temple
We read from the time after the first temple's destruction and prior to the second's destruction:
“The Lord will lay bare His holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God.”
- Isaiah 52: 10 (several centuries before the common era, and Christ being)- “in the sight of all the nations
- all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.”
This passage should put to rest the notion that only the Jews in the 1st century saw or realized God's salvation.
So who is offered this world-wide salvation?
All the nations and peoples of earth!
Read Isaiah 56 on your own to see how, in the prior covenant, the foreigner and eunuch who trusted in God and followed His law were promised acceptance and an “everlasting name”.
This same promise continues how in the age of Christ.
“Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”
- Acts 28: 28In Acts 28 we read about the experience the early Apostles had when the Holy Spirit was poured also unto the Gentiles; the salvation long promised to the ends of the earth!
This is the conclusion of this promise to those who, being previously Jewish and under the law, now are proclaiming the light of Christ (and thus carry the light within themselves) to the Gentiles:
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
- Isaiah 49: 6bHere is a description of how the 1st century hearers of the Gospel were transformed, and thus 'saved':
In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.
- Ephesians 1: 11-14 (1st century letter)- “In Him...also chosen...predestined...included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation
- marked in Him with a seal...the promised Holy Spirit...a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance...redemption...”
A lot of revelation in a few sentences, yes, and also a clarifying description how salvation came by way of faith (believing the message of the Gospel) in the 1st century to the first generation of believers / hearers.
Faith is yet another gift bestowed on the individual by God's hand.
A gift isn't so much something an individual can procure on their own outside of God willing it to them.
Let us read an example of how this gift of faith (the allowance to believe) is bestowed on someone:
When Yeshua came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I Am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Yeshua replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven.”
- Matthew 16: 13-17- “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this [belief / faith in who / what Yeshua is] was not revealed to you by flesh and blood [men, one's own mind], but by My Father in heaven [God's choice and will]”
Let us read how coupled with faith being gifted to us (allowing one to believe and thus obey and act upon this gift of faith), it is over all by God's provision of grace that God has provided salvation:
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Yeshua, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Yeshua. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
- Ephesians 2: 4-9
What else was promised / prophesied to occur when salvation, redemption and Messiah would be revealed?
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord. “In those days people will no longer say,
‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke My covenant
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put My law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be My people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know Me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
- Jeremiah 31: 27-34- “I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals
- I will watch over them to build and to plant
- I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and...Judah
- not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors...because they broke My covenant
- This is the covenant I will make...after that time..:
- I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts
- they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest
- I will forgive their wickedness
- and remember their sins no more”
It can be derived that this salvation, being revealed in a new covenant (and the prior covenant being fulfilled in Christ), will be written on the minds and hearts of those God chooses.
We can see in the above passage that the individual will be judged before God, not according to their heritage or lineage or group affiliation, but according to their heart and life before God...whether they had written on their heart and mind God's law...or not.
These covenant members, the citizens of God's kingdom, will be with the offspring of those who were to experience the time of redemption with Messiah...and forward from there.
In other words; subsequent generations were to realize the mystery of having God's law imprinted on their minds and hearts.
Yet another phenomenon from and by the hand of God, full of grace and inescapable from truth.
We can read in the Gospel and letters that a time of learning was experienced by those who walked with Christ.
It could then be noticed that the first generation of disciples, having walked with Christ and learned the Way from Him, were the first to have this imprint on their minds and hearts.
Their offspring, both physical and spiritual, would also experience this imprint in greater ways!
This is where the promise of this salvation makes sense when reading:
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.
- Acts 2: 39In Part Three, we will read how those who were / are far off came to believe, and how God's temple was forever changed and how entrance into His kingdom was loosened while the gate staying ever narrow.