God’s part in our journey
The Bible tells us we are saved by the sheer grace of our extraordinarily merciful God! We are born rebels and would die that way, were it not for the Lord’s compassionate and sovereign intervention. What is more, as the above verse indicates, each member of the holy Trinity plays a role in our salvation.
The Father “elected” us to salvation “before the beginning of time”, predestining us to be “conformed to the image of Christ”. Out of His great love, he chose us “in Christ” to be His own eternally, according to His purpose and will. Then, “in the fullness of time”, He sent His divine Son – the Second member of the holy Trinity – to enter our space-time reality, take on human flesh, and die in payment for our sins, having “given” us to Christ. He then “raised us up” with Christ and “seated us with Him” in heaven.
The Son, who lived with God as God for eternity past, entered miraculously into our world as an infant in Bethlehem. He grew to manhood, living in perfect obedience to the Father’s will as a man, and, around the age of 30, was baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit, and sent out to minister throughout Israel. Led and empowered by the Spirit, Jesus proclaimed the “good news” (or gospel) that God’s kingdom had come, and He demonstrated the authority of God through his supernatural power over physical illness, death, natural forces, and demonic authorities. Charged by the religious authorities with blasphemy, He was tortured and crucified. After His death and burial, He ascended to heaven, where He presently sits at the Father’s right hand. He and the Father “sent” the Holy Spirit to complete the redemptive work the Son began at His first advent. The Bible tells us the Son’s work is not yet finished: He now “intercedes” for us before the Father, serving as our Mediator and High Priest (Hebrews 7:25), and He will come to earth a second time to bring to a close the present chapter in His overarching redemptive plans, eventually judging all humankind, putting all enemies under his feet, and delivering the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). In the meantime, He has given us an example for us to follow. What does it look like to live an authentically Christian life? Jesus shows us how.
The Holy Spirit – sent by the Father and the Son – inaugurated a new era on earth at Pentecost, when we manifested His power and filled believers with His presence. He was already working on the earth, empowering prophets and leaders, but now He filled ordinary believers, baptizing them into Christ and His body, filling them with the presence of God in His triune wonder, bearing His fruit of godly character in them, and enduing them with supernatural power to serve others in Christ’s name. The Spirit guides and teaches believers to do the Lord’s will, convicts us of sin, and intercedes continually with the Father on our behalf. In all these ways and more, the Spirit gives glory to the Son.
So, our salvation from sin, hopelessness, and eternal misery is nothing short of miraculous! God has literally put at our disposal the limitless resources of the holy Trinity so we can “walk in newness of life”, “without fear”, and with great confidence and assurance, as we humbly, reverently walk with the Lord and do the things He purposed for us to do (Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:10).