The Process of Salvation
Everyone the Father gives Me will come to me, and whoever comes to Me I will certainly not turn away. (John 6:37)
I am often told, ‘we do not need to do any work in order to be saved; indeed, God loves everyone and will save whomever He wishes. When we ‘work’, i.e. move forward, for our Salvation, we are engaged in legalism and this will cancel our chances of Salvation.’ Certainly, this is a common teaching within many seminaries and congregations today. However, this understanding originates from a Greek perspective and is not grounded in the foundational language of Scripture, Hebrew.
We all know Salvation comes from Grace, through Faith, and is, therefore, a gift from God. But do we have any responsibility in the receiving of Grace or are we passive recipients of this free gift? This is where Faith comes in.
In Hebrew, Faith means, trust-in-action, and carries with it the understanding of moving forward in trust. This is active, in that we respond to His initiative. The first portion of John 6:37, Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, carries with it the understanding those who respond to Adonai’s invitation will step forward to Adonai Yeshua in order to make the physical commitment to His Love. Is this ‘works-righteousness’?
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology defines righteousness as:
- the covenant people of God are called to live righteously, that is, in conformity to the demands of the covenant and according to God’s will (see Psalm 1:4-6 ; 11:7 ; 72:1 ; Isa 1:16-17 ). Having within the covenantal relation with God the gift of salvation, they are to behave as the people of the holy Lord. Hosea, the prophet of divine love, ties righteousness with mercy, loving kindness, and justice ( 2:19 ; 10:12 ).
- Adonai Yeshua, Lord Jesus, presents righteousness as conformity to the will of God expressed in the Mosaic law (Matt 13:17; 23:29; Matthew 27:4 Matthew 27:19 Matthew 27:24 ) and also conformity to his own teachings concerning the requirements of the kingdom of heaven ( Matt 5:17-20 ).
This definition, based on both Hebrew and Apostolic Scripture, clearly indicate righteousness is obedience to Adonai and Adonai Yeshua’s commands. But this doesn’t answer the question, is stepping forward to Adonai Yeshua ‘works righteousness’? For many believers, works-righteousness is doing anything, even asking, to receive Salvation. My question to these, is how will Adonai, God, know we are committed to changing our ways and are ready to receive His Grace? For an answer to this we go to the Book of Hebrews which, drawing heavily from the Hebrews Scriptures, gives us a good indication of how we receive God’s Grace.
First, there was Hevel, Abel. Hebrews 11:4 shares with us: “By trusting, Hevel offered a greater sacrifice than Kayin (Cain); because of this, he was attested as righteous, with God giving him this testimony on the ground of his gifts.” Then we read of Hanoch (Enoch), in verse 5 and 6 – “By trusting, Hanokh was taken away from this life without seeing death — “He was not to be found, because God took him away” — for he has been attested as having been, prior to being taken away, well pleasing to God. And without trusting, it is impossible to be well pleasing to God, because whoever approaches him must trust that he does exist and that he becomes a Rewarder to those who seek him out.” Then we have Noach (Noah), in verse 7 – “By trusting, Noach, after receiving divine warning about things as yet unseen, was filled with holy fear and built an ark to save his household. Through this trusting, he put the world under condemnation and received the righteousness that comes from trusting.” And, finally, in verses 32 and 33, we read of Gid‘on (Gideon), Barak, Shimshon (Sampson), Yiftach (Jephthah), David, Sh’mu’el (Samuel) and the prophets; who, “through trusting, conquered kingdoms, worked righteousness, received what was promised.” Each of these stepped forward in obedience to Yahweh’s call, displaying their trust and received Grace. And this is what happens for all those today, who desire to receive His Grace, resulting in an eternal relationship with the Lover of our Souls.
CONSIDER: Do you believe that salvation is a free gift from Adonai/God that is given to us, with our doing nothing for it? Does this make any sense to you? If you are unsure, I urge you to read on.
ACTION: Consider carefully what you have read here today. Adonai wishes us to take the first step, in trust (trust-in-action) – faith. When we do that, we signal to Him we are willing to give Him our hearts and lives.
PRAYER: Abba B’Shamayim, Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us a way to signal to You, our desire to receive your grace and love. By our taking the first step, You will come the rest of the way and scoop us into Your bosom of love. Bless Your holy Name. B’Shem Adonai Yeshua, Mashichainu, Amein.
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you fully and richly.