The God of salvation means in all things and for all men, including believers. Salvation doesn’t end at the cross. This is only the beginning of walking in the full measure of what He has provided. We acknowledge Him as God of salvation when we look to Him to be saved, both in the little things and the large.
Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)
What a powerful verse, both a statement and an invitation. It excludes no one and captures the limitless power of the I AM as well as the awesome truth that He alone is God. It is, on one hand, a call to the unsaved, to all who face the destruction and desolation of their sinful condition. This is the heart of the Gospel, the unequivocal truth of God’s almighty power to save any and all who come to Him. For those of us who have walked the way of the cross into His kingdom, it’s our reason to rejoice and to worship in thankful abandon. But it is also eternal. It is as real for us in each and every moment in our Christian walk as it was before we accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour. The invitation from the God of salvation still stands true for every believer.
The God of salvation is eternal.
This is a dimension it’s easy to overlook if we limit our understanding of salvation in terms of human understanding. We tend to regard eternity as spiritual and ‘out there,’ which it is. But when Jesus came to earth, He brought eternity with Him. When He ascended to Heaven, He left us eternity in the form of the Spirit. From the perspective of purely logical human reasoning, it’s impossible to understand the truth that eternity exits as a spiritual reality even in our natural lives. This is the power of the cross. It is the eternal power of the God of salvation released to us through salvation. We have, in Christ, the ability to live in the eternal even while we live in the natural. In fact, we are to live in the spirit, not the flesh – in the supernatural, not the natural.
The entire Bible focuses on the revelation of the eternal nature of salvation and the God of our salvation. Part of the purpose of the prophets was to point to this. The lives of men like David are equally prophetic. Salvation itself is an entirely supernatural and eternal act. Jesus died and rose once and for all – for all men. Proper interpretation of Christ’s words on the cross is ‘perfectly perfect and completely complete,’ which defines our God. Eternity holds past, present, and future in a single moment, unlike our notion of sequential time. What this means is that salvation was in God before the beginning and will be in Him for eternity – without end. What this means is that the God of salvation empowers salvation with His own eternal nature. We cannot see it outside the supernatural and eternal perspective of God Himself.
Knowing the God of salvation.
God is, of course, the I AM – too vast, immeasurable, and limitless for any of us to know fully in our natural lives. Salvation enables a deeper knowledge of Him through spiritual communion with Him. Because of our limited understanding, the measure of salvation we experience depends on how much we know Him. Deeper knowledge means a greater revelation of salvation. There are too many facets to the nature and character of God to grasp. But it’s an incredible truth that all these are contained in salvation. This is the underlying truth that makes today’s verse so powerful. Salvation has no limit because it is the manifestation of the God of salvation. All that God is, has, and desires to do is contained within the salvation ‘package’ freely given through the cross. Knowing the God of salvation is how we learn to live in the fullness of His salvation.
Part of God’s purpose in renewing us through transforming our minds is to shake us out of the limitations of natural thinking and reasoning. The absolute truth is that we can never receive a rich revelation of the God of our salvation while we’re bound by human abilities and responses. The purpose of the Spirit is to reveal to us the ‘deep things’ of God, not to present a logical cognitive or intellectual understanding. We cannot understand the spiritual in the flesh. Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that the church does not live in supernatural knowledge God. We have never fully embraced the fullness of the salvation, and it shows in our lives and in our churches. A radical shift in our approach is required if we want to see the power of God manifest through the fulfilment of His purposes in and through our lives.
There is only one God of salvation.
This is a truth that provides the basis of our faith and our revelation of Him. All believers readily admit that there is only one God and that salvation is of Him. But we limit it to ‘being saved’ rather than applying it to our lives as a whole. When God says He is the only one able to save, He means universally. All of us, in every situation, from all things, and with all power. Nothing and no one is excluded. Spiritual salvation is a gift to treasure. It restores us to God and places us in relationship, giving us the ability to go on to know the fullness of the God of salvation. It is our ‘passport’ to eternity with Him, and we can never discount the immeasurable value of a grace we did not deserve. But this is only one aspect of salvation.
As God of salvation, His purpose is that we look to Him always, in all things, and for all needs to be saved, and to nothing or no one else. I smile when I find that perfect parking space. This was one particular means He used to reveal the more powerful truth. Quite literally, He reminded me that if He cared enough to keep track of the number of hairs on my head, He was more than able to save me the inconvenience and difficulty of no parking. I’ve been accused of making light of deep spiritual matters in this. But it’s a fact that He used this to teach me that His salvation extends to the minute and seemingly unimportant details of my life. When I look to Him to be saved, no matter what the circumstances, I affirm Him as Lord of every detail of my life.
He is God of salvation for all the earth.
It’s ironic that we, as believers, are happy to acknowledge that only God can save when it comes to unbelievers. We quickly point out that He alone is the God of salvation, and that all should look to Him to be saved. But ‘all the earth’ includes believers. As ambassadors of God and His salvation, we need to ask ourselves a critical question. If unbelievers – who do not have the knowledge of God we have – cannot see His saving grace the practical details of our lives, how can we expect them to see it in the spiritual, which cannot be seen? Salvation does not start and end at the cross. When Jesus said, ‘It is finished,’ He did not mean that there was nothing beyond the cross. He meant that the entire work of salvation was perfectly perfect and completely complete.
In simple terms, all of the everything ever needed by all the ends of the earth was provided, in full, through the cross. Calvary is only the great and glorious beginning to the outworking of the purposes of the God of salvation. The cross is the spiritual doorway through which we step into the supernatural grace and power of God for salvation. Thereafter, we learn to live in the full measure of what God has provided. His desire is that all the ends of the earth, including believers, experience an ever-increasing and practical revelation of Him through the outworking of salvation. To do so, we must obviously first receive salvation through Christ. Thereafter, as we grow in relationship and knowledge, we are able to apply salvation to every area of our lives. Even the parking spot we need, because He loves us enough to worry about that as well.
The sovereignty of the God of salvation.
Today’s verse reminds us that there is no other but Him. Why, then, do we compartmentalise our lives into the things we think ‘worthy’ of God’s attention and those we must take care of ourselves? Having children means taking responsibility for all their needs, not simply the big ones. Leading a people implies the same commitment. The God of salvation is both Father and Lord, our perfect example. Yet we deny Him the right to fulfil the obligations He has already provided for. He never says He will supply some of our needs. Through the cross, He supplies all our needs. Nothing is too big or too small. If we don’t live this in our lives, it’s because we’re not looking to Him. This is the radical renewing of our minds we need to ask for – that we would see Him truly as the God of all salvation.
Father God, Lord of All, we acknowledge Your sovereignty today. Forgive us for withholding needs from You and relying on ourselves and other things. Renew our minds, Lord, and bring true revelation through Your Spirit so that we may look only to You as the God of all salvation rather than of what we think salvation to be.