Jesus’ ministry began with the marvelous message, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). In Hebrews 2:3 we have a question that no one can answer: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They had the answer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30, 31). Had the jailer asked, “What must I do to be lost?” they would have replied, “Nothing, because you are already lost.” Jesus said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned [judged]; but he who does not believe is condemned [judged] already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:17, 18).
Salvation is more than “great;” it is “so great” for the following reasons:
1) It was first preached by the Lord Jesus Christ. He said to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9, 10).
2) After His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, the Lord Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to proclaim salvation to the lost through the apostles and all believers (John 16:7-15; also Acts 1:8).
3) This salvation is the only salvation. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Christ, in His humiliation, was nailed to the cross for our salvation. But He was resurrected, exalted, and given a name above all names. When He comes in judgment, every knee will bow—in heaven, on earth, and in hell. And every tongue will confess that He is Lord. Those who did not neglect “so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3) will bow the knee and confess His name with great joy; but those who neglected “so great a salvation” will bow the knee and confess His name—but it will be too late (Philippians 2:5-11; cf. Matthew 7:21-23). You will bow the knee now and accept Christ as your personal Savior, or you will bow the knee at the Great White Throne judgment and be lost forever (Revelation 20:11-15). If you are not saved—before you read any further—will you stop and ask God to open your eyes to the truth, and make salvation plain, so that you can be saved and know it?
21-1 So Great in Love
(1 John 4:8)
Salvation is so great in love because “God is love” (v. 8). Love is the essence of God’s eternal and holy nature. God does not love you because you are worthy of His salvation; He loves you because He is God. Being eternal God, He loves you with an everlasting love and draws you to Himself with loving kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). The love of God draws the lost to Christ for salvation. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). Again Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up [on the cross] from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself ” (John 12:32). God in His everlasting love is drawing you to Himself with the cords of eternal compassion. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever [including you] believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Again, in this verse, we have that little word so that reveals the degree of God’s love. God does not just love you, He so loves you that He gave His only begotten Son to bear your sins in His own body on the cross, so that you, by faith in Christ, may have eternal salvation. God the Father did not send His Son into the world to condemn you, but to save you, because He loves you with eternal love (John 3:17, 18). There is no greater love!
21-2 So Great in Giving
(2 Corinthians 8:9)
The price for your salvation, paid by the Lord Jesus Christ, was the greatest ever paid for anything. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (v. 9). This verse reveals that “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is the grace of giving:
1) God the Father demonstrated the grace of giving when He “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
2) God the Son demonstrated the grace of giving when He gave His life on Calvary to redeem your lost soul and make you a child of God (John 1:12).
3) God the Holy Spirit demonstrated the grace of giving when, on the Day of Pentecost, He came to this earth in a special way to convict men:
a) “Of sin, because they do not believe in Me” (John 16:9).
b) “Of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more” (John 16:10). He convicts us of our need of Christ’s righteousness (Romans 10:4).
c) “Of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:11). So are all unbelievers: “He who believes in Him is not condemned judged]; but he who does not believe is condemned [judged] already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
You may know the grace of God factually, but you will never begin to comprehend God’s grace of giving until you experientially accept His gift—salvation by grace, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Only then will you begin to understand the great transformation taking place in your life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
To know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, you must know that, “though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor” (v. 9). He was rich in eternity past with God the Father; but he left the Father’s side for this sinful world. He left the glory of heaven for the sorrow and gloom of this sin-cursed world. He was rich in the care and worship of all the angels of heaven. The Father said, “Let all the angels of God worship Him” (Hebrews 1:6). Yet, for your sake, He became poor, allowing sinful men to mock Him, curse Him, crucify Him, and put Him to shame. He, “despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2), endured the agonies of hell on the cross that you might be rich with Him in glory forever and ever. Jesus Christ, the God-Man, suffered physically (Isaiah 52:14), spiritually (Isaiah 53:3-6), and emotionally (Matthew 27:46). He “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). Never did a man suffer like this Man. It was all for you, that you might be rich in this life and eternally rich in the life to come (John 20:30, 31).
21-3 So Great in Power
The power of the gospel is concentrated in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Paul says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). It is the most profound doctrine in the Bible. We often hear it called the “simple gospel.” In one sense this is true, yet it is also profound. Peter said, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18, 19). The gospel is incomprehensible to the unregenerate mind, because it came from the infallible mind of God and is beyond sinful man’s fallible comprehension (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).
Paul said the following things about the gospel (Romans 1:16-18):
1) “I am not ashamed of the gospel [Good News] of Christ.” Paul was not ashamed of the gospel because he was not ashamed of Christ, his Messiah (cf. Mark 8:38). Death on the cross was so degrading and dishonorable that it was not spoken of in public. But Paul would go to Rome and preach the death of Christ on the ignominious cross.
2) “For it [the gospel] is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” The gospel of Christ will not deliver you from sin until you believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). This gospel, the principal doctrine of the Bible is:
a) Christ died on the cross bearing your sins in His own body (1 Peter 2:24);
b) He was in the tomb three days and nights (Matthew 12:40);
c) He rose from the dead on the third day in His glorified human body (John 20:24¬-31).
3) “For in it [the gospel of Christ] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” Christ is the righteousness of God; the believer is made righteous with the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Faith is the believer’s principle of life: “as it is written, ‘The just [those who have been declared by God to be righteous in Christ] shall live by faith.’
4) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress [or, hold down] the truth in unrighteousness.”
In these last days the human race is fast losing God-consciousness, because it is no longer sin-conscious. People are not conscious of the wrath of God that will be poured out on all ungodliness and unrighteousness on men. There is only one place that man can hide from the wrath of God; that place is in Christ.
21-4 So Great in Grace
Salvation by the grace of God rules out all human effort in accomplishing God’s saving work. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves” (v. 8). Saving grace is not of yourself, “it is the gift of God.” Even faith is not of yourself, it too is the gift of God. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Saving faith comes from God as the sinner hears the word of God.
God’s grace is inexhaustibly rich in saving and keeping power. Your sins may be great and many, but God’s grace is greater. “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20). God’s saving grace is limitless, inexhaustible, and eternal. Christ settled the question of sin on the cross; now you must settle the question concerning the Son—what will you do with Jesus? Will you accept Him by faith as your personal Savior, or reject Him? You will accept Him by faith or reject Him in unbelief, but you cannot ignore Him. When you are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you enter the state of eternal salvation, with all the rights of a born-again child of God. Describing the greatness of this grace, the apostle John says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1, 2).
21-5 So Great in Invitation
The time is coming when God, in love, will extend the last invitation for the lost to come and be saved by His grace. Before John closed the last book of the Bible (The Revelation of Jesus Christ), it is as though God said, “John, give the invitation one more time for the lost to come and be saved,” for in verse 17 John wrote:
1) “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ ” The Holy Spirit, who indwells the bride (the church), will invite the lost to come and receive Christ and be saved.
2) “And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ ” All who are saved at the time of the last invitation will join the Spirit and the bride by inviting others to come and be saved.
3) “And let him who thirsts come.” Jesus gave the same invitation in the temple almost two thousand years ago. He said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). At Jacob’s well Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13, 14). When you accept God’s invitation to come to Christ by faith, and drink the Water of Life, God’s promise is that you “will never thirst.” In other words, salvation through Jesus Christ satisfies forever. “Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (v. 17). Salvation is free, but not cheap. It cost the Lord Jesus Christ His life’s blood.
The apostle Peter tells us that we are “not redeemed [bought back from Satan and sin] with corruptible things, like silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (l Peter 1:18, 19). The blood of Jesus is precious because:
1) It cleanses you from all your sins—not some, but all—past, present, and future (1 John 1:7);
2) Without the shed blood of Jesus, there is no remission (forgiveness) of sin (Hebrews 9:22);
3) Jesus loved us and washed us from all our sins in His own blood (Revelation 1:5).
The Philippian jailer brought Paul and Silas out of prison into the outer court of the jail and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” His question revealed to them that this man was ready to accept Christ by faith as his personal Savior. Their answer to his question was simple, to the point, and yet profound: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” So the jailer and his family believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and were given eternal salvation (Acts 16:25-34).
When you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him as your personal Savior, you will be saved immediately and eternally. “He who believes in the Son [Jesus Christ] has [present tense] everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
21-6 So Great in Assurance
(2 Timothy 1:12)
The apostle Paul had a “know-so” salvation; he said, “for I know whom I have believed [his faith was in the risen Christ] and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (v. 12).
1) Do you know in whom you believe? Is your faith in God the Son, or is it in church membership, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, good works, the law, or a moral life? We are to observe all these things because we are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but never in order to be saved. If your faith is in anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ and Him alone, it is a vain faith (Acts 4:12).
2) Are you convinced that Christ is able—that He has the power to keep you saved? He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). He has all power to save and all power to keep. He has all power over all other powers; His power is greater than the power of Satan, demons, sin, or this evil world system. Put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you and keep you saved. You are not trusting a weak or limited Savior. He has all authority in heaven and on earth, and He is able to do above all that we can ask or think, according to the power of God that works in the believer (Ephesians 3:20).
3) The believer’s assurance of salvation is based on the following witnesses:
a) God’s Word witnesses to you. “If we receive the witness of men [and we do—as, for example, the written witness of fallible historians], the witness of God is greater [because He is infallible]” (1 John 5:9). If you believe the witness of fallible man, why can’t you believe the witness of the infallible God? Let God witness to you out of His Word—“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know [not doubt] that you have eternal live” (1 John 5:13). Yes, God wants you to be saved and know it.
b) The Holy Spirit, who indwells all believers, witnesses with the believer’s spirit, confirming his adoption as a child of God. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16). God’s Word and the Holy Spirit witness as one, that you may know that you have eternal salvation.
The Holy Spirit cannot witness with your spirit apart from your faith in God’s Word. The better you know the Word of God, the greater your faith will become. The depth of your faith will determine the strength of your assurance. You can be saved and know it, because God, who cannot lie, tells you so in His infallible Word. When God says it, you can know it.
Master Outline 21- So Great Salvation
 Jesus’ earthly ministry began with what marvelous message?
 What great question is asked in Hebrews 2:3?
 What was the Philippians’ Jailer’s question to Paul and Silas, and what was their answer?
 What was Jesus’ statement to Zachaeus concerning salvation?
 How do we know this is the only salvation?
 How will every knee bow?
 Salvation is so great in ___________________ because “_______________________
 What is the essence and holy nature of God?
 How do we know it is the love of God that draws the lost to Jesus?
 God in his ____________________ _____________________ is drawing you to Himself
with the ______________________ of eternal _______________________.
 Explain the price paid for your salvation.
 The “Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is the grace of _________________________.
 Explain the three (3) aspects of the “grace of giving” as it relates to the Trinity.
 You may know the grace of God’s _________________________, but you will never begin
To comprehend God’s grace of giving until you accept His gift of salvation.
 Was Jesus rich in eternity past? YES or NO. Explain.
 What was included in Jesus becoming poor?
 The power of the gospel is concentrated in what three (3) areas?
 What is the most profound doctrine in the Bible?
 To whom is the gospel uncomprehendable?
 In these last days the human race is fast losing God – consciousness why?
 The only place man can hide from God’s wrath is where?
 Just as Saving Grace is not of you, so faith is not yourself. Explain.
 God’s grace is inexhaustible only in saving power. TRUE or FALSE. Explain.
 What are the three (3) qualities of God’s Grace?
 Since Christ settled the question of sin on the cross, what question must we now settle?
 How did the Apostle John describe the greatness of God’s grace?
 Explain who the “Spirit” and the “Bride” are in Revelation 22:17.
 List three (3) reasons why the blood of Jesus is precious.
 What type of salvation did the Apostle Paul have?
 If our faith is based on anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ and Him alone, what type of faith is it?
 How much power does Jesus Christ have?
 What two (2) witnesses do we have of our assurance of salvation?
 The Holy Spirit __________________ witness with your spirit ____________________
from your faith in ____________________ _______________________.
 The ___________________________ of your faith will determine the
________________________ of your assurance.