Title: “Jehovah Is Salvation”
Text: Numbers 13:16
Reading: Psalm 62:1-12
Subject: Salvation - The Work of God Alone
Date: Sunday Morning - March 3, 1996
Tape # S-30
In Numbers 13 Moses selected twelve men from the tribes of Israel to go into and search out the land of Canaan. “Of the tribe of Ephraim,” he sent, “Oshea the son of Nun” (v. 8). But before he sent them into Canaan, Moses changed the name of Oshea. In verse 16 we read, “Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua,” or Joshua. If you will look in the margin of your Bible, you will notice that the name Jehoshua means, “Jehovah Is Salvation!” When Moses changed Oshea’s name to Jehoshua, he was making a declaration to encourage the spies in their work and to encourage all Israel to believe God and take possession of the land. He was declaring to them that which is the basis of all true faith - “Jehovah Is Salvation!” That is my subject today.
“Jehovah Is Salvation!” This is the essence of everything taught in the Bible! I cannot find any other doctrine taught in this Book. The doctrine of this Book is the doctrine of grace.
Illustration: The professor at Ashland Community College.
When Moses stood before the children of Israel at the Red Sea, he cried, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord!”
The whole Book of Jonah is a declaration and an example of that which he learned and declared while he was in the whale’s belly - “Salvation is of the Lord!”
David’s psalms of praise declare over and over again that Jehovah is salvation. He sang, “The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord!” (Psa. 37:39). Read Psalm 62 again the whole psalm declares this message.
· (v. 1) - “Truly, my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.”
· (v. 2) - “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.”
· (v. 5) - “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
· (v. 6) - “He only is my rock and my salvation.”
· (v. 7) - “In God is my salvation and my glory!”
· (v. 12)- “Unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy!”
David never tired of ascribing salvation to God. He had no other hope. On his dying bed, his last words were these: “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure: for this is all my salvation and all my desire!”
When Jeremiah counseled his own soul and encouraged himself with hope, it was with these words - “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam. 3:26).
All the prophets proclaimed, “Jehovah is Salvation!” So too did all the apostles. With one voice, we hear them declare, “By grace are ye saved though faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Tit. 3;5).
If this was the message of all the prophets who spoke for God in the Old Testament and the message of all the apostles who spoke for God in the New Testament, then this is the message of every preacher who speaks for God today. Any preacher, any church, and doctrine that departs from, diminishes, or denies this doctrine to any degree, departs from, diminishes, and denies the gospel, and must not be tolerated (Gal. 1:6-9).
Proposition: All error, all heresy begins right here, adding something man does to the work of the triune God in salvation. All heresy is a departure from this glorious truth - “Jehovah Is Salvation!”
This is my doctrine. This is my hope. This is my religion. This is my message. All my theology and all my preaching can be summed up in these three words - “Jehovah is Salvation!”
The whole of the work whereby a son of Adam is delivered from the dominion of sin, the power of satan, the kingdom of darkness, the curse and condemnation of God’s holy law, spiritual death, and the wrath of God, is the work of God alone! The whole work of bringing a sinner from the pit of corruption to the possession of glory is God’s work, and God’s work alone! Jehovah is Salvation! Neither angels nor men make any contribution to that blessed work. It is the work of the triune God alone! Jehovah is salvation!
· Jehovah the Father chose us and predestinated us unto eternal life!
· Jehovah the Son redeemed us and intercedes for us in heaven!
· Jehovah the Spirit calls, regenerates, and preserves all whom the Father elected and the Son redeemed!
Recognizing that salvation is God’s work alone, we also recognize that no power in heaven, earth, or hell can prevent or even hinder the salvation of God’s elect!
Divisions: The Lord God teaches his people three things with reference to the gospel of his sovereign grace and mercy in Christ.
1. The Meaning of It.
2. The Experience of It.
3. The Importance of It.
Believers are men and women who are taught of God; and those who are taught of God are well taught (John 6:45).
I. Every believer is taught THE MEANING OF GRACE.
Believers can define grace. They know the meaning of Jonah’s words, “Salvation is of the Lord.” They know that salvation is more than a doctrine, a decision, or a plan. We know that salvation is a Person. With Moses we say, “Jehovah is Salvation! With Simeon, holding Christ in the arms of faith, we realize that he is God’s Salvation!
· We cannot call that salvation which only puts men in a savable condition!
· We cannot call that salvation which supplies part of the work and leaves part of it for men to complete!
· We cannot call that salvation which puts a sinner on the road to heaven, but leaves the success or failure of the long journey in the hands of man!
A bridge that only reaches half way across the river is no bridge at all. Call it a bridge if you want to; but it will not carry you across the river! Even so, a salvation that does not carry us all the way from Egypt to Canaan is no salvation! Salvation carries us all the way from the dunghill to the throne! (Rom. 8:29-39).
This salvation, from beginning to end, is the work of God (Eccles. 3:14).
· He commenced it!
· He continues it.
· He completes it!
The psalmists said, “Then shall I be satisfied, when I awake in thy likeness.” And if I do not awake at last in his likeness, I am not now, nor have I ever been saved!
· Philippians. 1:6
A. God the Father made Christ our representative and surety in the covenant of grace before the world began.
All that God has for sinners is in Christ (Eph. 1:3; II Tim. 1:9).
1. He loved us in Christ!
2. He chose us in Christ!
3. He accepted us in Christ!
4. He redeemed us in Christ!
5. He crucified us in Christ!
6. He raised us up in Christ!
7. He made us sit down at his right hand in heaven in Christ!
B. In the fullness of time the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth and fulfilled all that the law and justice of God demanded from us.
· II Corinthians 5:21
1. He brought in everlasting righteousness!
2. He made complete satisfaction!
3. He put away sin!
C. At the appointed time of love, God the Holy Spirit quickened us, regenerated us, gave us spiritual life in union with Christ by the Word of Truth.
· James 1:18
D. The Lord God, by his Spirit, through the merits of Christ’s blood, by the power of his saving grace, gave us repentance and faith and will sustain us in these graces until we enter into heavenly glory.
· Repentance is the gift of God (Rom. 2:4).
· Faith is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8).
· Perseverance is the gift of God (John 10:27-28).
Every believer knows these things. Every person who has been with Jonah, down in the belly of hell, and has been delivered from the belly of hell by the grace of God knows that “Salvation is of the Lord!” We know that Jehovah is Salvation.
Yet, I know that it is quite possible for a person to know the meaning of salvation and never know the experience of it. To such people the truth of God is just dry, dead doctrine. It is all intellectual theory. It is religion of the letter, not of the Spirit.
II. So, secondly, I want you to see that God’s people know more than the meaning of salvation and grace. Every believer knows THE EXPERIENCE OF IT! We know by experience that Jehovah is Salvation.
Understand what I say, it will do you no good at all to define salvation in the clearest terms possible, if you have not experienced it in your heart. Salvation is a heart work!
· Isaiah 29:13
· Matthew 15:8-9
· Romans 10:9-10
Believers know the gospel of the grace of God by experience. With us it is not a theory, or an idea, or even so much a doctrine. It is an experience! I know that Jehovah is Salvation! With David, I say, “In God is my salvation!” Everything I have experienced in my soul compels me to cry out with Jonah, “Salvation is of the Lord.” Let me show you what I am talking about.
A. Do you believe in THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN?
I do. The Bible teaches it clearly (Rom. 5:12; Matt. 15:19). But I do not know as much about the doctrine of sin as I do about the fact of it. I know that “I am carnal, sold under sin.” I know that, “When I would do good, evil is present with me.” “I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing!”
· I am sin!
· I have sinned!
· I am sinning!
· I shall yet sin!
B. Do you believe in THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION?
Of course I do! You do not believe the Bible if you do not believe in election. I see that doctrine everywhere in the Word of God.
· The elect angels.
· The choice of Abraham.
· Israel, an elect nation.
· The chosen apostles.
· The election of grace (II Thess. 2:13-14; John 15:16).
But I know a great deal more about the fact of election than I do about the mechanics of it.
1. He loved me with an everlasting love!
2. He sought me out of the ruins of fallen humanity!
3. He called me by his almighty grace!
“I was lost on the broad way of sin and despair,
Crushed ‘neath the burden of sorrow and care;
My constant companions were trouble and care;
‘Til Jesus reached down and lifted me out!”
C. Do you believe in THE DOCTRINE OF EFFECTUAL REDEMPTION?
Certainly I do! The Word of God everywhere assures us that all for whom Christ died shall be saved. “He shall not fail!” “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied!” The grace of God cannot be frustrated. Christ did not die in vain! Yet, I know much more about the blessed fact of redemption than I do the doctrine of it.
1. His blood cleanses me from all sin!
2. His blood purges my conscience of guilt!
3. His blood gives me access to God!
4. His blood gives me peace!
D. Do you believe in THE DOCTRINE OF IRRESISTIBLE GRACE?
I certainly do! Grace is the work of God, and God’s work cannot be resisted. Grace is not an offer from God, but the operation of God. Who can resist God? Who can withstand the power of the Almighty? But I know more about the fact of his irresistible grace than I do the theological arguments in favor of it.
1. He called me (Gal. 1:15).
2. He revealed Christ in me.
3. He made me willing in the day of his power (Psa. 65:4; 110:3).
4. It was his distinguishing grace which brought salvation to me and wrought salvation in me (I Cor. 4:7).
E. Do you believe in THE DOCTRINE OF FINAL PERSEVERANCE?
Most definitely! (John 10:28; I Pet. 1:5). But when I think of the rivers I must yet cross - The mountains still to be climbed - The valleys I must yet pass through - The deserts and wastelands over which I must yet pass - When I think of the enemies around me, the temptations before me, and the sin within me - When I think of the malice and power of satan - I realize there is no way I will ever persevere unless he keeps me.
· He has kept me!
· He keeps me now!
· He will keep me tomorrow.
He will keep me till the river
Rolls its’ waters at my feet!
Then He’ll bear me safely over,
Where my Savior I shall meet!
III. “Jehovah is Salvation!” Every believer know the meaning of it and the experience of it. Lastly, God teaches his people THE IMPORTANCE OF IT.
A. Every believer will holdfast the gospel of the grace of God in Christ, because this is the only hope he has (II Tim. 1:13).
· “Jehovah is Salvation!”
· “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” (See Matt. 7:22).
B. Every believer is taught of God to defend and contend for the message of grace, because this message alone honors and glorifies God (Jude 3; I Cor. 1:26-31). “Jehovah is Salvation!”
C. Every believer bears witness to this fact, “Jehovah is Salvation,” because we know that there is no other hope for sinners!
1. If I gave you a law to keep, you would break it.
2. If I gave you a race to run, you would never finish it.
3. If I gave you a work to do, you would mess it up.
4. If I gave you a price to pay, you would not be able to pay it.
But my message is Jehovah is Salvation! Trust him. Look to Christ. Keep on looking to Christ. He is salvation. This, God enabling you, you can do!
1. Salvation begins by looking to Christ (Isa. 45:22).
2. Salvation is maintained looking to Christ (Heb. 12:1-2).
3. Salvation is completed looking to Christ (I John 3:2).
4. God help you to look to Christ!