Salvation that Restores

We are increasingly healed and restored in our great salvation.

Such a Great Salvation (18)

But we see Jesus… 
Hebrews 2.9

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert.
The parched ground shall become a pool,
And the thirsty land springs of water… 
Isaiah 35.5-7

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive… John 7.37-39

The Spirit within
The great salvation, which is ours in Jesus Christ, comes as a mighty and mysterious work of the Holy Spirit. He opens our eyes to see the truth that is in Jesus, and He unstops our hears to hear the Good News. He tears out our heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh – living and malleable, beating with the spiritual life-blood of His Law and His strength (Ezek. 36.26, 27). He opens our dumb mouths to confess God as our Father and Jesus as our Lord and Savior (Gal. 4.6), and He takes up residence within us (Jn. 14.15-18), an ever-flowing fountain of grace to bless us and, through us, the people to whom God sends us each day (Ps. 46.4-7).

This is a one-time work of the Spirit which translates us out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son, the Kingdom of light and life (Col. 1.13), where, seeing Jesus, drinking of Him and believing in Him, we begin to want to be like Him (Ps. 36.7-9; Phil. 3.7-11). 

But this is just the beginning of the Good News. Our salvation is not merely great enough to effect these miraculous changes in us at once and for all time; it is also great to continue that work, improving our sight and hearing, strengthening our bodies for service, enlivening our tongues to worship and confess, and making us fountains of grace in the deserts of our world, to quench the thirst of many and renew the world with the goodness of God.

And all this increases as we focus on Jesus, seeing Him, knowing Him, delighting in Him, desiring Him, following and obeying Him, and being conformed increasingly to His world-filling image and glory (Eph. 4.7-10; 2 Cor. 3.12-18).

The restoring of sight
Our great salvation continually restores our sight, making it possible, day by day, for us to see new truths and enhanced vistas of salvation, revealed in the Word of God, and new opportunities for serving Jesus in the world to which He sends us.

As our vision of Jesus expands and becomes clearer, and we see ourselves seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2.6) – where He upholds the cosmos by His powerful Word (Heb. 1.3), puts His enemies under His feet (Ps. 110.1), calls and gathers His elect (Matt. 11.28-30), builds His Church (Matt. 16.18; Eph. 4.11-16), and makes the world He has reconciled to God increasingly new and beautiful (Rev. 21.5) – we begin to see our lives and our world differently. We see with the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2.16) areas where the touch of Jesus’ grace or some word of truth can enlighten, leaven, or salt the world. We see people differently, as neighbors deserving of our love; and all the places we go become venues in which to advance the rule of King Jesus and the goodness of the Lord.

As we continue to see Jesus, He continues restoring our sight, so that the world we inhabit presents itself anew each day as fraught with opportunities for bringing the goodness and glory of God to light in the land of the living (Ps. 27.11-13).

The restoring of our hearing
This renewed vision increases and becomes sharper and more constant as the Lord opens our ears to hear His Word. Knowing that He has promised to do so, we spend more time reading the Word, meditating on its truths, listening for the Spirit to enable us to hear great things and mysteries we’ve never heard before (Jer. 33.3), and to guide us more deeply into the truth that is Jesus.

We feed eagerly on the Word of God (Jer. 15.16), ever seeking more of the solid food of the Word (Heb. 5.14), to enhance and expand our vision of Christ and the world, and to prepare the members of our bodies for those good works that show the righteous, peaceable, and joyous reign of Jesus to the world (2 Tim. 3.15-17; Rom. 14.17, 18).

And we are circumspect throughout the day, listening for the Spirit to fill and guide us in every situation, so that we might live and apply the words He is teaching us in the wisdom of God and for His glory (Eph. 5.15-21).

The restoring of our bodies
The more clearly we see and hear, the bolder and more joyous and consistent we will become to worship and witness for Jesus and to serve Him with all our strength. The opportunities that appear before us in our world become invitations and exciting challenges to use our mouths for praise, testimony, and witness, and our hands and feet for creative and loving service. The Spirit empowers us to will and do of God’s good pleasure in the world (Phil. 2.13), with an indwelling power that is exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think (Eph. 3.20). There are no limits to what we may aspire to and work for in seeing the Kingdom of God come in and through us on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6.10).

The progressive and ongoing healing of our eyes, ears, mouths, and strength means that we become increasingly pure and clear, ever-flowing fountains of grace and truth to the people around us, as our great salvation wells up within us and overflows to bring refreshment and renewal to the deserts and people of our world.

We are not simply given sight and ears and hearts and mouths to confess as a once-for-all chorus, to be repeated over and over, as the extent of our salvation. We are being restored and transformed into the image of God, the image of our Lord Jesus Christ; and we expect to grow and worship and witness and serve and create and transform our world by good words and good works, greater even than what He did when He was among us (Jn. 14.12).

That is, if we are not neglecting our great salvation, but attending to it diligently, daily, and deliberately.

So we need a plan. We need to know what the goals are, and what disciplines will help us to lay firmer hold on our great salvation, so that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ can come on earth in and through us with greater presence, promise, and power every day of our lives.

For reflection
1.  How have you experienced the increasing healing of your eyes, ears, mouth, and body for the glory of Christ and His Kingdom?

2.  Meditate on Ephesians 5.15-17. Can we “make the most” of every opportunity if we are not growing in our great salvation? Explain.

3.  What do you aspire to, and what do you hope to accomplish for the Lord, as His great salvation increases in you?

Next steps – Preparation: Review your answers to the three questions above. Spend an extended time in prayer to improve your answer to question 3. Share the results of this exercise with a Christian friend.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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