Three Stages of Salvation

Three Stages of Salvation
Hebrews 2:3 says “How shall we escape¹ª if we have neglected so great a salvation,¹ª which, having had its beginning in being spoken by the Lord, has been confirmed to us by those who heard”.
Salvation here refers back to what is mentioned in 1:14. It is God’s full salvation, from the forgiveness of sins to the sharing of the coming kingdom with glory. It refers not only to what Christ has done and will do for us but also to Himself, the One who is able to save us to the uttermost (7:25). As the Son of God —as God —and as the Son of Man —as man —He is our salvation. His wonderful person plus His splendid work constitute so great a salvation, a salvation that none of us should neglect. Our negligence will cause us to miss this great salvation’s (1) most precious part —the enjoying of Christ as our saving life and rest in this age; and (2) most glorious part —the inheriting of Christ’s kingdom with glory in the coming age.

Man is of three parts: spirit, soul and body. God’s salvation is of three stages to fully save this three-part man.

The first stage of salvation is the initial stage. This stage saves our spirit. God has done this firstly by His death on the cross to take care of our objective problem before God. Second, as the life-giving Spirit, He has regenerated us in our spirit. This stage includes redemption, forgiveness of sins, cleansing of sins, justification and reconciliation. The result is regeneration. This is the beginning of the Christian life.
The second stage is the progressing stage. This stage saves us in our soul. Although God is now in our human spirit through regeneration, our soul is still full of Satan’s nature. We think evil thoughts. We lie and hate others. We are jealous and full of our own opinions. We love what God hates and hate what God loves. We are evil, we are sin, and even in a certain sense, we are Satan. But, we are also Christians who have received the divine life into us. In this stage, God deals with our evil soul. Regeneration only puts Christ into our spirit. We need to allow Christ to spread into our soul day by day. This will take our entire lifetime. By opening to Him, by praying and by confessing our sins, we allow Him to spread in us. This spreading is our sanctification. In this way, He deposits His holy nature into our soul from our spirit. At the same time He transforms us from an old man to a new man, from being full of the satanic life to being full of God.
The third stage is the completing stage. In this stage our body is saved and God’s full salvation reaches its climax. It is the result of the second stage. Leaving the starting block in the race is the initial stage. Running the course is the progressing stage. Crossing the finish line is the completing stage. You cannot cross the finish line unless you have started and progressed in the course of the race. The faster you progress, the earlier you will complete the race.

This stage is glorious. It finally solves all our problems and consummates God’s eternal purpose. In this stage, our body is conformed to the body of the Lord’s glory. Our body is transfigured, glorified. We inherit God’s kingdom to reign with Christ as co-kings and obtain the topmost enjoyment of the Lord. By this stage, our spirit will be full of life due to regeneration. Our soul will be full of Christ due to sanctification and transformation. We will think the way God thinks. We will love what God loves and hate what He hates. Our will will always choose what God would choose, and our body will be full of the glory of the Lord. Then we will fully be sons of God, full of God’s life, expressing God and representing Him eternally. Through all of this process, we will be built together as the glorious church, the New Jerusalem. Hallelujah! God will be fully satisfied and we will be fully saved!
We can only arrive at this stage by being initially saved and then by being sanctified and transformed. Brothers and sisters, don’t you want to arrive at the third stage? If you do, then go on to enjoy Him as the Spirit and the Word. Then, cooperate with Him daily. Allow Him to spread in you by always following His leading within you and by confessing your sins and shortcomings to Him. In these ways, you will go on from the initial stage of your salvation through the progressive stage, and you will enter into the full enjoyment of your salvation in the completing stage.

Further References:
See Compendium of God’s Full Salvation (LSM),
Chapter 20 and 26;
Holy Bible- Recovery Version with foot notes

or
1.    Life-study of Matthew (Lee/LSM), p. 587.
2.    Life-study of Romans (Lee/LSM), pp. 13, 252-254, 273-275, 453-454, 494-495, 556, 565-566.
3.    Life-study of Colossians (Lee/LSM), pp. 245-246, 525-526.
4.    Life-study of Second Corinthians (Lee/LSM), pp. 33-34, 105-106, 524, 526-529.
5.    Life-study of Genesis (Lee/LSM), pp. 124-125.
6.    The Kingdom (Lee/LSM), p. 390.
7.    Life-study of Hebrews (Lee/LSM), pp. 104-105, 136-137, 230-231, 263-264, 422-423.
8.    Life-study of Ephesians (Lee/LSM), pp. 168, 314-315, 434, 480-481, 551-552.
9.    Life-study of John (Lee/LSM), pp. 67-68, 218, 383, 407-409, 458, 491, 565-567.
10.  The Divine Dispensing of the Divine Trinity (Lee/LSM), pp. 223, 234.
11.  The Spirit and Body (Lee/LSM), p. 25.
12.  Life-study of Philippians (Lee/LSM), pp. 86, 97-98, 328, 338, 340-342, 356-357, 364, 383.
13.  Life-study of Revelation (Lee/LSM), p. 428.
14.  Young People’s Training (Lee/LSM), pp. 179-180.
15.  Life-study of First Peter (Lee/LSM), pp. 92, 129, 134, 303-305.
16.  Life-study of Exodus (Lee/LSM), pp. 407, 550, 888-889.
17.  The Kernel of the Bible (Lee/LSM), p. 17.
18.  Life-study of First Corinthians (Lee/LSM), pp. 418, 523-524.
19.  Experiencing Christ as the Offerings for the Church Meetings (Lee/LSM), pp. 25-26, 52.
20.  Life Messages, vol. 1 (Lee/LSM), p. 256.
21.  Concerning the Triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Lee/LSM), pp. 1-5.
22.  The Stream (Lee/LSM), vol. 4, no. 2, p. 13.
23.  Truth Messages (Lee/LSM), pp. 9-10, 16-18.
24.  Perfecting Training (Lee/LSM), pp. 341-343, 347-350.
25.  Experience of Christ (Lee/LSM), pp. 45-46.
26.  The Experience of Life (Lee/LSM), pp. 151-152, 244.
27.  The Economy of God (Lee/LSM), pp. 73, 90-93.
28.  The Parts of Man (Lee/LSM), pp. 21-22, 33.
29.  Life-study of Galatians (Lee/LSM), pp. 242, 251-252.
30.  Life-study of Second Peter (Lee/LSM), pp. 27-28, 45.

Photo credits:

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Sonship in the Book of Romans

ImageLast night, we enjoyed the Word concerning Sonship found in the book of Romans. It is found in the life-study of Romans message 53.

You can read it by following this link: http://www.ministrybooks.org

After reading, one of the brothers asked: So, how can we serve in the gospel of His Son (based on Romans 1:9)? Such an interesting question for us. We were then tried to answer based on what we’ve got from our reading of the Word. I then shared, for us to serve in the gospel of His Son, first we need to know what gospel is.  The gospel does not simply involve matters such as redemption, forgiveness, justification, reconciliation, cleansing, and regeneration. All these are aspects of God’s salvation. But God’s salvation has a goal, and that goal is sonship. This means that redemption, forgiveness, justification, reconciliation, cleansing, and regeneration are all for the fulfillment of God’s desire to have many sons to be His expression. A sister then added, that to serve in the gospel of His Son, we need to be in the Son (that is, to be in our mingled spirit) and to be one of  the many sons. For the gospel of God is concerned with this producing of many sons conformed to the image of Christ.

Now, how the many sons are brought into being? The book of Romans is a record of sinners in the flesh becoming sons of God in power and by resurrection. In 3:20 we read that “by the works of law no flesh shall be justified before Him.” This indicates that the flesh, the fallen man, is hopeless. Chapter seven reveals how ugly and troublesome the flesh is. Chapter eight then describes the utter inability of the flesh to keep the law of God. Before we were saved, we were just flesh; we were hopeless, troublesome, and weak. But Christ was made in the likeness of the flesh of sin, and in His crucifixion He brought this flesh to the cross and terminated it. According to the flesh, we cannot be designated sons of God. We can only become sons of God according to the Spirit of holiness. As believers in Christ, we have both the flesh, which we received of our natural parents, and the Spirit of holiness, who has been given to us by God. Like the Lord Jesus, we also have two natures, the human nature and the divine nature. Now we can boldly say, “Lord Jesus, You have two natures, and we have two natures also. You were made flesh, and we also are flesh. Within You there was the Spirit of holiness, and within us there is the Spirit of holiness.” Oh, within us we have the Spirit of holiness, who is actually the wonderful Person of Christ Himself! Holiness is the substance, the essence, the element, the nature, of God. This holy nature of God is absolutely different from all other things and separate from them. The Spirit of holiness refers to God’s very essence. Thus, by having the Spirit of holiness, we have God’s substance within us. According to this Spirit, we are being designated the sons of God.

ImageWhat is then the process of sonship? Transformation is for conformation. According to 8:29, we all shall be conformed to the image of Christ. By conformation, we are brought into the reality of sonship. When we were born again, we had just a small portion of the sonship. Now the sonship needs to spread within us until it saturates our whole being. Eventually, at the time of the Lord’s coming back, even our physical body will be saturated with the sonship. Thus, the saturation of our body with the sonship is the redemption of our body.But today our spirit is in the sonship, but our body is not. According to the spirit we are sons of God, but according to our physical body, we are not yet in the sonship. The transfiguration, the redemption, of our body at the Lord’s coming back will be the last step of the sonship. At that time, we shall be brought wholly and thoroughly into sonship. In every part of our being—spirit, soul, and body—we shall be the real sons of God. Then we shall be glorified. Praise the Lord that today we are undergoing the process of sonship, the process of becoming sons of God. Also, within us we have the Spirit of sonship as a foretaste. When we cry, “Abba, Father,” we have a sweet enjoyment of the Holy Spirit as a foretaste. This Spirit of sonship is now resurrecting us, sanctifying us, transforming us, and conforming us to the image of Christ. (Taken form life-study of Romans msg.53)