I tweeted a simple thing about salvation this morning, but I kinda left a good part out. It focused on basically the three stages of salvation. (I know it omits Adoption, Regeneration, etc.) Look out below; I’m quoting my own tweet!

I did not come up with that, BTW.

Anyways, so…what are Christians saved from?

A common answer is, “Hell.”

OK. True, I’d say. But that’s only partially true because hell is the penalty for sin. (I know Romans 6:23a says the wages of sin is death…and Revelation 20:14-15 says being thrown into the lake of fire, i.e. hell, is the “second death.”)

What I really like is that Christians are saved from sin. Because I hate sin…and I don’t just mean sin ‘out there’ like the evil in the world. What bugs me most is the sin that still indwells my members and wages war against me…but I digress.

So we’re saved from sin! And I love the distinctions about it in light of the three stages of salvation. Maybe John Calvin came up with this bit of Soteriology, but I think I heard John MacArthur say it this way:

“You were saved from the penalty of sin; you are being saved from the power of sin; you will be saved from the presence of sin.”

  1. Saved from the penalty of sin (justification).
  2. Saved from the power of sin (sanctification).
  3. Saved from the presence of sin (glorification).

I rejoice for item 1. I struggle for item 2. I long for item 3.