Past, Present and Future

Part 3 - The Full Scope of Salvation series
By: John Herbert | Sep 2, 2007
Isa 46:9.. For I am God, and there is no other;... 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'

As we continue our study of the full scope of salvation it is vital for us to understand that Man is a three part being, spirit, soul and body, and that salvation must encompass Man as a complete being. We shall revisit this often overlooked truth today and also begin to see that scripture speaks of a past salvation, a present process of salvation and a future salvation - salvation in three parts in fact.

Message Notes

Past, Present and Future

1). Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'

2). So far in our study of the full scope of salvation we have seen the context into which salvation is placed ? a context that reveals God?s plans and purposes for His Son, clearly revealed in - Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
a). And for Man as a joint heir with God?s Son - Ge 1:26 ? Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion?..
b). 2Ti 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
c). Tit 1:2 in hope of eternal[Age lasting] life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
d). Heb 2:7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.

3). We also saw in the Garden of Eden the Man and the Woman created in an unfallen state and then the effect of sin upon them causing a change in that state - Ge 2:16 ? And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

4). Now it is so important, because of the death that takes place here in the Garden, and because of what God does subsequently to deal with this death, that we are firmly established in the truth of Man having been created as a tripartite ? that is three part being ? body, soul and spirit. If we don?t have this firmly set in our foundation it cannot help but lead us into all sorts of confusion regarding salvation.
a). We looked at scriptures last time from 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Hebrews 4:12 that clearly show this distinction,
b). 1Th 5:23 ? Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
c). Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit
d). But I want to take a moment now to focus on Jesus, as that which scripture says of Him gives us further irrefutable proof of this reality.

5). We will remember that Man was created in the image and likeness of God and the Hebrew word used for God in Genesis 1:26 is the plural noun ?Elohim? meaning three or more.
a). We know of course that God is a trinity, being three and no more than three ? God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
b). When Christ is on the earth He is described as Elohim manifested in the flesh ? Joh 1:1 ? In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God??14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
c). Also - Col 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
d). Jesus, being the only begotten Son of God, was born in the likeness of all other human beings, except, of course, without a sin nature.
i/ 2Co 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,
e). His being in the likeness of Man is confirmed for us in ?
Php 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man,
f). Appearance = Greek word ? schema = patterned after
g). So not only is Jesus, Elohim ? the three parts of the Godhead bodily, but He must also be ? patterned after Man, a three part being, body, soul and spirit.
h). And this is exactly what scripture testifies to. And what we are about to read is not peculiar to Jesus because He is the Son of God, it is the way it is because He is patterned after Man, and Man was made by Him a three part being after His own image.

6). Firstly, let?s deal with His spirit - Lu 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.'" Having said this, He breathed His last.
a). Let?s make sure we are absolutely clear ? what did He commit into His Father?s hands? ? His spirit.
i/ We see this again with respect to the martyr Stephen in ?
Ac 7:59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
b). Now see what the Holy Spirit says through Peter on the Day of Pentecost with regards to the Lord?s resurrection - Ac 2:23 "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 "For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the LORD always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.' 29 "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
30 "Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
c). Hades = the place of departed souls ? please note that Hades is never used to refer to the place of eternal damnation. Eternal damnation takes place in the Lake of Fire ? nowhere else.
d). So, according to our scripture where was the Lord?s soul? ? Hades. And throughout the OT the location of Hades is given as ?down? ? that is somewhere towards the earth?s centre - Lu 10:15 "And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades.
i/ Hades is the Greek equivalent of the OT Sheol.
ii/ Isa 14:15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
e). Where was His spirit? ? with the Father.
f). Was the Father in Hades? ? No, His location is the third heaven, or the farthest recesses of the north. Geographically, entirely in the opposite direction.
g). So with the Father in one location and Hades in another ? with the Lord?s spirit with the Father and His soul in Hades ? could the soul and the spirit be one and the same thing? ? this would be clearly impossible.

h). And the Lord?s body? - Mt 27:59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
i). So, let?s review for a moment (Visualize this) ? the Lord?s spirit is with the Father, His soul is in Hades and His body is in Joseph of Arimathaea?s tomb ? three parts in three separate locations.
j). And this separation continued until the soul and the spirit re-entered His body at the time of the Lord?s resurrection.
k). This would tell us much about the experience of all believers and our own if we should die before the rapture.

7). So then, Elohim is a trinity; Jesus, who is Elohim manifested in the flesh is also a trinity, and Man, created in the ?image? and ?likeness? of Elohim must of necessity also be a trinity.
a). And the full scope of salvation provided by the triune God for fallen Man must pertain to Man as a complete being and must therefore encompass all three parts of Man?s being ? spirit, soul and body.
b). Just as an aside the number three in God?s dealings with Man occurs in a number of settings.
c). The human race from God?s perspective is divided into three parts ? Gentile, Jew and Christian.
d). There is a further division of human beings into three categories ? soulical, spiritual and carnal ? soulical referring to the unsaved and spiritual and carnal referring to the saved.
e). And ultimately the earth will be ruled by three first born sons.
f). Israel, who has already been adopted into that status, those from the church who will be adopted as firstborn sons at the Judgment Seat, and the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten firstborn son.

8). Now to go back to where we were in our last study we will recall that God had told Adam that in the day that he ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would surely die and we had seen that what died that day was Adam?s and the Woman?s spirit. That part of their being that had a direct connection with God. They experienced a separation from God.
a). Now can we be absolutely certain that this is what happened?
b). Yes ? With their bodies we would have no problem. Their physical bodies did not die that day, but continued for nearly 1000 years.
c). But what about their souls?
d). According to - Le 17:11 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood,
e). Life = Hebrew word ? nephesh = life / soul
f). Life and soul in the Hebrew language and the Greek language ? psuche - are translated from the same word and are interchangeable.
g). So as the soul/life is in the blood and their blood continued to flow their soul did not die.

9). However, remember that sin did impact all three parts of their being.
a). Their spirit died
b). Their soul became corrupted ? it now had a sin nature.
i/ The soul has to do with the natural life of a person and is the seat of a person?s emotions, feelings and desires focused on the person?s man conscious existence ? I think, I need, I want.
ii/ After the fall they were afraid for themselves, they tried to cover themselves and hid from God. All manifestations of a focus on self. Before the fall there was no fear and no need to try and hide.
c). Their bodies began to decay ? although their bodies didn?t die instantly that day, they did begin a process that resulted in their returning to the dust from which they came.

10). The Man?s and the Woman?s attempt to provide a covering for their sin by the work of their own hands, using fig leaves, was completely futile ? only God is able to provide a covering for sin, which He does in the slaying of animals and giving Adam and the Woman tunics of skin to wear to cover their nakedness.

11). This incident gives us our first picture of what redemption will involve ? death and shed blood. And pictures for us the imputed righteousness of Christ that we receive at our new birth.
a). It is at this point, for the Man and the Woman, that their dead spirit passes from ?death into life?.
b). But note this ? although that part of their being that had connection with God had now been restored, they did not return to their original condition before the fall. They still had no covering of glory and they were not placed in the position of rulership for which they had been created.
c). Nor has any person since that time ? except for the God/Man ? the Lord Jesus Christ.
d). The Man and the Woman still possessed a sin nature and their bodies continued to decay.


12). If we bring this into our own experience ? we find this in ?
Eph 2:1 ? And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
a). We were born dead in trespasses and sins and through the death and shed blood of Christ we are made alive.
b). Our spirit, that part of our being that relates to our God conscious existence is restored and is no longer separated from God allowing us to receive spiritual truth.
c). At this point - what we know as our new birth, being born again, being born from above, eternal salvation ? none of us received a covering of glory and none of us are in the position of rulership for which we were created. We have already looked at a scripture from Hebrews 2:7 which shows this very clearly.

13). There is no doubt then that our spirit is eternally saved as a result of our faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
a). Yet we still have a sin nature - 1Jo 1:8 ? If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
b). And our body is still in the process of decay.
c). But if we are ever to fulfill the purpose for which God created us we will have to be in the same condition as Adam and the Woman before the fall ? a live spirit, a soul without a sin nature, an immortal body covered with glory.
d). A quick calculation will reveal that we have one of the three, but not all of the three.
e). And if God?s purpose for us is to be fulfilled ? which it must ? just remember our opening scripture, then there must also be provision for the salvation for our soul and body ? and as we don?t have that salvation now, it must remain something out ahead of us.

14). And it is no surprise that this is what scripture shows.

15). In some of our English translation of the Bible we read the word salvation and saved and in the words themselves there is no indication of any time frame.
a). But within the original Greek language salvation is spoken of in three ? a past salvation / a present process of salvation / and a future salvation.
b). In other words, according to the scriptures, we have been saved, we are being saved and we are about to be saved.
c). Let?s look at the first of these - Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
i/ Please notice ? ?you have been saved? ? this is past tense and is a translation of two Greek words that form what is called a ?periphrastic perfect?
ii/ To make this simple, the way this is written in the original language is the most emphatic declaration of an act that was completed in time past that exists in its completed form into the present that could be written.
iii/ Salvation here in Ephesians is brought about by grace through faith, something accomplished completely in time past through the finished work of Christ and is the present possession of every believer. And our present possession of this salvation constitutes an active, continuing, ever abiding salvation. Our eternal security could not be presented in a more emphatic way than this.
d). And for the second we go to - 1Co 1:18 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.
i/ Please notice ? ?us who are being saved?
ii/ This is entirely different to that which we see in Ephesians.
iii/ Rather than the tense in the original Greek referring to a past completed act, the original language in 1 Corinthians, accurately translated in NKJV, refers to a present continuous work of salvation in the life of the believer.
iv/ Did you notice that Paul uses the pronoun ?us? thereby including himself, who is already eternally saved in this process? This being so, our scripture can have nothing whatever to do with the eternally lost, this is a scripture referring to the eternally saved.
v/ So then those who are already in possession of an irrevocable eternal salvation are also to be involved in a present continuous work that will also result in a salvation that we do not presently possess ?
Php 2:12 ? Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
e). And thirdly in - Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
i/ Please notice ? ?those who will inherit salvation?
ii/ Here in Hebrews the original language, again accurately translated in NKJV, refers to something which about to occur. Nothing here is past or present. The receiving of this salvation is placed completely in the future.
iii/ Not only is it entirely in the future, but it is a salvation that is to be inherited. Distinguishing it completely from the salvation we presently possess.
iv/ The salvation we presently possess is a free gift not an inheritance - Ro 5:18b?.through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
v/ Inheritance in scripture is a family term ? inheritance is received only within the family structure. The free gift of eternal salvation that we presently possess places us within the family of God and thereby in a position whereby we may receive an inheritance. But this can only be subsequent to our eternal salvation, never a part of it.
vi/ Ga 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
vii/ Ro 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 ? and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
viii/ And of course notice here in our scripture from Romans that there is a distinction made between being an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. Both speak of receiving an inheritance, but receiving an inheritance as a joint heir with Christ is clearly conditional ? ?if indeed we suffer with Him? ? if we don?t suffer with Him, we will not be a joint heir with Him. Although as a child we will remain an heir of God, but we will not have been adopted as a first born son.

16). So then, it should be very obvious to us, through the evidence of scripture, that there is far more to the word salvation than would be admitted in most Christian circles.
a). We have irrefutable proof that we are three part beings and that to fulfill God?s purpose for us all three parts of our being must be saved.
b). We have clearly seen that the salvation of our spirit is a free gift based on Christ?s finished work on the cross, is eternal in its scope and irrevocable.
c). We would also now realize that there is a salvation which we presently possess, yet we still have an unsaved soul and an unsaved body.
d). And that scripture clearly delineates a past salvation, a present process of salvation, and a future salvation.
e). Failing to understand any of this can only lead to confusion and error.

17). Next week, if the Lord permits, we will continue by looking at what scripture says about the salvation of the soul.
Other messages from this series Audio Video PDF Study Notes
Part 1 - The Context
Part 2 - Salvation by Grace Through Faith
Part 3 - Past, Present and Future
Part 4 - The Salvation of the Soul
Part 5 - Profit and Loss
Part 6 - Metamorphosis