Foretold: new covenant, new life (4)

2014-41.4

Isaiah 60:18b

“You will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.”

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How praise brings salvation – Part 1

There is a connection in Isaiah’s poetry here between salvation walls and praise gates. There is a connection that we commonly experience between praise and salvation. As we express praise, so salvation happens.

When we talk about salvation, spiritual salvation is what we think of first. What is your story of coming to know God personally, leaving the kingdom of darkness and entering into the kingdom of light? This new kingdom, where God’s glory is apparent, can seem very bright at first. Whereas before there was the confusion in being in the darkness – so much that seemed good but didn’t quite make sense, reading the Bible was heavy going – now there can be a different confusion because there is so much to see and take in. Isaiah goes on to talk about this exaggerated brightness that is God’s glory a little later.

But salvation (sozo) is a bigger word that encompasses more than the narrow definition of being saved spiritually, more than just ‘stepping over the line’. It is about the order and life of God being in all of you. As we are spirit, soul and body, so each part receives salvation.

• Salvation of the spirit connects us to the reality of God the Father and Jesus the Saviour and we begin to see things in a new way as the Holy Spirit brings understanding.

Airport Arrivals baggage

“…like arrivals at an airport, trying to carry too much.”

• Salvation of soul – our thought life, emotions, intellect, our will and purpose – follows on. We all come into the kingdom a bit dazed, like arrivals at an airport, trying to carry too much. Some just needs to be left behind, and some exchanged. We find some big changes in what we understand and think about – people who were in the habit of using profane or crude language often find that it just goes. But there are also lots of small but significant changes that carry on. It’s a bit like living in a different country, rather aware that you stand out because of your clothes and accent and habits. In time all those things change, and you take on the new culture.

• Physical salvation is what we call healing. It is controversial only because it seems elusive and not something we can prescribe or control. If it never occurred, or always occurred, there would be little discussion. It can be that a lot happens quite suddenly – the Bible accounts seem to be like this, but bear in mind there are occasions when Jesus saw a process of healing, and prayed for someone again, to receive more. But today’s point is this: what conversation are we having with Him, when there is little apparently happening? When there has been change, but not complete change? Do you line up at the customer service desk, or do you give praise for all God is doing and will have done? ‘Praise’ and ‘prise’ are words that sound similar (especially if you are Australian!). Praise is what prises away the enemy’s frantic grip to keep you (or part of you) in his power.

So prise away!

We’ll continue this theme tomorrow.

When you accepted Jesus and gave your life to Him, what changed for you right away? What took a little longer?

How good or bad are you at expressing praise of God for His goodness – when the battle is still going on?

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