THE LORD JESUS BECOMING OUR SALVATION THROUGH TEN GREAT STEPS
From the Bible we can see that the Lord Jesus became the salvation of those who believe in Him through ten great steps. He passed through these processes to become their salvation.
1. In Eternity Past
In eternity past the Lord Jesus was God (John 1:1). He is the God who is without beginning, self-existing, and ever-existing.
The Lord Jesus, the God who created the universe, was incarnated to become a man. In order to accomplish redemption, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, possessing both divinity and humanity.
3. Lived on the Earth
Through incarnation the Lord Jesus became a genuine man and grew up in a poor carpenter’s home. He passed through human life, living and moving on the earth for thirty-three and a half years, in which He fully tasted the poverty of human life and experienced all its sufferings. At the age of thirty, He went forth to preach and work, extensively contacting different kinds of people. However, His words offended the Jews, the leaders in Judaism, and Caesar’s agents in the Roman Empire. He indeed passed through all the things of human life on earth.
4. Crucified on the Cross
After living on the earth for thirty-three and a half years, He delivered Himself to the place of death and was crucified. He died for our sins and brought us and all things with Him to His death. His death is all-inclusive, not only redeeming us from our sins but also terminating all things of the old creation.
After His death and burial, the Lord Jesus was resurrected. In His incarnation He brought God into man; in His crucifixion He dealt with man’s sins; in His resurrection He brought man into God. This was truly an earth-shaking event and the wonder of all wonders in the universe. By His coming and His going He brought God into man and man into God. In Him God and man converged and were mingled as one. At this point the mingling of God and man was accomplished. Redemption for sins was made, and all negative things in the universe were cleared away. On the first day of the week He was resurrected, and there was a germination in the universe. Furthermore, in His resurrection He became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b) to enter into those who believe in Him that they may have the divine life and partake of the divine nature. God can enter into them, and they can enter into God. This is the effect of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
6. Ascended to the Heavens
After His resurrection from death, the Lord ascended to the heavens. That was God ascending to the heavens with man. This is a tiding of great joy. There is a man sitting on God’s throne of glory in heaven. This is truly a wonderful and glorious matter. He is sitting on the throne in heaven, having both God and man in Him. This One who has ascended to the heavens and is sitting on the throne is the Lord Jesus, in whom God and man converged.
It is such a One, the Lord Jesus, who comes into us to indwell us when we believe in Him. At this point, we all have to shout with rejoicing because Christ is not only our Savior but also the glorious indwelling Christ. This resurrected Christ is the mingling of God and man. He passed through incarnation and crucifixion to become our Redeemer. Moreover, in His resurrection He became the life-giving Spirit to become our Savior. He also ascended to heaven and is now sitting there, having been made both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). As the King of kings and the Lord of lords, He has received authority and has been crowned with glory and honor. Yet such a One dwells in us! He not only abides in us but also dwells in us. Moreover, He is making home in our hearts. He is in us not only as our life but also as our person.
8. Coming Again
Not only so, Acts 1:11 says that the Lord Jesus will come again. At His coming again, we will be caught up to meet Him in the air and thus be always with Him (1 Thes. 4:17).
At His coming again, the Lord Jesus will set up His kingdom on the earth to reign over the earth for a thousand years. It is not possible for man to rule the earth and make it a better place. At the end of the First World War the League of Nations was formed, yet the world did not become better. After the Second World War the United Nations was formed, yet the more the whole world tries to be united, the more divided it becomes. Only when the Lord Jesus reigns as King at His coming again can there be real peace on the earth.
10. In Eternity Future
Finally, after the thousand years, in eternity future the Lord Jesus will reign forever in the New Jerusalem.
THE KEY POINT IN ENJOYING CHRIST’S SALVATION
Today the key point, the most important point, in our enjoyment of Christ’s salvation is the indwelling Christ. Christ has ascended to heaven, but at the same time He is also dwelling in us. On the one hand, He is in heaven interceding for us as our great High Priest, our Advocate, to carry out God’s economy. On the other hand, He is the all-inclusive indwelling Christ who dwells in us as our Comforter to be our life and all of our supply.
The Lord Jesus was originally the Comforter outside of us, but after His death and resurrection He became the Spirit of reality to come into us to be the Comforter inside of us. This indwelling Christ is our life and our person.
(The Subjective Experience of the Indwelling Christ, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)