You Have Been Saved from the Penalty of Sin
Salvation in the past tense—the new birth, or justification by God—is wonderful. Blessed indeed is the person who can look back and say, “I have been saved. I have committed my life to Jesus as Lord and Savior and experienced the joy of forgiveness and the privilege of becoming a member of God’s family.”
Romans 6:6-7 NIV For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Through the death of Jesus on the cross for us the past is totally forgiven. Your guilt has been removed. The penalty for all your sin past, present, and future has been paid. You have been freed.
You Will be Saved from the Presence of Sin
Romans 6:5 NIV For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
Your salvation is not yet complete. There is a future tense to salvation. One day you will be united with him in his resurrection, and you will forever be freed from the presence of sin and will enjoy the uninterrupted presence of God forever.
Salvation in the future tense, which includes the promise of victory over death and the grave and the privilege of fellowship with the Father and the saints for eternity, is certainly a great salvation that brings joy to each believer. The New Testament calls this glorification.
Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is how God puts the official seal of his ownership on each believer. The presence of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee that he will rescue us from death and the grave and return us to the home of our heavenly Father. Salvation in the future tense.
You are being Saved from the Power of Sin
Romans 6:11-14 NIV In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Salvation in the present tense—called sanctification in the New Testament—is also part of God’s plan for each of his children. It is not God’s will that his children live under the dominion of evil. Jesus Christ came to save us from the power and practice of sin as soon as we experience the new birth; this protection continues until either death or Jesus’ glorious return.
Jesus has set you free, not only from the guilt of sin but also from its addictive power. You do not need to sin anymore. You are to count yourself dead to sin and alive to God. You do not need to obey sin’s evil desires. This is the present tense of salvation. You are being set free from the power of sin as you offer the parts of your body to Jesus as instruments of righteousness.
Romans 12:1 NIV Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.