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HEART Christian newspaper | May 27, 2020

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Salvation is a person!

Bible nuggets from a Hebraic perspective

By Dr Clifford Denton

We are born into a world of suffering and sin. Before we even realise our sinful tendencies, we do what we ought not to do and fail to do what we should do. This is the nature of mankind and however much we measure ourselves against one another we fall far below the perfection of Heaven.

When our eyes are opened to the fallen state of mankind, we are presented with the problem of how to be saved from the consequences of sin. In the limited span of our time on earth our eternal destiny is determined.

The potential for philosophical discussion is endless on the subject of salvation and even the Bible can seem quite complex when we try to uncover a “theology of salvation.”

Yet the solution to our human need is not theoretical, it is personal. Salvation is a gift of God to those who turn to him in faith. It is personal salvation through faith in the Son of God who gave his own life so that our sinful nature could be transformed and our sins not counted against us.

Salvation is personal in another sense too – it is through the person of the Saviour.

The angel Gabriel announced to Mary that her son was to be called ‘Yeshua.’ Yeshua does not seem to mind our calling him Jesus, but we can discover so much more when we know him through the precise name that his father gave him. The very word ‘yeshua’ means salvation. When we see this we realise that salvation is not primarily a philosophy, a theology, or a process; salvation is a person.

It is instructive to trace the Hebrew word yeshua through the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), the prophets and the writings (eg the book of Lamentations) and one discovers that there are more promises of the person of Yeshua than there are of the actual principal of salvation. Indeed, there are some Scriptures where salvation is clearly personified, such as in Isaiah 62:11:

“Say to the daughter of Zion that your salvation (yeshua) is coming; behold his reward is with him.”

Elsewhere if we study carefully we find many other references to Yeshua, our salvation.

The Creator of the universe, for reasons best known to himself, allowed us to be born into a fallen existence so that we might discover our need and so be saved, not only by a process but, most importantly, by being joined to the person who is our salvation.

(Further studies are available on www.tishrei.org)

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