Salvation: Is It A Completed Work?
The whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is a book with one distinct message. The message is the good news of God’s purpose and decree to save a multitude of guilty, defiled sinners and give them all the privileges and blessings of eternal life. After man’s rebellion and fall in the garden, when Adam sided with Satan against God by believing Satan’s lie (“ye shall not surely die”), God immediately revealed His eternal will to save His people from their sins. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
From that point forward, every type and picture in the Old Testament progressively showed God’s purpose to save sinners in a way that glorified and honored Him as both a “just God and Savior.” All those pictures and types point sinners to the Person they typify, the last Adam, our Representative Man, and the Lord Jesus Christ. When Christ came on the scene in the New Testament, He told all who heard Him that He was the One to whom all those types pointed. “Search the Scriptures (literally, you do search): for in them you think you have life: AND THEY ARE THEY WHICH TESTIFY OF ME.” (John 5:39)
What did Christ’s coming and fulfilling all those Old Testament types actually accomplish?
Did He make salvation possible if men fulfill certain conditions, or did He actually save His people from their sins?
The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the scriptural answer as He hung on the cross when He cried, “IT IS FINISHED,” John 19:30
First of all, the word “IT” refers to the ENTIRE work of salvation. Speaking in anticipation of His accomplished death Christ said: “I have finished the WORK which thou gavest me to do.” (John 17:4b) The “WORK” He finished was everything required to satisfy God’s law and justice on behalf of those He represented. The second word, “IS”, gives us the time of this accomplishment. This word DOESN’T mean that salvation will be accomplished when sinners fulfill certain conditions. Christ said: “It IS (AT THE CROSS) finished”. The evidence salvation was accomplished when Christ made this cry was seen in the rending (tearing) of the veil which barred sinners from entering into God’s presence. (See Mark 15:37,38)
All the righteousness required to justify those Christ represented was established completely and imputed to them legally at the cross. The final word, “FINISHED”, reveals the magnitude of Christ’s accomplished death. In the original language the word “finished” means to bring to a close or complete, nothing else needed to be added to it. What Christ accomplished at Calvary, like the Ark of the Covenant, is never to be touched or tampered with by man. Nothing is to be added to His finished work of redemption. Truly we can sing: “Jesus Paid It ALL”!
Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana