Salvation is a Given, or Please take your salvation for granted.
2 Tim. 1:8-9 ¶ Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
Paul calls us to courage in our faith. He challenges us to not be ashamed of the story of Jesus Christ, nor of our apostolic heritage. Instead he says we should be ready to suffer for the truth. Suffering for the truth may mean we stand up for Biblical truth even against prevailing “Christian” opinion. This is helpful to think about as so many are compromising on basic Biblical truth in these days.
The basis of our confidence, and our willingness and ability to suffer for the truth is the reality of what we have been given. Salvation has been given to us in Christ Jesus before time began! The NASB says “which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.” Salvation is GRANTED. We should take it for granted! It is an infinitely valuable gift fully paid for by God Himself. It is not something that we earn or merit. To believe that our good works, or worse the good works of other dead human beings, help to secure our salvation is to belittle the gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. The righteousness of Jesus Christ is alone fully sufficient to cover all who trust in Him. Take this gift as granted from God. Have full confidence in His grace.
Every other religion, even para-christian sects, miss this crucial point. They appeal to the pride of man and trick them into thinking that they can save themselves by their own effort. Only those who completely come to God as wretched helpless sinners can be saved. He saves the ungodly. He heals the sick. He gives sight to the blind. If you have enough good in you, or a spark of divinity, that you can merit God’s mercy, you are outside of grace. You will not be saved because you are depending upon yourself. If you think you earn salvation by your being a good person, then salvation is not granted to you.
Notice also the verb tense and time frame in these great words. He gave it to us. This is a simple completed action. He granted us salvation according to His purpose and grace. The word purpose is prothesis in Greek. It means literally to set out before. It means to predetermine the outcome. He predetermined our salvation before times eternal. This is the gospel. This is the basis of our confidence. This is the solution to our feelings of fear and inadequacy.
We dare not lose confidence in so great a salvation.