What Jesus REALLY Did


Jesus in English, Yeshua in Hebrew, is a name that means “salvation.” As Joseph heard from an angel in a dream regarding Mary, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

There are two sides of salvation: the objective and the subjective. The first is the fact of salvation. By Jesus’ coming, and by his sacrificial death and resurrection to new life, an unalterable act of salvation has occurred. The Bible has a whole vocabulary to explain it: redemption, reconciliation, justification, adoption.

“Redemption,” from the world of the marketplace, says that through the sacrificial death of Christ we have been bought out of our slavery to sin. Like slaves who are purchased in order to be set free, God supplied the price and received the price. All of this was depicted again and again in the sacrificial rituals of the Old Testament. This is true freedom, but a freedom that comes from being owned by God: “you are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

“Reconciliation” comes from the world of relationships. The shattering effects of sin in the world led to estrangement. We are separated from each other, and separated from God. But in Christ, and in his sacrifice, God provides a bridge. By faith we are on God’s side, and God calls us his friends.

“Adoption,” from the realm of the family, means that we become, through the sacrifice of Christ, true children of God. All human beings are creations of God, and are thus his offspring. But being a true child is a reality of a different magnitude. It means being an heir, and living now in conscious submission to the master of the household, the benevolent Father. The prodigal son became a son again when he turned back home.

“Justification” is from the world of law courts. “Justification” and “righteousness” are in the same word group in the New Testament. To be justified means to be made right with God. It is what happened to Abraham when he believed God’s astounding promise. Justification by grace through faith is a foundation of certainty. As Paul put it: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies? Who is he who condemns?” (Romans 8:31-34).

So there is a multitude of ways the New Testament makes clear that we need rescue, and the rescue is real. It isn’t just about getting snatched away from someone who has kidnapped you. It is a lifetime of being joined to the family of God and to God himself.

There is a lifetime of dynamic interactions with God here. But we must believe we need the rescue. We need to let God pull us away from our captivity so that the confusion in our minds can clear up. And then one of the most precious words in our vocabulary will be “saved.”

Excerpt from Putting the Pieces Back Together: How Real Life and Real Faith ConnectComplimentary DVD available now.

17 thoughts on “What Jesus REALLY Did”

  1. So simply put and pointed to the target…. it refreshes me in a very deep way. I have been directed inwardly lately towards the scripture describing our body as the Temple of the Holy Spirit and what this means for my personal lifestyle. “God owns me”. Halleluiah!

    Salvation is sometimes portrayed as the ultimate goal…and it is…correctly understood. It is never a single step, though. It is the beginning, middle and end of a never-ending journey continuing after Christ’s finished work in the act of defeating sin. So begins the ever fulfilling relationship! Not a single experience. Not just the handshake at the introduction, but the marking of the day when God says “Now, begin to know me, my child”.

  2. Grover’s right … It’s is a glorious journey to be in God’s family, a child, an heir. His Kingdom is at hand. Jesus and the Father made a covenant with one another … That’s an unbreakable covenant mind you!!!!! They don’t go back on their Word!!! I don’t curse my life anymore … It’s not mine to curse. Jesus bought us at a price … He paid with His blood.

    They made this covenant before all their creation came to be. This is Truth. I accept Him, stay as close to Him as I can in peace to the best of my ability.

    He is my King. My Comforter. My Everything. His Glory is all that matters!!! I really don’t care about anything esle.

  3. Sir, You have mentioned that “There are two sides of salvation: the objective and the subjective”. But as I’ve understood, you have only discussed the objective part which I find very enlightening and it really whet my appetite for more. But it seems you did not discuss the subjective part of salvation which I’m expecting to read on the latter part of the devotional. Anyways, I hope you’ll discuss it in your future write ups.

    Thank you so much for the devotional.

    1. Yes, this post lists, briefly, the main objective themes of salvation. Down the road we will come to the subjective themes (that is, those that have to do with our experience of salvation).

  4. Rev. Dr. Selva Gunalan

    Salvation for humanity is God’s gracious plan and action. It is well said that it includes redemption, reconciliation, justification, and adoption. All are not subjective that man could merit it. All are objective that man could recieve it in faith merited by the blood of Jesus. Therefore, man has no hope except in Jesus.

  5. Kenneth W. Treuter

    When it FINALLY dawned upon me, thanks to the Holy Spirit bringing me to a genuine conviction of my Sin, Sinfulness, and Sins by having me look squarely into the Law/Commandments of GOD, I was, for the first time in all the years of my “christianity” broken in heart and spirit. I realized that I had soooo strayed from GOD and was sooooo SINFUL that it seemed that there was probably no hope for me, the hypocritical SINNER I had been and become over my lifetime.

    At that point I could do nothing but plead with GOD to forgive me for the sake of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus The Christ. I didn’t have the confidence I needed to really believe He would but thanks to The Holy Spirit’s grace and mercy I was persuaded to actually believe the Gospel of Christ and GOD’s Kingdom so that I could begin to accept that Jesus really had come to Earth as my Emmanuel and in doing so He was and is GOD with me And GOD for me! And though the tears flowed for days while I was filled with fear of GOD’s wrath and my deserving it along with His Righteous Judgment to eventually take my temporal life away from me at any moment and assign me to an eternal Hell of separation from Him and torment over my sins which earned me a place in Hell I began accepting the comfort and comforting of The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit began to both convince me and show me the Truth of Christ’s work on my behalf – born in my stead and name, lived in my stead and name, died in my stead and name, was buried in my stead and name, was resurrected in my stead and name, ascended back to Heaven in my stead and name, was exalted to sitting on the right hand side of The Triune GODHEAD’s Throne from where He now intercedes for me.

    Ashamed of my past and my depths of sinfulness I was awakened by the Holy Spirit to a true glimpse of just how merciful and gracious GOD has been to me and is being to me. And somehow, I began to understand that there was nothing I could do about my former life in sin but pray that The Holy Spirit keep me from desiring to return to it and instead learning to live a life of thankfulness, gratitude, joy, and a desire to strive to obey both GOD’s Law and His Gospel.

    I daily realize how weak I am within myself and how little I know GOD and His ways and how fragile my faith seems to be but I also realize that the work which The Holy Spirit has begun in me will continue and that my faith will grow along with my appreciation of just how Loving, Merciful, and Gracious GOD has been and is being and will continue to be toward me should I continue to trust in Christ Jesus and His doing(s) on my behalf.

    I have been born again, born anew, reconciled, regenerated and I now desire to live as GOD desires me to live. I know that I can’t and won’t EXCEPT that The Holy Spirit will keep me and will move me along toward the fullness of being saved for all of eternity. Saved from Hell, from eternal separation from GOD, from eternal loss and remorse…saved to learn of, respect, obey, serve, praise, worship, and glorify my Maker. Saved to love Him and my neighbor(s). Saved to invite others to repent and allow the work of The Holy Spirit to begin in them as it has begun in me.

    I am now a genuine Christian (that is a true believer in GOD and GOD’s Gospel of the Kingdom of GOD, a redeemed creature/child/son of God The Father Himself…a true disciple of Jesus The Christ/Messiah/Savior/Redeemer/Only Begotten Son of God the Father and indeed God The Son Himself…AND a truly regenerated (born again/anew) creation/creature of God The Holy Spirit Himself.

    I am perhaps the weakest of all true/genuine/actual Christians but nonetheless I am one and am therefore confident that I will someday, after dying an earthly/temporal death, will be a citizen of GOD’s Eternal Kingdom.

    As for me, my journey from where I was to where I am and to where I am going is nothing less than every imaginable reason to live in thanksgiving and praise to the LORD. And my prayers are always that I might respond better and better to my having been justified and sanctified (set aside for and unto GOD and His Way now and forevermore). Oh, that which has been so mercifully and graciously bestowed upon me…may all that will, by the Work(ings) of The Holy Spirit come to know how wonderful it is to be known by and of GOD while daily and progressively getting to know Him.

    1. Wow. Thank you, Kenneth, for giving us this full account of your relationship with God. I hope others read it carefully.

  6. Amen! I have for the most part thought of Christian freedom as being free to do what is best for us. But it just occurred (I think God is using your writing ) to me that we as Christians are made free to be what we were supposed be from the start. We were never created to be aliens from God. We were never created to aliens from each other. I think we were created to have constant access to our Father and complete access to each other. (I am of the opinion that man had access to God at any time while in the garden). We lost this access in the fall. Now we have gained this access back through adoption. God could have redeemed us and allowed us to just be like a hired servant but He didn’t. He instead adopted us back into His family where we belong. We have the freedom to be in His family where He created us to be before the fall.
    If we question our standing we can look at the resurrection. I have had the opportunity a time or two to teach children in Sunday school. I have used the picture of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. When the High priest came out of the holy of holies for the last time there was real cause for celebration because it meant that God had accepted his sacrifice both for himself and for Israel for another year. I would then relate this is a picture of Jesus being raised. We as sinners have reason to rejoice because it means that God has accepted His sacrifice not just for a year but for a life time. We are justified. I guess the way I see it is that He died for the world. I am not talking about universal salvation what I mean is for the possibility of salvation for all. Hypothetically speaking if there had been one sin that He did or could not pay for He never would have been raised from the dead. So if there happens to be reason to doubt that you are not justified because your sin was to great just remember Jesus’ resurrection.

  7. Charrond McCollum

    I am saved,I thank God for saving me. I practice everyday setting myself aside to do Gods will. Gods will is perfect so for me it takes practice . Theres no other way to live for me . I want and need to be rescued .

  8. I always enjoy your guides in devotion. This one I found a question of reconciliation. Did not the prodigal go home looking to reconcile? The father welcoming his wayward son was in some ways justification making him part of him once again. Is that not what the Father does to us in the same manner? God runs to meet us when we find ourselves separated and we return to His love once again. He again gives us His best though we deserve nothing. Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son” painting truly illustrates us beaten down and returning to the father (Father). There is no where I can run where His love does not stay with me. So, I’d rather think of the prodigal as part of reconciliation than adoption as there is no way to run from the family. We are family despite the separateness.

    1. You are right, the prodigal son is a perfect picture of reconciliation. I find it one of the best ways to describe to a non-believer what it means to gain a relationship with God.

  9. These are amazing responses. Oh that all “Christians” could have a true heart revelation, like Kenneth Treuter, not just a head knowledge, about God the perfect Father, the person of Jesus, the sinless lamb, and the Holy Spirit who lives in us and guides our every step through the darkness if we will only be obedient to His still small voice. We need an experiential revelation of the depths of God’s love for us, that He predestined us to be with Him forever before the foundation of the world, that He chose to die in our place because He wanted a family. How can we KNOW what salvation really means if we don’t pursue God everyday with everything we have. He’s waiting patiently. Hallelujah and thank you Lord.

  10. Sr Pastor Richard Armstrong

    I like every thing that is on this webb site God saved me 29 years ago from a gun shot while working as a private security officer today I am still walking GOD & JESUS CHRIST I am a full time pastor preaching the good message of the Holy spirt

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