“For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”(2 Corinthians 6:2) The Greek word swthria (soteria) that was translated salvation in this verse was translated “deliver” or “save” other places in the Bible. What are we to be delivered or saved from? The Bible gives us the answer in Matthew 1:21. Of Mary, Gabriel said, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.”
God tells us that now is the day of salvation; now is the day that we can be delivered or saved from our sins. God is extending His invitation to us right now and He wants us to accept the deliverance from sin that He provides. He says that now is the accepted time. He doesn’t say that tomorrow or the next day is the accepted time, but right now, this minute. Don’t let a minute pass between now and the time that you accept the deliverance from sin that God has provided for you.
Now we will take a look at how this deliverance takes place. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)
The Greek word exagorazw that was translated redeemed means, “By payment of a price to recover from the power of another. To buy up for one’s self, for one’s own use.” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon) By payment of a price, Christ has recovered us from the power of Satan. Christ has paid the price for us, He has bought us by becoming a curse for us, and He wants to use us for His purposes, because He owns us.
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Christ was made to be sin for us; He took our sins upon Himself so that we could receive His righteousness upon ourselves.
All of our life history, with all the sin and guilt, is transferred to Christ as if He had done it Himself. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
All of Christ’s life history, with His righteousness and love towards God, is accounted to us as truly as if we had done it ourselves. To the repentant and believing sinner, is offered full remission of sin. “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:24-26)
“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” (Galatians 1:3, 4) The Bible teaches us that Christ gave Himself for our sins, and in Galatians 2:20 God tells us that Christ gave Himself for us. “I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
We see from these verses that Christ gave Himself for our sins and for us. What happens when you give money for something? When you do this you have bought whatever you gave the money for. This is what Christ has done, He has bought each one of us with His own life. God the Father gave up His only-begotten Son for you.
Let’s think about it in another way. Suppose you worked your whole life to save enough money to buy a piece of gold. How much would that be worth to you? Then suppose you took that gold, and traded it for a new house. Which would be worth more to you, the gold or the house? Obviously the house, or you would not have traded the gold for it. God gave up His only-begotten Son for you. God values you as much as He values His only-begotten Son. Jesus said to His Father, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:23) You are worth as much to God as His only-begotten Son. Let that thought sink deep into your mind, and don’t let it leave.
Suppose you went into a big department store and gave your life savings, that you had worked long and hard for, to the man behind the counter. Then you asked him to give you the item that you came to purchase, and the man behind the counter said to you, “Thank you for the money you’ve given me, but I’m not going to give you what you came to buy,” and he keeps your money! How would it make you feel? You would feel like the man was steeling from you! And that is exactly what he would be doing.
This is essentially the same thing we do to Christ when we do not give Him what He came to buy (us along with our sins). When Christ came to redeem us, He didn’t come to purchase people who had no sin, but to purchase people who were yet in their sins, so that He could cleanse them.
Jesus said, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17) God does not expect us to be free from sin before we come to Him. We are helpless to deliver ourselves from sin. Only God, through His beloved Son, can free us from sin.
There is a wonderful illustration of how God cleanses a sinner in the sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel. God says, “When I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” (Ezekiel 16:6)
Blood, in this context, is referring to sins as it does in Isaiah 4:4. “When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.”
God is telling us that when He passed by us we were polluted in our own sin, and He then gave us eternal life. After we are given this eternal life (it could be none other because we already have physical life), then God offers to cleanse us from our sins.
Reading on in Ezekiel, “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.” (Ezekiel 16:8) God considers us His, even when we are yet in our sins, and He enters into a covenant with us.
After God calls us His very own people, then He proceeds to cleanse us; and we read on: “Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood [sins] from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.” (Ezekiel 16:9)
God passes by us and sees that we are polluted in our own sins, and with perfect love He accepts us, although we are in our sins. Then God washes away the filth that pollutes us. He chooses to wash us with the water of His Word. Paul wrote, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” (Ephesians 5:25, 26)
Don’t let yourself think that you have to be good before you come to God, because if you think this way you will always be trying to get “good,” and the day will never come when you think you are good enough to come to Jesus. Christ says, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) Christ will not turn any away who come to Him with sincerity, no matter what condition they are in, or how sinful they appear.
We no longer belong to ourselves, for Christ has bought us, and desires to have that which He bought, which is ourselves along with our sins. Paul wrote, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20) “For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.” (Isaiah 52:3)
The love that God has for us is so much greater than we realize. With a heart full of compassion for this dying world, God yearns to cleanse us from every sin. God knows that sin has never done anyone any good, and He is seeking to do what is best for His children. There is no reason that any should perish except that they are not willing to give Christ what He has already bought and paid for.
God wishes to redeem everyone from their sin. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel.” (Ezekiel 33:11)
There is another verse in Romans 4:5 which is very meaningful to any poor, distressed soul. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” The Greek word dikaiow that was translated justifieth means, “To render (show or regard) just or innocent.” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) Another dictionary says, “To declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous.” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)
The first thing that we must believe in order to obtain the promise in this verse is to believe that we are ungodly. The second thing we must believe is that God justifies us. If we will come to Him, He will cleanse us from all sin, and forgive all of our iniquities. John wrote, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
God’s words to you right now are these, “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” (Isaiah 43:1) Let us say with David, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” (Psalms 103:2, 3) Heed well the wonderful words of Jesus, and forget them not. “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.”(Matthew 9:2)