By Buddy Dawson
Pick and Choose
Week 7 in a multi-part series
Anyone who has heard the good news (Gospel) of salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and has received Him as his/her Lord and Savior has experienced the greatest miracle known to man. All other miracles that I have either seen or read about, pale in comparison to this free gift of grace.
It is wonderful to know that I have eternal life, my sins are forgiven for eternity and heaven is my new home. However, as dynamic as this salvation is, it is only a part of what was purchased for us on that cross at Calvary.
Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, (Galatians 1:4 NKJV), This verse, and several others, reveals that Jesus is just as interested in our natural lives on this earth as He is in our eternal lives. He endured horrific torture to His body, not only for our sins to be forgiven, but for our bodies to be healed and every need in this life to be abundantly supplied.
Unfortunately, there are those who pick and choose what part of the atonement they want to keep and what part to throw away. What if, out of my love for you, I were to give you a very expensive gift, only to watch you tear it into pieces, keeping the pieces you like and discarding the rest.
Another verse that exposes God’s heart in this matter is Isaiah 53:4,5: Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
The New Testament translates verse four of Isaiah this way: And thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took [in order to carry away]our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases (Matthew 8:17 AMP). Once we can see the proper translation of Isaiah 53:4, it becomes easier to understand the last few words of verse five; and by His stripes we are healed.
The Greek word “sozo” was used over 100 times in the New Testament. It is an all-encompassing word for salvation, often rendered “save” or “saved.” Matthew 1:21 for example: And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save (Sozo) His people from their sins” (NKJV).
However, there were also times when that exact same Greek word was translated as “healed.” Mark 5:23 says: and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed (Sozo), and she will live.”
This same word that is used for both forgiveness of sins and physical healing also applies to deliverance from demons. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed (Sozo) (Luke 8:36 NKJV).
Forgiveness of our sins is certainly the centerpiece of our salvation, and in no way am I minimizing that. However, a true understanding of the scripture reveals that at the same time on the cross of Calvary, He also freed us from sickness, disease, demonic depression and poverty.
Which part of this wonderful free gift have you rejected and which part have you decided to keep? Scripture does not separate what Jesus did in the atonement. Only men do that. As far as God is concerned, salvation is a one-size-fits-all package deal.
Buddy and Maude Dawson are the founders and directors of the River of Life Worship Center, 3504 Carolina Beach Rd., Wilmington, NC. firstname.lastname@example.org