The Types Of Salvation
Bible is made up of two Testaments called Old and New Testaments. The first 39 books comprise the Old Testament and the last 27 books comprise the New Testament.
In the Old Testament there are many types or shadows of salvation provided by the Lord. These are shadows whose fulfilment is found only in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time each shadow only portrays or emphasizes one aspect of this multifaceted salvation. We would very quickly review eight of them.
1. Substitution: (Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac, Gen. 22.12-14). God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham went to Mount Moorish, the place appointed by God to sacrifice his son. At the last moment God prevented him from sacrificing Isaac and showed him a substitute instead, a goat caught in the thicket. And Abraham sacrificed the goat.
Christ is the acceptable substitute for us. (1 Pet. 3.18). He is the only one without sin and God accepted His sacrifice on our behalf and God accepts us in the beloved.
2. Alleviation: (The Brazen Serpent Num. 21 .9; Jn. 3.14) In the wilderness the people complained against Moses and against Manna provided for them. (Manna is the miraculous provision of food provided by God for the Jews in their wilderness wanderings). The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and many of the people of Israel died. When the people cried unto the Lord, He commanded Moses to make brazen serpent and put it on a pole. The remedy for anyone who was smitten by the fiery serpent was to look on the brazen serpent and they would immediately be cured.
Jesus said: ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so also must the Son of Man be lifted up”. (The Son of Man is a title of the Lord Jesus Christ). The salvation provided in the person and work of Jesus Christ completely cures the sinner from the curse and bite of sin. Whereas sin only produces death, as the bite of the fiery serpent only produced death, a look at the Lord Jesus dying for you cures you completely brings life to you. (Isa. 45.22; Jn. 6.40)
3. Purification: (Naaman the leper was purified or cleansed 2 Kings 5.1-14) Naaman, commander of the army of the King of Syria was a mighty man of valour, but he was a leper. Because of the witness of a Jewish maid, he went to the King of Israel and through him to the Prophet Elisha who asked him to go and wash in the Jordan seven times. Reluctantly Naaman did it, and he was completed cleansed of his leprosy.
Leprosy is a type of sin, which makes a man unclean before a holy God. The blood of Jesus Christ completely cleanses the sin of man (1 Jn. 1:7). The promise of the Lord is even if your sin is like scarlet, I will make it as white as snow (Isa. 1:18). Salvation in Christ cleanses or purifies us from all sin.
4. Clothing: (Adam and Eve clothed by God Gen. 3:21) When the first man and woman disobeyed God their eyes were opened and they found to their utter amazement that they were naked and were ashamed to appear before one another and before God. In their sinless state though they were naked, they were not ashamed. Their innocence was their cloth that clothed them.
They tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. Sin makes a man naked before God (Heb. 4.13) But the Lord Jesus, the lamb of God (John 1.29) died for us that we might be clothed with “garments of salvation” and be covered with “rob of righteousness (Isa. 61.10) They make us fit to appear before God. God, who had mercy on them, sacrificed an innocent animal and clothed them with coats of skin, which covered their nakedness.
Sin makes a man naked before God, but salvation in Christ clothes him and makes him fit to appear before God.
5. Approbation: (Abel accepted by God Gen. 4.4) Both Cain and Abel appeared before God with sacrifices. Cain came with the fruits of the ground: in other words with the labor of his hands. God did not accept him. Even our righteous deeds are like filthy rags before him. (Isa. 64.6) Before God can accept our works, he should accept us. This did not happen in the case of Cain.
Abel came with a lamb for sacrifice. This was Abel’s confession that he was a sinner and the blood of an innocent animal was offered on his behalf. God was pleased in his sacrifice and he was accepted before God. This is a picture of salvation that guarantees us acceptance before God. God accepted the sacrifice that Jesus offered on the Cross of Calvary and He raised Him from the dead. We are accepted by God in Christ. (Eph. 6)
6. Protection: (The Ark and the Passover. Gen. 7.1; Ex. 12.23). When God found that the wickedness of man was great on the earth he came in judgement. He sent rain and flood from heaven. Noah found favour with God and He asked him to prepare an Ark and to enter the Ark. Every living thing that had breath in its nostrils died in the flood, but Noah and his family who entered the Ark escaped the judgement of God and saved their life. This is a picture of salvation that protects us from the wrath of God.
A similar picture we also find in the Passover Lamb that was slain by the Jews in Egypt. On the night of the 14th day of the first month, God came down in judgement. The firstborn of even man and beast of Egypt died. But in the houses of the Jews who were sheltered by the blood of the slain Passover lamb, none died. Christ himself is our Passover (1 Cor. 5.7). Salvation in Christ protects us from the wrath of God.
7. Satisfaction: (The Manna and the Smitten Rock (Ex. 16.4; 17.6) In the wilderness journey of the children of Israel, they were provided with manna for food and water from the smitten rock. This satisfied them through their wilderness journey, though they murmured time and again. But it was a satisfactory provision for their journey. This is a type of salvation that satisfies
Jesus Christ himself is the living bread that came down from heaven (Jn. 6.41). The fathers who were fed with Manna were not fed by Moses, but by God in heaven (Jn. 6.32). This manna is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. He said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, has eternal life (Jn. 6.54)
Likewise, they drank from the smitten rock. Paul writes: “They drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ (1 Cor. 10.4). He who eats of him shall never hunger and he who drinks of him will never thirst. There is complete satisfaction in Christ.
8. Communion: (The Tabernacle of fellowship Ex. 25.22) Man was created in the image of God to live in fellowship with God. Man transgressed the commandment of God and was driven away from the garden of Eden, and thus from the fellowship of God.
Tabernacle is a beautiful picture of God restoring man back into fellowship with Himself. He told Moses to make a ta
bernacle so that He may dwell with them (Ex. 25.8). He gave him detailed instructions as to how to make it and also its furniture. In the Holy of Holes is the Ark of the Testimony. The lid of this Ark made with gold is called the Mercy Seat. There, over and above the mercy seat was the place where God said He would commune with man, the place where the fellowship is restored. This is on the basis of the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat.
Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Jn. 1.1) The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. It is through him we have fellowship with God. It is the work of Christ on the cross of Calvary that has restored the fellowship of man with God. Salvation restores us into communion or fellowship with God. (1 Jn. 1.3).
These are beautiful pictures or types of salvation we have in the person of Jesus Christ.
We would now look briefly at the overall picture of salvation and then examine it in detail.
What the Bible teaches is that God has provided salvation for all men in the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ. For effecting this, the Son assumed human flesh to die in the stead of man. He rose again from the dead on the third day and ascended to the Father to receive the place of power at the right hand of God, to appear on behalf of those who believe in Him. He will come again to consummate the work of salvation.
The work of the Son of God was for the purpose of saving a repentant sinner from the guilt, penalty, and power and ultimately from the presence of sin. In some sense it embraced also the redemption of nature, since nature was subject to vanity because of the sin of the first man. Salvation is provided for all men everywhere in the world in a general sense, but only the elect, i.e. those who believe in Jesus Christ appropriate it.
Repentance is necessary for salvation. This repentance is for the preparation of the heart and is not the price paid for eternal life, which is the gift of God. Salvation is appropriated through faith and this is the gift of God.
Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is the agent who applies salvation to the individual soul. He uses the Word of God and the preacher to bring conviction of sin and also continues the work of sanctification. Ultimately He will present the whole company of the redeemed to Christ at His second coming.
Let us now look at different words, which depict the various facets of salvation.