And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Cor. 3:18 ESV
New Testament salvation is not walking the aisle or saying a sinner’s prayer, sitting in the pew and paying your tithe, and then waiting for heaven. Salvation is forgiveness of our past sin, present transformation of our hearts, and future obedience unto holiness. We have been saved from the penalty of our sin; we are being saved from the power of our sin; and we shall be saved from the very presence of sin. Therefore, New Testament salvation is complete and total for the our entire lives, our entire hearts, and our entire behavior.
Our salvation is not earned, but received: a gift of God. Christ died in our place taking upon himself our just judgment. Our deliverance from sin is not based on our good performance, but based on Christ’s performance on the Cross. Through Christ’s death alone, do we receive God’s approval.
Faith tells us that what Christ did for us on the cross will be worked in us by the Holy Spirit preparing us for glory in the Father’s eternal presence. The Holy Spirit does in us what Christ did for us on the Cross. The work of the Holy Spirit in saving us from sin is a work that is past, present, and future.
The salvation which God has provided and procured, and proclaimed in the Scriptures, through Jesus Christ, is not merely a salvation that is designed to change a man’s eternal destiny: it is a salvation which is designed to transform his character into the likeness of Christ. Nothing less than this is New Testament salvation.
Eric J. Alexander, “Inner Renewal by the Spirit,” Daily Thoughts from Keswick: A Year’s Daily Readings, ed. Herbert F. Stevenson (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1980), 27.