Most of us like Peter. He’s the one who dared step out of the boat and start across the water to Jesus. He was the first to confess, “You are the Christ.” He was one of the three chosen to be with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Impulsive, Yes. Perhaps that’s why, in his first letter, it took him 53 words to complete the first major sentence! The gist of that long sentence is that new birth leads ultimately to a “salvation ready to be revealed at the end of time” (1 Peter 1:3-5, TEV).
But wait. Weren’t we saved when we accepted Christ by faith? What’s this about a salvation not yet revealed? Interestingly enough, scripture teaches that for the believer, salvation is not simply something that took place in the past (Rom 8:24), but is currently in progress (1 Corin 1:18) and, as Peter says, something yet to be experienced (1 Pet 1:5). Theologians call these three “salvations” justification, sanctification, and glorification.
The word salvation means “deliverance.” To be saved is to be set free from something. And what is it that we are being saved from? “Hell!” someone says. That’s true but what is the salvation we are experiencing right now? And the answer to that is that we are being saved from ourselves. While made in God’s image we became fatally flawed by sin. Right now we need to be set free from the power of that old nature. I can hear a resounding “Amen!” from Peter’s friend the apostle Paul, who confessed, “ I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (Rom 7:19). Like the rest of us, Paul needed to be delivered from what he called “slavery to sin.”
Is it not wonderful beyond comprehension that not only has Christ saved us from the penalty of sin, but as we continue to walk in obedience he is saving us from the power of sin, and at heaven’s gate he will save us from the very presence of sin. The blood of Christ is the transforming power that saved us when we trusted him, is saving us now as we rely on him, and will save us when eternity arrives.