“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” – 2 Timothy 1:9
The statement the Apostle Paul makes in 2 Timothy 1:9 concerns pre-creation, before any time-space continuum. The power of the Gospel lies in its tenses and prepositions. The Apostle states that God “hath saved us”. This is before the issue of sin or any Adamic fall because it is before creation itself. God saved us and called us with a holy calling. There is an “arche” and a “telos” to our being. Our true genesis and origin has a consummation marked out, which is known as our vocation. The term “calling” comes from the Koine Greek word, “kaleo”, which means to surname, to identify in the closest family circle. As unthinkable as it may be, our vocation is to participate in God. This is the cosmic mystery of Jesus Christ – truly God, truly Man, two natures, one Person, unmingled.
We are saved not according to our works but according to God’s own purpose. The Eternal Christ is the eternal purpose of the Godhead; our human works are not in the equation of bringing about what consists of our salvation. The terms “grace” and “salvation” are used in this verse before any notion of sin. The grace given to us in our holy vocation in pre-creation is that we would be in Christ Jesus and this term “in” is all-inclusive.
But the fall did occur; sin did enter and there was the corruption of the human nature by which man failed to acknowledge his source. He used external frames of reference to identify himself, thus, giving in to a mistaken identity with resultant misdeeds, and a false ego, which resulted in death. All of that is from the lie of separation. Ideas have consequences. In the fullness of time, the One in whom we were identified, the “Arche”, the Source of our true genesis entered into His own creation while still sustaining His creation. He became the consummate Man in whom all men are represented.
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel – 2 Timothy 1:10
If the lie of separation is what engendered the corruption in the human nature, then, to disentangle the limitation, Jesus Christ came as the Truth. The “who” always takes primacy over the “what” and the “how”. Who is Jesus Christ? In Jesus Christ, the Divine Nature is incarnate; when He takes on our humanity, it becomes deified. The lie of separation corrupted the human nature because we started thinking of ourselves as individuals, as self-made men. Sin is denying the truth of your being; it is living a lie. Jesus is true God and true Man to reveal the truth of our being, which we had denied. But the truth is always true.
The Apostle Paul says the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ abolished death and brought life and immortality to light. In other words, Adam had simply exchanged the eternal truth of the Godhead for a lie. Christ appeared to assume the consequence of Adam’s sin, which was primarily a lie concerning the truth of his being, and the resultant actions. He brought life and immortality to light. Christ is the Deifier of man and we are living through His eyes. He came to reveal the truth of our being from God’s perspective. If you are to know the truth of anything, you must take it to its source, and trace its origin. Only then would you learn the truth.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. – Matthew 1:21
The Name given to Christ in the Annunciation (Matthew 1:21) is directly related to the mission He fulfills from the moment of His incarnation. He was given the Name “Yahushua”. This is the Name of God, from the Tetragrammaton, YHWH, the four sacred letters of the ineffable Name of God. In the Aramaic language, it is attempted to be pronounced as YaHuWaH, or Yahweh. By implication, the angel was saying that Mary would bear a Son and this Son will illuminate the nature of the Father because His eternal sonship precedes His human birth. In His humanity, He would reveal the true nature of His Father; He would reveal humanity’s origin in God. Thus, He would save His people who were preselected before the fall, from their mistaken identity.
When we use the hermeneutic of the ancient apostolic vision of salvation, these passages cited take on a holistic meaning, not just forensic. They do not present the mission of Jesus at one point, three hours in one day, on a hill outside the city of Jerusalem. That would be a transactional understanding of salvation. Salvation is not what Christ came to do. It is who He is. When Gabriel announced the incarnation, he announced the who and presented salvation not in terms of what Christ would do but in terms of who He is.
This article is derived from Dr. Shawn Smith’s message “The Ancient Apostolic Vision of Salvation”. For more insight, order the series on www.gcmonlinestore.com