Volume 17, No. 12 (December 2022)
We are unpacking in three parts John’s tremendous vision of the future around the throne of God in Revelation 7 (one of several in the book of Revelation). Last month we considered “THE PEOPLE OF GOD: A Great Multitude (Revelation 7:9),” and saw:
1. God’s Heart for the Nations/Tribes/Peoples of Earth (multi-ethnic praise of God)
2. God’s Plan for the Languages of Earth (multiplied, multilingual praise of God)
3. One People, One Voice! (many nations/tribes/peoples: but ONE people of god, ONE family, brothers and sisters of one another; many languages, but ONE voice raised in praise to our great Redeemer)
THE SALVATION OF GOD: A Great Redeemer
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number,
from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes,
with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice,
“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (7:9–10)
1. God did it!
The great multitude is not proclaiming, “we are saved, we are saved!” but rather their focus is on the God who has saved them. They are utterly God-centered, God-focused: GOD did this! “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” GOD planned for our salvation, GOD carried out everything necessary, GOD sent His Son to the cross for our forgiveness, GOD brought us to faith.
From the moment of the sin in the garden, God embarked on His foreordained plan: to work through Abraham to bring about a chosen people through the Christ would come; to give Israel the Law and the sacrificial system to prepare and show the need for Christ; to bring His Son into the world to reveal the Father, to do the Father’s will, and to fulfill His plan for sinful man to be redeemed by the atoning death of His Son. God sends the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin and draw us to Christ, and to form us into the Church, the one people of God.
GOD did it all through Jesus: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Salvation is all of God, and all of grace.
2. All of God, and all of grace
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
Salvation is by God’s grace.
We are saved through faith in Christ.
Salvation is not of ourselves, not of works.
Salvation is the gift of God.
Salvation is all of God, and all of grace. The Book of Revelation shows this:
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5b–6)
Worthy are you [Christ] to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9)
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down. (Revelation 12:10)
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
for his judgments are true and just. (Revelation 19:1–2a)
Who saves? GOD DOES. “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!
3. God’s Gift to Mankind
It should be noted that only redeemed humanity can speak and sing of SALVATION—Not the angels in Isaiah 6, not the angels in Revelation 4, not the angels in Revelation 7:11–12. ONLY men and women can celebrate the saving work of Christ from experience. These are “things into which angels long to look” (1 Peter 1:7).
Salvation is God’s unique gift to mankind:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23–24)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8)
Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Praise God for the gift of His glorious grace in Christ!
(This was the second three messages delivered at the National Praise and Worship Conference
in Bangladesh, November 17-19, 2022.)