My wife reminded me about passages I call “global passages.” They cover the entire Christian life from conversion to the final judgment in just a few verses.
I only have two right now.
Romans 7:24 to 8:13
This passage is a little more global than the next one because it covers our sad state of bondage prior to the great and free salvation of Jesus Christ. It begins in Romans 7:24 with the agonizing cry of “Oh, wretched man that I am.” The wonderful announcement of the “Law of the Spirit of Life” that delivers us from this wretched state follows in Romans 8:2.
The Apostle Paul then explains the process. What the Law of Moses could not do because it had nothing to resolve sin in the flesh, God did. He sent his Son, clothed in our sinful flesh as a sin offering, and sin in the flesh was condemned with him (Romans 8:3). He then rose mightily from the grave, setting us free from bondage. This is assumed, though not mentioned, in the passage. When we believe in him and are baptized, we receive the Holy Spirit, and if we walk in the Spirit, we fulfill the righteousness of the Law (though not the literal Law of Moses itself; rather, its fullness, Matt. 5:17-48). As long as we do this, we have life and peace, and will live. If we do not, we have death and will die (Rom. 8:5-13).
2 Peter 1:3-11
This passage begins in 2 Peter 1:3-4 with a majestic description of the gifts we have when we receive the Spirit of God and come under the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus mention in Romans 8:2 and described in Romans 8:3-4. You have to read those two verses to appreciate just who the death and resurrection of Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit has made you to be!
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (ESV)
Now that is worth jumping up and shouting over. In our lost state, when we decide to pursue righteousness, we want to cry out, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Jesus does not just deliver us from this body of death, but he transforms us into a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17) that fits the description in 2 Peter 1:3-4.
One of our greatest problems as Christians is that we do not believe what the Scriptures say of us, either because we have not been told or because we are used to counting ourselves poor sinners. We WERE poor sinners, but now we are SAVED. We are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10) “SAVED” is a big word. (We are commanded to think of ourselves properly in Romans 6:11.)
This hymn gives our proper response to being saved:
Redeemed; How I Love to Proclaim It
Redeemed—how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever, I am.
Redeemed and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.
I think of my blessed Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long;
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.
I know I shall see in His beauty
The King in whose way I delight;
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps,
And giveth me songs in the night.
There can be no lesser reaction to 2 Peter 1:3-4 than described in that hymn.
In 2 Peter 1:5-8, Peter describes how to turn that “great salvation” (Heb. 2:3) into a life of abundant fruitfulness and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. Finally, though, we must remember that Hebrews 2:3 is a warning not to neglect our “great salvation.” We must work out our own salvation (Php. 2:12), not by our own power (Jn. 15:5) but by our own volition. If we want that rich and abundant promised entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, King Jesus, we must be diligent to follow the path Peter describes in 2 Peter 1:5-8 (2 Peter 1:9-11).