We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
The whole magnificent range of God’s redeeming purpose is here in these two verses. How does it all fit together?
The Bible’s overarching word salvation is like a treasure chest in which we find the priceless jewels of justification, sanctification, reconciliation, adoption, forgiveness, and glorification.
How are we saved? Salvation comes through the gospel message (2:14). We are also saved by God’s call, when a person hears the good news of Jesus, crucified and risen for us.
What lies behind the gospel? First, God’s love. Why did Jesus come into the world and die on the cross? There’s only one explanation: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). Second, God’s choice. God set His love on you from the beginning.
What is the fruit that comes from proclaiming the gospel? The Spirit of God sanctifies. When you heard God’s Word, you were set apart by God. Sinners respond in faith. This miracle has happened in your life if you believe in Jesus Christ today.
How is it that you stand here today as someone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ? Your faith in Christ is the visible fruit of an amazing work of God that began in eternity, was secured at the cross, and is being put into effect by the Holy Spirit at this very moment.
What here seems clearest to you today? What is the fuzziest?