Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Life Shape Prayer and Discipleship Module 2 – New Creation Realities Block 7 – “Sozo”



Matthew the 14th chapter records the miracle of the fishes and loaves where Jesus fed 5000 men plus the women and children by multiplying the small amount of food one young lad brought for his lunch that day. Following that miracle Jesus instructed His disciples to get into their boat and go ahead of Him to the other side of the lake.

Jesus sent the multitudes away and when evening came He found a solitary place in which to pray. Meanwhile a storm arose on the lake which caused winds to blow and the waves to roll contrary to the disciples’ path. They rowed hard but after midnight towards morning they were still far from shore and in the midst of the storm.

Tired from their long and wearing struggles, they suddenly looked up and saw someone walking on the water. They imagined it was a ghost and were frightened. Then Jesus spoke to them saying, “Cheer up, it is I, do not be afraid.”

Peter immediately said, “Jesus, if it is really You, bid me to come to You walking on the water.” Jesus simply said, “Come!” With this invitation, Peter got out of the boat and began walking on the water towards Jesus. Then, Peter looked around and saw the fierceness of the winds and became afraid. Losing his focus, fear creeping in, Peter began to sink. Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!” And, of course, Jesus immediately stretched out His hand and caught him.

“Lord save me!” … what greater cry could ever come from the mouth of one in need. Whether we need to be saved from fear, death, or fear of death, Jesus is our Savior and He is mighty to save when we cry out unto Him.

Key Scripture: Matthew 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Save = Greek: Sozo – (Sode’-zo)
·        Greek Grammar: Tense - Aorist; Voice - Active; Mood - Infinitive
·        To save; to keep safe and sound; to rescue from danger or destruction; to make well or whole; to heal or restore to health.

Whom did Jesus come to rescue from danger and destruction; whom did He come to save and keep safe? The lost. Lost = those who are perishing, being destroyed, in ruin, deemed useless, destined for death.

This was the plight of the widow who was plagued for 12 years, spent all she had on physicians and was none better, but rather grew worse. When she heard of Jesus, she came …

Mark 5
28  For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well (sozo)."
34  And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well (sozo). Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."

Her faith accessed the grace of salvation. According to our key scripture, Jesus came to rescue the perishing and she, therefore, was a perfect candidate. Her faith in Christ saved her … sozo!

This account reminds me of a hymn I sang in Church as a young boy:

  Rescue the perishing,
  Care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
  Weep o’er the erring one,
  Lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing,
  Care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful,
    Jesus will save.

Our Lord Jesus has come to rescue the perishing … He seeks for those who are lost, hurting and dying in their sins. Jesus is merciful; Jesus will save!

One of the simplest and best understandings of salvation is repeated with both hope and conviction by saints in many parts of the world outside of America. I believe it best represents the greater understanding and the ongoing work of salvation. They say it this way:

1.   I have been saved.
2.   I am being saved.
3.   I will be saved.

This truth speaks of the past, present, and future works of grace.

1.    My Spirit has been rescued from the darkness of death and separation from God.
2.   My Soul is being transformed continually by the renewing power of God’s Word now in this life on a daily basis.
3.   My Body will one day be changed to reflect the image of God’s eternal glory and I shall be whole before Him.

1 Thessalonians 5:23  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Important Points
1.   Jesus gave His life on the Cross of Calvary to save us from an eternity in hell and from the hell of this life.
2.   The relationship we have with God through Jesus provides access to God’s grace for our past, our present, and our future needs.
3.   Cry out to Jesus in your need – He is mighty to sozo your spirit, soul and body.

Support Scriptures  

Luke 19:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Matthew 14:30, Matthew 27:42, Mark 5:28 & 34