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Perishing or Being Saved Part 2

Last week we talked about the cross and the words Paul used to describe it in 1Cor.1:18. In
verse 17, He showed us how he would not take the pre-eminence over the vast importance of
the cross by not using cleverness of speech, by using eloquent, persuasive, smooth-tongued
words, but with plain, simple, easy to understand words so that everyone could understand the
words Paul preached as he was sent not to baptize but to preach the gospel. We know that the
cross is an emblem of suffering and shame, but is the crucial intersection for us in our lives
between justice and mercy. Both actions were shown and accomplished on the cross. And
we looked at the word foolishness, showing that the natural man, the unbeliever, that which
has not been revealed to the natural man's mind by the Spirit of God, thinks is foolishness. We
move on today, let us look at what perishing and being saved looks like and means.

In John 3:16 we see the word perish set up to contrast to eternal life. The Greek word for perish
is used 85 times in the New Testament and the word is also translated destroy as in
Math.10:28, as Christ says we should fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell,
and Luke 15:24, the word lost, in which the prodigal son, of which it is said, “he was lost and
now is found”. So, the Greek word, apolluo, meaning something like being in a state of utter
ruin, to destroy utterly, but not to cause one to cease to exist. It means to be an entire failure
to be what God intends a man to be, it is a continual downward direction which no human has
the power to stop. They do not fulfill the purpose for which they were created, mainly to glorify
God and enjoy Him forever. The word in context in 1Cor.1:18, is ongoing. They are perishing like
an apple that has been blown off the tree. It continues to get worse and worse and does not
accomplish what it was made by the tree to do. The natural man is on this path and there is
nothing he can do about it.

But in contrast, Paul refers to them who are being saved. How grateful can we be as Spirit born
believers that we all not perish. We are being saved, being rescued, being removed from a
great peril, from a great danger, from a great distress. And Math.1:21 tells us what that peril is,
“He will save His people from their sins.” For we were dead in our transgressions, Eph.2:5.
Sinning and perishing are inextricably together and without the forgiveness of sin, we shall
surely perish. There are three tenses of this being saved. In Eph.2:8,9, we see the past
tense, in our 1Cor.1:18 text we see a present ongoing tense, and in Rom.13:11, we see a future
tense, and there are other verses that show all three tenses as well. While perishing shows
more and more interest in worldly things, being saved shows more and more interest in
heavenly things. Jesus in Math.6:21 says,” Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.

So, before we get to the power of God in our text, that makes being saved a reality and on-going
process, what would being saved look like? Since by the cross we are set free by the One we
have wronged, what sort of people should we be? We will need to be diligent in continuing to
increase our acquaintance with our Savior. Diligence makes faith fruitful. Growth in godliness
requires diligence. Have we any more of Christ's beauty in our character? Have we any more of

Christ's grace in our hearts? Have we any more of Christ's truth in our minds? Then a year ago,
then ten years ago? We need to keep ourselves in the love of God, Jude 21, and keep ourselves
in touch with Christ, and Christ will make grow. The only preventative of falling away from
steadfastness is continual progress. Next time we will finish our 1Cor.1:18 text as we will look at
how the power of God shows us that the word of the cross is not foolishness.

Elder Randy Slak