As far as the word “saved” is concerned, which has meant “saved from eternal torment” to most people for well over a millenia, isnt the first-fruits of the harvest, “saved” out of the harvest?
Peter said “Be saved from(apo-out of Strongs 575 “of the separation of apart from the whole; where of a whole some part is taken”) this perverse generation” in His initial message to the Sanhedrin on Pentecost, the first proclamation of the gospel.(Acts 2:40)
When we are healed(saved, sozo, -delivered, healed, restored) we are saved “out of Adam” and “born not of the will of man, or the will of the flesh, but of the will of God”. We become the children of God, a new generation, a new creature “in Christ”…
“Beloved, Now we are God’s children, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see Him as He is.”
Our salvation is the “gathering out” of the first- fruits. "Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights… In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
Born not of the will of man…but of God.
Along with what Paul says in Romans 8 we begin to see that this was the will of God from the beginning. We are that good and perfect gift, given as the first-fruits of that which is coming to the whole creation, called out to be deliverers, healers, restorers. To me, Romans 8:18-25 and Eph 1:9-14 are the ultimate foundational verses for a comprehensive view of eschatology.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself, will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body.” Phil 3:20
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Ecclesia means “separated ones”, “called out ones”.
Our salvation is the gift of God to the whole creation in Christ. “Christ in you the hope of glory”…“in hope that the creation will be set free into the glorious liberty of the children of God”.
In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.(Eph 1)
To the end that you who were first to believe would be to the praise of His glory…With a view to the redemption of God’s own possession
The pledge of the inheritance in us is a guarantee that God will redeem ALL His possession-not just us. Because He has redeemed us- who were sinners, alienated towards God and hostile in mind(Colossians 1)- the guarantee is that God will redeem all, and Paul lays this out throughout Ephesians, referring back to it frequently…
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7** so that in the ages to come **He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.(Eph 2)
Surely you have heard about the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ(Eph 3)
This myster of His will according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him…
Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.(Eph 4)
Paul wrote of it in breif, but we have to realize that we are looking back at it from a “wrong foundation” , a “tattered and soiled map”.
But the longer we read, the more we see- they were looking forward to it from having received, by direct revelation(not through the agency of man) the “whole counsel of God”.
Once we begin to see the words from that contextual view- it becomes obvious that this was as fundamental to their understanding of His purpose as ANY PART OF THE GOSPEL. It was woven into “the whole cloth”. It was not a separate special revelation. It was part and parcel- the gospel. “Saved” never meant to them what it has meant to us. It wasnt saddled with those limitations and distortions until much later.
It meant , delivered, healed, restored- called out, separated to the will of God and that will- that as joint heirs with Christ we would work together in Him, indeed- we were created in Christ Jesus for good works which He prepared from the foundation of the world that we should walk in them, and that GOOD WORK THAT THE WHOLE CREATION BE SET FREE FROM FUTILITY- hence the whole creation anxiously longs for our “manifestation”.
We read and speak as those who must defend and convince and shore up. Our fear causes us to still see certain things as if the map was still soiled and tattered.
They spoke as if it was understood, just “the gospel” with no fear or apology, because they saw it as clearly as the noonday sun.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and** to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.** (Eph 3)