Bible Subjects: Salvation

SALVATION is a theme which fills our souls with gratitude and praise, and which, view it as we may, ever gives us to rejoice in God. This grand and gracious subject shall occupy us for a few occasions.
We open our Bibles, and write out a list of the very many verses in the New Testament (we cannot now refer to the Old) which speak of the Saviour, of being saved, of salvation; and looking over the texts, we see that sometimes our bodies, at others our souls, sometimes the present, at others the future spiritual blessings which are the believer's are presented to us.
Perhaps the greater number of texts which speak of salvation are those which treat of it both as the present possession and the future portion of God's people. To limit the thought of salvation to a sinner's deliverance from the wrath to come is to narrow a very extensive truth of God to but one of its parts.
A large number of the texts in the first three gospels about saving and being saved relate to the body. How many of these include both soul and body we may not be able to say, but deeply interesting and suggestive it is to ponder over such texts as these: " If I may but touch His garment, |iI| shall be whole  ... Thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour." (Matt. 9:21, 2221For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. (Matthew 9:21‑22). See also Mark 5:23, 28, 3423And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. (Mark 5:23)
28For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. (Mark 5:28)
34And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. (Mark 5:34)
) "Thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight." (Luke 18:42, 4342And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 43And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God. (Luke 18:42‑43).) For it is the same word used in each case, though translated "be made whole" in one, and "saved” in the other. Surely some of the sufferers who sought the Lord for the healing of their bodies found in Him the Saviour! They sought Him for His salvation, as well as for the soundness of their bodies, which latter mercy we find specifically spoken of in such verses as Matt. 12:1313Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. (Matthew 12:13), John 5:6, &c., where to be made whole simply means to be made sound. Perhaps in the Lord's words to the woman whose issue of blood He healed, we have both salvation and the soundness presented, for we may read (Mark 5:3434And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. (Mark 5:34)), “He said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague." Some we know who were found of the Lord, and in mercy were healed by Him of their bodily infirmity, only requited Him evil for His kindness. Take as an example the paralytic mentioned in John 5, and read of his ways. (Chapter 5:6, 9, 11, 14, 15; and 7:23.) Not all who were made sound were saved.
St. James speaks to us of the prayer of faith that saves the sick, (Chapter 5:14-20.) These are encouraging but solemn verses. The sick man calls for the elders of the church, who pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. Now the issues of life and death are in the Lord's hands, and in a most marked way the sick chamber, of which we have read, is taken possession of by faith, and we feel the Lord is there. “The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up." Let us not disbelieve that the gracious Lord, the record of whose healing, saving hand is so sweet to us in the gospels, is as near to raise up the sick now as He was when here on earth!
The solemnity of the passage lies greatly in the fact that at times a sickness is sent by God in chastisement for specific sins committed by His people. "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed." "If any of you do err from the truth and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." We hardly need point out that the death here spoken of is that of the body, and that the sinner who is brought back is an erring believer. God will at times follow His sinning people with judgment, and it may be the sin is such, that prayer is not to be sent up to God for the life of the transgressor. "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death." (1 John 5:16, 1716If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (1 John 5:16‑17).)
These solemn passages should make us fear lest we should be tempted to sin presumptuously against our holy God. On the other hand, we must never forget that whom the Lord loves He chastens, and that sickness and sorrow are allowed to befall us as favors sent by our Father in heaven. In the verses we have considered, we see that wisdom from God is given to understand why the sickness to death is sent. Some special sin had been committed. If God's children should know why judgment is sent, it is their privilege to be assured how their Father sends them trials and sufferings in tenderness and love. Such distresses are amongst their greatest mercies! The discipline of daily life, and direct punishment for presumptuous sinning, are very distinct.
When we reach our heavenly home we shall see in how many ways God has saved us in this life, as regards our bodies. We need more simplicity of heart about our bodies, which are the Lord's. Let us in faith more truly commit ourselves to Him, and more carefully observe His ways in preserving and saving us, and thereby learn to thank Him more for His mercies.