If Saved - What Am I Saved For?

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 8
The first and most important question with all who have reached the period of responsibility, is surely the salvation of the soul. Compared with this, all other questions sink into utter insignificance. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36, 3736For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36‑37).) One human soul, according to the Lord's estimate, is of more value in His sight than the whole world. And were we to look at things from His point of view, our estimate would be the same. He gives us heaven's estimate of such things. The one is matter, the other is spirit; the one will pass away as if it had never been; the earth, with all its precious metals, so-called, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up; the other will survive the wreck of all matter, the dissolution of all earthly things, and live on, and on, through all changes, either in happiness or misery, forever and forever. The soul, being immortal, must surpass in value the whole material universe.
Were christian parents sufficiently alive to this solemn fact, they would make the conversion of their children, in their early years, the first object in their instruction and training. God only, we know, can plant the pulse of divine life in the child of nature, but that should not make us careless or indifferent to the need and importance of the new birth. Rather, it should make us more dependent upon God, and more diligent in pleading His needed grace. The main point here is, Have we fully realized the importance of the soul's salvation, as far above and beyond all other considerations? If so, the heart will find relief in constantly pouring out its deep and uppermost desires into the bosom of our God and Father. The bare thought crossing the mind of such an one being lost will quicken our zeal into a burning flame. And, if the heart be rightly balanced as to this question, the means will be used with an earnestness as if all depended on them; and yet, all the while, cherishing the deepest convictions that, without the operations of God's Holy Spirit, there will be no immediate results. But there will be deep reality and burning earnestness everywhere—before God in prayer, and before the children in a living example of the spirit of Christ, and with suitable care to win the heart for Him. There is no reason why christian parents should not reckon upon God for the conversion of their children before they leave the family roof for schools or trades.
If love for souls is the best gift of the evangelist, there is no better preparation for the work than this deep heart exercise about those we love, especially our own children. Whatever the special gift may be in the speaker, there will be earnest pleading, even to agony, and appeals which must be felt to come from the heart, even though the hearers remain unconverted.
The Lord is holding everything in His own hand, and waiting His time, but He is thereby deepening in the soul of His servant the sense of the great reality of these things. Only, the pleading one must take care that his faith fail not, that he holds fast by the truth of God, and that he calmly counts on Him who will surely satisfy the desires He has created. We may have no direct promise to plead, but we can always say, " He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:3232He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32).) God will never disown the faith that trusts in Him as He has revealed Himself in the Person and work of His beloved Son.
It is also of unspeakable importance, when the soul is converted, to have the whole question of salvation fully settled. This is often left with a measure of uncertainty, or with nothing more than a hope that it is so, though sometimes accompanied with a fear that it may not be so after all. So long as this is the case, the young believer will be occupied with himself, and can make no progress in the divine life. This, alas! is the sad state of many; and even where there is a measure of certainty of salvation, it is often with so little intelligence, that the soul is not perfectly free and happy.
The first question, then, to be settled is, the absolute certainty of salvation, according to the full efficacy of the work of Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, as the seal of that work. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." (Eph. 1:1313In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13).) Here we have something like the divine process. The gospel of salvation is heard, Christ is trusted, the full truth is believed, and the soul is sealed with the Holy Spirit.
In chapter ii. it is said, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace." This is precious! If Christ be our peace, it can never be lost. We may lose the enjoyment of it, but never the peace itself, inasmuch as Christ can never lose His peace with God. He is also said to be our righteousness. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:2121For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21).) This is absolute! We are made the righteousness of God in Christ. This is our condition in the presence of God in Christ—righteousness absolute! See also Rom. 4:25; 5:1, 225Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1‑2)
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From such scriptures, faith will have no difficulty in answering the question as to the certainty and completeness of salvation. Then comes the second question—What am I saved for? Surely to give my heart, unreservedly and undividedly, to the Lord; to care only for His glory, and for what will please and serve Him.
But as we have no space to enlarge upon this point at present, we will merely state the three grand positions or relations of the Christian, and leave the thoughtful to meditate on their privileges, blessings, and responsibilities.
1. Every Christian is a child in the family of God. "For we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.יי Again, " Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." And this is, "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." But, as His children, He looks for us to " be holy and without blame before him in love." Gal. 3:2626For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26); Eph. 1:4-64According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:4‑6).
2. Every Christian is a member of the body of Christ. " For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." And this, too, in resurrection, where no change can ever take place; " For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." And being thus livingly united to the Head in heaven, we are members one of another. " For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." (1 Cor. 12; Eph. 5; Rom. 12) While nothing can exceed the reality and blessedness of this vital union, it also involves the most weighty responsibility. We cease to be simply individual in our actions; the whole body is affected by our spirit and ways. This consideration ought to make every Christian most careful to act consistently with his relation to the Head and members of the body of Christ; " And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it." 1 Corinthians xii. 26.
3. Every Christian is a servant in the kingdom. It is through much tribulation that we enter into the kingdom; not so into the family, or the body, but into the kingdom. In Hebrews, service is connected with a purified conscience: " How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." In Thessalonians we find it connected with conversion, and the hope of the Lord's return: " Ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven." In the parable of the pounds, the blessed Lord places this truth most fully and distinctly before us, with its own rewards: " For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shown toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." But the character and fruit of our service will not be known until the bright millennial day, when the time spoken of shall have come; " That thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great." Acts 14:2222Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22); Heb. 9:1414How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14) Thess. 1:9; Luke 19; Heb. 6:1010For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (Hebrews 6:10); Rev. 11:1818And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:18).
May the Lord, in His great mercy, lead all who read these pages, not only to know for certain that they are saved, but also to know what they are saved for, and to act consistently as a child in the family, a member in the body, and a servant in the kingdom.