Salvation

WE have spoken of salvation as the present possession of God's people. But none the less is salvation the prospect of those who are saved. We are saved, but we are saved in hope, or by hope. (Rom. 8:2424For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? (Romans 8:24).) Hoping to be saved, and being saved in hope, are vastly different. He who hopes to be saved, does not know that he is saved; but he who knows he is saved, hopes for the coming day of glory if a man be on board ship, he knows he is there, and, being safe on board, hopes for the harbor and his friends whither the vessel is bound. The believer is bound for glory, and for this he hopes. Yet not as one on board a ship might hope; for a vessel may founder at sea; but God's people are in Christ, and their future is as certain as their present. Their hope has no element of uncertainty in it. "Glorified together" with Christ is the grand and certain prospect before the soul saved by Christ, and this expectation filling the heart by the Spirit, enables the believer to say, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." For what are the waves and. the storms of life but difficulties to be passed over, each of which marks one stage nearer eternal rest! We are waiting—saved indeed by the blood of Christ, safe indeed in Him —for "the redemption of our body," when we shall be glorified like the Lord. Such is the hope by or in which we are saved. We see not yet this grand end this eternal destiny; but we "hope for" it, and the day draws nigh; and "if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Read Rom. 8:18, 3018For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)
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The Lord Jesus Christ is our perfect Saviour. He will save us from every trace of weakness and of corruption that pertains to these our bodies of humiliation, and let us give Him the glory in our hearts in this His gracious title of Saviour! How the matchless energy of a soul filled with longings after Christ gives vigor to the steps of the believer, as we read in the third chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians! St. Paul's eye was fixed on Jesus, glorified, and in the power of this sight every great thing of this world became as dross and as dung to his soul. Christ he reached forth unto, in his eager race, and then, looking round for a moment upon some he loved —his eyes filled with tears because of their earth-loving spirits—he said, " Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”
This salvation is our hope—a hope the early Christians had in power in their souls. Think of the Thessalonian believers, tried and persecuted; and, as their surroundings present themselves to view, with what force does the exhortation come home to our souls, "Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on... for an helmet the hope of salvation." (1 Thess. 5:4-114But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (1 Thessalonians 5:4‑11).) With such an helmet they might indeed hold up their heads in the midst of foes. And when Christians become weak, and their spiritual life lacks nerve and fire, they have failed to put on the helmet of the hope of salvation. The battle will soon be over, the foes soon driven back. Victory is assured; salvation and glory are at hand—"take the helmet of salvation." (Eph. 6:1717And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:17).)
“Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed," says the Scripture to each of us, exhorting us by the immediateness of the glory to awake out of sleep, and to live honorably. Day by day the hope nears its realization. How soon it may burst upon us we know not. Well will it be for such of God's people as have their lives now governed by its near approach. Let us not be found sleeping when Jesus comes, or engaged with such as indulge their debased tastes, or with those who give themselves to jealousy and strife. (Rom. 13:11-1411And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:11‑14).)
“Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Heb. 9:2828So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28).) His first coming related to sin, and "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;" His second corning will be to bring this perfect salvation to His people. Happy are they who have the eyes of their hearts looking for Him.