The Salvation of God

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 6
The holy scripture declares, again and again, that "Salvation is of the Lord;" that it is an act of pure unmerited mercy on the part of God. This fact supposes three things as regards man: first, that he is a guilty sinner (Rom. 3:2323For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)); secondly, that he is lost (Luke 19:1010For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)); thirdly, that he is perfectly helpless, save to own that he is helpless, and look to another to save him. (Rom. 5:66For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6).)
" Salvation is of God," then, not of man. Man has committed sins, but he cannot atone for them; man has acquired a guilty conscience, but he cannot purge it; man has offended the God of heaven and earth, but no "present" of his will appease Him; man has gotten away from God, but of himself cannot return; man is Satan's slave, but he cannot redeem himself; man is under the power of death, but he cannot break its power; man's doom is the lake of fire, and the stream of time but carries him on day, after day, to that eternal portion his sins deserve.
But, blessed fact! man may be saved: " Salvation is of God." God willeth not the death of the sinner. " This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:3, 43For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3‑4).) What blessed news for sinful man, a helpless wretch in Satan's grasp! Reader, you may be saved! Let that fact sink down into your heart. You are lost now, but you may be saved, and saved now ere the judgment of God falls upon this guilty scene.
God's salvation for lost and ruined man is a full, complete, and eternal salvation, a salvation that suits His blessed heart of love, and which shall be to His eternal praise. Oh, unsaved reader, fix your eye on God, the source and provider of the salvation which alone can save you from eternal banishment from His holy and blessed presence.
But a word or two on this great salvation. It is more wonderful and glorious to me, the more I think of it.
First. My sins, what has God done with them?
Secondly. But my standing in the first Adam troubles me; and if my sins have been put away and forgiven, how shall I look upon the "old man," and the wretched workings of evil within; is there no judgment for this? Yes, solemn thought, there is judgment for sin in its every phase, whether sin within or sin without; whether the tree, or the God-dishonoring fruit it bore.
But how? " Our old man is crucified with Christ." (Rom. 6:66Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6).) "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and by a sacrifice for sin, condemned [not improved] sin in the flesh." (Rom. 8:33For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (Romans 8:3).) " He that is dead is freed [more properly, "justified"] from sin." The believer is to " reckon himself to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 6:1111Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:11).) Thus the believer is delivered from his old Adam connection by the death of Christ, and what he realizes to be so evil within has been condemned and judged in the cross, and he is privileged to reckon as God reckons, and walk " in newness of life" and as " alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Thirdly. But has the law no claims on those who are under it? Yes, but how are such delivered from it? " My brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." (Rom. 7:44Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Romans 7:4).) "I through the law am dead to the law [it has killed me], that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh [the body], I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:19, 2019For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:19‑20).) Such then are redeemed from the law and its curse, and set on new ground before God. " Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ: that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians Hi. 13, 14.)
Fourthly. But if the believer has lost his old standing in Adam, and been delivered from the law, which applied to him there, has he no new place? and is it not one of divine security?
The scriptures furnish us with a full and blessed answer. "But now, IN CHRIST JESUS, ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Eph. 2:1313But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13).) " In Christ Jesus," is the definition of the Christians place before God; and as to condemnation, " There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are IN Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:11There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1).) The believer "hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24).)
As a believer my sins were borne by Jesus; He died to sin once; He was made a sacrifice for sin, and sin in the flesh has been condemned; our old man was crucified with Him; I am crucified with Christ, by the law dead to the law, nevertheless live, yet not " I," but Christ lives in me. " In Christ Jesus," the risen One, I live, am accepted, He being the measure of my acceptance, and because He died for me, and I died with Him, I am free from all condemnation.
I look up into heaven and see a Man upon the throne of God, the One who hung upon the cross and died beneath the weight of all my sins and the judgment due to them; and by faith, as taught by holy scripture, I can say, I am in Him there, I am accepted in the Beloved of God, I have a life and standing in Him that forbids the thought of condemnation being my portion. And He tells me that to His sheep He has given eternal life, and none shall pluck them from His blessed hand.
Thus divine acceptance and eternal security are mine through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Fifthly. As to the believer's walk, his responsibility and privilege is to walk as He (Jesus) walked. " He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (1 John 2:66He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1 John 2:6).) " By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments." (1 John 5:22By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. (1 John 5:2).) " If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:1515If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15).)
Sixthly. But more, when the Lord Jesus comes our salvation will be complete, and not before, for the " God of all grace has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus.' (1 Pet. 5:1010But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Peter 5:10).) The bodies of the saints are mortal and corruptible bodies still; so we wait for "the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (Horn. viii. 23.) Our souls are saved, our sins pardoned and blotted out through the death of Christ; we have lost our standing in Adam, and, through His resurrection, we have gained a new standing in Himself, the last Adam, the second Man, the Head of the new creation, sheltered and exempt from all judgment and condemnation; kept by the mighty power of God. And now the next thing we are to look for, though in a scene where there is properly tribulation and deep exercise of soul for the one who walks with God, is the coming of the Lord, the redemption of the body, and the eternal glory of God, Seventhly. Wondrous thought, too, this may take place at any moment. " Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and ice shall be changed.' (1 Cor. 15:51-5751Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:51‑57).) Man says, We must all die; scripture says, We shall not all sleep. If the Lord came to-day, believers living on the earth would not die, they would be changed; and with the sleeping saints raised from the dead, be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and so be forever with the Lord. (1 Thess. 4:16-1816For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16‑18).)
As to the body, the word of God says, " This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.' (1 Cor. 15:5353For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:53).) And more than this, " Our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, 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." (Phil. 3:20, 2120For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21Who 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. (Philippians 3:20‑21).)
Thus, with a body like His own, His companions for eternity, we are to inherit the eternal glory of God, and be to the glory of His grace. This is God's salvation, and nothing short of it is. A.