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26 December, 2012

Waiting for Salvation

Waiting for Salvation
James Smith, 1861

"I have WAITED for your salvation, O Lord." This is our only proper posture as believers in Jesus. We wait not for death — but for God's salvation. We have the plan of it in the Scriptures — to study, and we have the pledge of it in our hearts — to encourage us. It is for us therefore to wait for its full perfection, and to wait in God's way, God's time, until it arrives.

Let us wait praying, which is a preparation for it.
Let us wait pressing on, determined to reach it.
Let us wait particularly doing and enduring all that God requires or permits it.
Let us wait persuaded that it will come, and come soon. To some of us, it is just in sight. Soon, very soon, we shall be called from scenes of suffering and labor, and shall enter into the enjoyment of perfect, perpetual, and everlasting freedom!

Every saint waits and pants for perfect purity. This is the direct and invariable tendency of the new nature. Sin is an annoyance, a burden, a grief, a very hateful thing. Holiness is lovely, desirable, and precious. To be holy, perfectly holy — is the natural and constant desire of the regenerated soul.

FAITH lays hold on God's promise. Which is the promise of salvation, for as John says, "This is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life." This promise, as presented in the gospel, is apprehended, appreciated, and appropriated by faith. Faith believes it, is assured of it, and rests upon it.

PATIENCE waits God's time. Human nature is often in a hurry, trials and troubles spur it on, and at times it becomes restive; but grace is willing to wait, yes, would rather wait, if God may thereby be glorified. "I have waited," said Jacob: and "if we hope for that we see not," says Paul, "then do we with patience wait for it."

LOVE works in God's vineyard. None wait so patiently, so comfortably, so consistently, as those who are diligently employed in God's service. O how many evils are prevented, and how much good is obtained by diligent working for God!

HOPE expects full enjoyment.
As God has promised it — faith believes it;
and as faith believes it — hope expects it;
hope expecting it — we patiently wait for it;
and while patiently waiting for it —
we often enjoy the foretastes of it.

Reader, is your heart set upon salvation? Upon being saved from sin now — that you may be saved from all sorrow, sighing, and sadness forever?
Salvation may be had — but it must be sought. If you are willing to be damned, you need take no special effort — just go on and let things take their course, and you are lost. But, if you wish to be saved —

you must strive to enter in at the strait gate,
you must set your heart upon obtaining the salvation which is in Christ Jesus,
you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.
Faith, the faith which saves us, comes from Christ, receives from Christ, trusts in Christ, has fellowship with Christ, nor will it allow the soul to rest until it realizes that we are one with Christ. "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ — and you shall be saved!" But if you believe not — you must be damned, for "He who believes not the Son of God shall not see life — but the wrath of God abides on him." We are saved by grace — but it is through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.