30 May, 2013
A Four Fold Salvation — Part 10
A Four Fold Salvation
Without the Holy Spirit revealing God’s word to us, we will always look at things in the Bible from one side only. But once, we have light, even though it is a paradox, but things make sense so much that we do not need to ask God to explain further. In our training for this life we ought to look at the spiritual life like a coin with two sides. Failing to look at God’s word in the light of the Spirit, we will always have a group of Christian who feels there is nothing to be done the Spirit will take care of things. So they remain in the Church in a baby stage even after decades. But because they read the Bible and they have intellect, they have no idea they are in a baby stage when it comes to the spiritual life. In the same way, if we go on doing too much on our own, we are back to being once again babies with no light of the Spirit.
There is a balance and we find it solely in the Spirit, by living life in oneness with Him with an attitude adjustment. I vividly remember when I read Andrew’s book about Christ’s obedience two things were made clear to me. First God is not asking for me to leave my throne in Heaven and be insulted and beaten up by man on earth, nor was He asking me to die an excruciating pain on the cross. (Actually the work He does in your soul is almost as painful. But I did not know that then) Secondly, I kept thinking, if Christ is subjected to this obedient life to the Father, how can I say I am Christian and try to escape it? I knew right then and there if I try to escape Christ’s attitude and obedience, it would mean that in my actions I put myself above the Master. This attitude of the mind, I found out that it was more important to acquire it, than trying hard on my own not to sin.
When you have the right attitude, oneness and obedience are your constant daily doses, Christianity looks more like you are going down the hill, even though life is hard. But with the wrong attitude, meaning avoiding total obedience and not wanting to surrender, Christianity is so hard. Especially when you are reading about other people’s spiritual life and all the graces that God pours out on them, you kind of wonder what happen to you. Doing things on our own make Christianity as hard as if you were pushing a car by yourself, up an endless hill. While these things I am talking about do not save you, but they allow the Holy Spirit to move freely in your life, take the unnecessary yoke off your shoulders and carry some with you. And here comes the paradox, the willingness to submit and let him move freely to carry you through, comes also from Him, simply because Salvation has entered your heart and soul.
What Pink talked about in this post, in regard to knowing the contrast of light and sin in our mortal bodies, it is a painful stage that we have to go through. It is real, not just words that Paul said to fill up pages. When this happened to me it was not because I was sinning, but it was so painful within me, the depravity within vs the light. There is a fight between the light and darkness within, at the same time it feels like the light is pushing forward to take hold of every inch in your mortal body and does not care that the darkness is resisting. I remember while in my pain saying “the Holy Spirit is bullying the darkness, because both of them are real and alive within and both want to reign. It was kind of like a hostile takeover on the part of Christ. Sometimes I laugh at the way I live out things with God, but I have a very simple mind. What can I say? The point I am making here is that we need to take heed to what Pink is saying. It is not something reserved for the few, rather one of seasons we have to go through before He finally declares us holy.
Please do yourself a favour and download this little book from my site THE
SCHOOL OF OBEDIENCE BY ANDREW MURRAY. I do not
want your name or email address, you simply go on the site, Apprehended
scroll to the middle of the page and click “download.”
Arthur Pink, 1938
Above, we have dealt only with the human side of the problem as to how to obtain deliverance from the dominion of sin. Necessarily there is a Divine side, too. It is only by God's grace that we are enabled to use the means which He has provided for us, as it is only by the power of His Spirit who dwells within us, that we can "lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and run with patience the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1). These two aspects (the Divine and human) are brought together in a number of Scriptures. We are bid to, "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling," but the Apostle immediately added, "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. , 13). Thus, we are to work out that which God has wrought within us—in other words, if we walk in the Spirit we shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Gal. 5:16).
It has now been shown that salvation from the power of sin is a process which goes on throughout the believer's life. It is to this Solomon referred when he said, "The path of the just is as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs ).
As our salvation from the pleasure of sin is the consequence of our regeneration, and as salvation from the penalty of sin respects our justification, so salvation from the power of sin has to do with the practical side of our sanctification. The word "sanctification" signifies "separation" —separation from sin. We need hardly say that the word "holiness" is strictly synonymous with "sanctification," being an alternative rendering of the same Greek word.
As the practical side of sanctification has to do with our separation from sin, we are told, "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Cor. 7:1). That practical sanctification or holiness is a process, a progressive experience, is clear from this, "Follow . . . holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. ). The fact that we are exhorted to "follow" holiness clearly intimates that we have not yet attained unto the Divine standard which God requires of us. This is further seen in the passage just quoted above, "perfecting holiness" or completing it.
We must now enter into a little fuller detail upon the Divine side of our salvation from the power and pollution of sin. When a sinner truly receives Christ as his Lord and Savior, God does not then and there take him to Heaven—on the contrary, he is likely to be left down here for many years and this world is a place of danger, for it lies in the Wicked one (1 John 5:19) and all pertaining to it is opposed to the Father (1 John 2:16).
Therefore the believer needs daily salvation from this hostile system. Accordingly we read that Christ, "gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world" (Gal. 1:4). Not only is the sinner not taken to Heaven when he first savingly believes—but, as we have seen, the evil nature is not taken out of him—nevertheless God does not leave him completely under its dominion—but graciously delivers him from its regal power. He uses a great variety of means in accomplishing this.
First, by granting us a clearer view of our inward depravity, so that we are made to abhor ourselves. By nature we are thoroughly in love with ourselves—but as the Divine work of grace is carried forward in our souls we come to loathe ourselves; and that, my reader, is a very distressing experience—one which is conveniently shelved by most of our modern preachers. The concept which many young Christians form from preachers, is that the experience of a genuine believer is a smooth, peaceful, and joyous one; but he soon discovers that this is not verified in his personal experience—but rather is it completely false. And this staggers him—supposing the preacher to know more about such matters than himself, he is now filled with disturbing doubts about his very salvation, and the Devil promptly tells him he is only a hypocrite, and never was saved at all.
Only those who have actually passed through, or are passing through this painful experience, have any real conception thereof. There is as much difference between an actual acquaintance with it and the mere reading a description of the same—as there is between personally visiting a country and simply studying a map of it.
But how are we to account for one who has been saved from the pleasure and penalty of sin, now being made increasingly conscious not only of its polluting presence but of its tyrannizing power? How can we explain the fact that the Christian now finds himself growing worse and worse, and the more closely he endeavors to walk with God, the more he finds the flesh bringing forth its horrible works in ways it had not done previously? The answer is because of increased light from God, by which he now discovers filth of which he was previously unaware—the sun shining into a neglected room does not create the dust and cobwebs—but simply reveals them.