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14 May, 2013

A Fourfold Salvation ─ Part 1

I shared with you in one of my posts that God in a vision showed me why He was sad because of what we Christians had made of His plan for Salvation. The reason we messed it up so bad is because most of us are not working with the Holy Spirit and He is still elusive to us. Because once you learn true Salvation from His point of view, you are ruined for everyone else.  I chose Arthur Pink not because He is the only one of those writers who understood true Salvation from God’s point of view, but because he is easier to relate to and his writing is simple.

If you read any one of those puritans or classic authors you will find that they all understood Salvation in the same way along with several great pastors today. Unfortunately we do not have enough of those great pastors in today’s world. Too often we scream apostasy, when in reality the attitude that we need is to go directly to God and tell Him to teach us from His point of view because we are tired of the discrepancies we see out there. We scream apostasy instead and feel our job is done and we are off the hook while Satan is amused. God will not be mocked. In the same way unbelief has its consequences when we read Romans 1:18-21 through those verses God will judge the unbelievers because they have it within to recognize and worship God but they chose not to. Those of us who claim to have received Salvation but chose the external things only to show what they have is enough, I would not like to be in your shoes when you meet with Him.

In the same way the unbelievers know there is a God in Heaven because Romans 1:19 says“since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”  Many of us have chosen to remain the type of Christian as those in the stony or the thorny ground in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:28-33, and never advanced to become inwardly “the good ground.” God regulates each one of us inside to choose Him so we can go deeper and learn from Him. But for convenience sake we chose otherwise. When we read articles such as those I am going to post the next few days, we choose to scream apostasy and put our fingers in our ears or we can go directly to God and ask Him “would you teach me so that I can understand and learn from you?” I promise you that even choosing to go forward with Him, is still a work of divine grace. Blessings

A Fourfold SalvationBy A. Pink 1938

The subject of God's "so great salvation" (Heb. 2:3), as it is revealed to us in the Scriptures and made known in Christian experience, is worthy of a life's study. Anyone who supposes that there is now no longer any need for him to prayerfully search for a fuller understanding of the same, needs to ponder, "If any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know" (1 Cor. 8:2). The fact is that the moment any of us really takes it for granted that he already knows all that there is to be known on any subject treated of in Holy Writ, he at once cuts himself off from any further light thereon. That which is most needed by all of us in order to a better understanding of Divine things is not a brilliant intellect—but a truly humble heart and a teachable spirit, and for that we should daily and fervently pray—for we possess it not by nature.

The subject of Divine salvation has, sad to say, provoked age-long controversy and bitter contentions even among professing Christians. There is comparatively little real agreement even upon this elementary yet vital truth. Some have insisted that salvation is by Divine grace, others have argued it is by human endeavor. A number have sought to defend a middle position, and while allowing that the salvation of a lost sinner must be by Divine grace, were not willing to concede that it is by grace alone, alleging that God's grace must be plussed by something from the creature, and very varied have been the opinions of what that "something" must be—baptism, church-membership, the performing of good works, holding out faithful to the end, etc. 

On the other hand, there are those who not only grant that salvation is by grace alone—but who deny that God uses any means whatever in the accomplishment of His eternal purpose to save His elect—overlooking the fact that the sacrifice of Christ is the grand "means"! It is true that the Church of God was blessed with super-creation blessings, being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, and predestinated unto the adoption of children, and nothing could or can alter that grand fact. It is equally true that if sin had never entered the world, none had been in need of salvation from it. But sin has entered, and the Church fell in Adam and came under the curse and condemnation of God's Law.

Consequently, the elect, equally with the reprobate, share in the capital offense of their federal head, and partake of its fearful entail, "In Adam all die" (1 Cor. 15:22), "By the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation" (Romans 5:18). The result of this is that all are "alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts" (Eph. 4:18), so that the members of the mystical Body of Christ are "by nature the children of wrath, even as others" (Eph. 2:3), and hence they are alike in dire need of God's salvation.

Even where there is fundamental soundness in their views upon Divine salvation—yet many have such inadequate and one-sided conceptions that other aspects of this truth, equally important and essential, are often overlooked and tacitly denied. How many, for example, would be capable of giving a simple exposition of the following texts, "Who has saved us" (2 Tim. 1:9). "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12), "Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed" (Romans 13:11). Now those verses do not refer to three different salvations—but to three separate aspects of one and unless we learn to distinguish sharply between them, there can be nothing but confusion and cloudiness in our thinking. 

Those passages present three distinct phases and stages of salvation—salvation . . .
as an accomplished fact,
as a present process,
as a future prospect.

So many today ignore these distinctions, jumbling them together. Some contend for one and argue against the other two; and vice versa. Some insist they are already saved, and deny that they are now being saved. Some declare that salvation is entirely future, and deny that it is in any sense already accomplished. Both are wrong.