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15 May, 2013

A Fourfold Salvation ─ Part 2

When it comes to salvation, there is no question that the Roman Catholic Church went way too far and they added so much to God’s Word that they resemble to the Pharisees in their interpretation of the law. In the same way, Protestants, to rectify the situation and distance itself from the Roman Catholic, has unquestionably taken out too much of the Word of God that they are left with an empty shell (some sort of mould) that does not quite fit with God’s Word. So, most Protestants when it comes time to prepare a sermon, write a book, read our Bible etc, they start to unravel the gospel according to what they are holding onto so preciously and everything must fit the mould they have been given. What is wrong with the Protestant model is that we are in fact telling God how we want Him to interpret Salvation and we are dictating our terms.

At the end of the day, both groups butchered God’s vision and goal for Salvation. The fact is, when true Salvation comes in contact with a man’s soul, you can see the ugliness within. Now, this is not something we repeat like parrots without ever knowing what it means inwardly. This is not a matter of repeating glibly few verses out of context and without the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

It is a knowledge of ugliness within that causes you to disgust yourself and disgust sin and you know and compute that without Christ you are nothing. You are aware of how desperately you need Him and the sweet preciousness of the cross, because you have come face to face with your helplessness without the work of the cross in your life. This is not an experience reserved for the few as if God unjustly does not show it to other Christians. IT IS SIMPLY THE EFFECT OF SALVATION IN YOUR SOUL. It is the life of Christ within bringing up the contrast between who we are now with His life operating in us as He breathe His life within us.

I would hate to know that you are taking just my word on this or worse, you are screaming apostasy, instead of going directly to Him.

A Fourfold Salvation

By A. Pink 1938

The fact is, that the great majority of professing Christians fail to see that "salvation" is one of the most comprehensive terms in all the Scriptures, including predestination, regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification. They have far too cramped an idea of the meaning and scope of the word "salvation" (as it is used in the Scriptures), narrowing its range too much, generally confining their thoughts to but a single phase. They suppose "salvation" means no more than the new birth or the forgiveness of sins. Were one to tell them that salvation is a protracted process, they would view him with suspicion; and if he affirmed that salvation is something awaiting us in the future, they would at once dub him a heretic. Yet they would be the ones to err.

Ask the average Christian, Are you saved, and he answers, Yes, I was saved in such and such a year; and that is as far as his thoughts on the subject go. Ask him, to what do you owe your salvation? and "the finished work of Christ" is the sum of his reply. Tell him that each of those answers is seriously defective, and he strongly resents your aspersion.

As an example of the confusion which now prevails, we quote the following from a tract on Philippians 2:12, "To whom are those instructions addressed? The opening words of the Epistle tell us—'To the saints in Christ Jesus' . . . Thus they were all believers! and could not be required to work for their salvation, for they already possessed it." Alas that so very few today perceive anything wrong in such a statement. Another "Bible teacher" tells us that "save yourself" (1 Tim. 4:16) must refer to deliverance from physical ills, as Timothy was already saved spiritually. True—yet it is equally true that he was then in process of being saved, and also a fact that his salvation was then future.

Let us now supplement the first three verses quoted and show there are other passages in the New Testament which definitely refer to each distinct tense of salvation.

First, salvation as an accomplished fact, "Your faith has saved you" (Luke 7:50), "by grace you have been saved" (Greek, and so translated in the R.V.—Eph. 2:8), "according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5).

Second, salvation as a present process, in course of accomplishment, not yet completed, "Unto us which are being saved" (1 Cor. 1:18—R.V.); "Those who believe to the saving (not 'salvation') of the soul" (Heb. 10:39).
Third, salvation as a future prospect, "Sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb. 1:14), "receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21), "Kept by the power of God through faith Studies in the Scriptures July, 1938 20 unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:5).

Thus, by putting together these different passages, we are clearly warranted in formulating the following statement—every genuine Christian has been saved, is now being saved, and will yet be saved—how and from what, we shall endeavor to show.

As further proof of how many-sided is the subject of God's great salvation and how that in Scripture it is viewed from various angles, take the following, "by grace are you saved" (Eph. 2:8), "saved by His (Christ's) life" (that is) by His resurrection life (Romans 5:9), "your faith has saved you" (Luke 7:50), "the engrafted Word which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21), "saved by hope" (Romans 8:24), "saved yet as by fire" (1 Cor. 3:15), "the like figure where unto baptism does also now save us" (1 Peter 3:21).

Ah, my reader, the Bible is not the lazy man's book, nor can it be soundly expounded by those who do not devote the whole of their time, and that for years, to its prayerful study. It is not that God would bewilder us—but that He would humble us, drive us to our knees, make us dependent upon His Spirit. Not to the proud—who are wise in their own esteem—are its heavenly secrets opened.

In like manner it may be shown from Scripture that the cause of salvation is not a single one, as so many suppose—the blood of Christ. Here, too, it is necessary to distinguish between things which differ.

First, the originating cause of salvation is the eternal purpose of God, or, in other words, the predestinating grace of the Father.