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17 May, 2013

A Fourfold Salvation—Part 4

The way the triune God taught me in the wilderness has always been in three fold. He taught me verbally, then showed me, then proceeded to let me experience what He just taught me. Some experiences last few seconds, some few minutes and some few days. He usually takes the experiences away because He does not want our lives to be just about experiencing Him. Nevertheless, it was indeed an intense period at His feet for seven years. Granted, since I came out of the wilderness, things are not as intense as they used to be and the experience part of the process is very far apart. But, I know because I experience Him less, does not mean His pattern has changed. He is truly a God of order. I also learned that this process of His is a pattern that He follows in working out Salvation in our lives. Through it, I also learned why we cannot separate salvation from discipleship, justification and sanctification. They are just one long string of grace as far as God is concerned.

Those steps in our lives like justification, sanctification, etc are just the impartation of what we have received. He showed me in a beautiful way how Salvation and the impartation process is like having all the ingredients to make a specific cake where not one ingredient is missing, but they are all laid out on the table. Then, together we make a beautiful cake that I could not even begin to envision on my own. When you get to know God you know He has a sense of humour. Most of my vision where He is teaching me, He always shows me myself as a seven or eight years old child. Anyway, though we were making the cake together, I have never left His side and my job was limited to sometimes pass the ingredients to Him and sometimes He would let me get involved in the mix up process, but the mixer and the utensil being used to mix up, never leave His hands even though I am involved. Picture making a cake with your child and you ask him or she to press the button of the electrical appliance for you to make the child feels useful. That was the extend of my work.

When we know Him up close and personal, we also know every step we take after Salvation enters our heart, while we take those steps through faith and it seems to be our work, but it is no less the author of Salvation working in us to will and to do.

Now, often times we say that, people are living in defeat because they do not know who they are in Him. You know what? It is true sometimes we are not aware of our identity in Him, as such we cannot live out the blessings this identity has in store for us. We are not able to transfer on a daily basis what we know of Him and process the knowledge into the heart until it takes root within. Make no mistake about the reason why these types of Christians are defeated, because they do not know Him personally. I am not making this up, it turns out that I was there too at one point in my Salvation.

But, we cannot assume that everyone living in defeat is simply because they do not know who they are in Him. If we do not learn to properly diagnose in the spirit, especially if we are called to be Bible study leaders, we will not be able to help those that we are  called to help,  nor we are able to pray for them properly.

Some are living in defeat, especially if they have  called  themselves Christians for a few decades and they have been going to Church, serve and read the Bible etc., yet they are still defeated because they have not really received Salvation yet. Yes - I dare say it, I will expand on it further tomorrow. 

A Fourfold Salvation

Arthur Pink, 1938 

Second, the meritorious cause of salvation is the mediation of Christ, this having particular respect to the legal side of things, or, in other words, His fully meeting the demands of the Law on behalf and in the place of those He redeems.
Third, the efficient cause of salvation is the regenerating and sanctifying operations of the Holy Spirit which respect the experimental side of it; or, in other words, the Spirit works in us what Christ purchased for us.

Thus, we owe our personal salvation equally to each Person in the Trinity, and not to one (the Son) more than to the others.

Fourth, the instrumental cause is our faith, obedience, and perseverance—though we are not saved because of them, equally true is it that we cannot be saved (according to God's appointment) without them.

Our salvation originates, of course, in the eternal purpose of God, in His predestinating of us to everlasting glory. "Who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works—but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9). That has reference to God's decree of election—His chosen people were then saved, completely, in the Divine purpose, and all that we shall now say, has to do with the performing of that purpose, the accomplishing of that decree, the actualization of that salvation.

I. Salvation from the PLEASURE of Sin.
It is here that God begins in His actual  application of salvation unto His elect. God saves us from the pleasure or love of sin, before He delivers from the penalty or punishment of sin. Necessarily so, for it would be neither an act of holiness nor of righteousness, were He to grant a full pardon to one who was still a rebel against Him, loving that which He hates.

God is a God of order throughout, and nothing ever more evidences the perfection of His works, than the orderliness of them. And how does God save His people from the pleasure of sin? The answer is—by imparting to them a nature which hates evil and loves holiness. This takes place when they are born again, so that actual salvation begins with regeneration. Of course it does—where else could it commence? Fallen man can neither perceive his desperate need of salvation, nor come to Christ for it, until he has been renewed by the Holy Spirit.
"He has made everything beautiful in His time" (Eccl. 3:11), and much of the beauty of God's spiritual handiwork is lost upon us, unless we duly observe our "time." Has not the Spirit Himself emphasized this in the express enumeration He has given us in, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he  predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." (Romans 8:29, 30)? Verse 29 announces the Divine foreordination; verse 30 states the manner of its actualization. It seems strange, that with this Divinely-defined method before them, so many preachers begin with our justification, instead of with that effectual call (from death unto life—our regeneration) which precedes it. Surely it is most obvious that regeneration must first take place—in order to lay a foundation for our justification. Justification is by faith (Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1; Gal. 3:8), and the sinner must be Divinely quickened before he is capable of believing savingly.

Ah, does not the last statement made throw light upon and explain what we have said is so "strange"? Preachers today are so thoroughly imbued with free-willism that they have departed almost wholly from that sound evangelism which marked our forefathers.

The radical difference between Arminianism and Calvinism is that the system of the former revolves around the creature, whereas the system of the latter has the Creator for the center of its orbit. The Arminian allots to man the first  place, the Calvinist gives God that position of honor. Thus the Arminian begins his discussion of salvation with justification, for the sinner must believe before he can be forgiven; further back he will not go, for he is unwilling that man should be made nothing of. But the instructed Calvinist begins with election, descends to regeneration, and then shows that being born again (by the sovereign act of God, in which the creature has no part) the sinner is made capable of savingly believing the Gospel.

Saved from the pleasure or love of sin. What multitudes of people strongly resent being told that they delighted in evil! They would indignantly ask if we suppose them to be moral perverts? No indeed—a person may be thoroughly chaste and yet delight in evil. It may be that some of our own readers repudiate the charge that they have ever taken pleasure in sin, and would claim, on the contrary, that from earliest recollections they have detested wickedness in all its forms. Nor would we dare to call into question their sincerity; instead, we point out that it only affords another exemplification of the solemn fact, that "the heart is deceitful above all things" (Jer. 17:9). But this is a matter that is not open to argument—the plain teaching of God's Word deciding the point once and for all, and beyond its verdict there is no appeal.