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06 June, 2013

A Four Fold Salvation — Part 14

A Fourfold Salvation
Arthur Pink, 1938 

Therefore, when it is said that the believer "allows not" the evil of which he is guilty, it means that he seeks not to justify himself or throw the blame on someone else, as both Adam and Eve did. That the Christian allows not sin is evident by his shame over it, his sorrow for it, his confession of it, his loathing himself because of it, his renewed resolution to forsake it.
IV. Salvation from the PRESENCE of Sin.

We now turn to that aspect of our subject which has to do solely with the future. Sin is yet to be completely eradicated from the believer's being, so that he shall appear before God without any spot or blemish. True, this is his legal status even now—yet it has not become so in his present experience. As God views the believer in Christ, he appears before Him in all the excellency of his Sponsor; but as God views him as he yet is in himself (and that He does do so is proved by His chastenings), He beholds all the ruin which the Fall has wrought in him. But this will not always be the case—no, blessed be His name, the Lord is reserving the best wine for the last. And even now we have tasted that He is gracious—but the fullness of His grace will only be entered into and enjoyed by us, after this world is left behind.

Those Scriptures which present our salvation as a future prospect are all concerned with our final deliverance from the very presence of sin. To this Paul referred when he said, "Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed" (Romans 13:11)—not our salvation from the pleasure, the penalty, or the power of sin—but from its very presence! "For our citizenship is in Heaven—from whence we also look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:20). Yes, it is the "Savior" we await, for it is at His return, that the whole election of grace shall enter into their full salvation; as it is written, "Unto those who look for Him—shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Heb. 9:28). In like manner, when another Apostle declares, "We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:5), he had reference to this grand consummation of the believer's salvation, when we shall be forever rid of the very presence of sin!

Our salvation from the pleasure of sin is effected by Christ's taking up His abode in our hearts, "Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). Our salvation from the penalty of sin was secured by Christ's sufferings on the Cross where He endured the punishment due our iniquities. Our salvation from the power of sin is obtained by the gracious operations of the Spirit, whom Christ sends to His people—therefore is He designated "the Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9 and cf. Gal. 4:6). Our salvation from the presence of sin will be accomplished at Christ's second advent, "We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own!" (Phil. 3:20, 21). And again we are told, "We know that when He shall appear—we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2). It is all of Christ from beginning to end.

Man was originally created in the image and likeness of God, reflecting the moral perfections of his Maker. But sin came in and he fell from his pristine glory, and by that Fall—God's image in him was broken and His likeness marred. But in the redeemed that image is to be restored, yes, they are to be granted a far higher honor than what was bestowed upon the first Adam—they are to be made like the last Adam. It is written, "Those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son" (Romans 8:29). This blessed purpose of God in our predestination, will not be fully realized until the second coming of our Lord—then it will be that His people shall be completely emancipated from the thralldom and corruption of sin. Then shall Christ "present to Himself, a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault" (Eph. 5:27).

Salvation from the pleasure or love of sin takes place at our regeneration; salvation from the penalty or punishment of sin occurs at our justification; salvation from the power or dominion of sin is accomplished during our practical sanctification; salvation from the presence or in being of sin is consummated at our glorification, "Whom He justified, them He also glorified" (Romans 8:30).