PAGES FROM THE PAST
M. Lynwood Smith
Our article this month comes from the pen of a young man, Homer L. King, written September15, 1924 in The Apostolic Way. Brother King was a young man at that time. This is a fine first principles article.--M. Lynwood Smith.
"THINGS TO WHICH OUR SALVATION IS ASCRIBED"
By Homer L. King
There are sixteen things in the Bible by which we are said to be saved. A part of these is done for man because he is unable to do them for himself. Man in his weakness is unable to save himself independent of the things God has done for him. However, there are certain things that man can and must do to secure the final blessings.
The things that God requires of man are but a trifle when compared with what God has done for man. Let us notice the things by which the Bible says we are saved, that man could not do for himself.
1. God saves. (See Rom 6:23) This will not be disputed by those who believe in the Bible.
2. Christ saves. 'And thou shalt call his name Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matt 1:21) No controversy here. All agree that Jesus saves.
3. The Holy Spirit saves. How? Peter says that they preached the gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. (1 Peter 1:12) Paul says that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. (Romans 1:16) Hence, the Spirit saves through the gospel which He enabled the Apostles to preach.
4. The Apostles save. Christ told Paul that he sent him to open peoples eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. (Acts 26:18) So the Apostles save by being agents through whom the revelation is made.
5. Grace saves. "For by grace ye are saved through faith..." (Eph 2:8) The Bible says we are saved by grace, but does not say by "grace alone." Grace or favor, is what caused God to devise a system of salvation by which man could be saved from endless torment.
6. Blood saves. Paul says, "And without shed ding of blood is no remission." (Heb 9:22) "How much more shall the blood of Christ... purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." (Heb 9:14) Blood is the meritorious cause of the salvation of man.
7. Gospel saves. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; and by which also ye are saved." (1 Cor 15:1,2) The gospel saves by revealing Gods system unto man. Let us see how far we may be able to agree on this system. If you believe the Bible, you believe the above saves, because the Bible says so.
8. Preaching saves. "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Cor 1:21) "Preach the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) "For it (the gospel) is the power of God unto salvation." (Rom 1:16) Preaching is the means by which the gospel is made known.
The above may be termed the divine side of the system of salvation of man. Without the divine side there would not be a ray of hope or a gleam of day for man. It would be all of life to live and all of death to die. Surely you agree with me thus far, and I can see no reason why you should disagree with that I shall give relative to what the Bible requires of man. We shall see.
1. We save ourselves. Do I hear someone say they do not believe it? Why do you not believe it? The same Bible that says we are saved by grace, blood, etc., says we save ourselves. "Save yourselves from this untoward generation." (Acts 2:40) "Work out your own salvation." (Phil 2:12) Perhaps you cannot see how we can save our selves if God saves us. We shall see in due time.
2. We save others. Again you say you do not believe it. It is true if you never believe it, because the Bible says so. "Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in so doing thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee." (1 Tim 4:16) We save ourselves by accepting and obeying the gospel, and we save others by persuading them to do the same.
3. Saved by faith. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:16) "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house." (Acts 16:31) The Bible does not say we are saved by "faith alone." How could it be by "faith alone" when the Bible says we are saved by grace, blood, etc.? James says we are justified by works and not by faith only. (Jas 2:24-26) Faith enables us to accept and obey the gospel.
4. Saved by repentance. "Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..." (Acts 3:19) "Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish ." (Luke 13:3) Repentance turns us from the practice of sin.
5. Saved by confession. "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in heaven." (Matt 10:32) "And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom 10:10) The eunuch said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:37) Confession is our vow of allegiance to Christ.
6. Saved by baptism. "That is where I disagree with you," says one. The question is, do you believe the Bible? Do you believe the Bible when it says we are saved by grace, blood and faith? Then why do you not believe it when it says we are saved by baptism? Nothing but a human theory can keep you from believing it. "Repent and be baptized, everyone of us in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." (Acts 2:38) "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us." (1 Peter 3:21) Baptism is the last step of obedience by which we come into Christ. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Gal 3:27)
7. Saved by works. By works, we mean the deeds of Christian life. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phi 2:12)
8. Saved by hope. "For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for." (Romans 8:24). Hope is an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast. Hope is that which causes us to press on in the face of severe difficulties. Without hope, we could not endure to the end.
Perhaps the reader is becoming anxious to know how we can be saved by so many things. We are not saved by any one of them alone; but by all of the things mentioned above. It is a system, and we cannot leave out any one and the divine arrangement yet be complete.
It may be illustrated by a pole, line, hook and bait used to catch fish. It is the truth to say we caught the fish with the pole; but not all the truth. It is the truth to say we caught the fish with the line; but not all the truth, for the pole, hook and bait were used also. Hence wrong to say the fish was caught by any one alone. So it is with the system of salvation.
The man who accepts all the things by which the Bible says we are saved has sixteen chances to one to the man who says we are saved by any one of them alone.
It is like natures way of supplying our daily bread. God gives us the means, and we use them. He gives us the soil, rain and sun shine; while we must plant the seed, till the soil and harvest the fruit. God gives us our daily bread; but not without effort on our part. He gives us salvation by conditions as above explained.
Now, kind reader, you who are away from God and without hope in the world, hear, believe, turn and obey, ere long it might be too late!
"Blessed are they that do his commandments," (Revelation 22:14) Why, O why not accept Jesus, and why not accept him now! Tomorrow may be too late!-OPA.
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