Salvation, in the sense of final deliverance from
death and sin, takes place regardless of our acts. This is true of
all mankind. It is promised to all, in the words of Paul, "God,
Who saves us and calls with a holy cling, not in accord with our acts,
but in accord with His own purpose and the grace which is given to us in
Christ Jesus before times eonian, yet now is being manifested through the
advent of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, Who indeed, abolishes death, yet
illuminates life and incorruption trough the evangel," Second
"Saves," "calls," and
"abolishes" are indefinite verbsthey state facts without
mentioning the time. That all are saved, already, from God's
viewpoint, is plain to those who are acquainted with the
scriptures. That no one is saved in the sense of being in the
glorious state, is equally clear. The only form of the verb that
will express this, is the indefinite form"saves."
At the time Paul wrote these words, some had been
called; others have been called since then; still others will be called
in the future. Neither "called," nor "will
call," would express truth. The apostle uses the correct form"calls."
For Christ, death has been abolished. The
abolition of death is not all in the past, nor is it all in the
future. So again, the indefinite form of the verb is necessary"abolishes."
Death will not be abolished entirely, until all have
been vivified in Christ, First Corinthians 15:22. Not for
believers only, but for all mankind, will death be abolished. This
is why I say this passage promises ultimate salvation to all
This will all be accomplished in "accord with
His own purpose and the grace which is given to us in Christ Jesus
before eonian times." The revelation of this glorious truth
is found in the evangel, through which our Saviour, Christ Jesus, illuminates
life and incorruption.
Salvation is promised to the unbeliever, as well as
the believer. Paul speaks of "the living God, Who is the
Saviour of all mankind, especially of those who believe," First
Timothy 4:10. The believer will be saved from death and sin long
before this blessing comes to the unbeliever. The former have
salvation which is in Christ Jesus with glory eonian. For all the
others there will be glory, but it will not be theirs until the
consummation of the eons. From the time the Lord descends from
heaven "with a shout of command, with the voice of the Chief
Messenger, and with the trump of God," and the saints are
snatched away together to meet the Lord in the air, First Thessalonians
4:13-18, until the consummation, the believer will have salvation.
No others will have it. This is eonian life, First Timothy 1:16,
and it will have eonian glory. After the consummation, both
believer and unbeliever will have life and salvation and glory.
But the adjective, "eonian," will not be used to describe
But in this life some have a phase of
salvation. That no one is rid of sin and death, is evident to all,
just as it is plain that no one is beyond sorrow and
What are they saved from? It is much better to
ask, "What are they saved TO?" Paul answers it by
saying, "For TO EXPECTATION were we saved," Romans
8:24. Present salvation is to the ability to expect that God will
do for us as He has promised in the sacred scriptures.
This is where faith is neededand used.
There is much instruction in the words, "For in grace are you
saved, through faith, and this is not our of you; it is God's
oblation," Ephesians 2:8,9.
All who have been saved to expectation in any period
of time have been saved in God's favor, through belief, and the belief
did not originate in, and come out of them.. In this respect we are not
different from saints of other eras. Whenever God is ready to win
the love of any person, He favors that person, by giving faith to him,
to the end that the person shall love God. This is the end so far
as God's enjoyment of it is concerned. The end, so far as OUR enjoyment
of it is concerned, is that we shall have expectation in God.
Faith is belief. God grants us to believe. This is done in
His favor. When we believe God, we are ready to believe what He
says. Thus we have expectation. We used to say that such a
person has "received a hope."
I repeat, in favor, through faith, is the way any
person in any era has enjoyed expectation. It was true of Abel,
Noah, Abraham, David, Daniel. It is true of us.
But the next clause in the text expresses a
difference between us and saints of some other eras. "Not of
works, lest anyone should be boasting." There was a time when
works were necessary to reach the place of expectation. It will be
so again, when God is again dealing with the Circumcision. Peter
writes to ones who are chosen for OBEDIENCE and sprinkling of the blood
of Jesus Christ. It is through the blood that anyone has expectation,
but the Circumcision must obey in God's grace, in order to have
expectation. In other words, obedience precedes the sprinkling of
the blood. That the obedience is of God is plain to us who believe that
all is of Hem, Romans 11:6, but this was rarely ever made plain to those
of the Circumcision.
But in this era, when God is specially interested in
demonstrating His grace, we come into the state of expectation without
doing any works. In our case, it is NOT of works. We cannot
When Abraham represented the Circumcision, Genesis
22:12, he was justified by works, James 2:21, and had something in which
to boast, but not even then, toward God, for it was God Who wrought his
obedience, Romans 4:2. But the fact remains that, being justified
by works, he did have something in which to boast. However, when
Abraham, earlier, represented US, He was justified by faith, apart from
works, and could not boast of anything that he had done to bring it
about, Romans 4:1-5. The Circumcision saints stand where Abraham
stood when he offered Isaac. WE stand where he stood when he
merely believed God, and had done no works to commend him to God.
And, although it is stated in Genesis 15:6, that Abraham believed God,
and God reckoned it to him into righteousness, he began to believe God
long before the events depicted in that passage. When Abraham was
called he believed, Hebrews 11:8. The obedience that followed
merely showed his faith, and was not a set of events that used to cause
the patriarch to have expectation.
So it is true of us, as it was true of Abraham and
others before the rite of circumcision was established, that IT IS NOT
OF WORKS. In the case of the Circumcision, salvation to
expectation is in God's favor, but the state is reached through
The expectation of the Circumcision saints is far
below ours, even as their position in eonian life is inferior to
Let us get rid of the idea that faith changes
facts. One said, "If you believe that Christ died for you, He
did." His death took place many centuries ago, and he died
for me, and my believing or disbelieving it, has nothing to do with that
fact. But my belief has much to do with my enjoyment, in
expectation, of the salvation that God has wrought. As I enjoy it
here I am using the faith that God has given me.
The evangel is a message to be believed. It is
not a proposition. It is not a challenge. It is the proclamation of a
fact. No one believes it, except as God graciously grants to him
to be believing, Philippians 1:29. Believing, he has
expectation. This is present salvation.
The chosen ones become believers in this life. Faith
is out of tidings, yet tidings through a declaration of Christ, Romans
In Paul's case the tidings came directly from
Jesus. In our case, while the tidings are from Him, yet they come
to us in the voice of man, or in the printed page. The Corinthian
saints were saved through the tidings that declared that Christ died for
our sins, that He was entombed, and that He was roused, First
Corinthians 15:1-3. No one can improve on this message. Let
us be diligent in proclaiming it. I think it should have a place
in every message.
Faith is believing GOD. We must believe HIM, in
order to believer His message. Faith is God's gift to
WHEN GOD WAS READY FOR PAUL TO GO
I tried to say, in the June issue, that Saul, although he had been a
blessing to the church in Antioch, had become a burden to them, because
God was read for him to "move on," and he hadn't done
so. I did not advisedly use the word "curse." I
should ha e said, "burden."
Two readers have taken me to task about the article. The objection
of both was based on the use of the word, "curse." Since
I have showed here that I meant "burden," I am sure their
objection will disappear.
Others have heartily commended the article. They see, as I do,
that there is great need for evangelism. Some have ordered extra
copies to distribute.
I would be glad if saints lay to heart what I said. There is at
least one ecclesia in the United States that is the dire distress
because a "preacher" insists on staying there, when they have
ample teachers and pastors. This preacher ought to be out building
up the saints in destitute places. There is a much greater reward
for this, than there is for causing disturbance in the
I would not only refuse to visit an ecclesia that already has a
"pastor," without his consent and hearty co-operation, but I
would not even hold meetings in the community or city of said ecclesia,
unless the pastor is heartily engaged with me in the meetings. This is a
matter of courtesy. And without courtesy, we are on the road to