CERTAINTY OF SALVATION
Infinite wisdom, as well as infinite love, guides the Lord Jesus in all His doings; and thus it is He sees it best for His own glory and our good, that His doings should at times be so adverse to our own desires for ourselves. All things, the bitter and the sweet, are from the hands of Him who makes all work together for our good. There is no cause to fear that He will ever forsake you; neither is there any cause to fear that you will lose the consciousness of your hope in His salvation, so long as you take your stand upon your need as a sinner, and do not go off that to self-doings or feelings, whereby to recommend yourself to Him, or encourage your hope in Him.
The worse a sinner is in his own sight, the more is he welcome to Christ, and the more is he suited to Christ’s office as a Saviour. The better a sinner tries to be, in hope, thereby of coming with more confidence to Christ for salvation, the further off will he be, and the more will doubt and darkness fill his mind, if he be a truly awakened sinner.
When God the Father works for the salvation of men. He is spoken of as “Him that justifieth the ungodly.” When God the Son is spoken of as working for the salvation of men, it is as dying for sinners; for the lost; for enemies. There is no warrant
in Scripture for any one to come to Christ but as a sinner. He, therefore, who would ignore his sinnership, will find no welcome from Him, neither will he who tries to patch his sinnership with good works.
When Paul said to the gaoler, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” the only character the gaoler presented was that of a sinner trembling in view of the future. It is the same now. It is not the sinner trying to be religious or trying to be better, but the trembling sinner, that is suited to Christ and finds salvation in Him. Such a sinner has nothing to giveÂ—with him it is all needÂ—and so Christ has all the glory of his salvation; for God’s salvation in Christ is all of grace, without works, lest any man should boast.
The question of growth in grace does not touch the question of salvation, for that is settled before grace begins to grow. The day of God’s power for salvation over any soul, is when He makes that soul willing to look to Christ only for salvation, and to accept it without money and without price. That salvation is always unchangeable, and the believer’s experience of it should be unchangeable also. It would be, if he were always content to rest only on God’s testimony concerning it.
The day of God’s fatherly care, and discipline, and leading homeward through much tribulation, is altogether distinct from His day of power for salvation; and witnesses much variety, and many changes in the believer, and in his path.
All the trials and afflictions the believer meets with in this life, are for the promotion of growth in grace, and in the true knowledge of self, and of Christ, and of our covenant God and Father; but this growth is much hindered if anything be allowed to dim the assurance of that salvation, which is God’s free gift to awakened sinners.
Salvation is a certainty, and therefore we offer praise for that. The future incidents of our path on earth are, to us, all uncertainty, and, therefore, we trustÂ—concerning themÂ—to the wisdom and love of Him who, having given for our salvation His only-begotten Son, will, with Him, give also every needful thing.