|God's Way Of Salvation||by Alexander Marshall|
God's way of salvation set forth by illustration, comparison and contrast.
|"I Pray Thee Have Me Excused"|
The first said, "I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused." What was the hurry? Could he not have gone at some other time? The second was not a bit better. "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused." What harm could have come to the oxen by giving them a night's rest? Besides, whether they were value or not for the money he paid for them - they were bought.
But the third excuse was
the worst of all. "I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot
come." Why didn't he go and take his wife with him?
|"All Things Are Ready, Come!"|
|"I Never Did Any Harm In My Life."|
|"I'll Turn Over A New Leaf."|
It may be, dear reader, at one time you were addicted to drinking or swearing or other bad habits; but of late you have "turned over a new leaf," and are becoming what the world calls a "reformed" person. This is right and proper, but don't forget that future good conduct can never blot out past disobedience. A merchant finds that he is in difficulties. He takes his cashbook and begins a "new leaf", forgetting that there is a "carried over" and a "brought forward" column. New figures on the "new leaf" won't pay the old debts. Every page of our life account is headed with a "brought forward."
over a new leaf" won't do for you. You must become a "new
creature" in Christ Jesus.
|"God Is Merciful."|
It is blessed truth that "God is merciful"; but He is also holy and just, and never can be merciful at the expense of His justice. All His attributes are equally balanced and cannot conflict with each other. He who is long-suffering and slow to anger "Will by no means clear the guilty." The prisoner who is being taken to jail by the officers of justice has learned that the judge would not allow the lawbreaker to go unpunished.
God's pardoning mercy
flows only through one channel, and that is the atonement of Christ; and all
who refuse to accept of life through His death must forever "dwell with
the devouring fire". "The wicked shall be turned into
Hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Ps. 9:17);
"he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath
of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
|"If A Man Does The Best He Can, He Will Be Saved."|
|"Don't You Believe In Good Works?"|
The moment a person is saved, that very moment everything he does ought to be done to the glory of God. No sooner do we read of the Jailor's conversion (Acts 16) than we see him proving his faith by his works. "He took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes." Next we find him seeking to obey the Lord in baptism. He wished to show his love by obedience to Him who had said, "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me" (John 14:21).
Reader, without faith it
is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), and so long as you are unsaved, you
are utterly unfit to do a single "good work." Believe in God's
wondrous love to you, and you won't be able to keep from working for
Him in return for what He has done for you.
|"It Is So Difficult To Be A Christian."|
"I meant that it was difficult to live the life of a Christian." Granted at once. Let me, however, ask, whether it is easier to serve Satan or Christ? Which is the best master? Who gives the best wages? In himself the Christian is weak and helpless; but He who saved has promised to keep him and has declared, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." It is far easier to serve the Lord Jesus than Satan.
In serving Satan, you
have to turn your back on your best Friend, despise or neglect His great
salvation, resist His Holy Spirit, trample under your feet the Son of His
love, and rush headlong to eternal ruin. Why, then perish forever, seeing
you can be saved now?
|"I Cannot Give Up The Pleasures Of The World."|
God does not, however, say to the sinner, "Give up the pleasures and amusements of the World, And I will bestow on you pardon and peace." His way is, "Receive Christ now into your heart, and you will be saved from the power as well as the doom of sin."
A lady, in conversation with a Christian at the close of a gospel meeting, said, "God won't save me now," Why?" "I have made up my mind to go to a ball on Tuesday evening, and He won't save me until I am willing to give up my going to it." She was shown that "now" was God's time, and that He was beseeching her to accept of a free and present pardon - as she was and where she was. The word was blessed to her soul, and need I add that she was not at the ball, as she had received something better.
Now, as you read
these lines, "receive" Christ by simple faith, and you will gladly
"give up" whatever displeases Him (John 1:12).
|"I Don't Wish To Be Gloomy."|
Real, lasting happiness is the portion of every believer. "Gloomy!" What is there in the gospel calculated to make one gloomy? Does it make a man "gloomy" to know that all his sins are forgiven? Will it make one "gloomy" to be assured that he will spend eternity with the Lord Jesus in glory? Will the condemned criminal who has been pardoned by his sovereign feel sad?
The only one who has a right to be happy is the Christian - He and he alone being delivered from the bondage of sin, death, and judgment.
Well might the Psalmist
say, "Happy is that people whose God is the Lord" (Psalm
144:15); "In Thy presence is fulness of joy: at Thy right hand
there are pleasures for evermore." (Psalm 16:11).
|"So Many Hypocrites"|
But surely this would be very unfair reasoning. Hypocrites are persons who profess to be what they are not. Those whom you refer to profess to be, but are not, Christians. Are we to conclude, because of this, that all who profess are hypocrites? This would be as foolish as to say that all clerks are thieves, because two were convicted of stealing.
The fact that some
pretend to be Christians proves that the reality must be good, as men
don't counterfeit that which is worthless. Suppose, however, that real
Christians are inconsistent, will that justify you in not being one?
Peter surely could not have been justified in deserting the Lord because
Judas was a hypocrite.
|"So Many Different Opinions."|
A dying lady was anxious
about her soul. She had asked many persons their views of salvation, and had
received different replies. One told her to "pray," another to
"work," and so on. A Christian worker visited her, and she
earnestly asked, "What are your "views" of
salvation?" "I have no views," was the reply. The lady was
amazed. "You seem astonished," said the visitor;" but
supposing I had, what good would they do you, seeing they would be but the
views of a fellow mortal? I can, however, give you something better. I can
give you God's views." The result of the conversation was,
the lady shortly afterwards found peace to her soul by learning that the
question, "What must I do to be saved?" was answered thus: "Believe
on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
|"It Does Not Matter What One Believes If He Is Sincere"|
The guard of the passenger train sincerely believed that the line was clear. "All right, forward," he cried, and then, blowing his whistle, the train was off. Yet he was mistaken, and the result was a dreadful collision, and numbers of souls were suddenly ushered into Eternity.
A man's salvation or damnation depends on his belief. If he believes the lie of Satan he will eternally perish; but if he believes the truth of God he will be eternally saved.
The Scriptures are very
plain on this point. "There is a way which seemeth right unto
a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov.
14:12). Sincerity of belief in that way ends in everlasting
destruction. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting
life" (John 3:36); "All that believe are justified from all
things" (Acts 13:39). But "He that believeth not shall not
see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
|A Living Saviour For You.|
It matters not what you are - high or low, rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or immoral -unless you are "born again," unless you become a new creature in Christ Jesus, you cannot see the kingdom of God. "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7).
If, however, you have been led to see your guilt and danger, and are asking the question, "Is there salvation for me?" I can assure you, on the authority of Him Who cannot lie, that you may be saved as you read these lines; for He has said, "Come; for all things are now ready" (Luke 14:17); "Now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2); "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth" (Isa. 45:22).
|Do You Know That You Are Lost?|
Reader, are you saved or lost? Face the question fairly. Were you called to meet God at this moment, are you prepared? "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity" (Hab. 1:13). "Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne" (Ps. 97:2). If unsaved, unconverted, unforgiven, listen to the Word of Jehovah: "The soul that sinneth it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4); "The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Ps. 9:17).
If you know that you are
lost, there is One both able and willing to save you. His mission to this
world was to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
Take the lost sinner's place, and claim that lost sinner's Saviour
and salvation will be yours.
|The Ground Of Salvation.|
The Scripture has declared, "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). Sin must be atoned for Must all eternally perish? Is there no possibility of escape?
A voice is heard from the throne of God: "Deliver him from going down to the pit" (Job 33:24). Justice asks, "On what ground?" "I have found a ransom." What was the ransom provided by Jehovah for the redemption of sinners?
"Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all." (I Tim. 2:6). The ransom price has been paid and accepted. Justice is satisfied, not with what you have done, but with what Christ has done for you. On the ground of His finished work, God invites and beseeches you to accept a free, full and present salvation.
"Ho, every one that
thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come... without
money and without price" (Isa. 55:1).
|How To Be Saved.|
Numbers, instead of being guided by what God's Word says, go by what Mr. So-and-So thinks; thus they are ignorant of the gospel of God's matchless grace.
If you wish to be saved, hear what God says to you in the following Scriptures:
"For God so loved
the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
"All that believe are justified from all things" (Acts
13:39). "Whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of
sins" (Acts 10:43). "He that believeth on Him is not
condemned" (John 3:18). The first-born in the blood-sprinkled
house in Egypt was preserved from the destroying Angel because Jehovah had
said, "When I see the blood I will pass over you" (Exod. 12:13).
Salvation can only be had by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
|"Far Too Easy A Way"|
Thank God, it is an "easy" way of being saved. Well might the poet Cowper sing:
"Oh, how unlike the complex works of man, Heaven's easy, artless, unencumbered plan."
Though an "easy" way, it is not "too easy," since it is obtained through believing in one by whom the difficult work has all been done - the Lord Jesus.
It was not
"easy" for Him to be mocked and insulted by men. It was not
"easy" for Him to be scourged, spat upon, and crucified. It was
not "easy" in the moment of His humiliation and agony to be
forsaken by God. It
was not "easy" for Him to be "wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities" (Isa.53:5).
Though an easy way, it
is God's only way of saving sinners, and if the reader is not saved in that
way, he will never be saved at all. "To him that worketh not, but
believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for
righteousness" (Rom. 4:5).
|"I Always Believed On Jesus And Yet I Cannot Say That I Am Saved."|
|"I Don't Believe In The Right Way."|
Paul did not say to the
Jailor, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ with the right kind of
believing and thou shalt be saved." If he had, the poor ignorant
heathen would not have understood him. He simply said, "Believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ." Do the same, oh, reader, and you shall be saved
Don't think about your believing, but about Christ, the object of faith.
|"Must We Not Work Out Our Own Salvation?"|
When you ask, "Does
it not say we are to work out our salvation?" whom do you mean?
Do you mean every person - saved and unsaved? If so, you have only to look
at the Epistle and see to whom it is addressed. Phil 1:1 - "To all
the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, with the bishops and
deacons." They were already saved. They did not hope to be, they
knew they were saved. "My beloved," says Paul,..."work
out your own salvation" (Phil. 2:12, 13). They were already in
possession of it. "Your own" implies possession. They were to
"work out" what God had wrought in. This passage certainly
has no reference to the unsaved. The unsaved are "dead in
trespasses and sins," and therefore cannot work out their salvation.
Besides. Scripture is very explicit - "By grace are ye
saved,... not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8,
|"Must I Not Pray To Be Saved?"|
|"If I Do My Part, God Will Do His."|
If you learn
these three lessons you will never talk about your doings. "Your
part" is to admit that you are a helpless, hell-deserving sinner,
unable to do anything to save yourself. "Your part" is to cease
thinking of being saved by anything you can do or feel. "Your
part" is to believe that Jesus did everything that was necessary - that
He finished the work of atonement and paid the ransom price with His
precious blood. Whenever you cease trying to be saved by your doings,
and believe on the Lord Jesus, who did it all and paid it all, you become a
son of God, an heir of glory, and joint-heir with Jesus Christ. "To him
that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly,
his faith is counted for righteousness" (Rom. 4:5).
If God is satisfied with
the "finished" work of Christ, you ought to be satisfied with that
which satisfied Him.
|"I Am Too Great A Sinner."|
|"No One Can Be Certain Of That."|
Numbers declare it is
"great presumption" in anyone to "go to the length " of
saying he knows that he is saved. They affirm that no one can be
certain," and that all we can do is to have a "humble hope."
How different this is from the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and His
apostles Paul says, "We are always confident" (II Cor.
5:6). The Apostle John says, "I write unto you, little children, because
your sins are forgiven you for His Name's sake" (I John 2:12).
"We know that we have passed from death unto life" (I John
3:14). Every sinner who believes on the Lord Jesus is bound to
believe that he is saved. It would indeed be "great presumption"
in anyone to doubt the Word of the living God. "He that believeth not
God hath made Him a liar" (I John 5:10, 11), and he who believes on
Jesus has the divine promise, thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31).
|"Can A Man Be Saved At Once?"|
The very moment you "believe" in, or "look" to Jesus as the One who bled and suffered for you, you are saved.
|"I Have Not Repented Enough."|
And if you were very sorry, would God be more willing to save you than He is now? "I think so." Then you are completely mistaken.
"But does it not say, unless we repent we shall perish?"
Yes; but what do you
think is the scriptural signification of "repentance"? If
you say "sorrow for sin" you are wrong. It does not mean
sorrow for sin: it means a change of mind (Matt. 21:29). This
change will doubtless produce sorrow; but sorrow and repentance are
two very different things (Heb. 12:17. margin. and II Cor. 7:9). When God
calls on you to "repent, and believe the gospel." He wishes
you to lay aside your wrong thoughts, and believe the glad tidings that He
proclaims to you. Formerly you may have imagined that you were required to
feel very sorry before being saved. Change your mind. You may have
supposed you must first "feel" some great change in
order to know you were saved. Change your mind. First,
believe in God's great love to you, as revealed in His gospel, and you
will know that you have eternal life (John 5:24).
|"I Cannot Love God."|
Meetings were being held
in the district, and one evening the preacher said: "Some imagine that
God requires them to love Him in order to be saved. They begin to
examine their hearts, and they cannot find there one particle of love to
Him. "If," said he, "we were not to be saved till we loved
Him, we would never be saved at all; but the blessed truth is, He loves
us." "Herein is love, not that we love God, but that He
loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I
John 4:10). The moment she saw that God had so loved her as to give Jesus as
a propitiation for her sins, peace and joy filled her heart, and she could
not help loving Him who had done so much for her. "He that loveth not,
knoweth not God, for God is love" (I John 4:8). Have you been
trying to love God in order to be saved? If so, give it up. It is true you
ought to love Him, but so long as you are unsaved you will not do so.
Meditate on His love to you, and you will be able to say, "We love
Him, because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).
|"I Don't Feel Anxious Enough."|
Don't think of your
anxiety, or want of anxiety, but ask yourself- "Is God willing to save
me now?" Again and again, in His Word, He declares that His desire is
that you should not perish, but be eternally saved (Ezek. 33:11; I Tim.
2:4-6). Cease occupying your mind with your feelings. Think of His wondrous
love to you, as manifested in the gift of His only begotten and well-beloved
Son. On the ground of what He did and suffered, you can be saved even now.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
|"I Could Not Hold On."|
|"Would It Not Be Great Presumption?"|
But if God declares you may be sure, and tells you how you may be sure, would you call it "presumption" to believe Him? "Assuredly not, . . Then listen to Him: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (I John 5:13).
Instead of it being "presumption" to believe what God says, to doubt Him is to be guilty of the greatest sin a man can commit. "But I cannot say that I am saved." Then you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? "Oh, yes, Idol" You must surely be mistaken; for the Scripture states that "He that believeth on Him hath everlasting life" (John 3:36); and if you are not saved, you cannot possibly believe on Jesus.
"I believe on Jesus, but I cannot say I am saved."
Then you are making God
a liar; for He again and again asserts that everyone who believes on Jesus
has eternal life (John 6:47). But "He that believeth not God hath made
Him a liar, because he believeth not the record God gave of His
Son" (I John 5:10, 11).
|"I Don't Feel Any Change."|
Peace is not to be
derived from looking within: it is only to be found in looking
unto Jesus by thinking of what He has done and suffered for us, and not
by anything that we have done or suffered for Him.
So long as you do not
believe on Jesus you cannot have that love to Him you ought. You must first
believe in His love and death for you; and the moment you know that the
mighty work has been finished, that justice has been satisfied, peace will
fill your heart, and love will flow out and over to Him who loved you, and
gave Himself for you. (Isa. 42:21; Rom. 5:1).
|"How Am I To Come To Christ?"|
"Can you fly to Him?" "No, I cannot do that." "Can you walk on your feet to Christ?" "No." The preacher then told him that Christ, though in heaven, was beside him on earth, loving him with a deep, strong, and tender love, eagerly anxious to save him. He was shown that with his mind and heart, and not with his body, he was to go to Jesus - in other words, he was to believe on Him who died that he might live. "Is that it? Is it so simple? I see it now," he said and went on rejoicing.
Has the reader come to
Jesus yet? If not, come to Him now. Believe in His love and death for you,
and you will know, on the authority of Him who cannot lie, that you are
saved, and have eternal life.
|"I Cannot Realize It."|
Your mistake is, you are taken up with the realizing of your mind instead of with the realities of God's salvation. Suppose for some crime you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment, with the option of paying a large penalty. A friend pays the amount in full, and brings you a receipt; would you then be afraid of going to jail? "No." Why not? Because of your "realizing" or "graspings"? "No." Why would you not be afraid? "Because the ransom had been paid." Would you not require to "realize" or "grasp," or "lay hold" of the money in your mind? "Certainly not."
God in His Word tells
you that Christ has given Himself a ransom for you" (1 Tim.
2:6), and on the ground of what He has done you may be saved. Do not think
of your "realizing," but believe in the reality of His death for
you, and you will then know that you are saved, and all your sins forgiven.
|"I Cannot Feel Saved."|
A happy old Christian, on hearing persons speaking of their feelings, used to say - "Feelings! Feelings! Don't bother yourself about your feelings. I just stick to the old truth that Christ died for me, and He is my surety right on to Eternity, and I'll stick to that like a limpet to the rock."
"Be my feelings
what they will, Jesus is my Saviour still."
|"God Says I Am Saved, And It Must Be True."|
"I don't feel I am
saved." Neither do I, but thank God, I know it, simply because
He says so in His Word, and I am confident He always speaks the truth.
Salvation is not through our feelings, but through faith in what Jesus did
for us (Rom. 1:16). Jesus felt the weight of sin when He exclaimed,
"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46). Now,
as you read these lines, believe on Him who bore sin's penalty, and with the
young man you will be able to say, "God says I am saved, and it must
|"Time Enough Yet."|
"I intend to be,
but there is no great hurry." What! "No great hurry," and the
messenger of death at your very door! The manslayer, fleeing into the city
of refuge, with the avenger of blood on his track, did not think so. When
asked why you despised His pardon, and neglected His great salvation, what
answer will you give? Don't, oh, don't allow Satan to lull you to sleep in
the cradle of a false security! Time is short and Eternity is at hand. Will
you, can you, dare you, one moment longer remain unsaved? "Now"
is God's time. "Tomorrow may be too late. The dark thundercloud
of God's wrath is hanging over your head, and if you remain in your present
position the voice from heaven may sound forth, "Thou fool, this night
thy soul shall be required of thee." Delay not another moment. Don't be
perplexed about the future. He who saved poor sinners has promised to
"keep" them; and the moment you receive Christ into your heart by
faith, He will grant you power to overcome sin, self, and Satan, and give
you strength to live for Him who died for you.
Reformation is Not Regeneration. Turning over new leaves won't destroy the old ones. Future good conduct does not blot out past disobedience.
God is Willing to Save You now. "Now is the accepted time" (II Cor. 6:2). "Come now (Isa. 1:18).
Salvation is a Free Gift. It cannot, therefore, be earned or bought by good works, prayers, or religious observances.
"The Wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life" (Rom. 6:23, Revised Version). "Not of works lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8).
Faith Alone. This is clearly taught in Scripture. "Being justified
by faith" (Rom. 5:1). "If by grace, then it is no more of
works" (Rom. 11:6). "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou
shalt be saved and thy house" (Acts 16:31).