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salvation, it is the duty and privilege of all Christians both to take and to give advice. “ Exhort one another."* Yours is “ the common salvation "-a joint interest-a family circle--and not only a personal salvation. Paul had felt the force and the consolation of the word “my," by the possessive pronoun taking salvation home to himself. Therefore he speaks to you as being also warranted to use the language of appropriation individually, and as brethren in Christ. He had spoken of
my salvation "-he speaks also of " “your own salvation," intending you to speak to one another of our Own salvation.
The immediate lesson of his second chapter may be expressed as follows. Your salvation is your introduction to Christ's family of many brethren. Therefore (“ work out ") cultivate the mind of this family. Let myself and you all rejoice together in the service of one ano. ther's faith. · Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together, for the faith of the Gospel," ch. i. 27.
4. Let me urge upon you all, that it is indispensably necessary to be convinced of your natural depravity and of your condemnation, if salvation is to be yours.
* Heb. iii. 13.
of Jude, 3.
No sinners now alive are too vile to be welcomed by the Saviour. The most disreputable, their danger being most easily understood, may gain admission soonest, because they are the first to ask. Numbers, who have died unsaved, were lost, not because they were too bad, but because they thought themselves TOO GOOD ; too good to require to repent and be converted - too good to come under the description of souls that are lost and condemned already—too good to be entirely indebted to God's grace too good to need such a complete and humbling change, such a thorough salvation. Oh, let those who feel their need of Christ now commit their souls into His hands. Let those who have done so already, think not only of the business of salvation, but also of the person of the Saviour. And may the Holy Ghost compel those, who have never taken alarm at their guilt and danger, to cry out to-day,
WHAT SHALL I DO TO BE SAVED ?”
Some Detail of God's Part and Man's Part in
the Work of Salvation.
The words of my text were addressed to converted men. Through the merits of Christ, they had received a claim upon God's favour. They are thereupon directed to follow out their claim by living in God's favour, working out whatever is His good pleasure. It is one thing to have paid the purchase-money; it is another thing to make use of the goods which you have purchased. It is one thing to have secured the written title-deeds of a house; it is another thing to take possession of, and to live in, the house. The doctrine of my text is, not that you should work for the purchase-money; but that, Christ having made the purchase, you should make use of the rights which He has given to you. You are not to work out your claim upon God for salvation ; but, putting yourselves under obligation to Christ and His finished work, you are to take possession of salvation itself.
In this second discourse I proceed to analyse and illustrate the apostolic statement of the part which God engages to fulfil, and the part which you yourselves must undertake in the great work of your own salvation.
I subdivide the declaration into three statements of fact:
1. God's good pleasure is your salvation.
II. God's part is to “work in you both to will and to do."
III. Your part is “ both to will and to do.”
I. God's GOOD PLEASURE IS YOUR SALVA
1. God's good pleasure suggests "the glory of God.” The intention of God in your salva-, tion is the promotion of His own glory.
There is no difference; " for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Owing to the dishonour which we have manifested towards God by our fall, His glory might with justice have insisted upon our
lasting destruction. Evidently, then, God's salvation is not His maintaining a superior class of moral beings in original and actual safety ; but (as the very word “salvation" proves) it is His rescuing fallen and guilty souls from original and actual depravity, from present and certain condemnation, from real danger, and overhanging destruction.
God's free gift to hell-deserving sinners of a right to salvation through Jesus Christ is a remarkable proceeding, which is intended to promote His glory,—which is fitted to do so, even more than His leaving all men to perish. When we consider what “sin against God" is, and yet are told that God will abundantly pardon sinners, we are intended to learn this lesson in God's own words : “ As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."*
But my text calls your attention to the equally wonderful fact, that God's glory is concerned in putting you in possession of your right. His eye is on His redeemed people, upon their living faith, and upon the actual
* Isa. ly. 9.