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are enabled to will and to do of God's good pleasure, to that degree you now experience the blessedness of salvation, being delivered from sin, and having become servants to God. The phrase, “ Your own salvation,” is here set forth as meaning “ to will and to do of God's good pleasure,” or what is pleasing to God. In thought, word, and deed, to serve God, and to praise God through Jesus Christ — this is salvation, or deliverance from sin this is heaven upon earth ---- salvation the same in kind, inferior only in degree to final salvation enjoyed for ever. Consider,
II. The way of obtaining a right to salvation. It is of great importance to keep the question of the right to salvation distinct from the possession of salvation, to distinguish between the purchase-money and the thing purchased between the title-deeds and the
property. I should be preaching a strange Gospel no Gospel at all - if I were to tell
that you must work out your own title or right to salvation. This is not the Holy Spirit's meaning in the words, “Work out your own salvation.” And yet, before that you can enter upon the imperatively commanded work, you
must have the one true and only scriptural belief as to the way of obtaining the right to salvation.
Settle it in your minds, therefore, that the only claim which God can acknowledge — the one right and title to salvation has been wrought out by Christ for you, and has not to be wrought out by you for yourselves. Christ has perfectly obeyed God's law in the place of sinners Christ has suffered the accursed death of the cross as the punishment of man's transgressions in the stead of sinners-Christ, by virtue of His obedience and atonement, has clainied and received a scat in heaven in the l'oom of sinners. This finished worli is the title to salvation -- the completed record which God has given concerning His Son. This title Christ has wrought out, and it is in the hands of every one that believeth, secure and without a flaw; but useless, if altered or added to by man, or even by an angel from heaven. “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself; be that believeth not God, hath
It is re
made Him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son."* quired of every soul to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as described in this record, eternal life being the object in view, and the desired benefit, as described in the scripture record.
You are presented with the offer of Christ, and of eternal life through Him alone. So confidently may the offer be trusted, that the apostle gave to the mere offer the name of salvation : " Be it known unto you that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.”+ The plan of salvation, recommended in words to man's acceptance—the very plan has the name “salvation” given to it, because God evidently stands forth in the very words, and because, as to every thing proposed, there is a present certainty that it must come to pass.
Salvation, or eternal life, is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is to us, personally, a free gift; how can any man be
* 1 John, v. 9-11. of Acts; xxviii. 28.
spoken of as having a right to it? My brethren, Jesus Christ has a right to it- He has earned it as the wages of His work. His work is described to be the making of a purchase; the souls saved by Him are called “the Church of God which He has purchased with His own blood."* He is called the Redeemer,
because His work is called redemption, or buying back; sinners being supposed to have enlisted themselves into the ranks of God's enemies, and to have sold themselves into slavery to the tempter and to their own lusts. • Thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought ; and ye shall be redeemed without money.”+ Sinners are in prison or captivity, but the Son of man gave “His life as a ransom for many."! Salvation is set before you as a covenantengagement on the part of God- covenant, or agreement, or bargain, by which God, of His own free will, bound Himself in the way of obligation to the Lord Jesus Christ to bestow eternal life upon the Church to be purchased by Christ's merits and atonement.§ Christ became man; and to Him, in the won* Acts, xx. 28.
of Isa. lii. 3. # Matt. XX. 28.
$ John, xvii. 2.
drous position of the God-man, the whole measure of eternal life, which is to be distributed among men, strictly belongs, as the covenanted reward of His finished work.*
A sinner who comes to Christ for salvation, obtains a right to it through his being reckoned one with Christ ;t standing on the footing of Christ's person, clothed in His righteousness, and crucified with Him, I a sinner is dealt with as being personally in covenant with God, and entitled to the blessings of the covenant. Think with wonder and reverence, with praise and love, on the mystery of godliness ---"God manifest in the flesh."$ How completely He humbled Himself when He did not refuse the name of “the man Christ Jesus."|| Let not His thorough and hearty submission to the lowest level of humiliation raise any blasphemous suspicions as to His Godhead, but think how by that marvellous transaction He has wrought out your claim upon God for salvation. He can defy the accusations of the broken law, for He never broke it, though, for
* Gal. ii. 16; John, xiv. 19. + John, xvii. 23.
#Rom. vi. 10, 11; 2 Cor. v. 21. $ 1 Tim. ii. 16.
|| 1 Tim. ii. 5.