J.C. O’Hair

The most wonderful and most important matter that has ever been presented to the human race to consider and experience is “SALVATION.” Salvation has to do with the never-ending eternity, as well as man’s spiritual existence on earth. Like all other spiritual matters, the truth concerning eternal salvation is not primarily what man thinks and decides about it, but what the Word of God says about it. Down through the generations, people on this earth have heard the message, which the Holy Spirit led the wise man of old to write, “There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). Another very wise man of God, more than one-thousand years later, was led to write: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). “…because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God; neither can be” (Rom. 8:7).

 Seeming right and being right are not the same. Neither is a man right in his thinking and decisions because he is sincere. It is possible to be sincerely wrong, as the natural man generally is, concerning spiritual matters.

 If there is anything that is clearly taught in the Bible, anything that should be self-evident to man, if his heart were not deceitful and if he were not deceived by Satan, it is the truth that man cannot save himself and that salvation is God’s work. There is an awful penalty that will be received by those who do not receive sal­vation. This is called “the wrath of God,” “perdition,” “the second death,” “the judgment of God,” “the damnation of Hell.” There is still another aspect or phase of salvation. After a person is saved, in God’s way from the penalty of sin, then God offers to that saved person salvation from the power and control of sin in this life.

There is no more wonderful, startling and glorious news that any person can hear … there is not another truth more vital and important that every individual should receive at full face value and believe with heart, mind and soul … than the truth found in God’s Bible, the Word of God. Salvation from the wrath of God, and the damnation of Hell, is not by what man does, or can do for God, but what God does for man. Pause long enough to take this in, and believe that when God forgives and redeems the believing sinner, it is according to the riches of His grace, which no human philosopher can begin to measure (Eph. 1:6-7). With this great truth, hear this great question, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation” (Heb. 2:1-3)? Remember that the GOSPEL OF CHRIST is the “power of God unto SALVATION to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16).

“All things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 5:18).

“When we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (Rom. 5:10).

One planteth and another watereth, “But God that giveth the increase” (1 Cor. 3:7).

“A man can receive nothing except it be given him from above” (Jn. 3:27).

“According to God’s mercy, He saved us” (Titus 3:8).

God, Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to His own purpose and grace” (2 Tim. 1:9).

In 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 we read one of the clearest and most definite statements, of the way of salvation, to be found in all of the Bible. Hear it: “God hath from the beginning chosen you to SALVATION through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth  … Whereunto He called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God, by the Holy Spirit,  saves the individual who believes the truth of Christ and what He accomplished on the Cross of Calvary.

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath but to obtain SALVATION by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:9).

“He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (Jn. 3:36).

“For the wages of sin is death but the [free] gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

In Hebrews 5:9 we read concerning Christ: “He became the Author of ETERNAL SALVATION unto all them that obey Him.”

In Hebrews 9:12 we read that Christ, by His own blood, entered into Heaven, “having obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION for us.”

SALVATION is ETERNAL LIFE, which cannot be earned by good works or religious endeavors. God surely desires and expects faithful, obedient service, spiritual worship and practical Christian living from all who have been redeemed by His infinite grace and by faith in the shed blood of His only begotten Son.

But here is God’s order:  “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS lest any man should boast. For we are His [GOD’S] WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus, UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).

There is a great difference between SALVATION “not OF good works” and SALVATION by grace “UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

There is a great difference between SALVATION “not OF good works” and rewards and crowns for good works. To those who have been saved, without good works, the Bible has this admonition: “Be careful to maintain good works” (Titus 3:8).

Now, if you are willing to be saved with God’s Salvation, if you will let God save you in His way, God will accept you (grace you) in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and freely forgive every sin you have ever committed in all of your days of sin. God will, by His grace, make you His child in Christ Jesus and give you eternal life: the guarantee of everlasting glory. God will give you the Holy Spirit as an earnest: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15).

Won’t you let Him save you? He died on the Cross, the Just for the unjust to bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18). Christ died for our sins, was buried and raised again. This is the good news by which believing sinners are saved (1 Cor. 15:1-4). But Christ is alive forevermore. Because in God’s presence in Heaven Christ appears, and ever lives to make intercession for all who are redeemed by His precious shed blood, He is able to save unto the uttermost (all the way to the end) all who come unto God through Him (Heb. 9:24; Phil. 1:6; Jn. 13:1; Heb. 7:25).

So, in your own personal salvation, you must consider and answer the question that Pilate asked: “What then shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ” (Mt. 27:22)?