Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 9, 1967
NUMBER 27, PAGE 1-3a

Jesus The Saviour

Robert H. Farish

What is Christ to you? What place does he have in your life? Can you afford to be indifferent to Him? In view of the effect he has had upon your own ancestors alone for the last fifty odd generations, can you reasonably refuse to consider your personal relationship to Him? If for no other reason, than the wide reaching and enduring effect upon the history of man, his claims, promises and warnings deserve consideration.

Christ The Saviour

"And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). The Son to be born of Mary was to be called "Jesus." The word, "Jesus," means "saviour," and indicates the purpose of his becoming flesh. This purpose indicated in the name is also clearly stated--"it is he that shall save his people from their sins."

Salvation From Sins

If you are not concerned about being saved from your sins, you either do not realize personal guilt or else you are unaware of the fearful personal consequences of sin. All who are responsible before God have sinned; none is exempt. "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23.) "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (I John 1:10). These statements suffice to prove that the Bible indicts all of guilt of sin; YOU are included.

Sin separates man from God; it is the barrier which holds back God's spiritual blessings. "Behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear." (Isa. 59:1,2). "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4). "God spared not angels when they sinned" (II Pet. 2:4). These passages reveal the attitude of God toward sin and the fearful consequences of sin. Furthermore, the fact that the Son of God had to become flesh and experience the agonies of death on a cross to provide salvation from sin, points up the terrible nature of sin. The wages of sin is death — eternally separated from God and all that is desirable, good and pleasant; eternally in company with all that is undesirable, painful and bad.

Sin is real; it is not fantasy. Its reality is not changed by softening the terms applied to it. Drunkenness by any other name is still sin — classifying it a disease relieves it of none of its awful and real consequences. Adultery is not really made respectable by legalizing it and getting public opinion on the side of lasciviousness. Yes, sin is real and destructive. You need to be saved!

Jesus Can Save You From Sin

It is imperative that you be convinced that Jesus is willing and able to save you. Without the conviction that Jesus is both willing and able to save you, you can never commit your soul to him in well-doing.

The basic doctrine of Calvinism that God predestined certain men to be saved and certain men to be lost, denies that Jesus is willing to save those individuals fore-ordained to destruction. If this were the case, you might be one of those whom Jesus is not willing to save. But such is not the case, for God, our Saviour wishes all to be saved. The Bible teaches that, "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who WOULD HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED" (I Tim. 2:4). It is further declared that, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promises, as some count slackness; but it long-suffering to youward, NOT WISHING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but that all should come to repentance" (II Pet. 3:9).

God would have ALL MEN to be saved. You certainly come within the scope of "all men." He wishes you to be saved. God does not wish (will) that ANY should perish — it is not his will that you perish.

Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt. 11:28-30). This is the Saviour's invitation and you are included. The rest unto your soul can be found by accepting his invitation.

The concern of Jesus for you has been demonstrated by the sacrifice which he made for you and all men. His attitude is seen in his actions. "Who existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:4-8).

But is Jesus able to save you? Is it possible that you have gone so far into sin that you can not be saved? Despair holds some in such a tight clutch that they doubt the ability of Jesus to save them. To such the promise recorded by Isaiah is recommended — "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isa. 1:18). The ability of Jesus is affirmed in Heb. 7:25, "Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw nigh unto God through him..."

There is no lack with Jesus; he is willing and able to save. Why then are not all men saved? "The grace of God hath appeared bringing salvation to all men... Titus 2:11); but many will be lost. "Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction and many are they that enter thereby" (Matt. 7:13); "and these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life" (Matt. 25:45). Many other statements could be given which teach that not all will be saved. How then can these passages be reconciled with the many passages which teach that God wants all men to be saved and has made provisions for all to be saved through Jesus Christ? If YOU are not saved, why are you not saved?

Jesus And Your Will

God endowed man with the power of choice, and in all his dealing with man in this life, he respects the human will to the point of never using irresistible power to force man to do the will of God. During the probationary period of man's existence, i.e., during the life that now is, God seeks to persuade man to accept Jesus as Saviour. The need of cooperation between the human will and the divine will is brought out in a number of passages of Scripture--"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not" (Matt. 23:37). Jesus "would" but Jerusalem "would not." The human will rebelled against the divine will.

Jesus told some rebellious men in his audience. "Ye will not come to me that ye may have life" (John 5:40). None who will not come to Jesus may have life. This can be illustrated by the case of a person who is trapped in an upper story of a burning building and is instructed by the firemen to jump, assuring him that they will catch him in the net. If he fails to jump, he perishes in the fire but that in no way should reflect on the provisions of the firemen. Even so, when Jesus says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16), those who refuse to be baptized cannot properly blame Jesus for their being lost. Rather, it is their lack of trust in Him.

Jesus is able to save "them that draw near unto God through Him." However, there is no basis for hope for the one who refuses to draw nigh to God through Christ. Any attempt to "draw near" unto God in other than through Jesus is doomed to failure. This accounts for many failures; too many try to go their own way, rather than by Jesus.

All Them That Obey

Jesus is the author of salvation to all them that OBEY him. "And having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation" (Heb. 5:9). The salvation provided by Jesus is provided for those that obey him. There is no promise of salvation for the rebellious, the disobedient. Men have sought to identify their lack of obedience as trust in the grace of God. But such will not stand up, after all the arguments and protests of trust in God have been made, they are still just examples of presumption. One trusts the grace of God when he obeys God. Jesus is saviour in prospect or possibility to all men but saviour in fact to only those who obey him. He is "himself the saviour of the body" (Eph. 5:23). The church "is his body" (Eph. 1:22,23); hence, the church is that of which Christ is the saviour. The house of God is the church. "These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly; but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God..." (I Tim. 3:14, 15). Summing up what we have learned thus far:

1. Jesus is the saviour of the body.

2. The body is the church.

3. The house of God is the church.

From these statements it is seen that the body is the house of God. Hence, Jesus is the saviour of the house of God,' Now observe this language to see that the house of God is made up of them that obey the gospel. "For the time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begin first at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel (1 Pet 4:17). Note the "us of the passage is the "house of God; the them that obey not the gospel is the contrast of the "us or the "house of God. This clearly shows that the house of God, the body, the church is them that obey the gospel and as Christ is the saviour of the body, church or house of "God, he is therefore the saviour of them that obey the gospel.

The first thing for you to consider is your own meditations on Jesus and you is whether or not he is your saviour in fact. Are you obedient to the gospel and thus a member of the church of which Christ is the saviour Some have tried to think of Christ separate from the church. This, one cannot do while thinking in scriptural terms. Christ cannot be divorced from the body which acknowledges his headship in doctrine, worship and work.

Modern religious leaders have confused people by perverting the scripture. An example of this is the wresting of the language of Jesus recorded in John 6.44 directly in conflict with Jesus language in John 5.40 where Jesus puts the blame squarely upon man. "Ye will not come that ye may have life. Those who mis-use John 6.44 to sustain their erroneous theory of a "direct operation of the Holy Spirit dare not continue to read through the 45th verse. Observe carefully the inspired explanation in v. 45 of how the drawing of v. 44 is done. Approach v. 45 with the question, how does God draw? The answer is given in v. 45 is, "It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father and hath learned cometh unto me (John 6.45).

The provisions of grace are adequate; Jesus is fully qualified as the saviour. 'Your salvation is your own personal `responsibility — hear and learn what the Father says to you through His Son and come to Jesus in his appointed way and be saved, or turn from what the Father says through his Son, heed the doctrines of men and be lost.

There are consequent relationships which exist when one becomes a member of God's family by obedience to the gospel requirements. The blessings connected with these relationships cannot be properly claimed by anyone who is not a member of the church. These relationships yield blessings to those members of the church who are aware of the divine provisions and who .avail themselves of the blessings by complying with the preached conditions.

(Editor's note: This fine article is one of our "Tract of the Month" series, and may be had for 15 cents per single copy; $10.00 per 100.)

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