Salvation Provides for Every Need of the Soul
The infinite wisdom and actual divinity of the Holy Bible is wonderfully demonstrated in this fact. No other book on earth is both instructive, interesting, and never exhausted; both by ignorant and learned, by youthful or mature minds. To such as love God and the truth; and especially to such as have been conformed to the image of His Son, be they profound and cultured, or the most illiterate and simple, the inspired volume is ever precious, unfolding new and rich mines of golden thought at every reading, even down to old age.
How marvelously the inspired volume is adapted to the wants of mankind as a Book of Salvation.
Throughout the whole world it has been a fact in human experience, that a sacrifice was needed to atone for the sins of our race. Everywhere the impression rests upon the human heart that God’s wrath has been provoked by sin in this world. And in nearly all heathen lands, when the torch of heaven’s truth was lifted there, it found men inflicting tortures of some kind upon themselves, or sacrificing in cruel death their own offspring, with a hope of satisfying offended justice. O reader, is not the gospel of God’s salvation glad tidings of great joy to all this sin-stricken world? Does it not exactly meet that deeply and universally felt want in the human breast, of a sacrifice for our sins? How gracious the words of Him who knows and bears the sins and griefs of all our race! How wonderfully they anticipate our inward condition, and announce relief to the oppressed and struggling soul! “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.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
Look at all this unhappy world. Are not the hearts of the children of men like the ever-restless waters of the sea? Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away our sins; the Prince of peace who calms the sea of inward fear and guilt.
And the infinite wisdom of God has placed this great salvation in reach of all. The wise of heart and understanding, If only humble minded, may enter there and find, not only a perfect redemption, but also the wonderful stores of wisdom for which he thirsts. The most simple and unlearned find no difficulty in grasping and appropriating the saving grace of God as soon as they become willing to learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart.
The wonderful fact in the plan of redemption is this: it heals the malady of sin from the inmost core of our nature. It enters and changes the whole bent of our moral being. It purifies the very fountain of thought and action. It lifts up a perfect standard of holiness, and conforms our affections to the same. It demands a life of absolute freedom from sin, and creates that life in us. “The law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did.” (Hebrews 7:19) “The blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh” (Hebrews 9:13)—rendered persons outwardly and legally pure. But, “How much more shall [yea, does] the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14) Namely, the blood of the new covenant purges our very nature, and produces an inward consciousness of purity and moral soundness.
Such a salvation was needed by our fallen race. After King David had been led by the tempter to tarnish his beautiful life with one dark spot of sin, in his humiliation he was led to deeply scrutinize the human heart, and the hidden causes of those outcroppings of sin, that are so opposite to the general character and principles of righteousness. And, behold, he discovered, “I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5) By the sin of our first parents a vein of evil nature has been transmitted down through all our race. This he felt the need of having removed. “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts.” (Psalm 51:6) To insure a pure stream the fountain must be cleansed. And he through the Spirit predicted such a thorough cure for sin in the following prayer: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:7,10)
Time moves on. The Son of God appears to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself; and in response to the heart of man that longs for inward purity we hear Him say, “I will; be thou clean” (Matthew 8:3; Mark 1:41; Luke 5:13); “and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin…. [and] all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:7,9) which includes inbred unrighteousness.
Some ancient philosophers discovered and taught very pure and perfect ethics. But they confessed themselves unable to live up to their own standard, much less impart an ability to their pupils to do so. Jesus our Lord and Savior so far exceeded all other moral philosophers, that He taught the only perfect law ever delivered to man, exemplified it in His life, and has power to raise all His disciples to the same standard. Enabling us not only to walk in a perfect way before God, but to do it easily and naturally. Outward holiness is just as spontaneous in the life, where perfect holiness reigns within, as good fruit naturally adorns a good tree. Oh, how shall we thank God for this new creating salvation in Jesus our Lord! Let the vilest come to Him and realize an entire revolution from sin unto holiness.
Another beautiful fact in the adaptation of salvation to our needs is this: it does not only impart that grace and fortitude by which men can readily resist all temptations to evil, but its own inward happiness utterly weans the mind and heart from all sinful indulgences. The ransomed soul is so perfectly satiated with its own heavenly feast of love and holy delight, that the allurements of this world become utterly distasteful. All evil is repelled by the surpassing delight of that which is holy and good. How can the base mud-cakes of sinful pleasure, “the bread of wickedness,” (Proverbs 4:17) excite desire in a soul that is accustomed to eat “angels’ food” (Psalm 78:25)? Thus did Nehemiah testify: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) The joys of salvation invest the soul with boldness to reject all offered pleasures of sin. Behold the presence of God is with His people. And, “in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11) “Therefore everlasting joy shall be unto them.” (Isaiah 61:7) The human heart, it is true, was created for and ardently thirsts after happiness. Salvation fills that desire, and abundantly satiates that thirst. FULL SALVATION, and nothing else will do it. “And in this mountain [of His holiness] shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined…. For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest.” (Isaiah 25:6,10)
Oh, if poor sinners but knew that the love of God imparts a “fulness of joy,” a perfect delight in all the will of God, and raises us above all relish for the miserable pleasures they are acquainted with in the life of sin, then would they gladly exchange sin for salvation, and the drudgery of Satan for the peaceful service of God.
Again, salvation is adapted to the wants of the human soul in its perfect keeping power. The death of Christ atones for our transgressions, His resurrection gives us victory over death, and His life is a pledge of our preservation in Him. Because He lives, we shall live also (2 Corinthians 13:4).
Hence the apostle Jude had the pleasure of writing a letter “to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” (Jude 1:1) And Peter testifies that we “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5)
Many poor souls hesitate to give themselves to God for fear they will not be able to endure unto the end. Oh, cast such fears to the winds! God’s salvation provides for our eternal preservation from sin, and no child of God ever needs to have the sad experience of a backslider. The cure of sin is both a thorough and a permanent success.
In fact “the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10) fully and forever provides for every want of the human soul, creating us every whit whole, satisfying all our desires, and preserving us triumphant over sin, and blameless in the sight of God. And the great remedy is so miraculously adapted to man that the most feeble in mind can appreciate its blessings as well as the wise. All responsible men and women, of all nations, and under all circumstances, may come to Christ and be saved, and everlastingly preserved in Him, if they will hear His voice and obey.