Pristine Grace

Salvation
Accomplished and Experienced
by Jim Byrd
Salvation

     I rejoice to read about and think upon the blessed Savior who accomplished the work of redemption. In the stead of His chosen people, Christ rendered obedience to the Father, living a life of perfection and then died under the curse of the law His people had broken. By His sacrifice, the good Shepherd fully paid the indebtedness His sheep owed to divine justice. All of the legal requirements for our salvation were accomplished by our Representative upon the cross; God can demand no more. The great transaction took place at Calvary between God and the Surety of the elect. The Father was completely satisfied with the redemptive work of His Son as evidenced by His resurrection, ascension and enthronement at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Christ “obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).

     Is that, however, the full extent of the Bible’s declaration of salvation? Certainly it is delightful to dwell upon the work of the Lord for us, yet there must also be a work within us by which we are brought to believe, love and lay hold of Christ. Salvation must be experienced in the heart and that is accomplished by the Spirit of grace. He must quicken spiritually dead sinners, apply the blood of Christ, grant faith in the dear Savior and make us understand that with His finished work of reconciliation a holy God was well pleased and upon the basis of Christ and Him crucified, God accepts us. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).

     Now, as to that work of grace performed within us by God the Spirit which results in our believing Christ, does that in any way take away from, lessen or even add to the work of the Redeemer for us? Of course not. Forgiveness, righteousness and reconciliation were all accomplished by the death of Christ. The grace of God communicated to the sinner in regeneration flows out of the fulness of Christ and His sin-atoning death. The Redeemer promised to send His Spirit and with Him, every supply of grace. The Saviour said in John 16:7 that as a result of His sacrifice, the Holy Spirit would be sent. “It is expedient for you that I go away.” “I go away” was a reference to His voluntary death which was “expedient,” that is, necessary to save us from eternal death, ruin and destruction. “For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come He will reprove...of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” The work of the Holy Spirit within, therefore, is based on and flows out of the finished work of Christ for us. As surely as there had to be the work of Christ to satisfy God, there has to be the work of the Spirit to make Christ known to us.