Pristine Grace

So Great Salvation
by Scott Richardson
So Great Salvation

    I will tell you what it is not, in order to tell you what it is: It is not in works of righteousness which we have done or can do; or the use of our free will which is only free to choose and love evil; or watchfulness, prayer, fasting, self denial, and outward sanctification; or in head knowledge; or firm convictions of truth in the judgment; or a life outwardly consistent with the Gospel; or member ship in a Gospel church; or a fond love of ministers of the Gospel; or sacrifices made to support the truth; or in doubts, fears, tribulations, temptations, legal terrors or heart-rending despairs. All these things accompany salvation but they can also be found in hypocrites and reprobates. Now, salvation does not consist in desires, "for the sluggard desireth and hath not;" nor in tears, "Esau cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry;" or in running, "for it is not of him that runneth" nor does it consist in outward gifts such as preaching and praying as a man may, "taste of the heavenly gift" and yet, "his end shall be to be burned."

    Saul prophesied, Judas preached, and the sons of Sceva adjured devils by the name of Jesus. Nor does it consist in natural faith as Simon Magus believed and was baptized, or in talking about religion for a "prating fool shall fall" or being well thought of by others as Paul once thought well of Demas "who loved this present world."  What I am saying is that salvation does not consist in anything of the flesh, that is, anything earthly, human, and natural as the flesh profiteth nothing.

    So no man can deliver his own soul or give to God a ransom for him self or his brother. For, "all flesh is grass", fit only to be cut down by the mower and to be cast into the oven. We have come to this conclusion, to which God sooner or later brings every elect soul, that those who are saved, are saved because God will save them, that "He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy" and on them alone, and that he saves them not from any foreseen goodness in them, but of his own Free grace.  He loves them freely, eternally, and unchangeably; and they are redeemed, justified, quickened, sanctified, preserved, and glorified only because they are the objects of the undeserved love of God himself.  And, he does all this by and through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ; and all that he does this for will be head over heels in love with the Lord Jesus.