Working Out Our Own Salvation
SALVATION - This word in its principal meaning contains vital things which I am afraid have not yet been explored. We realize that the first step of salvation is to repent and be born again according to the Scriptures, which have instructed us to the door of the entrance of salvation. The Scripture has said in II Corinthians 7:10, 'For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.'
Through the light of the entrance to salvation and through this method of confession and repentance, we obtained and have received that which is pointed out by the words of Jesus to Nicodemus. The fact that a new system had been worked out for a birth in a man's life after he had been born of woman was startling for Nicodemus to hear. This experience was based on the principles of the experience that brings a man into this world a living soul.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, '...you must be born again'. He went on to explain to him that -- that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. So, here we find the door or entrance to our salvation through the process of a new birth of man upon earth after he is born of the flesh.
Let us notice further the words of Jesus. He explained that no man would ever see the Kingdom of God except he have this experience wrought in his life prior to his death. The Scripture has said in Ecclesiastes 9:5 that the dead know not anything. This confession and new birth, proven to be this side of the resurrection, makes the doctrine of saving beyond the grave, a doctrine of destruction. Deceiving men and women by telling them that they can live any way in this world, enjoying all the lusts, evil, and corruption of it, and then inherit the world to come is the most damnable doctrine that ever hit the face of the earth. It is one of Satan's best weapons to use to deceive the mass multitudes. Hell has enlarged itself without measure, as spoken by the prophet in the Scripture.
In rightly dividing the Scripture, it is easy to become one-sided, but not so with us. We believe in salvation unto repentance and sanctification as a second definite work of grace, that the Blood not only was shed to blot out sins, but that the same sacrifice was also made to wash and cleanse us from our sin through an experience that does not require repentance, but a consecration of surrender.
Another experience is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is brought about by baptism. In the first and second experience, man does possess the Spirit of God. He does have the Holy Ghost with him by being born of God, but he does not have this wonderful and glorious new experience that came when Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father, as recorded in the second chapter of Acts, Jesus, Himself, received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost at this time. Peter said he then transferred this new experience of the Holy Ghost and of being baptized with him and living in him day by day and hour by hour on to his disciples on the day of Pentecost. Man becomes an habitation and the formed body in which the Holy Ghost works in this present world.
The Holy Ghost does not have a formed body of His own. His temple is brought in through the door of salvation when man becomes born again, and his sins are blotted out or sealed by the blood (forgiveness). The second work of the Blood is to take out the Adamic nature, called sin. Repentance is not required to obtain this second work, but rather consecration, for sin is not for us to repent of, but sins are to be repented of. The vessel is swept and garnished. The temple is clean, holy, and cleansed from all sins. They are blotted out, and the body is sanctified, holy, ready for the Holy Ghost to take His abode. The Holy Ghost takes His abode in the temple while man lives on earth. This is more fully explained in my tract which we have printed, 'The Plan of Salvation Simplified.'
The 6th chapter of Romans very well points out the nature of the second work of grace under the heading of baptism, which is the Baptism of Blood that is referred to all through the New Testament. The Baptism of the Blood does a work separate from that of the Blood blotting out our sins. Likewise, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is confirmed by speaking in unknown tongues, pointing it out to be a different experience from that of being born of the spirit and having the spirit in you as a Christian.
Jesus had the Holy Ghost from birth in the form of a spirit, but He never did have the experience of the Baptism of Him until He returned to the Father. Tongues are to go with the experience of Baptism of the Holy Ghost and not of just possessing the spirit. These make up your experiences as a child of God.
SALVATION - Some people think to have these three experiences is all that is needed for salvation. But, this is not so! According to the Bible, the Scripture has said in Philippians 2:12, '...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.' Here we find that to obtain what we have read in these experiences, there is a proceeding work that must be done or one will loose his salvation. So, the experience is not enough. We must find the works of salvation that they may be practiced so that we may have salvation, for the Scripture has also said that he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. At the beginning, we are only saved from our sins. On one occasion, Paul, the writer, said, '...your salvation is nearer than when you first believed'. So, even Paul spoke to men and women of salvation, telling them that there was still salvation for them. Then, what is the complete principle of saving which contains all of the principles of this word, 'salvation'? It is certainly more than most people think.
Another Scripture points out in Matthew 5:16, 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven'. In the words of Jesus, which are too numerous to try to place in this article, but which I am sure all Bible scholars surely know, salvation is obtained by the working of the Scripture and that of the prophets, the Word of God becomes life in these temples, walking upon this earth.
This is what The Church of God is doing for her members. We are working out our salvation by fulfilling the Word of God and rendering all our heart and all our strength for the fulfillment of the Bible in the washing of the water by the Word, according to the 5th chapter of Ephesians. The day will come when we will have the 4th chapter of Ephesians fulfilled. We will come to the knowledge of the Son of God , unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; and, then, our salvation will be complete. Then it can be said, the victory is won, we have worked out our salvation, as a man doth complete his job.