by Charles H. Welch
1. THE DECLARATION.
- We believe that salvation is by grace, through faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- It constitutes the theme of the gospel, and while a message of unspeakable mercy to the sinner, it stands firm upon the basis of righteousness, God in His wondrous love providing the sacrifice for sin, whereby He might be a just God and a Saviour of all that call upon Him.
2. SCRIPTURAL GROUNDS.
‘ … I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth’ (Rom. 1:16).
‘ … the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men’ (Titus 2:11).
‘ … Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins’ (Matt. 1:21).
‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us’ (Titus 3:5).
‘For by grace are ye saved through faith … not of works’ (Eph. 2:8,9).
‘ … a just God and a Saviour’ (Isa. 45:21).
3. AN EXPLANATION AND EXPANSION OF THE SCRIPTURES THAT SPEAK OF SALVATION.
While the law can only condemn where perfect righteousness cannot be produced, the gospel brings glad tidings of salvation for the ungodly, the sinner, and the lost. The reason that the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth is that therein is revealed a righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ, which is unto all and upon all that believe.
While the whole Person and work of Christ forms the object of faith, the resurrection is specially stressed: ‘ … If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved’ (Rom. 10:9).
Salvation cannot be merited; it is not of works, but the gift of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is above all else ‘The Saviour’, and salvation is ours because of His finished work. He died, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. He suffered for our sins. He endured the cross that salvation might be complete, even to the putting off of the old man, and the putting on of the new. His precious blood cleanses from all sin, and in His resurrection the believer finds the power and pledge of a new and endless life. The fact that God is a just God and a Saviour, that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, that in the very salvation provided by His love He manifests not only His mercy but His righteousness; this is the believer’s sure rock foundation. Salvation is all of grace; free, unmerited favour to the worthless and the lost.
We believe that, ‘Once saved, always saved’ expresses a glorious truth. This does not mean that unfaithfulness will not be reckoned, or that there is any encouragement to slackness on the believer’s part, but that those for whom the Saviour died can never perish, neither can any pluck them out of His hand. Salvation is the great covering term that stretches from the first awakening to the need of a Saviour to the time when the redeemed are presented faultless before His throne. Salvation includes justification by faith without works, forgiveness of sins, the gift of eternal life, and the hope of glory.
‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ (1 Tim. 1:15).
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This article by Charles Welch was originally published in “Things Most Surely Believed” (Chapter 7 – Salvation and Its Terms).