Salvation is by grace. It is undeserved! God is not obligated to save any sinner. Salvation by grace does not come by debt or reward. It is God’s free gift. God could leave everyone of us to perish in our sins. Claude Duval Cole explains this process in the following article:
Christ said that His people would be the salt of the earth. Salt is a preservative, and saved people will preserve human society from utter moral corruption. Many are blessed temporarily by the gospel who are not eternally saved by it. Humanity as such is safer in a community where there are Christian people. . . .
There must be a just basis for salvation; else God would cease to be just in forgiving sin. There can be no salvation at the expense of justice. And justice cannot be dispensed apart from the punishment of sin. There is no miscarriage of justice in heaven’s court, for every sin shall receive a just recompense of reward. Divine justice must be vindicated and the law of God must be upheld in the case of every sinner. In the death of Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son, there is a just basis for salvation. Christ died the Just for the unjust. He redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us. He was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God through faith in Him. Christ put away the guilt of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. God forgives the sinner for the sake of Christ. As our Surety He paid the sin-debt to the last farthing. As our Substitute He took our place under the law and died the very kind of death which denoted that He was accursed of God (Cf. Gen 33:13 and Deut. 21:23). Terrible price to pay for our salvation, but it was what the law of God demanded and the only way in which God could be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus: “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10). Christ could not be a perfect Savior apart from suffering the just demands of the law for His people.
We have seen in previous articles that sin has wrought awful havoc with the human race. It has ruined every man and every part of man. The consequences of sin are manifold, and there is an aspect of salvation for every aspect of sin. And there is a Bible word by which each of the several parts or aspects of salvation is described. If the sinner be viewed as in a state of death, then regeneration or the new birth is the Bible word to denote the impartation of life. If the sinner is considered as a child of the devil, then adoption is the term which expresses the judicial act of God by which he is made a son of God. If we think of the sinner from the standpoint of his body, being mortal and having in it the germs of death by which it will be turned into a dust-heap, then glorification is that aspect of salvation in which the body will be fashioned like unto the glorious body of Christ. If the lost person be regarded as in a state of depravity or moral defilement, sanctification is the work making him holy and pure before God. If we think of the sinner as in a state of spiritual darkness unable to understand the gospel, then calling is the Bible term to express the act of God giving light by which the sinner can see or understand that Christ crucified is the wisdom and power of God in the plan of salvation. If the sinner be thought of as in a position of condemnation– cursed by God’s law he has violated—then justification speaks of his perfect standing before the throne of God. If salvation be approached from the standpoint of the eternal purpose of God, according to which He graciously saves sinners, then election and predestination are the Bible terms which denote the choice and destiny of God’s people. (“Definitions of Doctrine”, 1944)
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