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Salvation in Its Individual Relations

Salvation in Its Individual Relations

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Published by glennpease

" What must I do to be saved? " — Acts xvi, 30.

" What must I do to be saved? " — Acts xvi, 30.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 12, 2014
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SALVATIO I ITS IDIVIDUAL RELATIOSBY THOMAS L. BOSWELL, D. D., " What must I do to be saved? " — Acts xvi, 30. Salvation is commonly understood as deliverance from danger, ¦whether temporal or spiritual. It is therefore a subject of the great- est moment to one exposed to imminent danger. Its importance is to be estimated according to the magnitude of the interests involvedt* « Hence, if a man's health, character, or life, is exposed to great dan- ger, and likely to be lost or greatly damaged, and it is quite beyond his power to escape, and in his great extremity some kind friend interposes and effects his deliverance, he is gratefully appreciated as a saviour. But let us apply the idea of salvation in a spiritual sense to the interes-ts of man's immortal soul, and the greatness of the danger (and consequently of the deliverance) is at once inconceivably aug- mented. Think of an immortal soul, all polluted with sin and iniquity, exposed to the wrath of God, " in danger of eternal damnation ; " think of the inexorable law of God — the claims of infinite justice ; think of the infinite love of God in the gift of his eternal Son, to be made flesh and dwell among us ; think of his midnight prayers, his agonizing sweat of blood ; think of his suflferings on the cross, and ignominious death I — and all to atone for sin, and to make the sinner's salvation possible ; and then think of this salvation actually applied to a penitent believer, through the agency of the Eternal Spirit : How great, and good, and glorious I Well might the angels desire to look into these things, and rejoice more over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety-and-nine just persons that need no repentance. And well may men upon earth rejoice and be exceeding glad at so gra- cious a display of omnipotent goodness in the salvation of perishing sinners. " How then shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" How shall wc escape the condemnation and pollution of sin, the wrath IDIVIDUAL RELATIOS. 209 of God, and the tlamnation of hell? There is no escape if wo neglect the salvation of Christ. Sinners can only escape the fearful retributions of the future by seeking, finding, and perfecting the
salvation in question. Hence the great importance of the question proposed in the text — " What must I do to be saved?" It is now proposed to call attention to the subject of salvation in its individual relations. I. Salvation is an individual concernment. There must be a deep and abiding conviction of this truth in the sinner's heart before he will even consent to seek salvation. He must be made to feel and say, " Let others choose whom they will serve," — wealth, honor, pleasure, &c. — " as for me, I will serve the Lord." 1. Acting under this personal resolution, the sincere penitent will not neglect his salvation on account of the adverse influence of oth- ers. He will give no heed to the doubts of the skeptic, the scoffs of the infidel, and false reason of the Deist. He is not discouraged at the fact that false professors of religion occasionally appear in the Church ; that some " run well for a while" and then turn back to the world ; that others are deceived and miss their way, &c. He  judges no man — his concern is with himself. One of the greatest hindrances to personal religion is the spirit and practice of judging others. Therefore the Great Teacher says, " Judge not, that ye be not judged ; for with what judgment ye judge, yc shall be judged." In opposition to this, a sinner, blind and igno- rant in spiritual things, sets himself up to judge ; and he very readily decides upon the character of the members of the Church — one is a hypocrite, another is a backslider, and the balance cold and formal. Therefore I shall not seek religion — not join the Church — I am as good as the best of them. And thus he excuses himself on the score of others. ow, what riglit or qualification has one short-sighted, fallible man, to judge another ? And what has the hypocrisy, back- sliding, &c., of otliers, to do with a man's own personal religion ? Let no man judge anotlicr in these things. " To his own master he standcth or fallcth." " Every one .shall give account of hiuLsclf to God." So far from these considerations operating .1 discourage- ment to one socking salvation, they sliould convince him that the circulation of counterfeits proves the existence of a gouuiac currency, 210 SALVATIO I ITS and should stimulate him to greater eflforts ia seeking to obtain it. Hence these evil influences from others should not cause us to neg-
lect our own personal salvation. 2. It should not be neglected on account of human speculations. Some persons have quieted themselves in the neglect of salvation on the ground that " If I am to be saved, I will be saved." « When God's good time shall come, I shall be brought in." And in the day of his power, his people shall (as an old ew England divine once said) be made willing. This human scheme of salvation has kept thousands from " striving to enter in at the straight gate," until the master of the house has risen up and shut to the door, and excluded them forever from the possibility of salvation. On the other hand, others have rested their hopes of heaven on the infinite benevolence of God — that he will finally save all men in heaven ; and consequently, have neglected their personal salvation. And there are others who are simply resting in the neglect of personal salvation on the supposition, that "there is time enough yet" — a sophism that has drowned millions in destruction and perdition ! Still men rest upon this broken reed, and glide along softly, singing to themselves " time enough yet." May the Holy Spirit awaken such sleepers from their dangerous and almost fatal slumbers, that they may seek an individual interest in the Saviour of sinners ' Human speculations will never awaken sinners to see their need of Christ. Suppose a man could prove that if I am to be saved, I will be saved ; will such preaching be the means of saving my soul from sin ? Suppose another man should convince me that all men will eventually be saved ; is it likely that I would be alarmed on account of my sins, so as to flee from the wrath to come ? And sup- pose a third should persuade me that I need give myself no personal concern about salvation ;. when God's good time shall come, he will make me willing, and bring me in — and " Be easy, my child, there is time enough yet." Would such a gospel as this awaken sinners — cause them to break off their sins and come to Christ ? ay, verily. The reason is, it is not personal, individual, direct ; hence there are no personal and direct results in convictions and converHions under such ministrations. 3. It should not be personally neglected, and left to the ecclesias- tical attorneyship of others. If I mistake not, this was the great and fatal error of the Jews who attended upon the public ministry of IDIVIDUAL RELATIOS. 211 John the Baptist, our blessed Lord, and his apostles. They were

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