By Don Fortner
We all say that we believe Jonah’s confession, “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). But you do not really mean that, do you? I know that the preachers I hear on radio and television do not believe that, “Salvation is of the Lord.” So far as I know, there is not another preacher in the city where I live who really believes that “Salvation is of the Lord”. If there is, I would like to meet him. They do believe that salvation is partly of the Lord, but certainly not entirely of the Lord. And I am sure that if you believed that “Salvation is of the Lord,” you would not attend a church where it is not preached. Perhaps you are saying, “I do believe that salvation is entirely of the Lord.” I truly hope that you do. Let’s see.
To say that salvation is of the Lord is to say that SALVATION IS IN NO WAY DEPENDENT UPON OR DETERMINED BY MAN’S WORKS, WORTH, OR WILL. Salvation is not the work of man, neither is it a cooperative effort between God and man, God doing his part and man doing his part. Salvation is the work of God alone. It is altogether the work of his grace. Human works and human merit do not even enter into the picture. It is all of grace — not grace plus baptism — not grace plus church membership — not grace plus works. Grace alone accomplishes salvation. Grace plus anything ceases to be grace. “If by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). Man’s works can never merit salvation. Neither is it man’s will that determines who will be saved. Your salvation is not dependent upon your sinful will. It is dependent upon God’s sovereign will. God alone determines whom he will save. He does not even consult, or ask the opinion of man. You are subject to God’s will. God is not subject to your will. He says, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have ‘compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom. 9:15-16). If God has determined to save you by his matchless grace in Christ, you will be saved. He will give you a new heart, a new nature, and a new will. You will delightfully come to Christ in true faith in the day of his gracious, saving power. If God has not determined to save you, if he does not send his Spirit to quicken you, give you faith, and bring you to Christ, you will never come to Christ, because you will never desire him. My friend, “Salvation is of the Lord“. He can be gracious to you, or he can pass you by. He can save you, or he can damn you. It is entirely up to him. You have no claim upon God; and you have no control over him.
GOD THE FATHER PLANNED OUR SALVATION. In his own eternal purpose and grace, before the world began, God chose to save some people for the glory of his own great name. He determined that he would send his Son to live and die as their Substitute, and that he would accept the merits of Christ his Son for us. God determined whom he would save, how he would save them, and when he would save them, before the world began. Our names were recorded in eternity in the Lamb’s book of life. All the elect of God were, at one time, chosen and predestinated unto eternal life. GOD THE SON PURCHASED OUR SALVATION. In order to save his elect from sin, God’s law, his truth, his justice, and his righteousness demanded blood. Justice must be satisfied. The sinner must die. Therefore the Lord Jesus Christ came as the Substitute and Representative of God’s elect. By his one great sacrifice in our place, he satisfied the strict demands of God’s holy law for his own elect. By the Just and legal price of his own blood, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, and lawfully purchased salvation for his people. Then, at the appointed time, according to God’s own purpose, and because Christ redeemed us, GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT PERFORMED SALVATION IN US. With Jonah, I rejoice to know and to declare unto you, that “Salvation is of the Lord!”
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