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The Daily Word of Righteousness
But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)
To not move forward in faith each day is to shrink back to destruction. Why is this? It is because the spiritual darkness is so heavy today that if we do not keep pushing forward in the Lord by prayer, Bible reading, serving, assembling with the saints as much as possible, the unclean waters of the world begin to seep into our soul. The process is so slow we do not notice how weak we are becoming. One day we wake up and find we no longer are able to break through into victory in the Lord.
Catastrophic forces of destruction, both spiritual and physical, are on every side. Only the hand of God protects us. Every once in a while a believer grows so careless he moves outside of that great hand. The moment he does he is swept away by the power of darkness.
If we are to save our soul we must keep our faith, our confidence in the Lord, strong and active. Faith by its nature can never be abstract—unrelated to our personality and behavior. Faith expresses itself in works. Faith lives in works. Each day of our life we must demonstrate our faith by looking to God in prayer for every thought we think, every word we speak, every action we take. We must make sure we are growing in the Lord. We grow in the Lord when we follow the Lord Jesus in cross-carrying obedience.
Only then are we certain our soul is being saved.
Salvation is instantaneous and also is progressive. The instantaneous aspect of salvation often is emphasized. The progressive aspect is not always understood or emphasized. In fact, it often is rejected in favor of "unconditional grace" or "eternal security."
Some passages of the Scripture indicate that although we come to Jesus and are forgiven at once, our salvation must be worked out every day of our life. We must through much tribulation enter the Kingdom of God.
For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, (Philippians 1:19).
We understand that the word "salvation" in the above verse could be rendered deliverance, referring to Paul's deliverance from imprisonment. However, a study of the context suggests that Paul was not referring to deliverance from prison but to his salvation in the Kingdom of God.
Remember, Paul always had Stephen on his conscience and the other saints whom he had imprisoned.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12).
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. (I Timothy 2:15).
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (I Timothy 4:16).
And if the righteous scarcely (with difficulty) be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18)
If we give some thought to the above passages we will notice that salvation is a program we participate in throughout our lifetime on the earth. When it speaks of the righteous being saved with difficulty it is not speaking of our initial salvation but of the daily working out of salvation. We experience a "fiery trial" as God judges the sin in our life. Our part is to hold steady in faith while the Divine salvation removes the sin from our personality.
To be continued.