Looking into Salvation
The Prophets Looked into Salvation
These two things must be kept clearly in mind. He affirms that more is given to us than to the ancient fathers; and by this comparison, he magnifies the grace of the gospel. Further, what is preached to us concerning our salvation cannot be suspected of novelty, because the Spirit, by the prophets, has borne witness to it through the ages. Therefore, when he says that the prophets sought and searched ceaselessly, he refers not to their teachings or writings, but to the inner yearning which agitated them.
Since the prophets had only a small taste of the grace which Christ brought to us, their desire turned rightly toward a different manner of revelation. When Simeon saw Christ, he made ready for death with a calm and peaceful spirit; which shows that he was previously anxious and disquieted. Such was the state of all believers [before Christ].
The Holy Spirit Revealed Salvation
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
Mat. 28:19, 20—“Go ye … teaching … and lo, I am with you.” Compare promises to Moses (Ex. 3:12), Jeremiah (Jer. 1:5–8), Ezekiel (Ezek. 2 and 3). See also Is. 44:3 and Joel 2:28—“I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed”; Mat. 10:7—“as ye go, preach”; 19—“be not anxious how or What ye shall speak”; John 14:26—“the Holy Spirit … shall teach you all things”; 15:26, 27—“the Spirit of truth … shall bear witness of me: and ye also bear witness” = the Spirit shall witness in and through you; 16:13—“he shall guide you into all the truth” = (1) limitation—all the truth of Christ, i. e., not of philosophy or science, but of religion; (2) comprehension—all the truth within this limited range, i. e., sufficiency of Scripture as rule of faith and practice (Hovey); 17:8—“the words which thou gavest me I have given unto them”; Acts 1:4—“he charged them … to wait for the promise of the Father”; John 20:22—“he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit.” Here was both promise and communication of the personal Holy Spirit. Compare Mat. 10:19, 20—“it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.”
1 Cor. 2:10, 13—“unto us God revealed them through the Spirit.… Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth”; 11:23—“I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you”; 12:8, 28—the λόγος σοφίας was apparently a gift peculiar to the apostles; 14:37, 38—“the things which I write unto you … they are the commandment of the Lord”; Gal. 1:12—“neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ”; 1 Thess. 4:2, 8—“ye know what charge we gave you through the Lord Jesus.… Therefore he that rejecteth, rejecteth not man, but God, who giveth his Holy Spirit unto you.” The following passages put the teaching of the apostles on the same level with O. T. Scripture: 1 Pet. 1:11, 12—“Spirit of Christ which was in them” [O. T. prophets];—[N. T. preachers] “preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit”; 2 Pet. 1:21—O. T. prophets “spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit”; 3:2—“remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets” [O. T.], “and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles” [N. T.]; 16—“wrest [Paul’s Epistles], as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” Cf. Ex. 4:14–16; 7:1.
Implications:—2 Tim. 3:16—“Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable”—a clear implication of inspiration, though not a direct statement of it = there is a divinely inspired Scripture. In 1 Cor. 5:3–5, Paul, commanding the Corinthian church with regard to the incestuous person, was arrogant if not inspired. There are more imperatives in the Epistles than in any other writings of the same extent. Notice the continual asseveration of authority, as in Gal. 1:1, 2, and the declaration that disbelief of the record is sin, as in 1 John 5:10, 11. Jude 3—“the faith which was once for all (ἅπαξ) delivered unto the saints.” See
The Bible also attests to its sufficiency (Ps. 19:7–11). It is a light to one’s path (Ps. 119:105). It is more reliable than even the most amazing spiritual experiences (2 Pet. 1:19–20). It is able to lead a person to saving faith (2 Tim. 3:15). It instructs the religious elite as well as the common believer (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:37; Phil. 1:1). It was given by God to parents to instruct their children (Deut. 6:6–7) and is able to bring even a child to saving faith (2 Tim. 3:14–15). Paul wrote that all Scripture is given by inspiration and that it is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
Men Preached that Salvation
Baron von Welz renounced his title, estates and revenues and went as a missionary to British Guiana where he filled a lonely grave. Renouncing his title, he said, “What is to me the title Wellborn when I am born again to Christ? What is to me the title Lord when I desire to be the servant of Christ? What is it to be called Your Grace when I have need of God’s grace? All these vanities I will away with and all else I will lay at the feet of my dear Lord Jesus.”
If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed
Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
A minister was discussing electricity with an electrician. “Is it true,” asked the minister, “that electricity cannot get into you unless it can get out of you?” “That’s absolutely right,” answered the electrician.