Jonah made the statement, "Salvation is of the Lord" from the fish's belly after he had been there for three days and three nights. He had come to the conclusion that if he was ever to be delivered (salvation) from the fish's belly the Lord had to do it. Every person who has been saved, or will ever be saved, has to come to the same conclusion: Salvation is of the Lord.
The Father Thought It
Ephesians 1:4 states that the Father chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Back in eternity past long before the earth was created and hung upon nothing (Job 26:7) there was a council meeting of the Godhead. The Father revealed His salvation plan which was through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. He has always had one plan even though man has come up with different plans for each man-made dispensation.
There is only one way to be saved and that is through Jesus Christ who said in John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." He also said He was the door in John 10:9 and stated very plainly in John 10:1 that any man who entered not by the door is a thief and no thief will enter in. (I Cor. 6:9-10)
Jesus was no afterthought in the mind of God but was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8), therefore salvation 6is of the Lord because the Father thought it.
The Son Bought It
In that council meeting in eternity past the Son volunteered to be the sacrifice for man's sin. He, being God (John 1:1), was willing to lay aside His manifested glory and be robed in flesh through a virgin's womb (John 1:14) so that He would be qualified to pay the price for man's sin. John 10:15-18 states plainly that Jesus Christ gave (lay down) His life willingly for mankind.
Even though Christ laid aside His manifested glory to be robed in human flesh, He did not lay aside His deity. Jesus, God Himself, died on the cross shedding His blood for the sins of man (Heb. 9:22) and in so doing fulfilled the prophesy of Gen. 22:8. Jesus Christ paid the price to redeem fallen man. (I Peter 1:18-20) Salvation is of the Lord and the Son bought it.
The Church Taught It
When Jesus walked upon the earth He established His church upon Himself the Rock. (Mat. 16:18) He also gave His church the keys (authority) to transact business between heaven and earth. (Mat. 16:19) Before He ascended He commissioned His church (already in existence) in Mat. 28:19-20 to go forth and teach which means to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them all things. The first teach involves preaching the gospel (I Cor. 1:21), giving the sense like Ezra did in Neh. 8:8, and guiding lost men so that they may have the understanding they need to be saved. (Acts 8:30-31)
The church is not a building as some think but a local, visible body of baptized believers. Thus a church is the human instruments God uses to cross the path of the lost so they can be saved. (Rom. 10:13-15) Salvation is of the Lord and the church taught it.
Man Fought It
Rom. 5:8 states "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Being a sinner means we were actively engaged in sin against a holy God and this was by choice. Rom. 5:10 states we were "enemies" of God. A person begins to fight the message of salvation when that message starts to break light on a darkened heart.
When Jesus revealed Himself to Saul, one of the things He said was, "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." (Acts 9:4-5) Saul was fighting the message, "Salvation Is Of The Lord." He had heard Stephen (human instrument = church) preach, heard him pray, and watched him die. The message he had heard pulled the props out from under his man-made religion. He did not like to hear that salvation is of the Lord. Man fought it.
The Holy Ghost Wrought It
No man is saved without the sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost. (II Thess. 2:13; I Peter 1:2) This is called by some people, Holy Ghost conviction, which is necessary in an unbeliever's life to bring them to the point of repentance and faith so that they can repent and believe unto salvation.
Jesus called this a work of reproval in John 16:8-11. Notice He said the Comforter (Holy Ghost) will, not might, but will reprove of three thing: sin, righteousness, and judgment. The word "reprove" means to lay blame on sharply and sternly with authority, with the purpose of correction, persuading by argument using the evidence at hand to convince and convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. This He will do, and that of all three: sin, righteousness, and judgment before one will be saved.
One may ask, "Why does He persuade by argument?" Because a sinner argues with God about his condition, his need, and the way of real salvation. Remember, man fought it. But the Holy Ghost will complete His work of reproval in a seeking individual's heart.
When one is brought to this place, repentance will be worked by Godly sorrow (II Cor. 7:10) and faith will be produced by he Word (Rom. 10:17) which enables that individual to repent and believe, thus, obeying the gospel which is necessary if one is saved. (I Peter 1:2)
This is a work of the Holy Ghost and man has no part in it. Thank the Lord for the Holy Ghost who is faithful to finish what He has started. (I Thess. 5:24; Phil. 1:6) Salvation is of the Lord and the Holy Ghost wrought it.
THE PERSUADER - June-July, 1994