THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION
T. PIERCE BROWN
In Hebrews 6:9 we find, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.” As we meditated on the things that accompany salvation, our first thought was that we wished the author had specified what he meant. Then we concluded that probably the Holy Spirit did not do that, so that now we probe more deeply into the thought to discover and marvel at the things that accompany salvation. As each individual studies it out for himself, we will discover that each of us will come up with a different list. But we will have been strengthened as we probe into and meditate upon the things that accompany salvation. We do not think it improper to suggest some that occurred to us that you might add them to any that may occur to you.
It is our opinion that most of us who think of salvation think primarily of the fact that we are saved from the eternal punishment in the lake of fire. That of itself should cause us to so give thanks to God and yield to his gracious will that we would “serve him without fear all the days of our lives” (Luke 1:74-75). However, that is only a small portion of things that accompany salvation.
We are not only saved from the guilt and punishment for sin. We are saved from the love and practice of sin. When we properly meditate on the gracious love of our Lord who suffered death on the cross for us, that love constrains us to hate sin, repent of it and determine that we will no longer practice it. We have no doubt that this is part of what Paul had in mind in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 when he said, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” One of the things that accompany salvation, then, is that we no longer live unto ourselves, but unto Him. If we are not in that category, it is doubtful if we really have salvation. Yet it is evident that a large number of those who profess to be members of the Lord’s church are still living primarily unto themselves. When a person consistently spends more on his own selfish wants than he does on the cause of Christ, he is living for himself. We are not talking about the necessities of life that God expects us to provide for our families and ourselves. We are talking about the luxuries with which we surround ourselves to the neglect of the work of God.
Not only does being saved involve being saved from the guilt and punishment for sin, being saved from the love and practice of sin, but being saved from the power of sin. Paul says in Romans6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” In that same connection he says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” That promise from God is worth all the gold in the universe. It accompanies salvation. Think of what we would lose if God merely forgave us of our sins and then left us helpless before the temptations of Satan.
No doubt this is one of the things that caused Paul to write in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” When a person begins to grasp what John says in I John 1:7, he has a deeper grasp of some of the things that accompany salvation. He says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Realizing all of that, as little as we really grasp its significance, will develop in us a sense of humility and self-abnegation that will come as we realize that all we are and have is by God’s grace and not because of our own inherent righteousness. Surely this will give us a peace of God that passes understanding. That should accompany salvation.
Those are a few of the many things that accompany salvation, but it is our opinion that verse 10 suggests what he mostly had in mind. It says, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” From all the Bible says about the matter, it is our conclusion that one of the most significant things that accompany salvation is “your work and labor of love.” Paul enlarges on it in 1Thessalonians 1:3, “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.” If we do not have a working faith, and labor in love, it is probable, if not altogether certain, that we do not have salvation, for those are things that accompany it. It may be helpful to examine our own lives in terms of those thoughts.
T. Pierce Brown
1068 Mitchell Ave.