What is it that Saves a Soul? Salvation Outwardly and Inwardly
Here, then, is the answer to the question. "What is it which saves a soul?"
1. Having an interest in the electing choice of God the Father, in the redeeming blood and justifying righteousness of God the Son, and in the quickening, sanctifying operations of God the Holy Ghost. That is the inheritance sealed to the elect as eternally theirs, by "a covenant ordered in all things and sure." This is salvation outwardly, and he that has neither part nor lot in this salvation will perish in his sins under the tremendous wrath of a just and holy God.
But there is,
2. the salvation inwardly which consists in the manifestation of Jesus to the soul, whereby electing love, atoning blood, justifying righteousness, and an eternal inheritance beyond the skies are sealed home upon the soul, and made personal, individual realities. To this inward enjoyment of salvation all the children of God are predestinated, and none of them die without a greater or less share of it. Some of them, indeed, are now being plunged into the terror of the law, others doubting and fearing, others cutting themselves off as hypocrites, others groaning beneath the weight of sin, others overcome by the power of their lusts, others harassed by the devil, others fainting by reason of the way, and all engaged in a terrible conflict with the old man of sin.
Some, again, are cut to the heart on account of their backslidings, others abhorring themselves in dust and ashes, others buffeted with the sorest temptations, others filled with rebellion and fretfullness, others entangled in Satan s snares, and others sitting in stubborn silence, or well-nigh swallowed up with despondency. Some have never found their Saviour, and others have lost Him; some have never felt pardon and deliverance, and others have been "again entangled in the yoke of bondage"; some are shut up, and others cannot come forth; some are hoping against hope, and others doubting against evidences; some are "plagued all the day long, and chastened every morning"; and others are fearing they are bastards, because "the rod of God is not upon them."
But as all the family of God have a common interest in the salvation that is external, so do they all agree in this point with respect to the salvation that is internal, that it must be a supernatural religion, a manifested Saviour, a revealed righteousness, a sprinkled conscience, a sealed pardon, a shed-abroad love, an enjoyed redemption, that alone will satisfy or save. And thus all their strippings, emptyings, chastisements, temptations, conflicts, sorrows, sighs, groans, and tears; all their doubts, fears, terrors, quakings, gloom and despondency; all their views of the justice of God in a holy law; all their ups and downs, changes, vicissitudes, guilt, condemnation, and bitter feelings of anguish on account of sin; in a word, all their experience of the depths of a desperately wicked heart-all, all serve in the hands of the blessed Spirit to bring them to this point, that salvation is in the blood and righteousness of Christ alone, and that this salvation must be revealed to them, and in them, to deliver them from the flames of hell.