The Saving Work of the Triune God -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 105:420 (Oct 1948)
Article: The Saving Work of the Triune God
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


The Saving Work of the Triune God

Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Continued from the July-September Number, 1948)

C. The Riches of Divine Grace

This aspect of the saving work of the triune God, though restricted to those transformations which are divinely wrought for the individual at the moment he believes, is not only supremely important since it defines the character of salvation, but is almost limitless in extent. The restrictions imposed demand that a clear distinction be made between that which has been divinely undertaken by way of preparation for the salvation of a soul, and the salvation itself. Included in the sphere of preparation are such achievements as the finished work of Christ, the enlightening work of the Spirit, and all other influences which provide the righteous ground upon which a lost soul may be saved. It is no small undertaking so to deal with the sin question that there is infinite freedom accorded God in saving the lost; nor is it a small endeavor so to move the Satan-blinded individual that he will act by his own choice in the receiving of Christ as his Savior. These two problems, it will be remembered from previous statements, form the total of that which hinders the salvation of fallen men. To satisfy the divine demands, a perfect redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation are required, while the problem on the human side is that of man’s free, moral agency and the need of such influences as shall insure the right choice of the human will. A clear distinction is also required between the divine work in the immediate salvation of the soul and those responsibilities and activities which belong to the Christian life and service.

Many new realities are created by regeneration and all aspects of human experience are affected by the mighty transformation which salvation secures. With respect to the distinction between salvation itself and the life responsibilities which follow, Arminianism has again wrought confusion by its misunderstandings, assuming, as that system does, that the immediate salvation—whatever it is conceived to be—is probationary and therefore made to depend, with reference to its permanence, upon holy living and faithfulness. None would deny that a holy life becomes the Christian in view of the fact that he is a child of God and also of the truth that he is a member of Christ’s Body; but to make sonship, which by its nature is interminable and is a position before God which rests wholly on the merit of Christ, to be conditioned by and dependent upon human worthiness is to contradict the whole order of divine grace and to make impotent man to be, in the end, his own savior.

The significant phrase, the “things that accompany salvation...

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