A Voice from the Past: Salvation By Grace -- By: J. Irvin Overholtzer

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 11:2 (Autumn 1998)
Article: A Voice from the Past: Salvation By Grace
Author: J. Irvin Overholtzer


A Voice from the Past:
Salvation By Grace1

J. Irvin Overholtzer2

Editor’s Note: This is a delightful testimony of how God revealed His grace to a modern-day Pharisee. Overholtzer’s humility and love for the Free Grace gospel is evident again and again in this article. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

I. Introduction

Salvation is a free gift. Oh, sinner, believe it! Salvation is free! Oh, believer, proclaim it! We are saved by grace, and rewarded for service. I know it is too good to be true, and yet it is gloriously true, as true as the infallible Word of God (Rom 6:23; Eph 2:8–9).

A deacon in the church, a church member for twenty-two years, sent for me to come to see him. This was in the country and he took me way out behind the barn, out of hearing of every one. I wondered what was coming. He was about to tell me that he was not saved. Is it any wonder that he wanted to be where none of his family would hear such a confession? Can you understand the agony of soul and the courage required for him to make this acknowledgment?

This is what he said, “My daughter has something that I do not have, and I want to know how to get it.” I soon found that through all the years he had been working to get himself saved. He had accepted Christ only as one of those necessary good works. Never had he seen that salvation was a free gift.

When I had shown him, by the Word of God, that salvation could be had instantly by a single, simple act of faith, he said, “If I could believe that I would be the happiest man in Glenn County.” But he could not believe it. However, a ray of light had entered his works-darkened soul, and he was now willing to let others know that he was a “seeker” for salvation, though a deacon.

I called his daughter and asked her to tell her father how she had come into possession of that which he had seen in her. She gave a simple testimony of how she had realized that she was a sinner and that Jesus had died on the cross for her. That she had simply accepted Him as her Savior and that He had saved her. The father listened eagerly but said, “It is too good to be true.” I could not convince him, and as it was growing late I had to leave him.

The next day I met him again and even before he spoke his shining face proclaimed the good news. Sometime in the night he had come to believe the blessed Gospel, and his soul had been flooded with the joy of salvation, and he...

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