Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling.”
—2 Timothy 1:9
The apostle uses the perfect tense to refer to God’s salvation; that is, God “saved us” in the past, but that salvation has a present effect in our lives in that we are now saved. Christians are not merely persons who are in a hopeful state that they may ultimately be saved; they are already saved. Salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed only in his future life in heaven; but rather, it is something to be obtained, received, and enjoyed now.
The Christian is perfectly saved by God’s perfect purpose. God has ordained him unto salvation, and that purpose is complete. He is saved also in terms of the price paid for him. “It is finished” was the cry of Jesus on the cross. The believer is perfectly saved because his covenant head, Jesus, is perfect. Yes, we fell in Adam, but now we live in Christ.
And notice how this complete salvation is accompanied by a holy calling. Those for whom Jesus died are in due time effectively called by the Holy Spirit unto holiness. They leave their sins. They endeavor to be like Christ. They choose holiness, not out of compulsion but out of a new nature which rejoices in holiness, just as they once delighted in sin. God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy but, rather, to be holy. Holiness is the beauty produced by his workmanship in them.
The excellencies which we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the atonement itself. The fullness of God’s grace sweetly produces these fruits in them. Salvation must be of grace because the Lord is the author of it. What else could move God to save the guilty? Salvation is completely of grace; our righteousness can never be the basis of it but only the result.
This is the believer’s privilege: a present salvation. The evidence he is called to it? A holy life. [M&E]