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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers S-Z : D.S. Warner : (Salvation) 15. Salvation is reasonable

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Under this head an extensive field of thought is opened up. Every minutia of the system of divine truth might be examined and found in harmony with pure reason. But we can only take space to call attention to a few points.

1. The Incarnation and, Suffering of Christ. This exhibition of divine wisdom men and angels could never have conceived. Angels desired to look into the plan by which God would redeem our race (1 Pet. 1: 10, 11), but it appears they could not comprehend it until Christ was born in Bethlehem. Then they understood, and with joyful strains sounded the news to earth. Luke 2: 9-11. Though human reason could never have given birth to such a plan, it is nevertheless perfectly philosophical.

The laws of a just and unchangeable God had been broken. Death—natural, and spiritual, or separation from God—was the penalty. Both the justice and immutability of God demand the penalty must be executed, either upon the violator of the law, or some one in his stead. Who can offer his life as a ransom for man? God, being a spirit, can not die. A creature sacrifice would necessarily elicit all the glory; hence would leave man still unrestored to his original object, namely, to glorify God his Maker. How, then, could man be redeemed 7 Who but the Infinite could have devised a plan? When a creature sacrifice was insufficient, and the Creator, as a spirit, could not die, the Deity clothed himself with a suffering nature in the person of his Son; put on a mortal body, that he might die on our behalf. "God was manifest in the flesh. "—1 Tim. 3: 16. Oh how wonderful! Thus we have a Savior who, " By the grace of God, tasted death for every man."—Heb. 2:9. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God."—2 Pet. 3:18. "And that the abundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God." In short, we have a Savior who came into the physical conditions of man, that we might be well assured of his sympathy and love for us, and who could die in our stead, and thus satisfy the demands of the law and of justice; and yet divine; one with the Father, so that we can render all praise and honor and glory to his name, without detracting from the glory of the Father. Oh the wonders of redeeming wisdom and love!

2. Salvation is perfectly reasonable in its conditions. First, it is free. It is God, and " God is love." And "If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. "—Song of Solomon 8: 7. Salvation can no more be bought than can love. It is purely the gift of divine love and mercy. And who can find fault with such an overflow of divine goodness? Thousands would purchase salvation at most any price if it could thus be obtained. But that would be incompatible with the Divine Goodness, and also rob him of the glory. It would also leave man an occasion to boast in self, and so be a detriment to him. But salvation is free. So it is available for all men, and God gets all the glory; and justice and reason approve the wondrous plan.

As it can not be bought by money, so likewise, it is "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. "—Tit. 3: 5, 6. Good works are excluded from having any part in obtaining salvation, for the same good reasons that money is no consideration.

Repentance is the first condition of salvation. It means a godly sorrow for sin, confessing and forever forsaking sin. To repent is to cease from all sinning in the future. "Repentance is unto life."—Acts 11: 18. "Unto salvation."—2 Cor. 7:10. It is sure to bring the soul to the point where faith grasps the boon of eternal life. It is the gift of God, to the Jew first, Acts 5: 3, also to the Gentile, Acts 11:18.

The necessity of repentance arises from man's wrong attitude toward the Creator, and his God dishonoring deeds of sin. The rebellion of the wicked against the government of God justly provokes his wrath. And man is wholly to blame for the deplorable alienation between him and his Maker. For, though he has striven against the Almighty, blasphemed his holy name, and trampled upon his righteous laws; "Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."—Acts 14:17.

Therefore it is reasonable that men should repent of their sins. Yea, " The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance."—Rom. 2:4. Shame on the man or woman who can breathe the breath God opens his hand of love to give you (Isa. 42:12. Job. 12:10), walk about upon his beautiful footstool, enjoy the sunbeams that he has created, and live upon his bounties, and yet live in open sin in his sight! Oh the awful presumption of sin, the shameful ingratitude of the sinner! Be astonished, O heavens, at the wickedness of earth !

A thousand reasons demand repentance of rebellious mankind. First, the Almighty commands it. John began the good news of the kingdom of heaven on earth with the cry, "Repent." And "After that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the gospel."—Mark 1: 14, 15. Yea, " Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish. "—Luke 13: 3, 5. And when he commissioned his disciples, "They went out, and preached that men should repent. "—Mark 6: 12. Alluding to the ignorance and darkness that enveloped the earth prior to the coming of Christ, the faithful apostle to the Gentiles said, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."—Acts 17: 30, 31.

God knows that no sinner can stand before his holy presence. Hence, in view of the awful judgment day, he commands all men to repent. And what reason under heaven can men give for not obeying the voice of love and mercy, that only seeks the happiness of mankind ?

Again, faith is the great condition upon which salvation is suspended. In every way it may be viewed it is perfectly just and reasonable. Man lost the image and favor of God by doubting his word; hence he can only be re-instated by believing the same. Salvation by faith in Christ Jesus is reasonable also, because his truth endureth forever, and it is impossible for him to lie. Can it be said in truth that there is anything difficult or unreasonable in believing Him who is the very embodiment of truth? Is it hard to credit the words of a man who has never lied? Surely not. Then "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Salvation in all its principles, provisions, conditions and operations, is indeed consonant with the highest claim) of reason. Why, then, O sinner, are you not saved ?

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