Using Correct Terminology (Part 6) - Temporal Salvation


15. Temporal salvation A. The Bible makes a distinction between things that are temporal and things that are eternal (2Co 4:18). i. Temporal adj. – 1. Lasting or existing only for a time; passing, temporary. Now rare or merged in 2. 2. Of or pertaining to time as the sphere of human life; terrestrial as opposed to heavenly; of man's present life as distinguished from a future existence; concerning or involving merely the material interests of this world; worldly, earthly. (Opp. to eternal or spiritual.) ii. Eternal - 1. Infinite in past and future duration; without beginning or end; that always has existed and always will exist: esp. of the Divine Being. 3. Infinite in future duration; that always will exist; everlasting, endless. The New Testament expressions eternal life, death, punishment, etc. are here referred to sense 3, this being the sense in which the adj. in such contexts is ordinarily taken. B. "Salvation" doesn't necessarily always refer to being saved from hell and given eternal life. Consider the definitions of the words: i. Salvation - The action of saving or delivering; the state or fact of being saved. 1. a. The saving of the soul; the deliverance from sin and its consequences, and admission to eternal bliss, wrought for man by the atonement of Christ. 2. gen. Preservation from destruction, ruin, loss, or calamity. ii. Save - 1. trans. To deliver or rescue from peril or hurt; to make safe, put in safety. 2. Theol. To deliver (a person, the soul) from sin and its consequences; to admit to eternal bliss. iii. Deliver - 1. trans. To set free, liberate, release, rescue, save. iv. "Salvation" or being "saved" can simply refer to being delivered from danger or hurt, or to being liberated or set free from something. C. The scripture teaches that there is an eternal salvation that is by grace alone and is not conditioned on anything a person does (see section on Eternal Salvation above). D. But does the Bible always refer to eternal salvation when it speaks about being saved? E. Consider what the following verses say one must do to be saved: i. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Act 16:30-31). a. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is something a man does which these verses plainly state. b. Believe - 1. To have confidence or faith in (a person), and consequently to rely upon, trust to. c. Believing is doing something, which is work by definition (Joh 6:28-29). d. Work - 1. Something that is or was done; what a person does or did; an act, deed, proceeding, business; in pl. actions, doings ii. Get baptized (Mar 16:16). a. Baptize - 1. trans. To immerse in water.... b. Getting baptized is doing something, which is a work by definition. iii. Confess the Lord Jesus with your mouth AND believe that God raised Him from the dead (Rom 10:9). a. Notice that there are TWO conditions given here that must be met to be saved: confessing and believing. b. Confess - 1. trans. To declare or disclose (something which one has kept or allowed to remain secret as being prejudicial or inconvenient to oneself); to acknowledge, own, or admit. c. Believe - 1. To have confidence or faith in (a person), and consequently to rely upon, trust to. d. These are not the same thing (Joh 12:42). e. Both confessing and believing is doing something, which is work by definition. iv. Call upon the Lord (Rom 10:13). a. Calling upon the Lord is not the same a believing (Rom 10:14). b. Call - 1. To utter one's voice loudly, forcibly, and distinctly, so as to be heard at a distance; to shout, cry: often emphasized by out, to cry out. c. Calling upon the Lord is doing something, which is work by definition. v. Repent with godly sorrow (2Co 7:10). a. Repentance - 1. The act of repenting or the state of being penitent; sorrow, regret, or contrition for past action or conduct; an instance of this. b. Repent - 1. refl. To affect (oneself) with contrition or regret for something done, etc. (cf. 3.) 3. intr. To feel contrition, compunction, sorrow or regret for something one has done or left undone; to change one's mind with regard to past action or conduct through dissatisfaction with it or its results. c. Repenting is doing something, which is work by definition. vi. Remember the gospel that was preached to you (1Co 15:1-2). vii. Remembering is work. viii. Continue in the doctrine (1Ti 4:16). a. Continue - 1. To carry on, keep up, maintain, go on with, persist in (an action, usage, etc.). b. Continuing in the doctrine is doing something, which is work by definition. ix. Have other Christians pray for you (Php 1:19). a. Prayer - 1. a. A solemn and humble request to God, or to an object of worship; a supplication, petition, or thanksgiving, usually expressed in words. b. Praying is doing something, which is work by definition. x. Enter in the door of the sheepfold (Joh 10:9). xi. Endure to the end (Mat 10:22). a. Endure - II. To last; to suffer continuously. 2. intr. To last, continue in existence. b. Enduring is doing something, which is work by definition. xii. Have children (1Ti 2:15). xiii. Stay in a ship (Act 27:31). xiv. As the Arminian soul-winner would tell us: there's nothing you can do to be saved, all you have to do is....repent, believe, confess, call on the name of the Lord, get baptized, enter into the sheepfold, remember the gospel, continue in the doctrine, have other Christians pray for you, endure to the end, have children, and stay in a ship. F. Are all the preceding verses referring to eternal salvation? i. Obviously not. All these verses have one thing in common: the salvation being spoken of was conditioned on works. ii. Eternal salvation is not of works (Rom 9:11; 2Ti 1:9; Tit 3:5). iii. Any verse that attaches a condition that a person must fulfill (works) to be saved is not referring to eternal salvation. G. There is more than one type of salvation in the scriptures. i. To be saved is to be delivered (Act 2:21 c/w Joe 2:32; Psa 107:6 c/w Psa 107:13). ii. There are salvations in scripture (Psa 44:4). iii. David was saved from dying in battle (Psa 55:18). iv. We can be saved from death, tears (sorrow), and falling (Psa 116:4-8). v. Men were saved from being killed at sea when they called upon the name of the Lord (Psa 107:23-30 c/w Psa 107:13 c/w Mat 8:25 c/w Mat 14:30). vi. Therefore all the preceding verses that speak of salvation or being saved are not referring to eternal salvation, but rather to a temporal salvation. H. What does temporal salvation by belief of the gospel save people from? i. Ignorance of God's righteousness (Rom 10:1-3 c/w Rom 10:9). ii. Deception and bondage (Eph 4:11-14; Joh 8:31-32). iii. The power of Satan and sin (Act 26:18; 2Ti 2:25). iv. Going about to establish their own righteousness (Rom 10:1-4 c/w Rom 10:9). v. Fear of death (Heb 2:14-15; Act 16:27-31 c/w Act 12:19). vi. Chastisement from God for sin (Pro 1:20-33). a. Knowing God's will and doing it saves one from beatings from God (Luk 12:47-48). b. Believing and obeying the gospel will help us to be (not become) the sons of God without rebuke (Phi 2:15; 2Co 6:14-18). vii. An untoward and wicked generation (Act 2:37-40). I. What does temporal salvation by belief of the gospel save people unto? i. Knowledge and assurance of eternal life (1Jo 5:13). ii. Assurance of their election of God (1Th 1:4-6). iii. Fellowship with God and with believers of like faith (1Jo 1:1-3; Act 2:41-42, 46). iv. Fullness of joy (1Jo 1:4). v. Rest (Mat 11:28). vi. Victorious living (1Jo 5:4-5). J. Summary i. Temporal salvation is salvation that can be experienced by a child of God in time and in this life, as opposed to eternal salvation which lasts eternally and carries on into the next life. ii. Temporal salvation is deliverance from things such as ignorance of the gospel, trying to save oneself eternally, fear of death, chastisement for sin in this life, deception and bondage, and an untoward and wicked generation. iii. Temporal salvation is salvation to knowledge and assurance of eternal life, fellowship with God and believers of like-faith, joy, rest, and victorious living. iv. Temporal salvation is dependent on the faith and works of a child of God, whereas eternal salvation is dependent on God's sovereign grace alone. v. When using the words "salvation" or "saved" we should specify if we are referring to eternal or temporal salvation. a. Remember, most professing Christians think that "salvation" only refers to eternal salvation ― that is, being delivered from eternal punishment in hell. b. When they ask you, "Are you saved?" or "When were you saved?", they are asking if or when you were saved eternally. c. In their mind, a man is saved eternally when he believes the gospel, so what they are really asking is when you first believed the gospel or "accepted Jesus." d. When such a person asks you when you were saved, you should ask him to specify what exactly he means. (i) Is he referring to eternal salvation? (ii) If so, is he referring to when you were elected, justified, regenerated, or converted? (iii) He will probably not know what he is asking, and if so, you will have an opportunity to explain all these things to him. (iv) The coming section on The Five Phases of Salvation will help you understand how the phases of salvation all fit together and in which order they happen.
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