On Time And Eternity
Today, men talk about salvation only as something done in the experience of time with eternal consequences. But in the Bible salvation is described as something done by God in eternity past, revealed and experienced in time, and enjoyed in eternity future. Read the Word of God, marking the verb tenses used, and you will see that salvation was accomplished for God’s elect in the covenant of grace before the world began (Romans 8:28-31; 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 1:3-6).
First, since it was done in eternity, it must have been done by God alone. Without our aid, cooperation, assistance, work, or even our will, God saved us. Salvation is the work of God alone. And that salvation which God gives is the salvation God performs. It is an ‘eternal salvation’.
Second, God’s holy character tells us that He must have looked upon His people as being justified and accepted in Christ from eternity. Had it not been for the chosen seed in Adam’s loins, whom God had eternally justified in Christ, at the moment Adam sinned, the holy Lord God would have wiped our race off the earth. The only thing that keeps God from destroying the world in His wrath right now is the fact that He has an elect remnant in it, whom He has accepted in Christ and is determined to save (2 Peter 3:9).
Third, the immutability of God demands that our salvation by Him be eternal. God never changes. Neither does His attitude and relation to men change (Malachi 3:6). God’s will to elect is election. God’s will to adopt is adoption. God’s will to justify is justification. God’s will to save is salvation. That is not to suggest that this is the whole of salvation. Redemption, regeneration, repentance, faith, and perseverance are necessary. But in the mind and purpose of God, His people were as truly saved before the world began as they shall be when all are gathered around His throne in heaven.
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
Peter Meney is the Pastor of New Focus Church Online and the Editor of "New Focus Magazine" and publisher of sovereign grace material under the Go Publications imprint. The purpose and aim of the magazine and books is to spread as widely as possible the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of free, sovereign grace found in the Holy Bible, the Word of God.