I want to touch on something that goes on a lot in Christianity. Many camps of Protestants are divided over Biblical truths no matter how many recognized positions of Bible scholars and theologians may be referenced in support of their beliefs. The error camps make in the noble effort to understand God’s Word is called “illegitimate totality transfer,” which is the assignment of a “meaning” to a word or phrase regardless of context. Certain words, such as “save” and “life,” are often subject to this type of misapplication of meaning.
In brief, the salvation of the soul (soul-salvation) as seen in various passages throughout the New Testament.
- (Matthew 16:26, 27
- Romans 8:13 + Galatians 5:19-21. emphasize “being saved” soul salvation
- 1 Corinthians 1:18
- Hebrews 10:35-39
- 1 Peter 1:3-9
- James 1:21; 5:20), is an aspect of salvation distinct from salvation of the spirit
- spirit-salvation;John 3:5-7; 16-18
- Acts 16:30, 31
- Ephesians 2:8, 9 this includes the eventual salvation of the body
- Romans 8:23
- 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. which distinctions are purposely and rigidly maintained by the Holy Spirit throughout the Word, embodies the following characteristics:
(1) It involves only the soul-component of a person, as opposed to his spirit and body (1 Thessalonian’s 5:23; Hebrews 4:12); the soul being his life now (sanctification) and,specifically, its relevance (i.e., rewards or lack thereof [suffering]) to the Millennial Kingdom — the rule and reign over the earth by Christ for one thousand years to be established at His Second Advent.
(2) Although soul-salvation, like spirit-salvation, is based on (made possible by) Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, it may be secured only after a person comes to the cross — placing one’s faith alone in Christ alone for one’s personal and eternal salvation, which is spirit-salvation.
(3) Whereas spirit-salvation is a past, completed act (a one-time act of the will when a person places his faith in Christ) that results in a secured (guaranteed) eternal possession; where does the word of God state this:
- 2 Cor. 1:22
- 2 Cor. 5:5
soul-salvation is a present,continuous process that, when and if completed successfully, results in a future, inherited possession.
(4) Whereas spirit-salvation is a free gift totally apart from any works by man, soul-salvation is obtained by the production of divine good-works — perseverance in faithfulness and bearing the fruit of the Spirit by (through)the person himself.
(5) Whereas spirit-salvation is totally the work of the Holy Spirit, soul-salvation is a shared work between the Holy Spirit and the person who has passed from death to life through faith in Christ Jonah 2:9.
(6) Whereas spirit-salvation involves only the judgment of sin in the person of Christen the cross at Calvary, soul-salvation involves the judgment of the believer (his temporal life of faithfulness or lack thereof) at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Bema Seat Mat. 27:19; 2 Cor. 5:10.
(7) Whereas spirit-salvation has eternal verities in view, soul-salvation has millennial verities in view.
What does verities mean? Verity designates the quality of a state or thing that is exactly what is purports to be or accords completely with facts <test the verity of his remarks> referrers to things felt to be of lasting, ultimate, or transcendent truth.
Therefore, the term “salvation” in its full context means not only receiving God’s Life in our spirits, but also renewing every part of our soul and body as well. This takes time and effort.
The first step in salvation (justification)gives us peace and satisfaction and joy. The second step in the process of full salvation (the sanctification of our soul) gives us the power to overcome sin and self, receive personal deliverance from the enemy and the freedom to walk in God’s way. Many Christians, however, take only the first step (justification).
Like the Israelites, they only put the blood on the door posts of their house (Exodus 12:22), but they forget to purge the leaven from their lives (sanctification). They trust God for the salvation of their spirits, but they fail to declare war on their flesh. Consequently,they prevent the power of God from doing the work of sanctification in their lives.
Complete salvation is not only believing in the Lord, it also includes walking with the Lord, overcoming the world, the flesh, and the devil and enduring to the end. Again, a lifelong process. First, we are saved (in our spirit) from the penalty of sin; next, we are saved (in our soul) from the power of sin, and finally, we are saved (in our body) from the presence of sin.
Our spirit is saved by God at the time of our new birth; our body is redeemed by God at the time of the rapture and translation; but the salvation (or the transformation) of our soul by the Holy Spirit is dependent upon and determined by the individual himself.