Beloved hearers, I am sure that this is the weightiest theme I can bring before you and therefore I cannot be content unless I see that it grasps you and holds you fast. I pray you give earnest heed to this most pressing of all subjects. You may be helped to remember its value if you consider that God the Father thinks highly of salvation. He thinks salvation a lofty business, for He gave His Son that He might save rebellious sinners. Jesus Christ, the only Begotten, thinks salvation most important, for He bled, He died to accomplish it. Shall that which cost the Savior a life of zeal, and a death of agony, be of small account with me?
By the bloody sweat of Gethsemane, by the wounds of Calvary, I beseech you, be assured that salvation must be worthy of your highest and most anxious thoughts. It could not be that God the Father, and God the Son, should thus make a common sacrifice: the one giving His Son and the other giving Himself for salvation, and yet salvation should be a light and trivial thing. The Holy Ghost thinks it no trifle, for He condescends to work continually in the new creation that He may bring about salvation. He is often vexed and grieved, yet He continues still His abiding labors that He may bring many sons unto glory.
If you are saved it will be "your own salvation," and you yourself will enjoy it. Are there not some who know that they are saved beyond all doubt? Yes, blessed be God, I hope there are many such now present. But let me tell you who these are not. These are not persons who are afraid to examine themselves. If I meet with any man who says, "I have no need to examine my self any more, I know I am saved, and therefore have no need to take any further care," I would venture to say to him, "Sir, you are lost already. This strong delusion of yours has led you to believe a lie." There are none so cautious as those who possess full assurance, and there are none who have so much holy fear of sinning against God, nor who walk so tenderly and carefully as those who possess the full assurance of faith. Presumption is not assurance, though, alas! many think so. No fully assured believer will ever object to being reminded of the importance of his own salvation.
Ask yourself, first, "Am I saved?" I would help thee to reply to that very quickly. If you are saved this morning, you are the subject of a work within you, as saith the text, "Work out your own salvation; for it is God which worketh in you." You cannot work it in, but when God works it in you work it out.
Have you a work of the Holy Ghost in your soul? Do you feel something more than unaided human nature can attain unto? Have you a change wrought in you from above? If so, you are saved.
Again, does your salvation rest wholly upon Christ? He who hangs anywhere but upon the cross, hangs upon that which will deceive him. If thou standest upon Christ, thou art on a rock; but if thou trustest in the merits of Christ in part, and thy own merits in part, then thou hast one foot on a rock but another on the quicksand; and thou mightest as well have both feet on the quicksand, for the result will be the same.
The word salvation contains within it deliverance from the guilt of our past sins. We have broken God's law each one of us, more or less flagrantly; we have all wandered the downward road, though each has chosen a different way. Salvation brings to us the blotting out of the transgressions of the past, acquital from criminality, purging from all guiltiness, that we may stand accepted before the great Judge. What man in his sober senses will deny that forgiveness is an unspeakably desirable blessing!
But salvation means more than that: it includes deliverance from the power of sin. when salvation comes it delivers the man from the power of sin. He learns that it is evil, and he regards it as such, loathes it, repents that he has ever been in love with it, turns his back upon it, becomes, through God's Spirit, the master of his lusts, puts the flesh beneath his feet, and rises into the liberty of the children of God.
"God is angry with the wicked every day.” Salvation takes a man from under the cloud of Divine wrath, and reveals to him the Divine love. He can then say, "O God, I will praise Thee, though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortest me." We are no longer the "children of wrath, even as others," but are made children of God and joint heirs with a Christ Jesus. What can be conceived more precious than this?
Salvation delivers the soul from going down into the pit of hell. We, being justified, are no longer liable to punishment, because we are no longer chargeable with guilt. Christ Jesus bore the wrath of God that we might never bear it. He has made a full atonement to the justice of God for the sins of all believers. Against him that believeth there remaineth no record of guilt; his transgressions are blotted out, for Christ Jesus hath finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness.
What a comprehensive word then is this — "salvation"! It is a triumphant deliverance from the guilt of sin, from the dominion of it, from the curse of it, from the punishment of it, and ultimately from the very existence of it. Salvation is the death of sin, its burial, its annihilation, yea, and the very obliteration of its memory; for thus saith the Lord: "their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
Excerpted from the sermon titled “Your Own Salvation” (Philippians 2:12) by CH Spurgeon dated 30 July 1871. You are encouraged to read the full text of the sermon from https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/your-own-salvation/#flipbook/