"Who hath saved us"
"…God; Who hath saved us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began"-II Timothy 1:9
Are you saved? If you are then who saved you? Did the preacher save you? Did a particular message save you? Were you saved by ceremonies and traditions? In his affectionate letter to Timothy, Paul did not claim his personal salvation to any of these, nor did he claim to have saved Timothy. He gave the honor and glory to the only savior of sinners: "God, who hath saved us". The word "us" is very suggestive. It goes beyond Paul and Timothy and includes a multitude of people, more numerous than the sand of the seashore and the stars of the sky. It is indicative of the elect family of God, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world!
Many say, "Yes, it is God who saves the sinner, but he uses means." When we hear the word "Means" we can be sure it MEANS that man is going to be placed in the picture. These "means" usually vary. Some use a lot of Means and some use very little, but it always Means that God can not save His people by Himself. So, Paul continues to write to Timothy so that Timothy will never think that he is a savior nor that the "means" of man is a savior…."and called us with an holy calling". This calling is not the gospel call, for it is "Holy". This call is from the mouth of God, not the mouth of man. Comparing the gospel call to the Holy call is like comparing a snow cannon to the snow, or dragging around hoses and sprinklers to the rain. The efforts of man, noble as they may seem, are always lacking. There are always a few dead spots. But when the moisture falls from the sky, the barren places are well watered. The Holy call is that way. None are left out: "My sheep hear my vice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." The MEANS of man always depends upon man. It depends upon money, upon success, upon availability, upon resources. There are too many IF's. What if the ship sinks on the way to the meeting and it has; what if the preacher is sick and he has been; what if the money is not available and it has not been; what if the preachers are thrown in jail and they have been; what if the bibles are burned and they have been…to many ifs when we think we save ourselves. Some seem to glory with their means, yet others, who take it seriously, realize that it is a weight that they can not bear. It is then that grace becomes so precious to their ears, when they see their own works as filthy rags held up to a Holy God in payment for sin. This was Paul's experience as a self-righteous Pharisee. But when he met Jesus, his eyes were opened and his works become dung. Now he can write: "Not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given in Christ before the world began." This is what makes grace so amazing, it is void of means, of creature works.
If all of this is so, then this must mean that the purpose of the gospel, of man's call, is not to impart life, but to shed the light upon the life that has been given by God's Holy call, by His grace….."who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel". The light of the gospel will not place Christ in the heart. But it does reveal. It reveals life, spiritual life, the warfare that goes on in the soul against sin and the reasons we have a desire and love for the Lord. It brings immortality to light. Heaven, the eternal weight of glory and our final abode with the Saints in light. Are you saved? Who saved you?