The Most Fundamental Basis of Salvation
Desmond Ford, Karl, John, A. Leroy Moore, and I may never agree on the BASIS of salvation because there is something crucially important that they may not accept. Karl claims to have an experience that I do not have. He implies that I cannot understand him because I have not had that experience. I do not want to claim an experience that Karl has not had, but I do claim a belief which I think that he does not share and that belief colors my view of what constitutes the BASIS of salvation.
There has been much discussion about the BASIS of salvation. I see this from a broader perspective than some because I include the Incarnation gift of the Holy Spirit's life and soul, the life and Soul of Christ in the equation of what constitutes the BASIS of salvation. Ellen White defines the Holy Spirit as the Oil of Grace. So I believe the work and gift of the Holy Spirit is far more important to salvation than Christ's death on the cross. How could that be?
"Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, ashis crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,--the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.
In the gift of the Spirit [HIS LIFE--THE SOUL OF HIS LIFE], Jesus gave to manthe highest good that heaven could bestow....
The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ [on the cross] would have been of no avail....
It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure.Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given his Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress his own character upon the church." E.G. White, Review and Herald Articles, May 19, 1904, vol. 5, p. 42.
“Cumbered with humanity Christ could not be in every place personally, therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them to go to His Father and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit.” E.G. White, (Manuscript Releases Volume 14 (No’s 1081-1135) MR No.1084.
The following statement demonstrates exactly who divested Himself as the form of God, proving that the Holy Spirit was the Spirit of Christ before His Incarnation.
"The apostle would call our atention from ourselves to the Author of our salvation. He presents before us His two natures, divine and human. . . . He voluntarily assumed human nature. It was His own act, and by His own consent. He clothed His divinity with humanity. He was all the while as God, but He did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations of Deity which had commanded the homage, and called forth the admiration of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but He divested Hiself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man. He walked the earth as a man. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He laid aside His glory and His majesty. He was God, but the glories of the form of God He for awhile relinquished. . . . He bore the sins of the world, and endured the penalty which rolled like a mountain upon His divine soul. He yielded up His life a sacrifice, that man should not eternally die. He died, not through being compelled to die, but by His own free will." E.G. White, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7a, p. 446.
If the Holy Spirit is the life and soul of Christ AFTER HIS INCARNATION, which is FORCED by the fact that the Holy Spirit is His life and soul, and by the fact that He did not have omnipresence here on earth, then we must conclude that He laid aside His former estate AT HIS INCARNATION, and designated that it (the Holy Spirit) be sent to us as the Comforter. This is the only way the Holy Spirit could be a third person and still be the life and soul of Christ. (For elaborations on this concept, see other documents on the Godhead at my Website).
"The darkness rolled away from the Saviour and from the Cross. Christ bowed His head and died. In His Incarnation He had reached the prescribed limit as a sacrifice, but not as a redeemer." E.G. White Manuscript Releases Volume Twelve, p. 409.
The cross atoned for our death penalty. The Incarnation laying aside of the life and soul of Christ, to be sent as the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, made it possible for us to overcome sin.
"The Incarnation of Christ was an act of self-sacrifice; His life was one of continual self-denial. The highest glory of the love of God to man was manifested in the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, who was the express image of His person. This is the great mystery of godliness. It is the privilege and the duty of every professed follower of Christ to have the mind of Christ. Without self-denial and cross bearing we cannot be His disciples." E.G. White, Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 185.
Ellen White defines the OIL OF GRACE as the Holy Spirit. The five wise virgins have that oil, that divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. That includes power to overcome the carnal nature. Some say that Christ's human nature was not carnal and that is very true. But he compensated for that by proffering us His Divine Nature to partake of and receive the Oil of Grace from. We are told by Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy that we are to overcome as Christ overcame. That prompts a humongous question: Just how did Christ overcome?
What you have just read, friend of mine, is THE BASIS OF SALVATION, GRACE IN ACTION. So how does the cross figure in? All the cross did was pay the penalty of eternal death for our sins. That was important and is still important, but how much more important is the "HIGHEST GOOD," "HIS CROWNING GIFT," the Comforter, His life and soul Holy Spirit as a regenerating agency to restore man into the image of God by empowering them to overcome sin IN THE VERY SAME WAY CHRIST DID. He was thus our EXAMPLE BEFORE THE CROSS, and our SUBSTITUTE on the cross.
Could Christ have failed? Could He have CHOSEN not to make the sacrifice He made? Ellen White says yes. So was His CHOICE to yield, to surrender His will to that of His Father? Yes! It was IMPUTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and in the very same way, our CHOICES FOR RIGHT, are IMPUTED TO US FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Christ cooperated with His Father. We cooperate with Christ, and that cooperation is IMPUTED TO US AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. We overcome in the very same way Christ did--no more--no less. But He had no propensities to sin as we do you enjoin! Sorry, friend, that is no excuse. Why? Because He has proffered us His Divine Nature, His Holy Spirit, with which to overcome every evil propensity, every hereditary and cultivated tendency to sin that we have.
All of the above is the BASIS OF SALVATION, without which not one person will be justified and enter the gates of heaven. The foolish virgins do not buy the oil of Grace which is Christ's character, which is the Holy Spirit, the life and Soul of Christ. When they finally find that this is a necessary CONDITION TO SALVATION, it will be too late. Will it be too late for you? That is your decision. Some call this legalism. They are correct! We are all judged according to obedience to a set of laws that are a transcript of Christ's Character and the Character of His Father. They both spoke that law on Mr. Sinai, says Ellen White. That's the way it was in the Old Testament and that is the way it is in the New Testament, only under the New Covenant, the law is planted in the heart, in the mind.
Eze 36:19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
In the end friend, WHAT YOU ARE JUDGED BY has EVERYTHING to do with THE BASIS OF SALVATION. The basis of salvation, life eternal, is the self-sacrificing love character of God and His Son. That character is displayed by transcript into His law. That character and surrender to it by us, is the BASIS OF SALVATION. This is why James says we are justified by works. So was Christ. He was our example. We are justified by His Works, His Law, manifested in our lives by surrender to His Life and Soul Holy Spirit.
Until Karl, John, Desmond Ford, A. Leroy Moore and all God's children accept this truth, there will be division over what constitutes THE BASIS OF SALVATION and what we must do to be saved. Christ's answer to the rich young ruler as to what he must DO to be saved, reflects the truth of all the above. That answer reflected and demanded self-sacrificing love, THE BASIS OF SALVATION. And that principle is available FREE. All we have to do is accept it. We do not deserve that consideration, but the grace inherent in that basic principle proffers it to all who will accept. It is from that BASIC PRINCIPLE, that all grace flows. So grace is not the basis of salvation. Unmerited favor needs more behind it than that--in and of itself. You and I can extend unmerited favor to our friends and loved ones if we so choose. But we cannot dispense to another person the Holy Spirit's self-sacrificing love. That comes from God via His Holy Spirit. We are saved by grace emanating from self-sacrificing love as the law of the Universe.
God's Law based on self-sacrificing love, and His Everlasting Covenant concerning the ratification of that Law, which is a transcript of His character, THE GRACE OF HIS CHARACTER, by which all grace is dispensed, is THE BASIS OF SALVATION.
God be with all who accept this truth,