The Science of Salvation

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By A.T. Jones
From The Present Truth, March 25, 1897
Originally titled: “In the School of Christ. The Science of Salvation.”

SALVATION is not simply a science; it is the chief, the key, the center of all sciences. It is the most scientific of all things that are dealt with by the minds of men in this world.

When God’s people take the salvation of God as it is in God; when His cause of salvation in the world shall stand as representing indeed His ideas of salvation, then there will be revealed to the world the science that is above all other sciences.

The word “science” means, literally, knowledge. The science of botany is the knowledge of botany. So that one scientist has defined science to be “the product of thinking.” All the knowledge—the science—that the world has is the product of the world’s thinking.

God’s Thinking

Now salvation is the knowledge of God:

John 17
3 This is life eternal, that they might know You the living and true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

It is therefore science. But this knowledge is not the product of man’s thinking: it is the product of God’s thinking. For

1 Corinthians 2
9 Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.
10 But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Therefore salvation, being the product of God’s thinking, is not only science, but is the highest of all sciences.

Again: That which is recognized by the world as science is the product of men’s thinking. It is with the mind that men think. It is with the mind, then, that men deal with all these sciences. And salvation deals with the mind itself. And who is it that in salvation deals with the mind? It is God Himself.

Then as it is God Himself who works out, who makes known, this science; and as this science is the product of God’s thinking; it follows again that the science of salvation is the highest, the deepest, the broadest science that is known, not only to the mind of man, but to the whole universe.

Let us read a few Scriptures:

Romans 12
2 Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Romans 7
25 So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God.

1 John 5
20 We know that the Son of God is come, and has given us a mind.

1 Corinthians 2
16 We have the mind of Christ.

The only way the Lord can reach us is through the mind. He deals with us only through the mind. He governs us only through our minds. “With the mind I myself serve the law of God.” And the first of all the commandments is this:

Deuteronomy 6
4 Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

But,

Romans 8
7 The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

The carnal mind that cannot be subject to the law of God—cannot be—must be changed, must be exchanged for another mind which always serves the law of God. That change of mind is salvation. That renewing of the mind is wrought by God in the work of His salvation, and it can be wrought by no other. Therefore it is the highest of all sciences—the highest that is known to the mind of man, the highest that is known to the universe.

High Authority

If I could bring to you tonight evidence that those who understand all other sciences testify that they see more in it worthy of their consideration than in all the other sciences, would you not say then that I am safe in talking as I do—from a scientific standpoint?

Well, I have just such authority,—a company that understands all other science,—and I have the evidence truly stated that they are more interested in this than in all the others put together.

In 1 Peter the apostle is speaking of salvation and there I read follows:

1 Peter 1
10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

What things do the angels desire to look into? The salvation of God when it is preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. The Greek word for “desire” here means “to set ones heart upon”. And the Greek word for “look into” means, “to look carefully into, to inspect curiously—of one who would become acquainted with something.” Such is the attitude of the angels toward the subject of salvation.

It is perfectly safe to say that all the angels understand all other sciences infinitely more thoroughly than any man understands, or ever understood, any one single science. But the angels are more interested in the subject of salvation than in all the other sciences. They who know the most of all others, are most interested in this one.

We are in the best of company—yes, the best of scientific company; and I am not making a play on the word “science.” The salvation of God is truly a scientific thing, not falsely so-called, but genuinely, supremely scientific.

What the Angels Learn

But this is not all. Not only do the angels desire to look into this, as those who would become acquainted with something; but they do learn by looking into this and studying it. Turn to Ephesians 3 and you will see this thought expressed:

Ephesians 3
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The angels, the principalities, and powers, earnestly desire to look into this Gospel of salvation when it is preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. And as they study the power of God in saving men, they learn new revelations of the wisdom of God—the manifold wisdom of God—according to His eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A Study for Eternity

But God is from eternity to eternity. Now, from eternity to eternity there was, there is, a purpose—His eternal purpose which is purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. How long will it take the angels to get to the depth, to exhaust the study, of that eternal purpose? To eternity. That is plain enough.

Then as that purpose is revealed in the Gospel, and is made known through the mystery of God, which is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” it is plain enough that the angels are studying it. And as they look into it, they see there revealed the manifold wisdom of God, according to His eternal purpose. They desire to look into it. They do so, and thus learn.

Well then, as they understand all other sciences more than any man understands any one, when they are more interested in this than in all the others, and learn from this; is not that a fact upon which you and I can with safety trust ourselves? Then is not this, too, a subject more worthy of our thought, our highest thinking, than all others put together? And cannot we set our hearts upon this, and give our whole soul to it without being unscientific?

I am not making an attack on other sciences. I am not saying that all other sciences should be ignored, and counted as unworthy of any attention. No; I am saying that this is greater than all of them; and that whatever we study in them must be studied in subjection to this which is greater than they.

Would any man be strictly scientific to put his best and highest thinking on a science, when he had the highest possible authority that there was a higher one at his hand? Then any man who does not put his highest thinking and all his powers, upon this science first of all, and allow it to lead all other sciences, is not scientific. And he is not wise either. For this science is salvation.

A Great Scientist

One man named in the Bible was thoroughly versed in universal science—all the natural sciences of this world. Here is the Scripture:

1 Kings 4
29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.
30 And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.
31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all nations round about.
32 And he spoke three thousand proverbs; and his songs were a thousand and five.
33 And he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.

He spoke of trees from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that springs out of the wall. What is that called in science? Botany. He understood botany better than anyone else in the world.

He spoke also of beasts. What would be the scientific word if it were put there today? Zoology. Solomon understood zoology better than any man that lives in the world today. He taught for it says he spoke of all these things. He taught these sciences.

“And of fowl.” What is that science? Ornithology. Then Solomon taught in the sciences of botany, zoology, ornithology.

What next? “And of creeping things.” What science is that? Entomology.

“And of fishes.” What science is that? Ichthyology.

People who read this passage of Scripture, do not usually think of Solomon as a universal scientist. But if it had been said that Solomon spoke of botany, zoology, ornithology, entomology, and ichthyology, they would be ready to say, “What a wonderful man Solomon was!”

Yet though he so thoroughly understood all these sciences, here is what he says:

Ecclesiastes 12
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter [the sum of all that has been said, is]: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing whether it be good or whether it be evil.

In his estimation, what took precedence of all sciences put together? The salvation of God.

This science that Solomon understood and taught was not such science as that of Huxley, Darwin, and the other scientists of this age. With the natural mind man can delve into natural sciences, and make many discoveries. And though they are not all correct, yet they can discover some points that are true.

But that was not Solomon’s way. God gave to Solomon wisdom, so that he saw into all this by the light of God. He spoke of this by the wisdom of God. Thus the science which Solomon taught was God’s science. The botany that he taught was genuine, Divine botany. The zoology that he taught was Divine zoology. It was God’s views, God’s truth, God’s science in all these things. It was not science falsely so-called. 1 Timothy 6:20.

The World’s Need

That being God’s science, and it being Divine in itself, why did not the Lord give it all to us? Why did He not give to the world Solomon’s treatise on botany, and on all these other subjects?

Because that is not what the world needs first of all. A man might have all that, he might understand all that, as did Solomon. Yet what good would it do him, if he did not have the science of salvation first of all?

Solomon had it all; yet when he turned his heart from God, from the science of salvation, and from the study of that with all his heart, what good did his knowledge of the other sciences do him? How much power was there in it to keep him back from his natural self, and from the corruption that was in him?

When he turned his heart from the science of salvation, though he had all the others, he was just as bad, just as wicked, swallowed up as thoroughly in idolatry and every profane thing, as, though he did not know the “A B C” of anything.

Thus we can see why it is that the Lord did not preserve to man all there is of science. Suppose they had it all, as Solomon did, and could teach it as Solomon taught it. With the heart not surrendered to God, with the soul not saved, what good would science do them? It could not restrain them from any kind of wickedness and corruption that is in the heart.

These same sciences are not what the world needs today. First of all, the heart needs to be purified, the soul needs to be saved, the whole character rebuilt, the mind transformed into the very image and glory of God, so that the life shall reflect His righteousness, to make manifest the knowledge of God alone to all the world.

Though we have all that all the sciences can give, it will profit nothing without salvation; for it will be but a little while till we shall have none of it at all. This is worth thinking about for ourselves today in all our studies, readings, and researches.

There are men today thinking on all these scientific subjects, but they do not think right. They get so far along that they find no place for God at all. And the man without God, without the guidance of the thought, without the mind of God, is not able to think right on these other subjects.

But the mind is not right until it is renewed in the image of Him who created it. The mind is to be transformed, renewed. We are to have another mind altogether. Every thought is to be brought into obedience, in subjection, to Christ.

That is the work of salvation. It is to restore the image of God in the soul; to bring the mind where it will be but the reflection, the outshining, of the righteousness, the thought, of the living God.

When that is done, and the work of God is finished in this world, in making known the knowledge of God to all people, then the Lord will open the universe and eternity to us.

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