Goodwin: Salvation

I find saved is thus distinguished, when he speaks, as here he doth, of grace, and not of works. And that text which we have often occasion to recur to in the point of free grace, is an opener of this place; it is in 2 Tim. 1:9, ‘Who hath saved us and called us, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus.’ Here, if you mark it, ‘saved us’ is made distinct from calling; he hath both saved us and called us, and both by grace, and not of works. Now if you take in the whole work of calling, God doth not call us by faith, not by faith alone, for calling includes sanctification and regeneration; we are saints by calling as well as believers by calling; yet we see that he distinguisheth salvation which is the work of God upon us, from calling which is the work of God in us.

Or if you will, you may take this distinction to clear it, which may help your understandings more in it; and that is, that that salvation which is applied here in this world, for we exclude heaven, is not through faith, not through faith alone; for in 2 Thess. 2:13, we are chosen to salvation through faith and sanctification both: it is a medium through which he carries us.
Or if you will, we may also distinguish thus of salvation itself; that there are two sorts of degrees of the application of it, and both called salvation:—

1. One is an investing us with a right, a title, a tenure, an interest in all benefits of salvation, be they what they will; to give us a formal, sure, legal, authentical interest, according to the rules of the word, to all benefits of salvation, whether in this world or in the world to come.

2. Or in the second place, there is an actual possession, or, if you will, rather call it an accomplishment of all the parts of salvation and works of God in us, which God carrieth on in us by degrees, works holiness in us by degrees, whereof quickening is the beginning; works glory in us by degrees, first raising us and then filling us with glory in heaven, as I shewed out of the 6th verse.

Now these are evidently distinct, and yet they are both called salvation. There is salvation in hope,—that is, having the title of it, Rom. 8:24. And there is σωτηρίας τύχωσι, an obtaining of salvation, or salvation obtained; as you have it in 2 Tim. 2:10. There are some benefits indeed which we have not only a right to, but we do as fully possess them as we shall do in the world to come; and that is being justified: we are as much righteous as ever we shall be in heaven, and have as full a possession of it; only at the latter day there shall be a fuller enjoyment of it, therefore sins are said to be pardoned in the world to come.

This distinction of salvation thus, in the right and title of it, and of salvation in the full accomplishment of it by degrees, time after time, is evident in Scripture. 1 John 3:2, ‘Now are we the sons of God,’—now the whole right of sons is ours, and God himself can give us nothing which he hath not given us a right unto; and yet, saith he, ‘it doth not appear what we shall be.’ Look, what our right to sonship gives us a title to, that is yet to be manifest; what it will bring with it, we know not. ‘It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but when he shall appear, we shall be like him.’ So take sanctification itself; you are not perfectly sanctified, you have not that part of salvation completed and accomplished as it shall be in heaven; you have as much right to all the sanctification that you shall ever have now, as you shall have in heaven. All that is prepared by grace in election from eternity, the whole title to it is given us at once, and God doth but parcel out by degrees that salvation which he giveth in the title of it at first.

Goodwin, T. (1861). The Works of Thomas Goodwin (Vol. 2, pp. 314–315). Edinburgh: James Nichol.

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