Elder Vernon Johnson




Providential Salvation

In previous essays, we have studied our eternal salvation from sin including salvation from sin's condemnation, salvation from sin's bondage, and salvation from sin's corruption and noted that God has sovereignly saved us by his grace. Then we proceeded to study many of the timely deliverance that come to God's elect including salvation from ignorance, salvation from a condemning heart, salvation from death of fellowship, and salvation from an untoward generation! We learned the importance of the faith and good works of God's elect in effecting these timely deliverance.

In this essay, we take an overview look at four providential deliverances (salvation) presented to us in the scriptures. God in his providence works in the daily lives of his children. Sometimes he delivers us from circumstances either to save our lives or to deliver our lives from what we would consider to be adverse circumstances. I invite the reader to consider the faith and works of God's obedient people that is demonstrated during these scriptural episodes.

The first episode we will look at is found in Matt. 8:23 27, "And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he said unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then, he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But, the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!"

The second episode is Matt. 14:25 31, "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou; bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

The third episode we present is Luke 18:35 43, "And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: and hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have mercy on me: and Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, saying, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people when they saw it, gave praise unto God."

The fourth episode is found in Heb. 11:7, "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."

While I only chose four episodes the old and New Testament are full of such episodes of God delivering his people with such timely deliverance. I marvel when I hear some people say they don't believe in timely salvation. Are they reading the same bible I am reading? The fact is God is not only the God who has wrought our eternal salvation from sin, but he is the God who is with us in the midst of our lives and in the circumstances of our lives. He is not a God afar off, but one who is near. He has told us to cast our care upon him for he careth for us. If we would stop to consider God's providential mercy and grace upon each of us then we are drawn to the conclusion that we have been saved many times from many adverse circumstances and trials and tribulations in our lives. Furthermore, when we read of such deliverance in the scripture and consider our experiences of life and God's dealings with us in providence, then it encourages us to "lift up our eyes unto the hills from whence cometh our help" when we come face to face with future trials and trying circumstances.

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