He Saved Us
The tragedy of Arminianism is the theft of glory from Jesus Christ, our great God and Savior (Titus 2:13). By claiming that Jesus Christ did His part, and now you must do your part, is blasphemy. Men rob God all day long, as they travel around on their “Decision Tours,” calling for people to let God save them.
One of the most succinct statements of the Gospel is found in Titus 3:5a, “He saved us.” He is God the Father electing His people unto salvation, before creation (Eph 1:4–5). He is Jesus Christ, redeeming His church on the cross (Jn 10:11, 15; Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:24). He is the Holy Spirit, causing the elect from every nation to be born again (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3), by giving them a heart of flesh (Ezek 36:26).
Salvation belongs to God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1). God saves. Jesus saves. The Holy Spirit saves. Man does not save. God places no conditions on man, for the covenant God made, an unconditional covenant of grace, He made with Himself. The covenant has God’s chosen people as objects of grace, but not purveyors of it (Gen 17:7; Ex 33:19; Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:15–16).
God willed in His testament to make His children to be heirs (Rom 8:17), by grace (Eph 2:8–9), not works (Rom 4:5), and not by any condition controlled by man (ie. choice, decision, prayer, etc.). The inheritance of spiritual blessings and eternal life are realities (Acts 13:48; Eph 1:3; 1 Pet 1:4), albeit in part, for those who have received the regeneration of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13). The pledge of God is our blessed assurance that the promises already fulfilled, will be followed in the fullness of every promise fulfilled, forever (2 Cor 1:20).
This is salvation: deliverance from all that is wrong and deliverance to perfect glory. Salvation is not a choice of man’s will (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:15–16), nor is it a work to be done by man (Rom 4:5; Tit 3:5b), but it is all by the will and work of our Triune God (Phil 2:13). It is never in doubt. It is never a mere possibility. It is a sure thing (Jn 10:28–29; Rom 8:35–39).
The verb in Titus 3:5a, “saved,” is in the aorist tense, like a photograph that continues to bless all who view it, so the work of God is a done deal from beginning to end. The verb is also active. It is still having its effect. The indicative mood is explanatory. God is telling us what He has done, and how it is having its residual effect. In other words, He saved us, is saving us, and will save us. That’s the whole picture. It is all of God…all of grace.
The object pronoun in, “He saved us,” is collective, but not universal. God has saved “us,” but by implication, He has not saved “them.” So, who is us, and likewise, who is them? The Arminian deceives the reprobate with the possibility that she can save herself by her free will decision. This, of course, denies the biblical teaching on God’s election, redemption, and appropriation in salvation.
God the Father chose who will be saved (Eph 1:4–5). Christ paid for those who were chosen (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23; Col 2:14; 1 Pet 1:19), in order for their sins to be forgiven (Eph 1:7). The Holy Spirit applies or appropriates salvation by bringing the effects of election and redemption into the heart and mind (together the soul) of God’s chosen ones (Mt 3:11). In this, they are said, “to have the Son (1 Jn 5:12).” There is a union between Christ and His church, like a head with a body (Eph 5:23).
Those who are not connected to Christ are not saved (Jn 15). They are dead branches, dead men walking (Eph 2:1). They exist, but they are not spiritually alive (1 Cor 2:14). They may even have a form of religion, but there is no power from God (2 Tim 3:5). The difference: He did not save them. God the Father did not elect them (Rom 9:22). Christ did not die for them (Jn 10:26). The Holy Spirit did not cause them to come to life and experience salvation (Jn 14:17).
Salvation is a fact of life, not death. Christ is the life of God, and the Holy Spirit is the Lord, the giver of life to those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8; 17:8; 21:27). Salvation is a finished work because God is eternal, and He has decreed all things that will come to pass…from eternity. Therefore, salvation does not have attached temporal conditions, loose ends, or chance possibilities. In this, God is glorified…He, alone, saved us from the foundation of the world. Thank God for His indescribable gift…Jesus Christ and so great a salvation.
Spokane Valley, Washington
September 30, 2021