Written by Elder G.E. Coulbourne
The Salisbury Old School Baptist Association, convened with the Broad Creek Old School Baptist Church, October 20th, 21st and 22nd, 1926, to the churches of which she is composed, grace, mercy and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ be unto you.
BELOVED BRETHREN: - It is our desire, if the Lord will, that in this, our Circular Letter, our minds may be stirred up as to salvation. What salvation is, how received, and some of the exhortations to those who have received it. When Moses, acting under God's command and direction, was leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, being pursued by Pharaoh and his host, upon reaching the Red Sea, with no apparent way to cross, the sea before them, the mighty host behind them, it was but natural that they should murmur as they did, but it was not natural that Moses should say what he did, it was by the Spirit of God that he said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” Here we find that this man of God was taught by God that salvation was not of man, but of God, and this salvation was their deliverance from bondage, a beautiful type of that salvation which was to follow, to deliver us from the bondage of sin. This salvation was shown the prophets of old and they prophesied that a virgin should bring forth a son, and he should be called Mighty, Wonderful, The Prince of Peace, and that he should never be destroyed. To have a kingdom there must be subjects of that kingdom, and these were and are all subjects of his grace, saved by his grace and mercy, and he is to all of them their salvation. We find the prophecy fulfilled, the angel appearing to Mary with the message from God that she should have a Son by the power of the Holy Ghost, and his name was to be Jesus, for he should save his people from their sins. We find here no conditions, but the positive assertion that “he shall save his people from their sins.” This he must do, when he prayed, and said he had finished the work his Father had given him to do. That work was made complete in the atonement, and sealed by his own blood, which was the redeeming and saving, or salvation, of those the Father had given him, and who were chosen in him before the foundation of the world. As Eve was in Adam in the creation, afterwards taken out of and from Adam and given to him as his bride, or wife, so we understand the church was in Christ before the foundation of the world and in God's time and way was taken out of Christ his bride and presented to him without spot or blemish. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” Here we see the unity of Christ and his church (which is his body) from before the foundation of the world. After he had finished his work he did not leave himself without witnesses, among whom we find the apostle Paul, a chosen vessel unto God, to testify as to this wonderful Savior, who is the salvation of all saved. Throughout Paul's testimony we find nothing said of taking credit unto himself or his own works for this salvation, but all through his testimony we do find him giving credit and praise to Jesus, his Savior, his salvation. Paul is so zealous in his love for this salvation that we find him from time to time exhorting the churches as to their manner, and as to their walk in the churches and before men. On one occasion in the letter to the Hebrews the question is asked, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” Not if they neglect to try to obtain salvation, but how shall they escape temptations, and condemnation of the brethren, if they neglect to give praise to God for the salvation they already have, for it is clear that one cannot neglect something he does not have. Also the apostle exhorts the “beloved” to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. This being to the church at Philippi, and not to the heathen, for the apostle goes on to say that they are in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom they shine as lights in the world. So here we find the apostle has in mind the manner in which those saved and who have a hope that Christ is their salvation should work it out: let it be known, not boastingly, but fearfully, remembering that it is God that worketh in them both to will and to do of his own pleasure. May the God of the prophets and apostles keep us in peace, in meekness, as he did them, that we may work out our own salvation in fear and trembling, so we may always realize that we have nothing of self of which to boast, and that we may hold forth the word of life as our salvation in such manner that we shall not depart from the old ways and the old school, in which “it is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.”
C.W. Vaughn, Moderator
J.H. Truitt, Clerk
G.W. Adkins, Ass't Clerk
Signs of the Times
Volume 95, No. 1