A PORTRAYAL OF TRUE SALVATION
In the book of Proverbs, 'wisdom' generally speaks of the influence of true salvation in the soul. Salvation, of course, is the deliverance from sin and its terrible consequences through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
When the sinner is saved, he is not merely delivered from future punishment, but is also given the power to overcome sin in his life. He is quickened, or made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit.
Through union with Christ, the believer has died to sin, has crucified the flesh, and has become a new creature (II Cor. 5:17).
In our text, we have a picture of true salvation, in both its character and effects.
A. It bestows WISDOM in the heart.
'Keep sound wisdom??(v. 21).
1. Wisdom is found in the Word of God. Prov. 7:1-3.
2. The means of attaining sound wisdom is presented to us in the Gospel of Christ.
3. It is in the Gospel that we find a Savior that is able to meet our every need.
a. Jesus Christ has made atonement for all our sins.
b. He ?ever lives to make intercession for us? in heaven.
c. As the One who has all power and authority in heaven and earth, He is ?able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him?(Heb. 7:25).
4. By the simple exercise of faith in Christ, we become partakers of all His blessings.
a. It is our aim from day to day to 'live by faith upon Him.'
b. As we walk with Him, we ?receive out of His fullness? all the needed blessings.
5. Christ is the source of wisdom.
a. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that we are made wise.
b. Christ is the agency through whom the believer becomes truly wise.
c. Christ is the source of all true wisdom to His people. Mt. 13:54; I Cor. 1:23-24, 30-31.
d. Christ has by His word and Spirit led us to see our true situation, and made us wise unto salvation.
e. He has turned us from the ways of folly, and led us to walk in the path of true wisdom.
f. He enlightens our mind, guides us in the way of truth, and leads us in the path of real knowledge.
g. It is through the knowledge of Christ that we are prepared for eternity.
B. It produces DISCRETION in the life.
'Keep sound wisdom and discretion?(v. 21).
1. It is through the wisdom of Christ that the believer is able to make wise decisions.
2. When a person receives Christ as his Lord and Savior, and is quickened by the Spirit of God, he is changed.
a. Like Saul of Tarsus, the sinner is drastically changed when he meets Christ. Acts 9:1-6.
b. The Lord changed this person who hated Christ and His people, to one that loved Christ and was willing to obey His every command.
3. When the Spirit of God quickens the soul, He implants a principle there that regulates the whole man. Ezek. 36:25-27.
a. The child of God is no longer a slave to the temporal things of the world.
b. The welfare of his soul means more to him than the pleasures, riches, and honor of the world.
c. His one desire is to honor his God, and to live in a way that is pleasing to Him.
4. The believer is no longer a slave to his sinful desires.
Rom. 6:6-7, 17-18, 22.
a. The tyranny and penalty of sin in the BELIEVER's life has been broken, but sin's potential for expression in his life has not yet been fully removed.
b. It is possible for the believer to fall into sin, because he still dwells in unredeemed flesh, but he is no longer the slave to sin that he was before his conversion.
c. When the believer fails to feed upon the Word of God and seek the power of the Holy Spirit, he is capable of succumbing to satan's temptations.
d. In order to live a victorious Christian life, we must walk in the Spirit. Gal. 5:16-18, 24-25.
Has the Lord made a difference in your life?
Have you repented of your sin and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ?
Has the Lord changed your heart, and given you victory over your sin?
II. THE EFFECTS OF TRUE SALVATION vv. 22-24
A. True Salvation produces LIFE IN THE SOUL.
?So shall they be life unto thy soul'(v. 22).
1. Salvation is to the soul, what the soul is in the body.
a. Without the soul, the body is dead; and without salvation, or the new birth, the soul is dead.
b. The soul gives life to the body, and, therefore, it performs all the functions relating to physical life.
c. By the new birth the soul is quickened and performs all the functions of the spiritual life.
2. As a result of the soul being united with the body, all the powers, both of body and mind, are activated.
a. By the operation of salvation in the soul, the understanding, the will, the affections, the memory, and the conscience all perform their respective duties according to the will of God.
b. Salvation brings all the different faculties of the soul, including a person's thoughts, into obedience to Christ.
3. Salvation is 'life to the soul.'
a. Salvation makes a man a new creature: ?old things pass away, and all things become new?(II Cor. 5:17).
b. Christ is both the spiritual and eternal life of those that are united to Him by faith.
c. There is such a change in a person when he is saved, that the Word of God refers to him as a ?new creature.'
d. Those that are born again of the Spirit of God live in such a way as to manifest the characteristics of a new creation.
B. True Salvation produces a GRACIOUS ATTITUDE.
?So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck?(v. 22).
1. Through the operation of divine grace upon the soul, all the tempers and dispositions will be kept in check.
2. The Lord is pleased when our lives manifest internal grace.
a. As believers, we are to be more concerned with the attitude of our hearts than we are with the appearance of our physical bodies.
I Pet. 3:4.
b. The more intimate our fellowship is with Lord, the more affect He will have on our attitude and conduct.
c. The believer exemplifies in his life that expression of the Psalmist when he said, 'He, the Lord, will beautify the meek with salvation?(Ps. 149:4).
d. When a person walks with the Lord in intimate fellowship, the beauty of the Lord'l countenance will be upon him. Ps. 90:17.
e. There is a special radiance about those who are living under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
f. Those who walk in the Spirit will have victory over the flesh.
Gal. 5:16-18, 24-25.
C. True salvation produces STABILITY IN THE WALK. v. 23.
1. The believer makes sure that he is on the right path.
a. He gets his light and direction from the Word of God. Ps. 119:105.
b. When the path gets treacherous the believer will cry out to His God, 'Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not?
c. In answer to the BELIEVER's prayer, God will give his angels charge over him, to keep him in all his ways, that he dash not his foot against a stone. Ps. 91:11; Mt. 4:6.
2. The unbeliever has no such promise of protection.
a. He runs headlong into temptation without being aware of the danger.
b. He has no guidance or strength but his own.
c. He will not heed the warnings of God's Word.
d. It is no wonder that he is miserable and without hope.
3. The child of God is secure because the Law of God is in his heart.
a. The believer shall never finally and totally go out of the paths of truth, holiness and righteousness. Ps. 37:1-9, 17-18.
b. The Lord keeps the feet of His saints and orders their steps in the way that they should go. Ps. 37:23-24.
c. The Lord preserves His people and enables them to walk uprightly. Ps. 37:37-40
d. The child of God is kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, and so shall not perish but have everlasting life.
D. True salvation will instill PEACE IN THE HEART. v. 24
1. The man that fears the Lord shall dwell at ease. Ps. 25:12-13.
- Peter could sleep while in prison awaiting execution, because he knew that what ever happened, he was in the Lord'l hands. Acts 12:6-7.
2. There is, however; no rest for the wicked.
3. Only the Lord can give true rest for the soul. Mt. 11:28-30.
4. Those who die in their sin will find no rest in the eternal torments of hellfire. Lk. 16:22-24.
Have you cried out to Him for mercy?