Ray Ortlund and Sam Allberry discuss what Paul meant when he said that we are “being saved.” They address:
- The journey of salvation (0:32)
- The certainty of salvation (0:56)
- Three tenses of salvation (1:33)
- Living like new converts (2:50)
- Mutual assurance of salvation (4:14)
Explore more from TGC on this topic:
Course on the Doctrine of Salvation
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Ray Ortlund: So Sam, getting saved by God’s grace in Christ is, even for us it’s not easy. This is a hard journey we’re going through. We are going to get home, but the way home is hard and with some, at times, uncertainty and anxiety. What does Paul mean when he says we are being saved? Aren’t we already saved? Is our salvation rendered uncertain by that statement in Paul?
Sam Allberry: It certainly isn’t. Paul is not suggesting that our salvation is still up in the air hanging in the balance, that God is still on the fence about us. That verse in, I believe it’s 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul says we are being saved, if that was the only thing Paul says about our salvation we would have to assume that there is some uncertainty, but Paul says other things about salvation that we must understand alongside that.
Sam Allberry: I once heard a sermon where he talked about there being three tenses of salvation, we have been saved from the penalty of sin, we are being saved in the present from the power of sin, and we will be saved in the future from the presence of sin, and all three of those things are true. So, are you saved as a believer in Jesus? You are. Are you being saved? Yes. Will you be saved? Yes. And those three tenses they’re not contradictory, they’re not mutually exclusive. They each speak to the fact that there is such a glorious totality to God’s salvation and we can look backwards, we can look at the present, we can look forwards and each direction we look in we’re seeing salvation which is wonderful. So it’s both our past, it’s with us like a spiritual [motorcade] in the presence and as we look down the road it’s our destination. It’s multi… I was going to say multi-dimensional, but that’s probably not the best way of putting its so we’ll ignore that bit.
Ray Ortlund: So God has a plan, he’s working his plan and he’s good at it.
Sam Allberry: And he will do it.
Ray Ortlund: Yes. The thing I love about Paul’s statement, “We are being saved,” is that it keep us, however long we have walked with Christ, it keeps us living like new converts all the time.
Sam Allberry: Yeah.
Ray Ortlund: We can be new Christians all our lives.
Sam Allberry: Yeah. If we only knew that we have been saved we would be complacent, we’d say, “Oh, that’s done there. That’s great, back to business as usual. Off I go.” The fact that I’m being saved means, okay God is having to journey with me through this process. If all I knew was that I’m going to be saved, again, that would leave me feeling very vulnerable and spiritually fragile in this life whereas actually because I have been saved and I am being saved, I can have assurance that God is with me on this bumpy road that we’re on.
Ray Ortlund: And I’m so glad it doesn’t say we are being damned. What if is said that? Because sometimes our thoughts and feelings within are screaming at us that we are being damned and so we can open up the bible, the 1 Corinthians 15, no, here’s my sanity again. Let’s get our bearings once again. We are being saved. That’s the reality coming upon us right now, real time. Whatever’s going on in our lives, we are being saved.
Sam Allberry: And I wonder if those three tenses, I wonder if each of them is the way we are assured of the others. So, my assurance that I will be saved is that I have been saved, my assurance that I have been saved is that I am being saved, and that I will be saved. I think there’s a sense in which each of them reinforces our understanding of the others.
Ray Ortlund: Very interesting, wow. Thank you, Sam.
Sam Allberry: Thank you.
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