The Science of Salvation
If we want to go to the moon, we have to understand gravity. If we want to go to heaven, we have to understand the science of salvation. Understanding natural science is a challenging enterprise, understanding the science of salvation is equally challenging and even more so:
That which is recognised by the world as science is the product of men’s thinking. It is with the mind that men think. It is with the mind, then, that men deal with all these sciences. But salvation deals with the mind itself. Which, then, is the higher, that which deals with all other things, or that which deals with that which deals with all other things?—The latter, to be sure. Then as with the mind men deal with all other sciences, and salvation deals with the mind itself, it is perfectly plain, not only that salvation is science as certainly as any other science, but that it is higher science than all other sciences. It is the highest science that can be known to the mind of man.
And who is it that in salvation deals with the mind?—It is God Himself. Then as it is God Himself who works out, who makes known, this science; and as this science is the product of God’s thinking; it follows again that the science of salvation is the highest, the deepest, the broadest, science that is known, not only to the mind of man, but to the whole universe. Ellen White, The Bible Echo, June 21, 1897, p. 194.
On one level the Bible is very simple, on another it is extremely complex. The simple level of the Bible, tells us to, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:31). It is on this level, that the thief on the cross, was saved.
However, for those of us, who live longer lives than the thief on the cross, the Lord expects us to, “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). We are also told by Paul, that we need to leave the simple level and rise to a higher level:
Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. Heb. 5:11- 6:3.
Here we are told that Paul has things to tell us, that are “hard to be uttered” but God’s people are “dull of hearing.” They ought to have become teachers by now but they are still babes in the word drinking milk, instead of meat and having to relearn the basic principles of the Bible. Paul exhorts his readers to leave behind the basic doctrines and strive for perfection. In other words, God’s kingdom is progressive, and it is moving towards a goal, and what is the goal? On the day of Pentecost, Peter told the assembled Jews, that Jesus had ascended to heaven for a reason:
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:21.
Jesus will not return “until the times of restitution of all things” – the Reformation is not over – the crop growing in the field has not yet reached maturity (see Mk. 4:26-29) – the harvest is not ready – The image of God has not been restored in humanity – God’s people have not been perfected.
Perfection is a word that most Christian’s avoid. They know it is in the Bible, but they try not to think about it. Christian perfection is seldom preached from the pulpit. The reason why perfection is an unwelcome visitor in most church’s is because it is not understood. The argument is made, that the thief on the cross was saved and he was not perfect – therefore, I do not need to be perfect either. But Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
If we are going to deny that Christian perfection is not necessary. We also need to deny that the Kingdom of God is progressive. We also need to deny, that the kingdom has a goal. We also have to deny, the plain words of Jesus, and many other portions of Scripture.
The solution is to understand the Science of Salvation. The Science of Salvation reveals how the thief on the cross can be saved and simultaneously, how the Bible requires perfection.