Radio Church of God
Palm Springs, 12/12/58
I have just noticed, in going over letters written in the Letter Answering Department, a tendency which—as this reminds me—most of us have unconsciously followed.
It is the habit of speaking of salvation only in terms of “living out a life of OBEDIENCE to God.” We seem to have a tendency to speak only and solely of OBEDIENCE—commandment keeping!
We seldom mention that experience of CONVERSION—utter SURRENDER, total REPENTANCE, accepting Christ in living FAITH as personal Saviour, and receiving the HOLY SPIRIT.
We do not seem to stress sufficiently CHRIST as SAVIOUR—faith in Him, and then HIS faith in us (living faith which is inseparable from obedience). We must remember that the orthodox fundamental worldly churches and evangelists stress almost solely just CHRIST, and FAITH in Him, and accepting Him as personal Saviour. Our more or less general omission of this leads many automatically to assume we preach a gospel of EARNING salvation by WORKS. To a world accustomed to hearing almost altogether about Christ and a “born-again experience” (which of course they do not understand), we put ourselves and God’s TRUTH in a wrong light. Instead of speaking of being CONVERTED—CHANGED—by real repentance, surrender, FAITH in CHRIST, and receiving God’s Holy Spirit, we speak of “coming into the TRUTH.” A man may “come into the TRUTH”—that is, let a certain amount of truth into his mind, and still be totally unconverted. We must not lead people to gather that we believe only in Commandment keeping (which to them means SATURDAY-keeping) and EARNING salvation by WORKS.
We must stress the WHOLE TRUTH more—repentance, surrender, CHRIST AS SAVIOUR, being CHANGED by God’s Spirit as God’s GIFT, by GRACE, following our conforming to His conditions of repentance and FAITH IN CHRIST—the CHANGE from carnality to Spiritual-mindedness—being BEGOTTEN—and THEN the overcoming and enduring and GROWING life of obedience and living faith, with Christ living HIS LIFE in us. Let’s not leave CHRIST and GRACE out of our speech and letters.
With love, in Jesus’ name,
Herbert W. Armstrong