Albert N. Martin
Attachment to the Person of Christ and adherence to the Word of Christ are inseparable realities in the salvation of Christ. Now, I’m not trying to be clever or cute with words in stating the proposition that way. I’ve labored to reduce to the simplest common denominator this very vital truth of the Word of God: that attachment to the Person of Christ and adherence to the Word of Christ are inseparable realities in the salvation of Christ.
First of all, let me briefly explain the words in the proposition, and then we’ll spend the bulk of our time demonstrating the Scriptural basis for that proposition, and make specific application of it.
The Scripture everywhere teaches that out of Christ there is no salvation for guilty sinners. It was the teaching of our Lord. He claimed in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” Words could not state more categorically that out of Christ there is no salvation. He is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. No man—in any age, under any circumstances—can find access to the Father except he find it through Christ.
I am asserting that this salvation—which is to be found only in connection with Christ—is to be found in a relationship to Christ that involves both attachment to His Person and adherence to His Word. That is, there is no such thing as salvation in Christ apart from a trustful, submissive relationship to the Person of Christ, who died and rose from the dead, and a trustful, submissive relationship to the Word of Christ as proclaimed in the apostolic testimony, and as embodied in the Scriptures. Basically, that’s what I mean by the words of the proposition: that attachment to the Person of Christ and adherence to the words of Christ are inseparable realities in the salvation of Christ.
He who asserts also has the burden laid upon him to demonstrate the validity of his assertion. So, now, if you will, take your Bibles in hand as I seek to demonstrate the biblical basis of this proposition. I shall do so by considering with you three very critical passages in the Word of God.
The first one is found in Mark’s Gospel chapter 8, verse 38. “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also shall be ashamed of him, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words the Son of man shall be ashamed of him.” What does the word ‘ashamed’ mean in this passage? It means, in this passage, what it generally means in our common usage.
What if someone says, “I am ashamed to be found in the presence of a certain relative, because of his poor manners and his sloppy appearance”? What does that person mean? What they mean is that they are drawing back from any delight in open identification with that person. They say, “I am ashamed of that relative.” That is, “I draw back from being visibly and openly identified with that person.”
When our Lord says, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,” He is using the word which has that common connotation. “Whosoever draws back from willingness to be identified with My Person, and whoever draws back from willing identification with My words, in the Day of Judgement I will willingly draw back from identifying Myself with such a person.” “I will not own him as mine in the Day of Judgement!” If Christ does not own us as His in that Day, we’ve had it. This is not a matter of an advanced stage of Christian rewards or experience. It is a matter of life and death.
For our concern today, what I want you to see in the text is this inseparable relationship between identification with the Person of Christ and the words of Christ. He joins them as one. “Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me,” that is, “of My person.” “Whoever does not count Me worthy of glad compliance with the terms of discipleship.” “Whoever does not see Me as the pearl of great price and for My sake is not willing to take up the cross, deny himself, follow Me, and be identified with Me at any cost.” “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words.” “Whoever draws back from a wholehearted alignment with what I have said in My specific pronouncements concerning all to which I have addressed Myself; whoever draws back in shame from identification with My person or My words,”—of such a person the Lord says He will be ashamed in the Day of Judgement.
Now do you see why I dared to assert that attachment to the Person of Christ and adherence to the words of Christ are inseparable realities in the salvation of Christ? He makes that relationship, and He makes it an inseparable one!
The second key text is John chapter 17, verses 4 through 8. “For I glorified thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which thou hast given me to do. And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them to me; and they have kept thy word. Now they know that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are from thee. For the words which thou gavest me I have given unto them; and they received them, and knew of a truth that I came forth from thee, and they believed that thou didst send me.”
In this portion of the Word we have what is commonly identified as our Lord’s High-Priestly Prayer. It’s the prayer that He prayed just prior to going to His death on behalf of His people. In the opening verses He gives thanks to the Father, and then He pleads with the Father that the Father would glorify the Son. He goes on in the prayer to give expression to His own consciousness that He goes to His death not in defeat, but as a Conqueror. He has accomplished the work which the Father gave Him to do.
Bible References: John 14:6; Mark 8:38; John 17:3-8
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