Salvation of the Soul
Saving of the Life
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Contents & Foreword
1. SALVATION — PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
2. IF ANY OF YOU
3. THE IMPLANTED WORD
4. THE BREATH OF GOD
5. FAITH MADE MATURE
6. HOPE, INHERITANCE, SALVATION
7. APPROVAL, GOAL OF YOUR FAITH
8. THE MINISTRY OF ELDERS
APPENDIX 1— FAITH AND WORKS
APPENDIX 2—THE HOPE
The salvation of the soul is one of the most misunderstood subjects in Scripture. And it is misunderstood because of the way most Christians view salvation.
Contrary to common belief, the salvation of the soul has nothing to do with man’s eternal destiny. Biblical teachings surrounding eternal salvation are always related to the spiritual part of man, never the soulical, and are centered in one realm alone — in Christ’s finished work at Calvary.
And the salvation message, having to do with Christ’s finished work at Calvary and one’s eternal destiny, is very simple: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved [made possible through that which Christ has done on man’s behalf] . . .” (Acts 16:31).
But the salvation of the soul is dealt with after an entirely different fashion in Scripture. Rather than Christ’s past work at Calvary being in view, His present work as High Priest is in view; and rather than the unsaved being in view, only Christians are in view.
Christ is presently performing a work as High Priest, on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat, to effect a cleansing from sin for the kingdom of priests that He is about to bring forth. And Christ’s present work in this respect relates to Christians and to the saving of the soul.
Scripture deals with the salvation of the soul in relation to the present faithfulness of Christians, and this salvation will be realized only at the end of one’s faith (1 Peter 1:9). And a realization of this salvation is associated with rewards, Christ’s return, and His kingdom (cf. Matthew 16:24-17:5; Hebrews 10:35-39).
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls [the souls of Christians, those who have ‘passed from death unto life,’ the only ones in a position to received ‘the implanted Word’]” (James 1:21).
Christians talk about soul-winning in connection with the unsaved. And soul-winning conferences are held with this same end in view. But this is not the way Scripture deals with soul-winning at all.
Soul-winning, as seen in Scripture, has to do with reaching those who already possess eternal life (those who have a redeemed spirit, those who have “passed from death unto life”), not with reaching those who are still “dead in trespasses and sins.” Soul-winning, rather than having to do with the free gift of eternal life, has to do with the faithfulness of the saved (resulting in works), a just recompense of reward, and life in the coming kingdom of Christ.
Soul-winning is reaching Christians with the Word of the Kingdom, reaching those who have already believed on the Lord Jesus Christ with the message concerning the purpose for their salvation.