Throughout the Spirit of Prophecy there are 181 statements about the science of salvation.
Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge and uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena. It is very exacting and very particular and follows a certain set of rules and gets the same result each time. The meaning of the word salvation is being saved. So, from what are we being saved? Here are some of the things that you are being saved from and the result:
- saved from sin—receive purity of life
- saved from suffering—receive health
- saved from the things of this world—receive heaven
- saved from Satan—receive Jesus
- saved from the troubles of this earth—receive peace
The basis of the science of salvation is summed up this way: “Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ ascended into the heavens, Christ coming again.” Gospel Workers, 159.
This science of Christ crucified, Christ risen and Christ ascended into heaven should be constantly in the forefront of our minds and the subject of our conversation. A little time spent contemplating on the love of the Father and what Christ went through for us, and His crucifixion, would soften our hearts and keep us from sinning.
I remember an illustration I heard a long time ago that I have often pondered. If there was some sin that you really wanted to commit and Jesus was standing there and He said to you, “You go ahead and do that, but first pound these nails into my hands,” could you do that? If it became a reality to us that Jesus suffered this way at the crucifixion, it would prevent us from many sins that we so easily fall into. We are told in Hebrews 12:1, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us.” The only way that can become a reality is if we stop and contemplate what Christ suffered to help us overcome sin.
One of the first things in the science of salvation is to get a sense of what salvation costs. It cost the life of the Son of God. Christ suffered the cruelest death. When we contemplate that and realize it was because of love—He loves us and He wants us to be saved—that He did this. He has given guidelines to follow for our safety, and living in accordance with them, we are sure of our safety. If we take Christ into our lives and have Him the bulwark against sin, we can be sure that we can overcome. Christ’s death freed us from the condemnation of sin, but that is not the end of the story. He also was risen. Besides the sorrow there is a great joy. There is the great promise and the great understanding that because He was raised, we also will be raised. If we are faithful and accept Him into our lives so that His suffering and crucifixion free us from sin, then when He comes again and raises those who have gone to sleep and saves those who are still alive, we will be among that group. That is the goal of each one of us, and that really is salvation. This is the science of salvation working when we are saved in that way. Then we talk about Christ when He ascended into heaven. That is where faith comes in—we have to believe that He is really up there, sitting at the right hand of God. It takes faith to believe He is there for us and hears every prayer. Each thing that we think and do is part of the life of Christ. His thoughts are always on His people that He paid for at such a cost. The great goal of His life and the goal of heaven is to have each one of us saved and to be with Him for eternity. If we are going to reach that goal, we must follow Him in the steps He has taken. We will have to accept Him as a personal being in our lives. If we can sense the presence of Christ in our lives, it will prevent us from falling into sin and temptation. We constantly need to remember that Jesus is real, and if we ask, His presence will be with us at all times. The goal of each Christian is to live the life with Jesus and for Jesus, to experience this wonderful gift from heaven that we may become like Him. By beholding Christ we will be like Him (II Corinthians 3:18).
That Christ was crucified for our sins should humble every soul. Remember, humility does not mean you are down there crawling on the ground. Humility means you accept what comes to you as coming from the Lord and react to it as Jesus would react to it. Each one of us needs that humble experience, and we need to come close to Him.
There is a description in the little book, Education, 263, that helps us realize what Jesus has done for you and me. It says, “Those who think of the result of hastening or hindering the gospel think of it in relation to themselves and to the world. Few think of its relation to God. Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ’s agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him. When there came upon Israel the calamities that were the sure result of separation from God—subjugation by their enemies, cruelty, and death—it is said that ‘His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.’ ‘In all their affliction He was afflicted: … and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.’ Judges 10:16; Isaiah 63:9.”
Ellen White contemplates that from the very inception of sin Christ has suffered the act of crucifixion. He suffers for each sin and for each sinner. And when you think of the suffering that goes on in heaven, we should do all we can to finish this work so that suffering can be brought to an end.
When our names are brought up in heaven, in the judgment, those for whom He has forgiven sins, He holds up His hands before God and says, “My blood, My blood” for that sinner. And He goes through the feeling of the crucifixion all over again. If we once realize what sin has cost heaven and is costing this earth, we will want to be done with it and completely take it out of our lives, and that really is the science of salvation—the overcoming of every sin and having our hearts prepared for that great day that the Lord has planned for us. He has something planned for each one, and if you disappoint Him, it hurts. It hurts deeply. If you think that sometimes you are disappointed on this earth, you know how it can hurt, but the heart of God, as much more great, as much more wonderful as He is to us, that much more He suffers.
Each one of us should be striving for the goal. The foundation of all true science is found in the Bible. And the science of salvation should be the basis for our study. The Bible is the mine where we search for the riches of Christ. And so the foundation for the science of salvation can be found in this Word and all of these promises are true. And all of these promises are for you and for me. If we would remember the promises and remember what Jesus has gone through for us, our lives can soon be perfected in such a way that we will be ready to go home with Him. That is the ultimate result of the science of salvation—that our lives are a perfect mirror of the life of Christ. He is waiting, longing for His character to be reflected perfectly in His church; then He will come. (See Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.)
Contemplate and think upon Jesus watching down here, trying to help us and in His longing, He loves us with a love that is greater than anything on earth; if we contemplate that soon He is going to take us up there and we will see Him face to face, we soon will have the wonderful experience of realizing the love of God.
All that He requires of us is to take Him into our lives. He will purify us, and soon we will be ready to go home. That is the great goal for which we are living.
Ruth Grosboll, matriarch of Steps to Life, lived a long life in the service of her Master. She served as a missionary nurse in Myanmar, formerly Burma. In her later years she held the position of receptionist and correspondent at Steps to Life Ministry, blessing many people with her heartfelt, encouraging letters. She is sadly missed to this day.