Spiritual Light

instructions in the faith for spirit filled believers
This book contains perhaps the most needed understanding for God's people today. Prompted by the word of the Lord this book analyzes what the Bible says about the most fundamentally important aspects of Jesus' saving work. Precious understanding revealed by a loving God for His people!
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Book Contents
Title Page
Original Introduction
Introduction to the 3rd Printing
My Credentials
Chapter One
The Third Commandment
Credentials for Chapter One
Marriage - Taking the Name
Spiritual Adultery
Like All the Nations
For Our Admonition
Chapter Two
The Sacrifice of Christ
Credentials for Chapter Two
The Sacrifice of Christ - The Copy & the True
An Important Detail - Where was Christ Sacrificed?
The Witness
Chapter Three
Conversion and Baptism
Credentials for Chapter Three
Two Gospels
Circles - The Body of Christ
Same Wrong Error - Sufficiency of Christ
Chapter Four
Salvation and Works
Credentials for Chapter Four
Ignorant and Unstable
Hebrews - Hope - Kept by Power
Glorified - Two Rocks (Rom 10:9-10)
Acts 16 - Saved Through Faith
Error in the Name of Truth
Remnants of Works - Conclusion

Spiritual Light


Salvation, then, is the hope and the goal of a believer's life, not their conversion. So, how did so many of us develop such an odd understanding of salvation as to confuse salvation with conversion? That is hard to answer. It may be in part because conversion is such a wondrous gift of God that it is a kind of salvation, if we define salvation in this case as "rescue". Indeed, the New Testament writers, in rare instances, do use the word "salvation" in this manner (e.g. 2Tim. 1:8-9; Tit. 3:5; Jude 5). Fairly common as well are references to a present state of "being saved," with the understanding that in these cases the definition of "saved" is "kept from committing sin by the power of the Spirit" (cp. 1Cor. 1:18). No biblical writer would ever have considered someone "being saved" if that person were living a sinful life. A believer who is practicing sin is being lost, not being saved.

Beyond all contradiction, however, the major biblical use of "saved" or "salvation" is in reference to being glorified with Christ at the end of the world. The primary emphasis of the biblical writers was the preparation of the members of the body of Christ to receive their inheritance: the salvation of their souls. The apostles never boasted of already being saved, although they humbly expressed their confidence that they would be saved in the end (e. g. Acts 15:7-11).

Two Rocks

This light on salvation will seem, for many, to contradict the two most quoted passages of Scripture concerning salvation: Romans 10:9-10 and Acts 16:29-31. These Scriptures provide two classic examples of misinterpretation of Scriptures because of tradition and neglect of context.

First, let's consider Romans 10:9-10, in its context:

"For Moses describes the righteousness that is of the Law, saying, The man who does those things will live by them. But the righteousness that is of faith speaks this way: Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into the heaven (that is, to bring Christ down from above), or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead).

"But what does it say? The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach, that if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and will believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."


After Moses gave Israel the commandments of God at Sinai, he led them in their forty years of wilderness wanderings until they approached the border of the promised land. There, within sight of "Canaan's fair and happy land," Moses was to die, but not before delivering a final, lengthy sermon to the nation. The entire book of Deuteronomy is comprised of little else besides this last sermon of Moses. In it, he not only reviewed and restated basic elements of the Law (hence the name "Deuteronomy" meaning "second law"), he also summarized Israel's wilderness experiences, along with giving many new commandments and exhortations to obedience when they crossed Jordan to possess Canaan. And when Moses had reminded them of all they had learned and experienced, he took a few moments more to make clear to Israel that he had given them all they needed to know in order to do the will of God. God's word was now in their hearts, not hidden in some distant place; therefore, they could do God's will and had no claims on ignorance. Moses said (Deut. 30:11-14),

"For this commandment which I command you this day is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who will go up for us to heaven and bring it [the commandment of God] unto us, so that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very near you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it."


The heathen nations around them would have to hear the commandments and study them if they were ever to know God's will. But Israel had lived with God's commandments forty years now, and knew them, and had no need to search for them.

What Sinners Cannot Do

This was, as well, the spiritual condition of the Roman believers to whom Paul wrote. Just as Moses was speaking to people who had received and learned the Law, Paul was speaking to people who had received and learned Christ (cp. Rom. 1:7-12). Thus, when he (quoting Moses) told the Romans, "Say not in your heart, 'Who shall ascend into heaven?'" it was because Christ was already in their hearts that they needed not send to heaven. These Roman believers, like the Israelites in Deuteronomy, already knew God's commandments; they already knew what was required of them in order to be saved in the end.

"The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach."

(Rom. 10:8)

The "word of faith" was already living in the hearts of the people to whom Paul was speaking. They already knew the will of God for their lives. It was not something hidden or distant from them. It was simple and clear to their minds. The word which God had planted long ago in the heart of each of these saints was "That if you [saint of God] confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you [saint of God] will be saved" (Rom. 10:9).

So, in Romans 10:9, Paul was not explaining to sinners how to be converted; he was reminding the saints of what they must do to be saved! Sinners cannot confess Christ. The very act of sin denies him (cp. Tit. 1:15-16). The only confession a sinner can make is the confession of sin! The saints, those in whom Christ dwells, are the ones who are to confess Christ, and they are to do so "unto salvation"; that is, to the end.

Consider this question Paul asks in verses 13-14a:

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?"


In other words, an unbeliever cannot do what the Bible refers to as "calling on the name of the Lord." The biblical phrase, "calling upon the name of the Lord", is used exclusively of communication of believers with God (e.g. Acts 9:14; 1Cor. 1:2; 2Tim. 2:22; 1Pet. 1:17; see also Zeph. 3:9). What Paul is saying is that only the born-again people who keep communicating with God will be saved in the end, for they alone (by God's Spirit - Rom. 8:15) are able to call upon the name of the Lord.

The confusion of "saved" with "converted" during the twentieth century led to a tragic misunderstanding of Romans 10:9-10. In the last half of that century, this error actually became standard among millions of believers. It was not used as an exhortation to believers to be faithful unto salvation, but as an exhortation to sinners to do something they cannot do (confess Christ) in order to receive what sinners cannot receive (salvation).

It is not impossible for sinners to repent and be converted; it is impossible for them to be saved - unless they first repent and are converted. When Paul wrote that "Christ came into the world to save sinners" (1Tim. 1:15), he quickly added "of whom I am chief." He had in mind the mighty love and mercy of God in Christ's coming and dying for sinners so that they might find forgiveness and, at the end, be saved from the destruction of the world and the wicked. Paul was not saying that he was still practicing sin or that sinners could expect to be saved at the end of the world. Instead, he was recalling the evil person he had been and the blasphemous acts against God he had committed before Jesus stopped him. No sinners will be saved at the final judgment. Peter points this out with a question:

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God. And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of those who obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

(1Pet. 4:17-18)

When the twentieth century tradition of defining conversion as salvation is combined with Romans 10:9-10, those verses do seem to be instructing sinners as to how to be converted. But when we rightly understand what salvation itself is, and when we understand the Old Testament context of Romans 10:9-10, it is easy to see that Paul was speaking to the saints at Rome concerning something that yet lay before them! Those verses are not for sinners; they are for the children of God, those who have repented of their sins and have been converted.