For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
I. THE SALVATION PROVIDED BY CHRIST IS RADICALLY A SPIRITUAL SALVATION. It extends indeed to all the elements of our nature, being an emancipation of the whole man from the bondage of death; but the condition of the body follows that of the soul. In a sense we enter into spiritual salvation at conversion, for "he that believeth hath everlasting life." But the word is generally applied to the state of perfect purity and beauty and blessedness for the whole nature which the day of Christ will bring in.
II. ALL GOD'S PROVIDENTIAL DEALINGS WITH HIS PEOPLE ARE INTENDED TO BE A TRAINING FOR SALVATION, whether pleasant or like Paul's at Rome, "not joyous but grievous," a discipline fitted to ripen the flower of holy character, which will be fully opened in its glorious beauty in heaven.
III. BY THE MEASURE IN WHICH WE AVAIL OURSELVES OF THIS TRAINING OUR SALVATION WILL BE AFFECTED.
1. All who reach heaven will be perfectly happy up to the full measure of their capacities, because being "pure in heart," they will "see God" as fully as their natures can see Him.
2. But the eyes of those who availed themselves but little of the light, of truth, who looked at God but seldom, will be able to look at Him only from far; whilst those whose eyes have been much accustomed to the light here, will stand in the foremost circles, and there with ravished hearts gaze on the infinite glory. Some will have an abundant entrance, while others will be saved only as "through fire."
IV. Remembering these things, WHAT MANNER OF PERSONS OUGHT WE TO BE.
1. In all holy conversation and godliness.
2. In prayer and effort.
3. So that the Divine training may" turn to our salvation."
V. HOW THEN SHALL WE OBTAIN THIS SPIRITUAL PROFIT?
1. Through the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
(1) He originates and supports spiritual life; clears away the mists of prejudice; opens the eyes to guilty self and merciful God; dwells in the regenerate.
(2) The figures under which His influence is set forth describe His action; "fire" to burn up the chaff within us, and to light up in our souls the genial flame of love; water to cleanse pollution and to quench thirst; unction to consecrate.
2. This supply is obtained largely through the Church's prayer.
(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,