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Problems of the Spiritual


IV. In quoting St. Paul's words—"Who is the Saviour of all men" (1 Tim. iv. 10 v.), you omit the additional clause—"specially of those that believe." In doing this you give a wrong meaning to his words. The word used by St. Paul is not "Saviour," but "Preserver"; for he adds "specially of believers."

My omission of the clause—"specially of those that believe," is due to the fact that it was not required for the purpose of the argument with which I was dealing. I was endeavouring to show that those who deny that the whole human race will ultimately be saved, altogether ignore a great number of the statements of Scripture, which declare that this will be so. I cited St. Paul's words—"Who is the Saviour of all men" (among other equally as strong passages) in support of my assertion. There was no need for me to adduce the latter clause of the verse, as no question was raised as to God being the Saviour "specially of believers." That fact is admitted by all Christians.

The Questioner attempts to destroy the all-embracive significance of this text, by substituting the word "Preserver" for "Saviour"; so making the passage mean that God is the Preserver of the entire human race, and in an especial sense of the believing section of it. He wishes to exclude the idea that God will save all men; but admits that He is the Preserver of all.

But can He, we ask, with any consistency whatever, be called Humanity's Preserver, if multitudes are to be left for ever in a condition of irreparable ruin and misery? We think not. We think that to describe God as the "Preserver" of all men, is equally as strong a statement as to describe Him as the "Saviour" of all.

There can be "no variableness, neither shadow of turning" in regard to God; hence, if He be the Preserver of all men now, He will be the Preserver of all men for ever. If the old theological idea be right, that multitudes of human beings will "perish everlastingly," how will it be possible for God to be their Preserver? Thus, in denying the Final Restoration of all, we must deny to God this title of "Preserver of all men."

The Questioner asserts that the word used by St. Paul, in this verse, is not "Saviour," but "Preserver." The Greek word used in the text is Saviour, Preserver, Deliverer (sōtēr). The primary meaning of that word is "Saviour," and its secondary significance— "Deliverer," "Preserver."

We contend, therefore, that if it be not right to translate this word as "Saviour," in the passage with which we are dealing, it cannot be right to so translate it in other passages of the New Testament. The Questioner, by his line of reasoning, therefore robs Christ of that highest title by which we love to think of Him; and Luke ii. 11 v. must be read only as, "For unto you is born this day .... a Preserver (Preserver) which is Christ the Lord," and 1 John iv. 14 v., as, "The Father sent the Son, the Preserver (not Saviour) of the world."

And so on, in regard to a great number of passages in which this word ffWr^p is employed. In thus attempting to evade the force of St. Paul's statement, the position of Christ in regard to humanity is depreciated.

With regard to the clause—"Specially of those that believe," in respect to its relationship to the antecedent clause—"the Saviour of all men," no difficulty presents itself to our mind. We believe that the great Purpose of God, in Christ, is ultimately to bring all human beings into union with Himself, that He may become "all in all." In this sense it is true to assert of Him that He is "the Saviour of all men."

The assertion is not true, if salvation will not at length embrace the entire human race. God is specially the Saviour of "those that believe," for the reason that His saving work has already commenced in such, and their identification of themselves, in this life, with the Purpose of God will save them from many a painful and distressing experience in the Life Beyond, which will befall those who, like the Prodigal, turn their backs upon the Father, and only after suffering and shame "come to themselves " and find their way to the Father's Bosom. It is because, in this sense, God is specially the Saviour of those that believe, that St. Paul wrote, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. vi. 2 v.).

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Other Books by Rev. Chambers:

"Man and the Spiritual World" (1903 UK Edition)
"Thoughts of the Spiritual" (1905 American Edition)

Rev. Arthur Chambers Returns From "Death" To Speak Through The Zodiac Circle

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