Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: Many use the expression "Salvation is a finished work." Is this a scriptural term?

Answer: In the language of the Lord, He used one word "Tetelestai" which is rendered "accomplished" (Luke 12:50) or "fulfilled" (Rev. 17:17) from which the meaning is clarified. The work which the Father gave the Son to do and the atonement He made by His death on the cross, upon which salvation is based, is indeed finished. Salvation, however, is not begun until the believing soul rests upon the finished work and receives the Lord Jesus as Saviour, confessing His Name (John 19:31; Rom 10:9). At that moment he is saved from the penalty of sin (Eph. 2:9), is being saved from the power of sin (Heb. 7:25) and is waiting for the final phase, the salvation from the presence of sin (Rom. 13:11). Then only will salvation be a "finished work."

Question: Is the expression concerning the Lord Jesus being "Justified in Spirit" a reference to the Holy Spirit or His own human spirit? (1 Tim. 3:16).

Answer: There can be no doubt that the Holy Spirit is referred to in this statement. The word "in" (Greek "en") is an instrumental preposition. The passage is teaching that He who was manifested in His own flesh, was justified by the Spirit of God. To understand His being justified, two Scriptures are informative; Romans 1:4 and 1 Peter 3:18. His glorious resurrection vindicated Him as the just One, although condemned and regarded as guilty by men.

Question: Should all brethren have their turn to preach the gospel irrespective of fitness?

Answer: There is a great difference between "the preaching of foolishness" which is unscriptural, and the "foolishness of preaching" which is of God. Many Scriptures show that qualification is essential to preach the good news of the gospel (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 2:1-14; Eph. 4:11). Empty seats, pain in the hearts of believers and discredit the gospel will be the outcome of allowing all and sundry to preach. No ordinary business would be conducted on such lines for a single day. The gospel is too important and the precious souls of men too valuable for opportunities to be wasted.

The threefold fitness for the great work of being an evangelist may be summed up as "grace, gift and fruit." Responsible brethren should therefore be deeply exercised to invite and encourage the very best "gospelers" to proclaim in power and love the story of the cross and the offer of redeeming love and warning of "wrath to come." The 'every man' preaching method is largely the reason for the sad decline in interest and conversions in the gospel meetings of many assemblies. Let us also remember the words of the apostle to Timothy, 'Do the work of an evangelist.' That is inviting people to meetings, personal witnessing and distribution of gospel tracts.