God hath ‘saved us’ and then ‘called us,’ according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord
2. We next remark that grace is in this verse rendered conspicuous when we see that God pursues a singular method, “Who hath saved us and called us.” The peculiarity of the manner lies in three things first, in the completeness of it. The apostle uses the perfect tense and says, “who hath saved us.” Believers in Christ Jesus are saved. They are not looked upon as persons who are in a hopeful state and may ultimately be saved, but they are already saved. This is not according to the common talk of professors now-a-days, for many of them speak of being saved when they come to die; but it is according to the usage of Scripture to speak of us who are saved. Be it known this morning that every man and woman here is either saved at this present moment or lost, and that salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed upon the dying bed and to be sung of in a future state above, but a matter to be obtained, received, promised and enjoyed now. God hath saved his saints, mark, not partly saved them, but perfectly saved them. The Christian is perfectly saved in God’s purpose; God has ordained him unto salvation, and that purpose is complete. He is saved also as to the price which has been paid for him; for this is done not in part but in whole. The substitutionary work which Christ has offered is not a certain proportion of the work to be done, but “it is finished” was the cry of the Savior ere he died. The believer is also perfectly saved in his covenant head, for as we were utterly lost as soon as ever Adam fell, before we had committed any actual sin, so every man in Christ was saved in the second Adam when he finished his work. The Savior completed his work, and in the sense in which Paul uses that expression, “He hath saved us.” This completeness is one peculiarity-we must mark another. I want you to notice the order as well as the completeness; “who hath saved us and called us. What! saved us before he called us? Yes, so the text says. But is a man saved before he is called by grace? Not in his own experience, not as far as the work of the Holy Spirit goes, but he is saved in God’s purpose, in Christ’s redemption, and in his relationship to his covenant Head; and he is saved, moreover, in this respect, that the work of his salvation is done, and he has only to receive it as a finished work. In the olden times of imprisonment for debt, it would have been quite correct for you to step into the cell of a debtor and say to him, I have freed you, if you had paid his debts and obtained an order for his discharge. Well, but he is still in prison. Yes; but you really liberated him as soon as you paid his debts. It is true he was still in prison, but he was not legally there, and no sooner did he know that the debt was paid, and that receipt was pleaded before proper authorities, than the man obtained his liberty. So the Lord Jesus Christ paid the debts of his people before they knew anything about it. Did he not pay them on the cross more than eighteen hundred years ago to the utmost penny? and is not this the reason why, as soon as he meets with us in a way of grace, he cries, “I have saved thee; lay hold on eternal life.” We are, then, virtually, though not actually, saved before we are called. “He hath saved us and called us.” There is yet a third peculiarity, and that is in connection with the calling. God has called us with an holy calling. Those whom the Savior saved upon the tree are in due time effectually called by the power of God the Holy Spirit unto holiness; they leave their sins, they endeavor to be like Christ, they choose holiness, not out of any compulsion, but from the stress of a new nature, which leads them to rejoice in holiness, just as naturally as aforetime they delighted in sin. Whereas their old nature loved everything that was evil, their new nature cannot sin because it is born of God, and it loveth everything that is good. Does not the apostle mention this result of our calling in order to meet those who say that God calls his people because he foresees their holiness? Not so; he calls them to that holiness; that holiness is not a cause but an effect; it is not the motive of his purpose, but the result of his purpose. He neither chose them nor called them because they were holy, but he called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by his workmanship in them. The excellences which we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the atonement itself. This second point brings out very sweetly the fullness of the grace of God. First: salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the author of it; and what motive but grace could move him to save the guilty? In the next place, salvation must be of grace, because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is for ever excluded. Salvation is completed by God, and therefore not of man, neither by man; salvation is wrought by God in an order which puts our holiness as a consequence and not as a cause, and therefore merit is for ever disowned.
Charles H. Spurgeon- Salvation Altogether by Grace (2 Timothy 1:9)- Delivered on Sunday Morning July 29th, 1866