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The Means
of Salvation

A lecture by The

Rt. Rev. Philip N. Odhner

based upon the teachings given through Emanuel Swedenborg.


All Christians know that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save men. Salvation is a state or condition of the conjunction of man with God. "If a man love Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him." (John 14:23.) "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me." (John 15:4.) "I am the vine, ye are the branches." (John 15:5.)

Salvation is the conjunction of man with God, and this conjunction is through the reception by man of a new life from the Lord, the reception of a new life of faith and of love. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6.) "I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10.) "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." (John 11:25.) "He that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." (John 12:25.)

Conjunction with God is affected through two things, through faith and through love. Conjunction with God, or salvation through faith or through believing is taught in the following and many other places: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16.) "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36.)

Conjunction with God or salvation through love is taught in the following and many other places: "If a man love Me, he will keep My words, and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him." (John 14:23.) "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him." (John 14:21.) "The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31.)

The two things by which man is saved or brought into conjunction with the Lord are symbolized in the Lord's words concerning the eating of His Flesh and His Blood. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:53-54.) His flesh or His body, which in the Holy Supper is symbolized by the bread, is His Love, which man must receive. And His blood, or the wine of the Holy Supper, is His Truth of the New Covenantor the New Testament, which men must receive from Him. If man receives a new faith from the Lord, and a new love, he has received a new life from the Lord, and he is then born again, and is a new man, a son of God, conjoined with the Lord in all things of life.

Christians have long disputed as to what it is that saves man. Some have held that man is saved by faith alone, and others that man is saved by love or by good works alone. And both confirm their belief by many passages in the Scriptures. Swedenborg in his Writings shows that man is saved through the unition of faith and love, not by faith alone, nor by love alone, but by their conjunction in man's life. Because the knowledge of this subject is of the utmost importance to man's cooperation with the Lord in the work of saving man, we shall in this lecture set forth the teachings of Swedenborg on this subject.





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Means of Salvation

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