The most recent edition of Reformed Perspectives Magazine includes a sermon from A.W. Pink entitled, “Experimental Salvation.” The word, experimental, is here used in the sense of having personal experience of salvation, rather than today’s more common definition of trying or experimenting with something new and untested. Pink teaches on the sovereignty of God in salvation, and distinguishes between those who are truly saved and those who may be called “false converts.”
Salvation may be viewed from many angles and contemplated under various aspects, but from whatever side we look at it we must ever remember that “Salvation is of the Lord.” Salvation was planned by the Father for His elect before the foundation of the world. It was purchased for them by the holy life and vicarious death of His incarnate Son. It is applied to and wrought in them by His Holy Spirit. It is known and enjoyed through the study of the Scriptures, through the exercise of faith, and through communion with the triune Jehovah.
Now it is greatly to be feared that there are multitudes in Christendom who verily imagine and sincerely believe that they are among the saved, yet who are total strangers to a work of divine grace in their hearts. It is one thing to have clear intellectual conceptions of God’s truth, it is quite another matter to have a personal, real heart acquaintance with it. It is one thing to believe that sin is the awful thing that the Bible says it is, but it is quite another matter to have a holy horror and hatred of it in the soul. It is one thing to know that God requires repentance; it is quite another matter to experimentally mourn and groan over our vileness. It is one thing to believe that Christ is the only Savior for sinners; it is quite another matter to really trust Him from the heart. It is one thing to believe that Christ is the Sum of all excellency, it is quite another matter to love HIM above all others. It is one thing to believe that God is the great and holy One; it is quite another matter to truly reverence and fear Him. It is one thing to believe that salvation is of the Lord, it is quite another matter to become an actual partaker of it through His gracious workings.