BRIEF STATEMENT ON SALVATION
I believe that, due to worldwide sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God lest they be born again; and that no grade of improvement however countless, no accomplishments in goodness however great, no ethos however admirable, no ordinance of any kind, can bring the sinner one inch closer to heaven; nonetheless a new nature, a new life by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is unconditionally vital to salvation. Salvation is a donation from God accepted by grace alone through faith alone in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9). I believe that Jesus Christ perished for the sins of mankind and physically rose from the dead, ensuring salvation for anyone who places their sincere trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation (Romans 5:8-9; Mark 10:45). I believe that all who are born of the Holy Spirit via trust in Jesus Christ can have the confidence of salvation and are forever secure in Him (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 5:13). I believe salvation includes past-tense validation, present triumph, and upcoming success.
While there are so many practical implications of soteriology, four main topics will be covered in the space allotted, beginning with God’s promises. We can believe God’s pledges and trust he will fulfill them. Biblically speaking, He simply never writes checks he cannot cash. His qualities and characteristics build faith in His constancy. He is omniscient; thus, He is mindful of each option and fact. He possesses a broad understanding of all that will occur. Nil shocks Him as He is perfect. God is omnipotent, therefore, He has the power to achieve all He plans. His aim can never be foiled because there is no force that can reverse what He has accomplished or intends to accomplish. His power is adequate, and all this applies to His salvation proposal. If Christ’s first coming was at the correct moment and achieved God’s plan flawlessly, we can believe His second coming will likewise naturally achieve God’s plan. This gives a positive view of life. In the middle of ambiguity and friction, the groundwork of God’s fidelity gives us strength.[i] We can provide ourselves to the use of God and others with absolute devotion, since He is reliable, and nothing can separate us from Him.[ii]
A second practical implication is we are to pursue prospects to exercise grace. Grace is the totality of salvation. It is a liberating power. It easily affects both the donor and the beneficiary. It was not provided to us to safeguard and protect, but so we can witness to others. All we give has been from God. Nothing belongs to us, although it is trusted for prudent usage. God supports us so we can be His ambassadors. God gives the foundation for our guarantee that someday everything will be rendered correctly. Grace is what converts our souls now and always converts our relationship with God, with others, and with all nature. We must reside as persons of grace. If grace will soon alter the globe, it is also what changes the globe in the present.
A third practical implication is acknowledging our faith battles and assisting others with theirs. Faith cannot be reliant upon anything in us. It is a great phenomenon that cannot be delivered by a person who is basically and unalterably terrible. Our initial coming to faith and being a person of faith is not the ending. It is the start of a lifetime journey. I believe if we are in the flesh, we will never be rid of uncertainty, ambiguity, and skepticism. This blend of faith and skepticism is a continual remembrance of the grace that is ours through faith and God’s assurance that soon there will be no further necessity for faith because faith will become sight.[iii]
My final practical implication is that we ought not ever to exceed our demand[iv] for the Redeemer.[v] This does not stop with regeneration. Neither does it decline as we expand in grace. Instead, it deepens our understanding of our demand. The extent to which we know the intensity and scope of depravity is the extent to which we welcome the grace of God. If I know the intensity of my own depravity, the gospel comes to be my one hope. Additionally, because we stay sinners in the necessity of recovery even after conversion, because we stay adept at sinning, and because we frequently show that capability, then we should progressively and ever more hang on to and remain eager for the passion of our Redeemer. I contribute nothing to my salvation but the necessity and my role in sin. I am desperately reliant on the delivery of God’s grace via the gospel. It is the one hope to which I hold and the one answer to my necessity. I am pitiful and powerless to do anything regarding my despair, separate from the grace of the gospel.
[i] 1 Cor. 15:58. “The Corinthians were urged to stand firm in the apostles’ teaching (v. 2), unmoved by the denials of false teachers (cf. Eph. 4:14). This certainty, especially concerning the Resurrection, provided an impetus to faithful service (cf. 1 Cor. 3:8; Gal. 6:9) since labor in the resurrected Lord is not futile (kenos, ‘empty’; cf. 1 Cor. 15:10, 14, 17, 30–32).” David K. Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 546.
[ii] Rom 8:38-39. “Absolutely nothing in His Creation can thwart His purpose for believers in Christ. What a climactic way to affirm the certainty of believers’ salvation!” John A. Witmer, “Romans,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 476.
[iii] 2 Cor. 5:7. “What sustained Paul was the realization that this was a temporary and transitory state (2 Cor. 4:18). He focused not on present but on future conditions, not on the seen but the unseen. To live this way is to live by faith, not by sight. It is to live in light of ultimate rather than immediate realities (cf. Rom. 8:24–25), to be obedient to God’s commands despite the hardships that obedience produces (e.g., 2 Cor. 11:23–29).” David K. Lowery, “2 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 566.
[iv] “The gospel of Jesus Christ presupposes both these truths: God designed us to know him, to trust him, and to enter the Trinitarian communion, and conversely that a hideous, spiritually-genetic disease has infected all the human race—a sickness deliberately chosen by each of us. The gospel assumes the lostness of every person as a sinner both in act and attitude, existing in a state of separation from God, ‘the Lord Chief Justice,’ the moral Absolute of all existence.” Horrell, ST5104 Notes (2021).
[v] “Scripture converges upon the doctrine of the atonement; it has the unity of a consistent testimony to a love of God which bears the sin of the world.…To Him bear all the Scriptures witness; and it is as a testimony to Him, the Bearer of sin, the Redeemer who gave His life a ransom for us.… This is the burden of the Bible.” [James Denney, The Death of Christ (Tyndale, 1951) 174] a. One is in a state of slavery because of sin and Satan. *Jn 8:34; 2Co 4:3f b. Christ, free of slavery, pays the ransom price. *Heb 9:15; 2Pe 2:1 c. He removes us from slavery securing our freedom. Mt 20.28; Gal 3:13 d. Now we belong to the Lord; he is our new master. *1Co 6:20. Horrell, ST5104 Notes (2021) e. “Thus, the doctrine of redemption means that because of the shedding of the blood of Christ, believers have been purchased, removed from bondage, and liberated” C. Ryrie, A Survey of Bible Doctrine (Moody, 1972) 122.