An essay on Christian Salvation
"11 My dear friend, never follow a bad example,
but keep following the good one;
whoever does what is right is from God,
but no one who does what is
wrong has ever seen God. " 3 rd
letter of John by
"It is not doctrine (alone), or assumptions, or words, that we preach, when we speak of this Jesus, who we True Christians believe, is not only the Incarnation of God, but also his Son. " http://search.scripturelink.net/jesusis
"1 Peter 3:21-22
"1 Peter 3:21-22
The article below answers the question as to the moment of salvation. It excludes factors such as sacraments, or perseverance. To see the Gospel, click here (link).
To understand Salvation- one must first understand the context in which it is offered. God had a people, Israel, who obeyed him. When they disobeyed, they were exiled throughout the world. It was now that he said that he would send someone to fix his relationship with us, to that we can be his again. The offer, though orignially only for Jews, was extended also, to all who believe the Gospel and act on it.
The truth I know is this- Jesus was sent to earth. He told us how to live. He commanded us to love, obey, and believe his message. We are to love one another as another self. He then, as he predicted, was caught by evil men. These men had him killed in a horrific way. Like an iron snake, that Moses, a Jewish man made, while in the desert, that cured people of snake bites- Jesus claimed to cure us of death. If a man dies of a disease over twenty years, he is dying. We die because of sin. We die, because we reject the source of our life, God. God, in dying, cruxified those who believed with him. What he kills in us, is our pride. One can only teach another how to do something if you have done it. God could not kill his own sin, he had no sin, so he died. In his death, we who believe can surrender to him. Our salvation is in surrender to good. It is admitting that we are wrong, and unable to escape on our own. It is then, in obeying the steps God gives us. Asking his help, and obeying in baptism, we are given grace. Grace in this context is the ability to do the impossible, to obey God. His crucifixion is the source of the grace that we get by the 7 sacraments. These change us to what we should be- love, and makes us good. Only the pure can enter God's presence. God's nature means that he cannot accept us if we are evil. We cannot escape our physical death, with few exceptions, but, by dying to our own interests, and obeying God as best we can, and becoming his learners, and children- we can insure that we live again after death.
Also, it may be noted, that the Language, are you saved? used by certain churches places too much attention on single ceremonies, without the realization that "Salvation" as the first step is simply the stepping out of the Devil's domain, and the start of the long road towards heaven, so to speak, and this does not mean that one cannot again return to evil, and lose all they have gained.
Our hope is also in this-God himself controls both deceiver and deceived. We hope that he will make us stand, and save us that we may become godly, not evil. As we live forever, the slightest evil now, could mutate endlessly, until we are nothing good. That is why we need to be saved. We are evil, and need to become good, least we continue our pattern, and must be placed where evil belongs, which is out of God's site.
The language, "Are you saved?" does not cover the lifelong process in which salvation is fulfilled. It acts as though the process is complete, which it is not. It ignores the possible continuing of this turn-around, even after death, which certain churches subscribe to (Hebrews 12 v 6). The Idea, is that via belief, trust, and trying our best, to reply- God turns us from evil into good. He changes us entirely. When I first wrote this article, I wanted to show biblical proofs, but these are only proofs of the greater. We stop sinning, and eventually, after death, even - become like God- perfect and loving.
Wondered why they think you know what it means, or why they're talking to you?
Gospel of John-
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.
18 Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God's only Son.
19 This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil.
20 Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up.
21 But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.
Good news Bible
One must of course note that the verse here talks of belief written in Greek. The opposite of belief is disobedience.
It is the evil people in the passage that reject the offer, and the good (those who do right) who accept the offer, and in accepting it, act on it. For, to believe in Christ, is to believe, either that he is God, in which case He cannot lie, and his entire message is to be believed, or that his words are true, directly, or it could also refer to trusting in God.
Jesus Commanded us to treat others in a loving way (The word charity of old English could better describe "love"), to trust and love God, and to obey him. To obey him is to love, and to believe, that Jesus is the promised messiah, and that God rose him from the dead. If this is true, then he has opened the way to heaven. If it is so, then death has no sting. In conquering death for all who believe who he is, and his message, and in that imitate him, by loving, he allows a peace treaty between man and God. Those who persevere can be saved. God is love. His purpose is to transform the chosen into his Son's image. His Son is God, and in union with God.
In essence, salvation is by believing the Gospel, and in that, following the prescribed way offered by such- to be reunited with God.
In any case, many denominations have different beliefs about this matter of salvation, so I'll keep it simple, and let you decide for yourself. Look at the link roman's to get what the Bible says about salvation, or look at my links on salvation, saved shows results of salvation, belief/confess shows how and when one is "saved", while love shows the demands on a Christian.
Personally, I see love as the core command of Christianity, that those who believe that God died for them on a cross, the most painful death imaginable, should love others. Also, I believe in the need for baptism, and obedience in the church and sacraments. For, to be "saved", or rather- in salvation - is to be freed from slavery to evil, and made a slave of what is good.
Core commands of Christianity
Good News Bible
23 What he commands is that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as Christ commanded us. 24 Those who obey God's commands live in union with God and God lives in union with them. And because of the Spirit that God has given us we know that God lives in union with us.
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