|THE WAY OF SALVATION||
THE WAY OF SALVATION
The following is a brief analysis of the WAY OF SALVATION.
Volition is the God-given right and responsibility to function freely within the sphere of your own mentality. In other words, to think anything you want and make mental decisions for yourself. It is not however, the right to physically carry out those decisions. God reserves the right to prevent or permit any creature activity so that no one has the power to "do" unless God permits it.
It is thus, the volitional responsibility of every member of the human race to make a mental decision concerning the issues of God's claim upon his life.
Accordingly, it is God's responsibility to provide man with the information he needs in order to make that decision.
On every page of scripture we see the presence and function of volition or "free will" as some have called it. But keep in mind that "free will" is not the right to "act" but the right to "think" anything you want.
THE PATHWAY TO LIFE, is narrow and the gate to walk through at the end is small. This means that there is only one way to get to God; only one way of salvation. And that "gate" is Jesus Christ. But not just the name of Jesus, or "claiming" to be Christian, for that is indeed a very "large" gate and a very "wide" pathway. According to Mat. 7:21-23, many will claim allegiance to Christ and "good works" through Christ, but will be "unknown" to Him and condemned as unbelievers. The pathway is a process of realizing several stages of "humility" as mankind must relate to God on God's terms and then walk through the "gate" by personal trust in Jesus Christ as savior,
THE GATE is of course the ONLY way to enter into a saving relationship with God. Anything and everything else fails to accomplish any spiritual reality with God but keeps man under the negative expressions of divine justice which end result will be the lake of fire for all eternity.
The process of getting to the gate of salvation is called the "drawing" of God. John 6:44, "no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me, draws him." This process is basically, the ministry of the Holy Spirit who "convicts" the world of "sin, righteousness and judgment" so that a person might know the issues involved and make his own decision for spiritual life or spiritual death.
The drawing of God then, is the process of providing the information that a person needs to make a decision to trust in Christ as savior. This is accomplished by the "convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit which is stated at John 16:8-11,
The "understanding" that must come about relates to five areas of spiritual truth.
1. GOD CONSCIOUSNESS:
This is an awareness of God's creator status through objectively looking at the physical creation and seeing it as the work of a supernatural being.
Psalm 19:1-4, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world."
Romans 1:19-20, "because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
Once such an observation is made, the choice is to either "search" for more information about this "being" or to reject the reality of his existence and seek peace and happiness on your own terms. We can designate this as going either "positive" or "negative" at the point of God-consciousness. When a person goes "positive" at this point, he is expressing - -
2. CREATURE HUMILITY:
This is the attitude that recognizes God as the creator and self as a creature who is under the jurisdiction of that creator's viewpoint, authority and policy.
Now it is important to realize that coming to such an observation does not "save" a person. It is simply a necessary attitude adjustment before a person will even consider his need for God. Once such an observation is made the next step is to actually here the specifics of the gospel; the need for salvation and what Jesus did to provide salvation.
3. GOSPEL HEARING then, is the receipt of salvation information so that a person may make a conscious, informed and committed entrustment of his soul into the hands of God.
There are two things that must be faced upon hearing the gospel. The first thing is to recognize and accept your "need" for salvation. This is called -
SIN HUMILITY because it is the attitude that accepts God's indictment of the human race and "you" personally because of the presence of sin in two categories. (Everyone HAS a sin nature and everyone DOES personal sin).
Before anyone will trust in Christ as savior, he MUST be convicted of his "need." If he does not think that he is a sinner and has a need to be saved, he will certainly not be interesting in "getting" saved.
Recognizing the depravity of man as is outlined at Romans 5:6-10, helpless, ungodly, sinners and enemies of God. For details of this, see Why Become A Christian.
Once this conviction has taken place, the person must then face the issues of what God has DONE in order to solve the sin problem. In other words, he must accept the fact that God provided the solution to the sin problem through Christ and only through Christ and then ONLY through faith in Christ, apart from works, human merit or human heredity.
He does not need to "know" the details of what Jesus did as pictured in the all the different things centered around the CROSS, but he does NEED to know the basic issue that Christ died for his sins, "so that whoever trusts in Him shall have everlasting life."
The Bible makes it perfectly clear that each individual is personally responsible for choosing whether he will accept God's solution or not. Every salvation invitation expresses God's desire for all men to be saved, but God will not "make" anyone trust in Christ. This is a decision that must be made from within the individual self-consciousness of every person. That decision is based on - -
4. SALVATION HUMILITY and is called "faith" in Christ.
Salvation humility is the attitude that recognizes and accepts GOD'S terms for getting saved. Thus, it is FAITH and only faith.
1. For by Grace: God's provision through the work of Christ on the cross, freely available for ALL.
2. you have been saved: This is viewing those who are already saved and describing the FACT of their salvation and how it was accomplished.
3. Through faith: this is man's part. Man must "accept" the gift of salvation which God offers. The acceptance of that gift is called, faith. However, let us recognize that this is not simply an academic acceptance of some historical person or occurrence, but an actual trust-dependence on that person and what He did in order to save us from our sins.
4. And that = this: neuter demonstrative pronoun that refers back to the "neuter" idea of "saved." It does NOT refer to faith as a gift. (See topic Faith: not a gift from God)
5. Not of yourselves: This means that you cannot provide the salvation out from yourself. It is amplified when it says, not of works.
6. It is the gift of God: Salvation is the gift of God. Rom. 6:23.
This is amplified by John 1:12-13
1. But as many as received Him: This receiving of Him is described in the verse by the phrase, "to those who believe in His name." When someone believes in Christ - it is receiving Him.
2. To them he gave the authority: divine authority based on conformity to divine policy - which policy is "faith."
3. To become children of God: This is being born again as a child of God into His family and receiving spiritual life as a result. This happens at the very moment of time that you trust in Christ as savior.
4. Which were born: this indicates that it is indeed the "new birth" that is in view.
5. Not of blood: refers to heredity. You gain no spiritual merit through "physical" birth.
6. Nor of the will of the flesh: This refers to the personal "self determination" that someone may make in order to get saved. Self determination does not produce the new birth. It does NOT refer to the function of faith. Faith is NOT a self determination, but simply a volitional decision to accept what God freely offers.
7. Nor of the will of man: This refers to two or more people gathering together in some kind of "organized" religious endeavor in order to accomplish salvation for themselves and others.
8. But salvation is not from any of these sources. Salvation is from God and God only. God's provision on God's terms.
Acts 16:31, The jailer asked, "what must I do to be saved."
And the answer given by Paul silences all those who would add to God's terms. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved! And that goes for your whole household as well."
Once a person trusts in Christ as Savior, he is born again into the family of God, given eternal life and promised an inheritance which is reserved in heaven for that believer who is now protected by the power of God (1 Peter 1:3-5).
The issue in "living" Christianity is not whether one needs to "keep" saved or not (for indeed, God keeps the believer saved by His own faithfulness and power) but whether the believer will utilize all the spiritual resources God has made available so that His children can live a life of perfect peace and joy here on earth, and so they can effectively serve Him as ambassadors for Christ in this world of darkness. Paul writes at Colossians 2:6,
İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com.
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