Lesson 6 - The Process and Means of Salvation





Despite everything discussed in the previous lesson, the world around us will still ask some very important questions about our hope in Jesus that we need to be able to answer.   We believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  The world will not only want to know why, but they will also want to know what you really mean when you say that they can be “saved.”  Saved how?  Saved from what?  Why Christianity and not other religions?

The study of how we are saved is called Soteriology.  There many different views and perspectives about how we are saved.  Some of the views are heretical. Satan knows that if he confuses the masses not only about what it means to be saved, but how to be saved, he can keep those masses from seeing the truth of God’s word.  But even among the non-heretical views, there are differences of opinion, because Satan also knows that nothing defeats the church more than internal division. 

Truthfully, there may be aspects of this lesson for which you may not agree.  We will be very careful to point out which views we believe to be heretical.  Beyond that, we are confident that differences in opinion on these matters are not a cause for concern.  If it does not affect the basic gospel message that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, then we can disagree on less significant or less essential points of doctrine without jeopardizing our Christian fellowship.


 Most of the views on salvation can fall into one of four categories.


Four Primary Views of Soteriology


Universalism.  Those who hold to Universalist beliefs say that Hell is contrary to God’s love and that eventually everyone will go to heaven.  There are even varying degrees of Universalism.  There are some who simply do not believe in Hell at all and so believe that everyone ultimately will be saved.  They believe that either God’s love has more weight than God’s justice so that he will not send them to Hell… or… some even think that once people actually see God, they will ultimately believe and thus not need punishment.  Others will say that there is a Hell, but that our punishment in Hell is limited to the degree we have sinned. Once we have been sufficiently punished for our sins, they believe we will ultimately make it into heaven.  “Christian” Universalists will point to scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 15:22, Romans 11:32, and others to support their view.  However, the Universalist interpretation of these scriptures demonstrates a lack of understanding of the true interpretation of such scripture in their proper context as well as a blind ignorance of other scriptures that speak clearly of Hell and eternal punishment for sins.  Scripture must always be interpreted not only in context, but also in light of and in harmony with other scriptures as well.


Orthodox Christian teaching would consider Universalism heresy that should be defended and confronted in the church.


Pluralism.  In a way, pluralism – in a sense – is a form of Universalism, but with some minor differences.  Those who hold this view believe that there are multiple ways to get to heaven.  Pluralists will believe that all religions are equally effective at saving us.  To a pluralist, it doesn’t really matter which religion you believe, so long as you believe and participate in something.  The only real way to not be saved is to not be a part of a religion.    This is a growing belief in pluralism, even among those who call themselves Christians.


Like Universalism, orthodox Christian teaching would consider pluralist views to be heresy.


Inclusivism. Those who claim to be inclusivists believe that Jesus is the source of salvation, but they also believe that Jesus will make a potential way of salvation for those who have either not had the opportunity to hear about Jesus or have believed in God and have tried to be as faithful as they could through whatever religious means available to them.  There are three primary ways in which they believe this can happen.  First, they believe the mentally handicapped and infants who are not capable of comprehending the gospel will be saved.  Second, all over the world, there are reports of people in countries that are closed to the gospel having visions and dreams about the gospel and placing their faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul, in fact, received such a vision.  Inclusivists see this as Jesus Christ making a way for those who are faithful to hear the gospel.  Third, they believe in an after-death opportunity for salvation.  Unlike Universalists, though, they do not believe everyone receives this opportunity.  Rather, only those who never heard the gospel proclaimed to them in this life will have the opportunity in the after life.  Inclusivists use scriptures like 1 Peter 3:19-20 and 4:6 as their supporting texts.  These scriptures are very difficult to interpret and understand.  Many scholars believe that between Jesus’ death and resurrection, he went into Abraham’s bosom and preached the gospel to the saints of the Old Testament.  Inclusivists, however, take the interpretation further and believe these scriptures teach that those who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel will have that opportunity after they die. As is the case in this life, some will receive and some will reject.


It is difficult to say that inclusivist views are, or are not, heresy.  Many orthodox Christians hold some, if not all of these beliefs, but would still generally consider themselves exclusivists who believe in the one truth of the gospel.


Exclusivism.  Exclusivists believe that Jesus is the one and ONLY way to salvation. Only through direct revelation of the gospel and acceptance of that gospel in faith can one be saved.  For the exclusivist, Hell is real.  Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  In response to the Universalist, therefore, the exclusivist will reply there that not only is Hell real, but here will be many, many who find themselves in Hell. 

The exclusivist believes that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven.  In John 14:6 Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Likewise, Acts 4:12 says “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  So in answer to the pluralists, the exclusivist says that only Jesus can bring salvation. 

The exclusivist also believes that no human effort is sufficient for salvation. Romans 2:12-12 says, “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.”  In answer to the inclusivists, therefore, the exclusivist says that we are all lawbreakers and are subject to judgment.  If the Jews, who were as zealous as they could possibly be towards obeying God’s commands, could not be saved (see Romans 9:1-5), then no others – no matter how devout they might be – will achieve salvation without Christ.

Finally, the exclusivist believes that judgment, not opportunity, comes with death. Hebrews 9:27-28 says “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Therefore, with respect to post-mortem witness, the exclusivist says that this life is our only opportunity for salvation.  Prior to the resurrection of Christ, there was a place called Abraham’s bosom.  It was a temporary place that held the saints of old until the time of Christ.  Perhaps Christ did go there to rescue those saints. That opportunity, however, does not exist for those who die in their sins today.


As evangelicals and orthodox believers, we are, for the most part, exclusivists. The reason goes back to the prior two lessons on the condition of man and the person and work of Jesus.  We studied how man was dead and hopeless and without ability to save himself.  Then we studied about how Christ was both 100% God and 100% man and how important that was to our salvation.  We believe Jesus’ claims that he is the Son of God and that only through him can we see the Kingdom of God.


·      No other religion in the world claims that their leader was both fully divine and fully human. 

·      No other religion in the world claims their leader has risen from the grave and is still alive.


Christianity is completely unique in these two respects, which are the ones that are MOST important for salvation and eternal life.  There is simply no other way we can be saved except through Jesus.

On the other hand, given the testimony of those all around the world who have claimed that it has happened to them, we cannot as evangelical and orthodox Christians rule out the possibility that God may reveal the gospel through visions and dreams  - especially in cases of extreme hostility towards the gospel – such as in Muslim countries that are completely shut off to the gospel.  However, in almost every case where such events has been reported, the revelation has not specifically been a direct revelation of the gospel itself, but rather a dream or vision telling the person to seek out another person or a Christian to explain the gospel to them after the dream.  This, in fact, is how Paul received the gospel, being sent by Jesus to Ananias.

Similarly, when it comes to infants and the mentally handicapped, we must place our faith and trust in the God’s justice.  Some will say that it depends upon God’s election – others tend to be more in line with the inclusivists and say that they believe God will not hold them accountable for that which they have no capability to understand.


Two Evangelical Perspectives


Your ultimate belief on the matter may very well depend upon what you believe about the process for being saved.  Even evangelicals disagree on this point.  We all agree that we are saved “BY GRACE…THROUGH FAITH” (Eph 2:8-9).  However, what we cannot agree upon is how that happens.  Some believe are you made alive in Christ by a work of “efficacious grace” from God.  Through God’s election, he chooses to make you alive in Christ and then once alive as a result of this grace, you are enabled to have faith.  Others believe that even while you are still dead in sin, you have the ability to place your faith in God.  This is a result of “prevenient grace.”  It is not until after you place your faith in God, therefore, that you are made alive in Christ?  We should, therefore, make an effort to understand these two perspectives.


Calvinism and Efficacious Grace:  In John 6:44, Jesus says “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”  The doctrine of efficacious grace says that an effectual (that is, an effective) work of grace is given by God to only those he has predestined to be saved.  As a result, this grace cannot be refused or denied because it is “effectual” - man cannot resist it. Those who hold this view generally follow the teachings of John Calvin, who lived from 1509-1564.  The teachings of John Calvin (affectionately called Calvinism by those who agree with him) can be broken down into five major points as follows:

1.     Total Depravity – because of original sin, mankind is completely sinful – heart, emotions, mind, and body – therefore, no man can save himself; only God can save him.

2.     Unconditional Election (or Predestination) – only God chooses who will be saved; it is completely the decision and will of God; man has no say in the matter; he is predestined by God to be saved.

3.     Limited Atonement – Jesus did not die for the sins of the entire world or else everyone would be saved; Jesus only died for those who were elected/predestined by God to be saved.

4.     Irrestistible Grace – Because grace is “effectual” (that is, effective for the one God elects to be saved), it is also irresistible; therefore, someone who is predestined to be saved cannot reject God.

5.     Preservation of the Saints – because the saint has been predestined by God to be saved, he cannot lose his salvation.


Although John Calvin lived in the 16th century, the principles he taught have their origins all the way back to the second century with the teachings of St. Augustine.


Arminianism and Prevenient Grace:  Titus 2:11 says “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”  The doctrine of prevenient grace says that a work of common grace has been given to man such that every human is granted enough grace – and therefore is sufficiently “drawn” by God - to be able to accept or reject the gospel message.  In John 12:32, Jesus says that once he is lifted up (that is, lifted up on the cross) he will draw all men to himself.  Those who hold this view generally follow the views of Jacob Arminius, who lived from 1560 until 1609 and questioned many of the teachings of John Calvin.  His followers, who were called the Remonstrants, also developed five points in opposition to Calvinism, which is often referred to as Arminianism.  Those points are as follows:


1.     Free Will – Man is fallen, but that does not mean he is unable to freely choose God; while he may be subject to a sinful nature, his will to choose God is not enslaved by that nature.

2.     Conditional Election – The Bible does teach predestination, but that predestination is based on God’s foreknowledge of the future – seeing those who would respond to the gospel message.

3.     Universal Atonement - Jesus bore the sin of the whole world; it is sufficient for all, but only effective for those who believe.

4.     Resistible Grace – Man has the ability to choose or reject God; therefore, the grace of God can be rejected – as can salvation in Christ.

5.     Fall from Grace - A person has the ability to lose his salvation by falling from grace or choosing to reject God.


Christians have argued between these two points since the 2nd century AD.   Some denominations wholeheartedly adopt one or the other of these doctrines.  The Presbyterians, for example, are extremely Calvinist in doctrine while the Methodists are wholeheartedly Arminian.   The problem is that there is strong biblical support for aspects of both views.  To take either position requires one to admit that there are certain scriptures that don’t quite fit into your way of thinking. 

It is for this reason that some Christians tend to believe there is more mystery to the whole idea of how one is saved than either the Calvinists or the Arminians would like to admit.  Whenever you can take scripture and mold it into two such opposing positions, then perhaps you are looking at the whole thing incorrectly.   As such, these Christians claim neither Calvinism nor Arminianism as their doctrine.  The author of this lesson falls into this third category and has developed an alternative way of looking at Soteriology that he believes is more biblically correct – and adopts certain biblically sound aspects from both points of view.


An Alternative Perspective


The author of this lesson has no desire to tell the reader what to believe with regards to this issue.  If the reader is Calvinist, then that is fine.  Alternately, if the reader is Arminian, that also is fine.  Rather, the author wishes to simply show you what scripture says.  To do that, we must look at salvation from two different angles – God’s perspective and man’s responsibility.


God’s Perspective in Salvation


God’s perspective in salvation is found in Romans 8:29-30, which states the following:


For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


From this passage, we see God’s perspective involving foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, and glorification.  We will address each of these.


Foreknowledge. Calvinists will staunchly claim that predestination and election have nothing to do with the foreknowledge of God, while Arminians tend to say that predestination has everything to do with the foreknowledge of God.  It is hard to deny from Romans 8:29 that foreknowledge and predestination are not linked.  It is even harder to deny when you consider 1 Peter 1:1-2, which says:


PETER, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.


In a previous lesson, we saw that God is eternal.  As creator of time, that means he is above and outside of time, seeing all of history, the present, and the future as “now.”  As a result, God has perfect foreknowledge of everything that will ever happen – because to him, it is all happening at the same “time.”  God is not only right now present in your past, he is present in your future as well.  It is through this characteristic that he knew, before the creation of the universe, who would have faith in Christ and who would not have faith in Christ.  The question is, how does that play into the concept of predestination?

Predestination or Election.  It is very difficult for Arminians to deny the doctrine of predestination without completely watering it down. Not only is the concept clearly discussed in Romans 8:29 and 8:30, but also in such passages as Ephesians 1:11-13, which says:


11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:


12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.


13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,


The bible clearly teaches predestination and election.  To say otherwise would be to deny scripture itself.  What, however, does the bible mean when it teaches about predestination?  That is the root of the controversy.  Calvinists believe it means we were predestined before the creation of the universe to either believe or not believe, and we therefore do not have a choice in the matter.  Arminians believe it simply means that God has perfect foreknowledge of who will or will not believe of their own choice.  There are some, however, who believe that predestination applies to the “church,” and not to individuals.  Once you believe, you become predestined for those things the church is predestined for (adoption as sons, Christ-likeness, etc.). There are also some who believe that a select number of people are predestined to salvation because of a specific purpose God has for their life (e.g., the 12 apostles and Paul), while others are not.

Regardless of what it may or may not mean, what you believe about predestination will define who you are as a Christian.  You will likely fall in one of 3 camps:

1.     Those who simply ignore it and avoid the controversy altogether – these people will do whatever they can to avoid any discussion related to the matter;

2.     Those who chose one side or the other and argue so strongly for their position that they are willing to twist scriptures that do not appear to support their position – these people will also generally insist that you MUST believe one way or the other and may go so far as to say your salvation depends upon it; or

3.     Those who recognize the issue as a genuine mystery within scripture and understand that it is simply not that big of a deal doctrinally.


This author falls in the third category. Does it really matter whether (a) God chose you for salvation and therefore gave you the grace that caused you to believe versus (b) God gave you the grace of having the ability to believe and you did so, resulting in salvation? Some might think it does, but this author does not think it matters at all to your daily faith or walk.

Calling. Does God call us to salvation?  Absolutely. Consider these verses:


2 Peter 1:10 - Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.


Ephesians 2:1 - And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.


Ephesians 2:4-5 - But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;).


Colossians 2:13 - And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;


This much is clear.  No one comes to God until he is called.  This calling is the act by which those who are dead are made alive.  Nothing that is dead can make itself alive.  Only God can make it alive.  Think in terms of Lazarus (John 11) – Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave.  It is God who calls us into new life.   Whether we believe before he calls us to life or after he calls us to life may be a matter of theological debate between the Calvinists and Arminians, but at the root of both belief systems is the biblical fact that it is God – and not man – who calls us into new life in Christ.

Justification and Glorificaiton.  Although justification and glorification are both part of God’s perspective in salvation, let us hold off on discussing them for just a moment.  The author has a reason for delaying the discussion that will become clear in a few moments.  Instead, let us look now to man’s responsibility in salvation.


Man’s Responsibility in Salvation


Man’s responsibility in salvation is found in Romans 10:11-15, which says:


11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.


13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?


15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!


The same Paul that speaks of God’s perspective in salvation in Romans chapter 8 speaks of man’s responsibility in salvation in Romans chapter 10.   Specifically, these verses tell us that it is man’s responsibility to:


1.              Send people who can share the word

2.              Preach the word so that it can be heard

3.              Hear the word when it is preached

4.              Believe the word that is preached

5.              Call on God for Salvation

6.              Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord


Ironically, if you look closely at God’s perspective in Romans 8 and man’s responsibility in Romans 10, you find there is a commonality between them.   In Romans 8, God calls the elect to salvation.  In Romans 10, man calls on God for salvation. 



Where does God’s Perspective meet Man’s Responsibility?  They meet at the call.  God calls on us; we call on God.


The Process of Salvation


Everything we have discussed thus far, however, deals primarily with the means of salvation.  We have not yet really discussed the process of salvation.  Nobody speaks more about the process of salvation than the Apostle Paul, but even then, there is no single place in which he outlines the doctrine.  However, we know that whenever Paul speaks of salvation, he is not just speaking of the Christian’s conversion experience – that moment in time when they are “born again” because they have called on Jesus in faith.  When Paul speaks of salvation, he speaks of a process that begins at that moment – the moment of regeneration – and continues until that day when we receive our glorified bodies.  This process includes our regeneration, our justification, our sanctification, and our glorification. To Paul, salvation is ALL of these things, and because of that, we can see how our salvation does not just grant us eternal life, but also completely reverses the effects of the fall in the Garden of Eden. If you recall from Lesson 4, we saw three major consequences of Adam’s sin:


1.     Adam/Eve died immediately spiritually

2.     Adam/Eve began mankind’s process of losing their “God-image”

3.     Adam/Eve eventually died physically


The result of these three things would have eventually resulted in eternal condemnation.  The four stages of our salvation address these consequences such that eventually – when we receive our glorified bodies – we will be restored to the way God originally intended in the Garden of Eden.  Too often as Christians we focus solely on the moment of regeneration when we consider salvation.  We need to keep in mind that there is far more to our salvation than just our new birth.  We have a hope in an eternal salvation that is so much more than just our conversion experience.  Let us examine how beautiful the salvation process really is from start to finish.


Regeneration.  Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit in creating a new life in the sinful person who repents and comes to faith in Jesus Christ.  It is the new birth or the coming to life from death (see John 3:3-6 and 2 Corinthians 5:17).  This is the direct result of God’s calling. God calls us from death to life.  Regardless of what order you believe it to happen, there are two important human responses that ALWAYS accompany regeneration:


1.     Repentance – Godly sorrow for one’s sin and a resolve to turn away from it; and

2.     Faith – the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things not seen (more than belief – evidence and substance).


Being regenerated makes us alive again spiritually (born again) – reversing the fact that Adam died spiritually.  So we are saved from eternal death.  It does not, however, address our guilt or innocence before God.  We are still guilty and subject to punishment for our sins.  As such, we need to be saved from that punishment.


Justification.  Justification is the act of being declared not guilty before a holy God and restored to a state of righteousness (see Romans 5:1).  Paul speaks often of our justification by faith.  It is through faith that we are declared not guilty.  

Justification is essentially a legal term.  In a court, you are never really declared innocent, you are simply declared “guilty” or “not guilty.”  The guilty are subject to punishment but the not-guilty are spared from punishment.  How horrible it would be to be granted new birth, but still be considered guilty before God.  We could never have joy in our eternal life because we would always be under the heavy shadow and burden of our guilt.

Justification addresses our guilt before God. It doesn’t declare us innocent, because we are NOT innocent.  Rather, it declares us legally not guilty.  As such, we are spared (saved) from the punishment of our guilt because Jesus Christ already paid the penalty for us.  We can be declared not guilty because we have been given the righteousness of Christ.  As a result, we can joyously enter into the presence of God without concern over the guilt of our sins.

Justification happens immediately upon our receiving Christ and being born again.  At that moment, we become “not guilty.”  However, while we remain in this fleshly body, we ourselves are not righteous and justification does not actually make us holy before God.  We are still sinful and still have a tendency towards sin that is at work within us.  We need to be saved from our sinful desires that are at war within us.


Sanctification.  Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in making us truly holy by transforming us into the likeness of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Peter 1:15-16; and 1 Thessalonians 5:23).  Our goal as Christians is not to continue living the same, sinful life we have always lived.  Rather, our goal is to grow in our Christ-likeness each and every day.  Notice though what is says in 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Sanctification involves:


a.     The Spirit (2 Corinthians 7:1)

b.     The Soul or Mind (Romans 12:1-2)

c.      The Body (Romans 6:12-13)


This is not just God at work within us, but is a coordinated effort between man and God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sanctification is the process of undoing the fact that we have lost portions of our God-image.  Sanctification makes us more and more like God.  Therefore, sanctification is slowly returning our mind and will back to the condition originally created in the Garden of Eden. 

However, there is still yet one aspect of our salvation that must be addressed – that of our physical death.  Because of the sin in our bodies, we will physically die unless the Lord returns first.


Glorification.  Glorification is the final completion of our salvation that – unless the Lord returns first – happens after our physical death.  It occurs when we are ultimately resurrected from the grave.  It includes our full and complete sanctification, the removal of the sin nature, and a return of the physical body to its pre-fall state (see 1 John 3:2 and Philippians 3:21).  Glorification undoes our physical corruption and our physical death.  It is the final completion of our salvation.


Benefits and Responsibilities of Salvation


To close out this lesson, it is fitting to talk about our salvation from the perspective of the benefits received as a result of salvation and the responsibilities that result from our salvation.  We are not saved for the sake of ourselves.  We are saved for the sake of and the glory of God.  That means we live for him. There are certainly many benefits that result of our salvation in Christ, but along with each of these benefits comes a responsibility.


Freedom (see Romans 6:16). 

·      Benefit:  We have been set free from the slavery of sin and the burden of the law

·      Responsibility: Because we have made ourselves a slave to righteousness, we are obligated to be sanctified and live holy lives


Redemption (see 1 Corinthians 6:20)

·      Benefit: We have been redeemed from the curse and penalty of sin

·      Responsibility:  We are bought with a price, therefore we no longer have personal rights to assert except those granted to us as a result of salvation


Reconciliation (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

·      Benefit: God has reconciled us to himself

·      Responsibility: God has directed us to be reconciled with and to spread the message of reconciliation to others


Propitiation (see 1 John 4:10 and Colossians 3:13)

·      Benefit: God has forgiven our sins

·      Responsibility: We are to forgive others


Adoption (see Galatians 4:4-7 and Romans 8:15-17)

·      Benefit:  We have been adopted as God’s children and are his heirs

·      Responsibility: We will experience sufferings for Christ’s sake


Nearness to God (see Hebrews 4:16 and James 4:8)

·      Benefit:  We have access to God

·      Responsibility:  We must draw near and worship God ourselves


Heavenly citizenship (see Philippians 3:20 and Ephesians 2:10)

·      Benefit:  We will eventually go home to be with Christ

·      Responsibility:  In the meantime, we have work to do while here on this earth


In conclusion, at the end of the day, no matter what else we may believe about the nature of our salvation, we need – no we MUST – believe in the fact that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to salvation.  We must believe that by God’s grace through faith in his death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins we are saved.  The extent to which and how we may – or may not – have been predestines is not necessarily unimportant, but it should not consume our theological debates. We must believe that God has his role and perspective in salvation, but that we also have certain responsibilities as well. We have been given a task via the Great Commission to make disciples and to preach God’s word.  That is our responsibility.