Contend Earnestly: What Must I Do To Be Saved?

Monday, February 12, 2007

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

I have been pondering this question a lot lately as I have discussed the issue of Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, Charismatics, Arminianism vs Calvinism, paedo vs credo baptism, eschatology, emergent, seeker sensitive and also I have been laying out the distinctives of my local church as I design and teach our newcomers class. So, the question is: What must one believe and NOT believe to be saved?

First, I want to say that I am NOT in the camp that believes that the Arminian will not be saved, but I do stand behind Spurgeon when he states:

"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach today, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again"

But really? What must one believe to be saved? Here is my stance on the subject.

First, I believe that one must believe that Jesus Christ is God, came to live amongst us (Phil 2:5-8; Hebrews 2:17,18), born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2),lived a perfect life (Heb 4:15,16; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:22), died and rose again (Romans 10:9). I believe that one must repent from their sins (Acts 2:38) and turn to Christ as their sole reason for righteousness. I believe that this faith will be a saving faith that is given by God (Phil 1:29;2 Thess 1:13) and will produce good works (Col 1:6; John 15; James 2:26) but salvation does not come because of good works. So who does this exclude? This definitely excludes the Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Buddhist, New Ager, Muslim and the Universalist, (or any other that does not believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven). It also excludes any who believe that anything besides faith alone saves us. If we add anything to the gospel they are to be accursed (Galatians 1:6-10) and those who seek to be justified by the Law has fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4) So this now excludes the Roman Catholic faith as well as well as the Seventh Day Adventist and the Church of Christ.

I am also a hardlined Lordship salvation believer as well based on the many references to what happens when someone is saved, which is they produce fruit. This is the scariest aspect of salvation if you ask me, as this will be the biggest group that think they are saved, but Christ will say, "Away from Me, for I never knew you." I am not saying if you believe in the longtime carnal Christian that you will go to hell, but those who say,"I said a prayer, now I can do what I want." Those are the ones who do not know our Lord.

Their are many people that I call brothers in Christ but I don't agree with their theology in full. These would include the Presbyterian (baptism,eschatology), Reformed (covenants, eschatology), Arminians (doctrines of grace) and also the Charismatic (gifts of the Spirit). The only time that I would not include these as my brothers is if they say that this or that must happen to be saved. Which mostly points to the Charismatic who believes you must speak in tongues to be saved. If you believe this I would also have a hard time calling you, "brother."

I do believe as Whitefield believed:

George Whitefield said, "We are all born Arminians." It is grace that turns
us into Calvinists.

I would also go with any of the above, Presbyterian, Reformed, Arminian and Charismatic to evangelize the lost and I would even worship with them every once and a while as I will be worshiping with them for eternity. I cannot wait til we see our Saviour face to face so that we do not have to worry about Theology and Doctrine as we will all be completely unified and praising our God.

May we all keep our eyes on the Justifier and our eyes away from the world.


Kymanika said...

Nice post. I would actually subtract a few things, and will probably get my head cut off.

but here goes

I am not convinced believing Christ is God, or born of a Virgin is a requirement for salvation. I think those truths are fruits of the Spirit.

When one claims they have been saved for X many of years, and refuse those doctrines, then I have to say the Spirit has not led them in truth.

The only thing I see anathamatized is a false gospel, a works gospel. I think we can be uncertain in other areas until we mature in grace.


Seth McBee said...

I believe that you must believe that Christ is God or we negate too many other parts of the aspects of His earthly and heavenly ministry to us. He couldn't have lived a perfect life and therefore couldn't have been the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He could not have demonstrated God's perfect love to us as stated in Romans 5:8.

As far as the virgin birth, I know that Christ must have been born of a virgin to be sinless and to fulfill Scripture. Also, if you don't believe in the virgin birth are you not discounting the gospel accounts and calling those men and the Lord a liar?

Thanks for the input Josh...and I am not quite ready to cut your head off...just maybe your index finger to

Kymanika said...

See, I can see if you absolutly deny those truths then I would say you cannot be/ are not.

I know very few people that fully understood the concepts when they were redeemed, but grew into understanding those through the bible and the Spirit.

So, an outright denial is a no go
but not having a clear understanding is not a hinderance.

Seth McBee said...

The way that you put it there is different than saying, "you don't have to believe these things to be saved."

I understand that conversion comes with milk and sanctification comes with meat.

But Josh, you put it this way in your first post:

When one claims they have been saved for X many of years, and refuse those doctrines, then I have to say the Spirit has not led them in truth

So, when saying that, I would disagree with, but your second ascertation I would agree with.

now I will instant message you to let you know that I

Kymanika said...

Ahh I see now, when I said

"When one claims they have been saved for X many of years, and refuse those doctrines, then I have to say the Spirit has not led them in truth"

I meant they are NOT saved.

Thrasher said...

Lots of good stuff here... as a former Charismatic turning Reformed-ish, I'm still working out the kinks in my theology, but I agree with much of what you say.

donsands said...

Good thoughts.
I serve in a Non-Reformed church. And they actually put up with my being, as they put it, a "flaming Calvinist".

We had good discussions, and not so good discussions.
My sharing that God's doesn't love everyone the same is quite hard to take at times, and yet some have actually thought about it. Like Whitefield said. Amen.

God bless.

Mike Ratliff said...

I am Reformed, but my wife isn't. We worship in a Traditional SBC church that is not Reformed. I don't believe we should sever fellowship with non-Reformed people, therefore, I liked you article very much and I agree with you about finally coming home to be with our Lord and not have to worry about doctrine, etc. anymore.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

Kymanika said...

In heaven we will all be Calvinists

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