It is important before starting this series to let all of my readers of the series know what my personal beliefs are regarding Christianity. Within this post, I will discuss the Word of God, the Elect, and salvation.
The Word of God
I believe that the Christian Bible is the inspired Word of God. I believe the Bible is relevant in all circumstances and all moments in time.
Some have told me privately that the Bible is no longer applicable to our daily lives — that everything happened two thousand years ago and nobody could have foreseen what modern life would be like. Some of the arguments regard the Internet, advanced communication, marriage, and more. Once again, I state the the Bible is relevant for all moments in time, including the future as well.
I also believe in all of the Bible, not just bits and pieces. The Bible is the foundation for truth. If one decides to believe in bits and pieces of the Bible, the parts of the Bible that person believes in would be the foundation.
The white area is the clear, perfect foundation for which one might base beliefs on Christianity. However, if one chooses to not believe in certain parts of the Bible, the foundation — when looked at holistically — is far from perfect. The black areas of the foundation are the parts of the Bible that are left out of one’s personal beliefs.
Would you want to base the foundation for Biblical truth on an imperfect foundation? Probably not. I believe the Bible is either all true, or it’s false. If one part of the Bible is flawed, then all of it is flawed. A foundation is only as strong as its weakest link. One wouldn’t put his home on a cracked foundation, so why would that same person base his beliefs on a cracked foundation?
I believe that Jesus died for all sin. In John 1:29, John saw Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” The ultimate question is whether Jesus died for all sin, or just those who are going to be saved? Another question is, are the “elect” the only people that can be saved?
I believe Jesus died for all sin. When Adam sinned, all humans were fallen at that point, not just a select few. See Romans 5:15 below:
Romans 5:15 (NIV) – 15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Just because Jesus died for all sin doesn’t mean that all sinners will choose salvation. This is where the question regarding the elect comes into play. I believe certain people are predestined for salvation. Does that also mean that people are predestined to hell? How are we all given free-will, but some have no choice regarding the ultimate eternal destination?
In short, there is no answer. We do not know who has been predestined and we will never know while on this Earth. We have to treat everybody as if they can be saved.
However, if I had to theorize, I would say that the “elect” are not the only people who can be saved. I picture the elect as a bunch of seeds that God has chosen to plant among the world’s populace. Those seeds are designed to do one thing: to produce fruit. In other words, the elect have been planted by God to lead others to salvation. This is just a theory, so feel free to rip it apart. 🙂
As my good friend Cetroyer always tells me, since I have done nothing to earn salvation, what could I possibly do to lose it? Salvation is indeed a gift from God.
I believe that salvation comes from education, not just a particular point in time when a prayer was prayed. I don’t particularly remember a point in time when I was saved. I am rather intimidated by people that can recall the time (to the minute), and place where they were saved. I don’t remember such a point. Does that mean I am not saved?
In Romans 10:9-10, it shows the way one can be saved:
9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
One simple outward act is needed, but that is merely accepting this gift that God has so graciously bestowed upon us. However, I believe some education regarding Christianity is needed in order to prepare a heart for salvation. I don’t agree with churches that condemn non-believers, or even churches that coerce or give guilt-trips in order to persuade people to be saved. Salvation is a personal choice, and the process leading to that choice is typically gradual. Salvation is the most important choice a person can make, so it would be my hope that people choose salvation because they wanted to, not because somebody forced a person into the decision.
Thank you for reading my beliefs on certain subjects regarding Christianity. Now that you know my beliefs, you’ll know where I’m coming from as I publish the first article in the series of “Christianity and Fitness.”
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- Ephesians 1:3-6 (NIV)
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
- Ephesians 1:8-9 (NIV)
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithâ€”and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godâ€” 9not by works, so that no one can boast.