Once We Are Saved

Christian doctrine states that we must believe in Jesus and his death for our sins to be saved.  This is the only requirement we must meet to spend eternity with God. The problem with this doctrine is, as some theologians admit, it is possible for “a person to receive Jesus as Savior without in any way embracing him as Lord.  Neither repentance or submission to Christ’s Lordship is a necessary element of saving faith” [1]  Is it true that “For a one-time admission of weakness and failure [we get] eternal peace with God.” [2]

So what else is there for us to do once we believe?  Can we just go on living our lives as we did before we were saved?  Or maybe we will latch onto what is called the prosperity gospel.  God does want to give us good things (Matthew 7:11) but is that God’s primary goal for our lives once we are saved?

As this blog has adequately demonstrated, the Bible teaches, and our doctrine of salvation should teach, that what God wants from us the most is to become like him.  Believing in Christ and his death for our sins is a great first step but God wants more than that first step.  Maybe we should heed the words of Jesus when he says “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  (Matthew 7:21-22 ESV)  And doing God’s will is more than a one-time profession of faith.

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[1]   R. C. Sproul, Faith Alone, Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Books, 1995, pp. 168-169.

[2]   Chris Stamper, “Authors by the Dozen”, World, Vol. 17, No. 23, p. 53.

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2 Responses to Once We Are Saved

  1. Mark Bloom says:

    Me and Christianity

    I was born into a family of the Jewish faith. As a child, I attended Sabbath services, Sunday School learning Jewish doctrine and traditions and took 6 years of learning the Hebrew language. Though I was BarMitzvah’d at 13 and attended Hebrew school until I was no longer living under my parents roof, when I turned 18, I started my personal journey in life and joined the U.S. Navy and gave my religion hardly a thought.

    While in boot camp, we were required to attend regular religious services of any denomination of our choosing. It took me several weeks, but I finally found a Jewish chaplin and service. Until then, I felt free to visit services of different faiths and expose myself to different ideas.
    After boot camp and into the regular Navy, I left all religious involvement behind. I was not troubled by that decision and continued to lead a mostly-moral life, within the limits of my humanity.

    Today, at 75, though I have attended Jewish services throughout my life, on and off for special occasions of family, friends and acquaintences – Bar/Bas Mitzvahs, weddings and funerals, having lost most of my Jewish teachings, I still consider myself to be Jewish, albeit just outside looking in, when amongst others of the faith. I do that to remind me that I am ‘less than’ a practicing Jew; and I am mostly comfortable with that.

    But, in a group of all other religions, I consider myself jewish. Mind you, I do not profess my jewishness, but maintain it quietly. And I get a tremendous feeling of pride when hearing/seeing great exploits of others of the Jewish faith…and great shame from those who have chosen anti-social behavior in the world.
    I believe in G-d; always have. I don’t ascribe any obligation of Him to me. (How does one obligate the Creator of the Universe to oneself?) I believe I should at least try to lead a moral life, stumbling now and then. But I attribute to Him the role of loving, understanding and forgiving parent rather than stern overseer whom others of faith seem to do.

    Which brings me to right now! In the matter of Jesus and exactly where He fits in. I acknowledge that – to the extent that the tenets of Christianity comfort its practitioners – I accept their existence as beneficial. I am adamantly opposed to the idea that this life on Earth is a test which one can fail at!

    And, I am and always will be, resistant to the idea that ‘only belief in Jesus will allow eternal peace’. My understanding on this matter is that the church holds that – every single person not believing in Jesus is damned – is ludicrous, given all of the people who have EVER lived before (and since) Jesus came to hold the position ascribed to Him; not to mention all of G-d’s children populating all of the worlds throughout His entire universe! You know, those beings we refer to as ALIENS! I guess, to some people, Heaven is a very small place indeed.

    As for me, non-scholar as I am, I am very comfortable communing with G-d, directly (throughout my adult life), while keeping in mind that He knows ALL of my faults and failures and still loves me as much as any other and wants the very best for me. I have always thought that of Him that way, ever since I started thinking of Him in my life. This is not to say that He and I agree on everything, but I argue my case, daily.

    I think I read somewhere, that He prefers to be argued with rather than ignored and thereby, I do my duty.

    • admin says:

      A very well written post, Mark. I agree with your resistance to the idea that only through belief in Jesus does one obtain eternal peace (admittance into heaven). I cannot in this short space detail all my reasons for agreeing with you. In my book, the first eight chapters explore this question in detail. Additionally, I maintain the Bible teaches that what determines if we go to heaven or not is whether we become more like G-d, not whether we believe in Jesus or not. I doubt if we will want to spend time in heaven with G-d if our views of life are directly opposed to what G-d is.

      You also mention that G-d is not obligated to us in any manner. While that is true, the beauty of the Gospel is that G-d took it upon himself to obligate himself to us. The creator of the universe sent his only son to this insignificant corner of the universe to communicate with us, to show us what G-d is like, to die for our sins, and then to be raised to a new life. That is humbling.

      Keep on asking those questions. The Bible is filled with examples of people who questioned G-d. Being the finite creatures that we are, that is one way that we can use to learn what is true and what is error.

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