The Doctrine of Salvation

In previous blogs, we have described several problems with the Christian doctrine of salvation. [1]  It is always easy to criticize another point of view but our aim is to do more than criticize.  So in this blog we will formulate a doctrine that that adheres to Biblical teachings and answers all the questions we have raised.  Nothing I will say in this blog is new; it has been stated in previous blogs and footnotes will direct you to those blogs.

I agree with a large part of the Christian doctrine of salvation.  I believe that we have rebelled against God and that we have a sinful nature.  I believe there is no way we can make ourselves right with God.  God, in his mercy, sent Christ as a substitute to die for our sins and to restore us to a right relationship with him. [2]

Where I differ from Christian doctrine is that I believe the Bible teaches we must change our entire soul, renovate our soul, so it becomes like God if we want to be saved. [3]  I based this belief on the  at least 70 verses which teach salvation is through:

¨      Repentance of our sins or humility – Luke 18:11-14, 2 Corinthians 7:10

¨      Belief in God – John 5:24, Acts 10:34-35

¨      Our conduct or actions – Matthew 16:27, Romans 2:6-10

¨      Our pattern of behavior or persistence – Matthew 10:22, Hebrews 10:26-27

¨      Our talents or the use of what is given us – Luke 16:9-11

I also believe that Jesus died for the sins of the entire human race, not just those who believe in him.  There are at least 12 verses in the New Testament that leave no doubt about this issue. [4]  That means the sins of every person has been forgiven.  Does that means everyone will go to heaven?  No.  It is also obvious the Bible teaches not everyone will be in heaven. [5]  The way we get to heaven is as mentioned above:  Become more like God.  Just a belief system will not change our soul or enable us to become like God; as James 2:14-26 says our salvation requires belief and action. [6]

In summary, a truly Biblical doctrine of salvation is:

1.         There is a supreme being (God) who has a standard for humans.

2.         We humans have a sinful nature.  We do not live up to God’s standard.  In fact we have rebelled against that standard and against God.  This rebellion (sin) results in human death and the punishment of eternal separation from God (hell).

3.         Through the work of Jesus (his death and resurrection for our sins), God views humans as if they have met his standard.  This is called justification.  This is also God’s grace:  Granting humans something they do not deserve.

4.         The work of Jesus applies to the entire human race.  Everyone’s sins have been forgiven.

5.         We now have a choice of becoming more like God or continuing our rebellion against God.  It is this choice that will determine if we spend eternity with God or without God.


[1]   See my blog dated March 2, 2011 and March 7, 2011.

[2]   See my blog dated March 22, 2011.

[3]   See the article listed in the heading of my blog entitled “What the Bible Says about Salvation” for a complete description of all the Bible passages that support this idea.

[4]   See my blog dated March 25, 2011.

[5]   See my blog dated March 29, 2011.

[6]   See my blog dated April 1, 2011 and April 9, 2011.

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