Monday, July 1, 2013

Who Are We to Say Who is Saved?

Isaiah 40:13 - 13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord or instruct the Lord as his counselor?

 Lately I've heard many discussions on what is required to be saved. Every denomination has a different theory. Some say you must believe in Christ. Some say you must confess out loud your salvation through Christ. Some insist we're all saved. Some say it is by grace alone... some say it's by works as well. 

I say - who are we to say? Every different theory has Bible verses to support it. No one theory is necessarily wrong. No one theory is necessarily correct. Only God knows. For us to presume we know who will be saved and who will not? This would be us thinking we can make these decisions for God. And we can't. This would be us thinking we know as much as God, and know His will. And we don't. 

Personally, I do believe I am saved. For which of these theories, I cannot say. I do believe in Christ and that He died for me (us). I do believe in God's grace and that He gave us this great gift. I also try to do good works, not to get into Heaven, but because it's just the right thing to do. I have entertained each of these theories at one point or another... until I realized that I do not know God. I do not know who He will save.  Yes, I know I think I will be saved. But only God knows what God is going to do, and to presume I know as much as He? That just would not be right.

This said, allow me to post just some of the different theories on salvation, and some verses in support of such theories....

Saved by Grace:
Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
Acts 15:11
No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

Saved by Works:
James 2:17-20
17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
Titus 3:8
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
1 Peter 2:12
12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Saved by Belief in Christ:
John 3:17-18
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 20:30-31
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Acts 16:31
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
John 1:12
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

Saved by Belief in Salvation through Christ:
John 8:24
24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
Galatians 2:20
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

Saved by Belief and Confession of that Belief and Salvation:
Romans 10:9-10
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Saved by Baptism:
Mark 16:16
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Romans 6:3
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
Acts 2:38
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Saved by Repentance:
Isaiah 30:15
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
Ezekiel 18: 32
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
Luke 13:3
I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

Saved Already:
1 Timothy 4:10
10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
1 John 2:2
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Deuteronomy 1:39
39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.

Saved Already, unless Denying Christ:
Matthew 2:33
33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
2 Peter 2:21
21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

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