Our friend Zac just NAILED a great question on the door of Semper Reformanda! He did so in the previous comment section. Let me present his comment/question…and then add my spin to further aggravate us…and then turn you all loose in the comment section! I know many pastors, deacons and teachers read this blog and only a few leave comments (to my great irritation lol
Here is Zac’s question/comment:
“…Here's a good question for another entry (of course, this is up to you). If faith in Jesus Christ is what saves us (and it is, of course), then does someone necessarily have to correctly believe in the mechanics of salvation to be saved?Here's what I mean. Let's say for example that some Roman Catholics believe that by their works they can somehow "merit" the Kingdom of God(this, btw, is heresy according to the Orthodox). Nevertheless, these people, striving to "earn" salvation, confess with their mouths the Lord Jesus and believe in their hearts that God has raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:10). Is this enough, or must they also believe in the correct mechanics of salvation itself?For instance, in the Protestant version of the judgment, will they go to Hell because they didn't believe in "faith alone"? Is faith in "faith alone" the Gospel? Or perhaps is this also some kind of "addition to" the Gospel? Must they understand the "how" of their salvation (grace through faith) if they understand the "what" (that the Lord Jesus died for their sins and rose again from the dead)?I think this might be answered in different ways by different people, so I wanted to pose it to you to get your thoughts…”
Again…wow! To my Reformed family:
We do believe that it is by grace ALONE through faith ALONE in Jesus Christ ALONE that we are saved. That being understood...is it possible for one to misunderstand this formula…completely and utterly…yet be saved by the grace of God still…through their faith ALONE in Jesus Christ ALONE? Can some misguided person awake in heaven and suddenly have the truth dawn on them, “I guess it was all about grace through faith after all…now I understand…I had nothing to do with my salvation! How foolish was I to think I had to assist in my personal salvation!!! Glory to God!”
Are we saved by God’s grace alone through personal and real faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone…or are we also saved by our understanding and confession of this formula? What if someone hears this formula, has it clearly explained to them, has the Scriptures that teach this doctrine shown to them...and after proper explaination...they continue to deny and reject this clearly Biblical doctrine?
Hmmm…great question…and not an easy one to answer…tread softly…this stretch of land is chock full of mines! Because if the answer is “no”, one does not need to confess the process to be saved…well…then we should embrace both Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox as brothers and sisters in Christ. They indeed have faith in the Most Holy Triune Godhead! Never say otherwise, because that would be a lie!!! If the answer is “yes”, one must confess the process of salvation…well…then neither of those two groups are brothers or sisters in the Lord and are both outside of His Church…in that case both groups are apostates and need evangelized despite their confession, adoration and faith in the Most Holy Triune Godhead…because they both teach simple faith in the Triune Godhead is not enough for personal salvation (they deny the simple Reformed formula in other words).
Wow…Zac…wow…way to put us on the spot my friend! This is not comfortable...
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7 niv
Monday, October 08, 2007