Yeah, I’m tired of arguing, but not that tired! Here’s an example of speaking the truth when someone says something erroneous. What is Jeff’s response to this error I recently saw on a church’s website?
Simply stated, if you understand that Jesus was God’s son who died to pay the penalty for your sins, and have told Him so, then you are saved and are called a “Christian”.
This statement bothers me in many ways, not least of which is that the period should be inside the quotation mark. Here are my more theological problems with it, spoken with truth and love, I hope:
1) This definition makes no mention of faith!
2) It makes no mention of sin, repentance, dying to self, living a new life in Christ, the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification or anything else remotely touching on sin and its deleterious effects nor the life-altering effects of salvation.
3) It bases salvation on a one-time statement your mouth said when the Bible makes it very clear that what we say matters little and what we do is what judgment is based on.
4) Their basis for salvation does not even remotely come close to touching on any Bible verse. Show me one verse that says we’re saved by nothing but telling God something.
5) There is no mention of Christ’s resurrection, victory over death and sin.
It could be that they are giving a simple definition of what people call a Christian, it could be, if I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but even so, this definition is very misleading.
Is this worth pointing out? I think it is, because I know this church is not alone in this view of salvation and I have seen this view destroy people and blaspheme God and His Word.
It’s a subject that immediately gets me riled up. Blood rushes to my face when I read such things. I have discussed this sort of thing many times with people who actually believe it.
I have never been edified from such conversation, nor, as far as I know, has the other. Should I still point it out? I think so, but I also know enough when to stop. Usually.
One of the hardest verses to deal with on speaking truth is the annoying verse of Paul in 1 Corinthians 14, a verse that does not rear its head as oft as it should in our debates. Acting on this verse takes faith. Try it sometime.
“But if any man be ignorant,
let him be ignorant.”
Then apply this one:
“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
Ignorance is silenced by deeds not words. Let’s remember this one!