Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation; the truth about how to get to heaven.
It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to make an offer to all men, not a clear presentation of the gospel (the good news that salvation is a free gift received by faith) but that the Lord is the Creator. Psalm 19:1-3
Then if that person responds to the first offer of grace (the ministry of the Holy Spirit) then He will offer more grace. It took me five month of regular attendance at a church where the gospel was clearly presented at every service to come to saving knowledge and receive Jesus by faith.
I prayed every week during the invitation. I was told to do so if I wanted to escape hell and receive eternal life. Finally the Holy Spirit revealed that I must pray believing because salvation is by faith.
Grace is always an offer. He is always trying to create a desire for us to accept the offer. The unforgivable sin is to die without receiving the free gift. You may argue with some Bible Thumper here but if you stand before God at the Great White Throne without Jesus as your saviour you will have angered Him for stepping on His sacrifice and His many appeals.
When grace is accepted by faith then you will receive the power of God to live the Christ life. The men who developed nuclear power during WWII believed in the Creator and studied Genesis 1. Albert Einstein learned E=MC2 from Genesis 1:17 Now that is a lot of power to run things for a long time.
There is even more power when one accepts Jesus as saviour. It will change their life for eternity. And as long as he continues to receive God’s grace by faith He will continue to run his or her life.
Growing in grace takes place every time one receives His offer by faith. Please understand that God is a gentleman. This means that He will not dominate even if you ask. He will give His power as we confess known sin, claim our place on the cross, and ask for His control all with gratitude. How to be grateful for our cross will be covered later.
Some talk about “easy believeism” which is carried out by a “Bible Thumping” person without the work of the Holy Spirit. If you are presenting the gospel pray before going. Be sensitive to people’s response. We are not cutting notches on our gospel gun. We are a tool in the Master’s hand.
Some remind us that we must repent. Many who do so do not understand what the word means. Simply stated repentance is a change of mind. The religious have so defiled the meaning that the business world came up with a “paradigm shift” to explain the concept.
The business world wore out a phrase “thinking out side the box” which meant that some were confined because of their thinking. It is like telling a lost person he needs to get saved and he might think; I am not drowning. Life without repentance is confined to a small box.
Some would difine the word by saying that you must turn from your sin but any action other than receiving Jesus by faith is works for salvation which cheapens His gift. A bigger problem with this definition is the fact that God talks about repenting Himself. Consider the following.
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
The test of a definition is to replace it with the word. Are you able to replace the word “repentance” in the verse above with “turning from sin” knowing that He has never sinned? Telling someone that they must repent today is confusing because you have no idea what they believe the word means.
God repents every time a lost person comes to faith in Jesus. John 3:18 explains that we are already condemned and have the sentence of hell until we receive Jesus as saviour. Then God repents (changes His mind) and removes the sentence of hell and gives eternal life.
Earlier we saw a diagram of a lost person and a saved person. Here is one of a
- Babe in Christ
- A growing believer
- A mature Christian
In the Old Testament God tells His people to turn from their sin. The New Testament never uses the phrase “turn from sin” but “turn to God.” Because the believer now has the Holy Spirit living inside. After salvation a believer can turn to God.
There are evidences of salvation but there is no proof. Colossians 2:6 teaches that we come into the family by faith and we are to walk by faith. Any so called proof is easily counterfeited.
II Corinthians 6:2
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Now is when the Holy Spirit is offering. He may offer several times but not on our terms or in our time. The one who thinks he can wait or bring God to his terms will have a rude awakening after death.
Where is where you are when the truth is revealed and the Holy Spirit is working. I can’t find any place in the New Testament that people were saved in church. Today it happens often because too many believers depend on the pastor to do the soul winning in church instead of getting equipped to present the gospel themselves.
II Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Looks pretty conclusive to me
When Adam sinned he plunged the entire human race into a fallen state. Adam’s sin gave spiritual authority to Satan over mankind and the whole planet.
Don’t blame God for the bad circumstances you find yourself in from time to time. Don’t blame Adam because you and I have likewise fallen prey to Satan’s lies and sinned. God wants to show us a better way to live with His power.
Will you take the challenge on the foundation page to obtain an unshakeable faith?