Oct 5, 2006

This is me talking with love

It is not my intention to be harsh, or rude. Nor is it my intention to argue about meaningless doctrines. It is my intention to speak the truth with love...and when I write my posts I never desire to attack anyone. However, there are some things I do strongly stand against and sometimes I get hot-headed and start spewing out words that sound cruel.

For that, I want to apologize to anyone I've offended.

But I cannot apologize for my beliefs. If you disagree with me, that is completely fine and I have no problem discussing it! Iron sharpens iron, right? And I believe with my heart that God teaches us through His people. I try to read every thought with an open mind, but if I match it up to scripture and it is found to be a lie, then I have to bring it to light! I have to defend God's Word! My Pastor once said, "God is not a respecter of persons!" And he's right! It doesn't matter if you've studied the bible for 35 years, whether or not you've been an elder or if all your friends tell you that you are the nicest person in the world! That doesn't matter if you are not saved.

The doctrines I believe are essential for salvation are:
  • Total Depravity
  • Justification by faith alone
  • The Trinity
Why these, you ask? Well, if you don't understand how totally depraved your mind is, how your wicked works have made you an enemy of God, how your greatest deeds are like flilthy rags to God, then how can you understand God's mercy? If you don't understand that you've sinned against a perfect, holy and just God, then how will you ever have remorse for breaking His laws?

Secondly, if you do not understand that faith is a gift from God...
Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
well, then how can you understand His grace?

And lastly (these aren't an any particular order) if you do not believe that God sent His Son into the world to die for your sins...then how can you believe anything the bible teaches? The Trinity is so plain in scripture, it just makes me want to pull my hair out when people do not recognize it!

This is God's Truth we are speaking of. It cannot be taken lightly.

Any opinions would be lovely!! And if you think there are other essentials, then comment.

(ps) I'm 5'1 and very quiet. When I speak, people normally do not listen. My voice is pretty quiet. So try and imagine that when I blog. :D

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obviously I agree with those three positions, but I'm not entirely sure if I would classify them as "essential for salvation". I know that I didn't understand any of them when I was first saved. Would that disqualify someone from being saved? Do you see my dilemma?

I agree that we need to stand for what we believe. I even agree with most of what you believe. And I truly appreciate your "I'm pretty quiet and don't mean to offend" approach. I'm just not entirely sure I can classify these three points as "essential for salvation". Now, I might ask, "Is it possible to deny these and be a Christian?". =)

Samantha said...

Isn't asking, "Is it possible to deny these and be a Christian" the same question as, "Can you be saved if you do not believe in these doctrines?"

I realize that we are "being saved" so there is a huge amount of growth. But if we still deny these doctrines after years of studying, how can we call ourselves biblical Christians?

I don't know. I'm not claiming I know anyone's heart nor am I intending to sound like a "Hyper-Calvinist" or even a judgemental jerk. However, salvation means everlasting life. Salvation means being right with God. It means salvation from God's wrath! Shouldn't we be ready to warn our brothers and sisters if they are following false doctrines? I'm positive we might all disagree on some things, but certain essentials should eventually be....believed, right?

Julianne said...

I won't say I believe in total depravity, because I am not sure that I can take it the extent I have heard some teach it. But as for your explanation I agree with. And I say this as somebody who once thought they were saved when they were younger, but deep down I felt I was a pretty good person and in a subconscious way I thought I deserved salvation. No, that was never an outright conscious thought, but as Christ has revealed it to me, I understood it was there.

In time Christ showed me how filthy my life truly was. He showed me all my sins, things I had never considered to be sin. He showed me the root of of all my "good works" was for the praise of men. He made it clear to me that I did not DESERVE salvation, that I was every bit as ugly as any other out there. You want to talk about feeling destroyed to see the real me. For the first time in my life I knew I was NOTHING good in and of myself. And I fell at His feet in a much deeper awe.

However, my entire life I knew there was a God who was completely Holy and I desired Him (I would have to go into great detail about things that happened even at age 3 and that is not for public consumption). I knew the truth about God in my head, I just was not walking in it so that there was His fruit coming forth from my heart. I was trying to be a Christian in my own strength and in my own ways somewhat. I just did not realize how UGLY I was and how much I did not deserve Him. I could not see my motives for what they truly were.

So before I understood my ugliness, I knew the truth about who God was and I desired Him. Mind you I do believe He revealed Himself to me throughout my life, LONG before I was ever genuinely saved. Long before I made Him Lord, I had tried to only make Him Savior. However, I am now an advocate of Lordship salvation. I don't believe you can choose Christ as Savior if you don't make Him Lord. I know sanctification as some call it takes time, but the heart should be showing that you are seeking to make Him Lord and not just trying to use Him as Savior.

I do believe grace is a gift from God. We certainly did not deserve for Christ to die for us. There are no wages owed us. That was entirely a beautiful, merciful gift to us. And even all that we do for Him once we are saved, is only because He pours His love into our hearts and it overflows to others. So the crown we receive for our "works" after being saved, we still have no right to...and as we come into His presence we cast our crown at His feet, because He alone is worthy. Honestly, I have met no Christian on either side of the Arminian/Calvinsit debate that does not believe that grace if fully a gift we don't deserve from a merciful God. We believe that faith is a gift and that even repentance is a gift. I know some cults that don't agree with us, but all Christians I know believe this.

And I do believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Some choose not to label it the Trinity for reasons Wayne has explained before, but the belief is still there.

So on the essentials as you explained them, we agree for the most part. I would not use the same titles as you, but I can find no issue with your explanations. The reason I would not use the same titles is that different people teach those things in different ways. Some I agree with, some I don't.

No matter the differnce the titles...I do love you Samantha and you do not offend me. I am so blessed to watch you grow up into Him. You have given many of us great joy as we have watched you strive to walk with Him.

I just don't want to argue with people because I never see anything good come of it, except division of the body which is a sin against the Head.

Sending you a hug, Julianne

Samantha said...

I love you Julianne :D

Anonymous said...

The difference between "essential for salvation" and "deny them" is that one is required (the "essence of") and the other is subsequent. A person could come to Christ with a minimal amount of information. Paul told the Philippian jailer "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." Nothing at all about "Understand that you're totally depraved, that justification is by faith apart from works, and that God is a triune being." You asked, "Can you be saved if you do not believe in these doctrines?" What if a person doesn't know these doctrines? By "essential for salvation", we would mean "without which one cannot be saved".

That's why I differentiate between "essential for salvation" and "deny them". One requires a pre-understanding prior to salvation, and the other allows these things to be learned after a person comes to Christ.

Let me ask it this way. Do you believe that for a person to come to Christ, to enter into a relationship with God, they must first have an understanding and belief in the doctrine of the total depravity of man, a comprehension of the doctrine of justification by faith apart from works, and a decent understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity?

Gina Burgess said...

Samantha, I truly admire your new digs! You've done great things with the place :)

I love each of you!

I believe there is just one essential to being saved. That is Jesus. Anything before that is like a ticket that gets you only halfway across the ocean... no where.

I am like Stan in that when I was saved I only knew Jesus was the One I wanted to be with for ever. I knew that sin was bad, but didn't understand all the implications of it. As I matured in Christ, then I began to understand a great many things and that made my love grow so much deeper for Jesus.

Unlike Julianne, I believe that a person absolutely can believe in Jesus and get to Heaven smelling like smoke--never completely making Jesus Lord over their life. Those are baby Christians that never get past the teen years of maturity, in my estimation. One thing is for sure, we'll be surprised at who we find in Heaven and who doesn't make it there.

Julianne said...

Gina-

I do believe we would all be surprised, if we would think like that when we are in heaven.

The Bible does speak of carnal Christians, so I suppose there will be some who are young in their faith there, but I am not sure where the line will be drawn on Lordship. The thing I do know is that He is a merciful, graceful, and just Judge. So I trust that whoever is there is rightfully so in the eyes of God.

I know some people just cry out on the name of the Lord and they are saved, but I also believe you see a transformation in their lives that continues from the first until the last. My grandparents and parents are examples of this. None of them knew a thing about Jesus, but immediately upon being saved they sought out the fellowship of other believers and started growing and changing.

I also see where Jesus said to "count the cost" BEFORE you decide to follow Him. In this generation I have heard "Give Jesus a try!" as if He is your personal genie of happiness to grant you according to your will. That has come from the easy believism teachings of evangelism. The Jesus as Savior only teaching.

How many will be shocked to end up in hell because they were deceived about who Jesus is. They don't understand what Lord means, it is no differnt to them than calling Him Mr. Jesus Christ, Dr. Jesus Christ, Principal Jesus Christ, etc...it is just a title on His name. Back in the times of the Jesus, a man understood what a Master was and what the title implied in reference to Christ being God and thus the owner of their life.
"The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

"Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."

"who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord."

"God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."

"She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world."

I don't think the Gospel message is complicated, but I do think if there is a true change in your heart, it will start manifesting itself in your thoughts, words, and actions. You will seek God's face, because of the bond you have with Him. You will begin to understand Lordship and grow in it.

If we are not abiding in Christ and walking in the Light...I personally think we have reason to be concerned about our salvation.

I could be wrong, but this is where I am at on this subject...

I love you sis, Julianne

Samantha said...

Stan said, "Do you believe that for a person to come to Christ, to enter into a relationship with God, they must first have an understanding and belief in the doctrine of the total depravity of man, a comprehension of the doctrine of justification by faith apart from works, and a decent understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity?"

No. When I say, "salvation" I mean it as an on-going sanctification. If at some point in a person's walk, if they still deny those doctrines and call themselves "Christians" then I think they might not be in the truth.

Paul says we are "being saved" so one of the fruits of our salvation should be an acceptance of these doctrines, whether it be immediately or in time.

Samantha said...

Gina said, "I believe there is just one essential to being saved. That is Jesus."

Well, this is essential. However, I believed in Christ from the time I was 4 years old. However, I did not really like Him or desire Him until I understood, completely, what He did. I was always told that He died for our sins, but it wasn't until I realized that it was my sins that put Him on that cross, that I understood how much He loved us and more importantly, loved God.

It cannot be enough to "just believe" because even the demons believe, right (James)? If I "just believed" in Christ and as time went on produced no fruit, I'd have to ask myself, "Am I saved?" It might be the first step in our salvation, but these 3 doctrines I mentioned IMO will accompany our sanctification. :D