Friday, October 11, 2013

Salvation is much simpler than Evangelicals make it out to be

Salvation is actually a much simpler event that what many evangelicals make it out to be.  Lutherans believe that salvation occurs solely due to the will and work of God.  The sinner is a passive participant in his salvation.  The sinner DOES nothing.

The Lutheran interpretation of Scripture on the Doctrine of Justification/Salvation is often confusing to evangelicals.  Why?  Because understanding or not understanding the Lutheran position depends upon your world view.

Most Christian evangelicals, and all other world religions, come from the viewpoint that: "I must do SOMETHING for God to love me and want to save me!   I can't believe that God would just give me his love, his grace, his mercy, his peace, his forgiveness AND eternal life...based on absolutely nothing that I do.   Can it really be true that God gives me all that, in addition to the fact that he gave his only Son to die for me...not based on any good quality, trait, or deed that I can provide to earn his good favor, and not even based on me making a decision that I want his gift??

That is INCOMPREHENSIBLE, illogical, unreasonable, and makes no sense!

But that is what the Bible says that God does: He gives us the free gift of salvation based on his love for us ...alone. 

"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
So if you are able to remove YOU from the act of salvation, here is how the Bible says that GOD does it:

Salvation occurs by only one means: the power of God's declaration of righteousness/the power of his Word.  "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."

In the New Testament, God says that he uses his Word to save and forgive sins in two situations: when the Word is preached, and when the Word is spoken with the application of water…Baptism.

It's that simple.

Who do Lutherans baptize?  Answer:   We baptize anyone who comes to us, or is brought to us, seeking God's free gift of salvation and the forgiveness of sins.  Do you have to be baptized to be saved?  No.  But why would you refuse this beautiful act of God?  Why would you refuse God's gift of the forgiveness of your sins?


If you neglect, reject or despise this command of Christ, do you really have true faith?

As Christ says in Mark 16:16, it is not the lack of baptism that damns, it is the lack of belief/the lack of true faith that damns.

 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you. I was an LCMS Army Chaplain who saw many evangelicals clamor for assurance in the wake of bullets and mortar rounds and I almost despaired at times when I thought of how often they only heard the law! I only wish more of our Pastors would take our desire for purity of doctrine more seriously. Our Lutheran doctrine always points us to the work of Christ whereas the theology of almost all others tends to point them to their own works. When the law shows you your sin via the blood horrors of war, one is grateful for Christocentric theology and Gal 2:20: "...in the Son of God who GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR ME!"

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