Say It Loud


2009-04-13 15:00:16

I hope this makes things clearer to you.

The first problem has to do with these teachers understanding of soteriology – the doctrine of salvation. If a pastor gets this doctrine wrong, then the congregation can expect anything to happen in the church. Wrong understanding of the doctrine of salvation can lead to many aberrations and dangerous practices: For error begets error. It is therefore important for every teacher of the gospel to get this fundamental doctrine right.

There are three aspects of salvation: As a PAST event- I am saved, as a PROCESS-I am being saved, and as a FUTURE event -I will be saved. We are saved from the penalty of sin – the penalty of sin is eternal separation from God. When we believe in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, his resurrection from death, his ascension to heaven, and his glorification at the right hand of the father, and put our absolute trust in Christ, salvation occurs. This aspect of salvation is what theologians call “justification.” This happens once in a life’s time. The second aspect is “sanctification”-salvation from the power of sins. We are sanctified daily by the instruments of grace such as the sacraments, prayers, Bible studies, fasting, worship, and fellowship with other Christians. The second aspect, unlike the first one happens every moment, every day, and every time until we die, or Christ comes. The last aspect is glorification- salvation from the present cursed world, sin, sickness, pains, sorrow, evil, death and Satan. This aspect of salvation also involves the transformation of our bodies, and the coming of the new world. The book of Revelation talks a great deal about this stage of our salvation.

The book of Revelation Chapter 21 verse 1 talks about a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth will pass away. Also, verse 4 of the same chapter says, “And God will wipe away every tear from our eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things will pass away.” The apostle Paul, in 1Corinthians Chapter 15, spends the whole chapter explaining how our glorification will take place. He says, we will receive glorified bodies that can’t experience pains, he says death will be annihilated, because there will be no more sin.

Also, the Apostle in Romans 8: 20-22 talks about the fact that the present world is subjected to futility or frustration in this present age, and it is therefore looking forward to its redemption. That will be the consummation of our salvation. The problem with the false teachers is that they either lump the three stages together or moves people from stage one to stage three- which is a future event, instead of concentrating on the sanctification stage which is the present stage. The result of this bad teaching is the belief that if you are Christian you can’t get sick, and even if you get sick, you can confess that you are not sick, contrary to the physical pains. This is a dangerous teaching that has wreaked havoc in many homes. Many Christians have lost their loved ones because of this erroneous teaching. Similarly, the idea of every Christian being wealthy is also based on this bad theology: The false teachers argue that we are the king’s sons and daughters so if we are in the kingdom, then we should be rich in the kingdom, because we have the inheritance. The whole idea that a Christian is supposed to have a perfect health, and be wealthy is based on wrong exegesis and hermeneutics. These false teachers take Scriptures out of context to support their bad theology. I will deal with the wealth and health gospel in a separate article.

Another problem that stems from the concept of salvation is the controversy over “justification.” The main question in dispute is whether a person can be saved by embracing Jesus as Savior, but not as Lord. The question centers on “faith” and “works.” Does a saving faith necessarily produce the works of obedience? There are two camps in this debate, there are those who rightly believe that “true saving faith” must necessarily and inevitably yield works of obedience to the lord. But, there are others called “antinomians,” who wrongly assert that though faith should produce works of obedience, it does not always do so. These “antinomians” hold the view that Christians are released from the obligation of observing the moral laws. This means that somebody can be a Christian and still live in an immoral or amoral lifestyle and still be saved.

The idea here is that you can be saved from the penalty of God’s future judgment to come without a change in your sinful ways. So, according to antinomians’ teachings, a Christian can be saved and still indulge in all anti-social behaviors: Drug trafficking, adultery, fornication, lying, bribery, and corruption and still goes to heaven. The result of this teaching is that instead of being the salt and the light of the culture, the church has adapted to the spiritual darkness around it. Antinomianism is a dangerous teaching that has undermined the moral structure of the church. Martin Luther says, “We are saved by faith alone, but a saving faith is never alone.” A real faith in Christ has to produce obedience to the Lord’s commandments.

[This is an authentic posting from SOPHISM (Registered User)]
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