Is Salvation a Process or Event?

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DaveS

Well-Known Member
Good afternoon Ms. Hol,

Admittedly I'm stalking this thread because it's interesting to me...

Would you agree that Apostle Paul continually wrestled with his sin nature? In other words, in Romans 7:19 “For the good which I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I practice.” Is it possible that he wrestled with his sin nature to the day he died?
Hope you don't mind me randomly responding to your thoughts, questions, and comments (starting with the above).

The question above (to me), is really a spring board into the deep-end of discussions regarding our salvation. I have the sneaky suspicion that I'm being reeled in... that is, that your question is designed to guide me in a particular direction. If this is so, my hat is off to you, and I'd say thank you (I dig it). The question you're asking is a direct link to what I was referring to in my first response regarding the resurrection (post #4).

Do I think it's possible? Not only possible, but I think it's imperative that we understand that not only did Paul wrestle with his sin nature, but all saved, justified, born again saints will wrestle with the very same sin nature until we either die, or are raptured/resurrected. Understanding that we retain our sin nature (as I understand it) is a key to understanding the nature of our salvation, and the security we have there-in.

I came from a RC background, and therefore I have been interested in their point of view regarding salvation for a long time. One passage that is often used to support the RC doctrine of a progressive salvation is (Eph. 1:14); key point "until the redemption" therefore they put it to the future. But then... the RC church has lost it's use for a physical resurrection, which the before mentioned passage (I believe) refers to. The RC church also has no use for a sin nature in man... of which the resurrection directly deals with. I'm only using this as a starting point or example of how our security (OSAS) is layered, and how I think it's important to note in order to support and teach that security purely (or efficiently); and also it's relevance to what you're asking me regarding Paul. I hope that doesn't come across as prideful.

DaveS, I’m so glad to learn you are a determinist, so am I (maybe to a lesser degree?)
The realization of the imperative nature of our future resurrection is what turned me from Calvinistic teaching (rooted in Covenant Theology) and shoved me into biblical Covenantalism (or... dispensationalism). I don't want to overload the discussion (I want equal parity), so I'll be as brief as possible... but the retaining of the sin nature (you've mentioned above) is what makes salvation as described in scripture a must, one time event, and a must God determined event.

(And dare I point out that my choice to ‘be responsible’ is largely a choice to avoid discipline?)
I think you'd be remiss in not pointing it out; since I think scripture points out discipline in a host of places (many of which are mis-interpreted by people as supporting a loss of salvation).

Maybe determinism could relax as they term free-will as personal responsibility??
Personally... I find free-will and determinism to co-exist rather harmoniously :) I think they have to.

Kind regards,
Dave

Edit to add: Thanks for the response, not a word you said was wasted.
 

Sowen

Well-Known Member
DaveS, thanks for clarifying. I wasn't sure what you meant exactly, so I'm sorry if it seemed like I was accusing you of being one thing or another by asking you about IG. I was just trying to understand you. Now, I get that your point is the fine details of ordo salutis.

Having said that, may I ask you a few more questions about your take on IG? You response raised more questions regarding it. I know it's not your main point, so you don't have to reply to the following further if you don't want to. My goal isn't to be argumentative. I just like to understand things.

The way that I understand grace to be irresistible is through justification... justification is a judgment, the sinner is judged to be righteous based on the perfect righteousness of our Lord God Jesus. So once a person believes, that God promises to save them through Jesus, then God (based on His grace, and His grace alone), imputes the righteousness of the Christ to them. This is the instantaneous act of salvation... and it's irresistible because the person receiving this grace can do nothing to stop it once it's done, nor can the judgment be reversed.
That's circular which makes it unnecessary to insert irresistible grace at that moment in salvation. You're describing a point of no return, yet a point of no return is the very definition of what you describe. It's like saying "a married husband". The term married is unnecessary because it's included in the definition of husband (a married man).

Is this an attempt to understand the passages that state God draws us? If no, why do you insert IG there?

Again, thank you for clarifying what you believe about IG. I've not come across that definition of it before.
 

Sowen

Well-Known Member
If... salvation were based on belief, then the ongoing basis of salvation would have to rest upon belief.
Belief for salvation does not mean belief constitutes the entirety of salvation's foundation, nor does it mean that salvation is a process in the sense that salvation is ongoing. It simply means you must believe the gospel to be saved.

Belief and ensuing salvation are possible only because of God's grace, thus God's grace is the foundation for salvation, and that can be fairly expressed by saying, "I'm saved because I believe," especially in light of passages that state we must believe to be saved.

So, in ordo salutis form, that'd be:

belief -> repentance -> justification

Belief is the first step because how can you repent if you don't believe?

Repentance is next because you believe.

Justification is next because you believed and repented.

Sanctification is not in there because it occurs post-salvation and is not a part of the salvation procedure but a result of it; sanctification is the process by which we live because we are justified.

Glorification is not salvation either but the ultimate result of it. Glorification is when we get our glorified bodies. That's what it means to get our inheritance.

And that's altogether possible only by God's grace.

I often understand and suss things out by looking at the end then working backwards, so maybe this might help someone who thinks the same way: At the end, we're glorified. We're glorified because we're saved. We're sanctified because we're saved. We're saved because we believe. We believe because God's grace.

I don't think there's any insight gained about salvation by breaking it down into microsteps because salvation is simple. If you're interested in something that gives a deeper understanding of salvation, delve into the Old Testament laws that pertain to the sacrificial system and inheritances, and elsewhere in the Old Testament about how those were applied because it's a pattern of salvation. It's really interesting.
 

Hol

Worships Him
Hi Dave, I agree with you on both the basis and order of salvation.

The order of salvation as I see it is repentance, faith, justification, regeneration, and sanctification.
In bringing up our continued battle with sin, I apologize for not carefully reading your post #4.

What interests me, and boggles my mind is how you use the irresistible grace of God as essential during our regeneration & sanctification. I am beginning to agree with you!

Maybe this is too simplistic, but if I understand you, here is what happens: Our faith in Christ’s gift of salvation, our sealing with the Holy Spirit begins our walk in faith; growing in God’s irresistible grace leads us to His determined good works for us and our sanctification; He will see us through (OSAS).

Unfortunately I do manage to resist His goodness at times and run to Him confessing my sin. He always forgives me and reassured me that He determines that one day I will be with Him in glory (never to sin again).

From my brief encounters with Calvinism I’ve understood that they place God’s irresistible grace and His determination of who gets saved first. They would not agree with you on this: “The order of salvation as I see it is repentance, faith, justification, regeneration, and sanctification.”

Honestly, I can’t recall learning of irresistible grace the way you are describing, if I understand you correctly.

Thanks!
 

DaveS

Well-Known Member
DaveS, thanks for clarifying. I wasn't sure what you meant exactly, so I'm sorry if it seemed like I was accusing you of being one thing or another by asking you about IG. I was just trying to understand you. Now, I get that your point is the fine details of ordo salutis.
I don't mean to seem pretentious when I say this, but it's my opinion that my point, that grace has to be the basis of salvation (not the order of salvation) is best understood through continued interaction. Keeping with my desire to not seem pretentious, I think it's best understood through interaction because the objections have to be dealt with on both sides. You'll have questions... I'll have questions... you'll have objections... I'll have objections... and depending upon whether or not we determine the other has something productive to say, we continue a dialogue.

You've produced information in responses below, so allow me to politely respond.

Belief and ensuing salvation are possible only because of God's grace, thus God's grace is the foundation for salvation, and that can be fairly expressed by saying, "I'm saved because I believe," especially in light of passages that state we must believe to be saved.
I've broached this subject in an earlier post. I won't put words in your mouth here... I'm only going to highlight (again) what I find to be the inherent error in making "belief" the basis of salvation, even when appealing to grace.

The problem is two-fold... one, is that often this belief is centered around God directly intervening and divinely imparting faith to the individual; which is actually the basis (as I understand it) of the Calvinistic definition of irresistible grace. Two, is that this belief described is often closely associated with repentance in the sense that man repents of specific sins in order for salvation to be given, and must through this imparted faith and subsequent repentance maintain belief (through no power of man's). It's God's power that maintains the belief that He Himself has by grace imparted. Meaning salvation is by works, it's just God's works... and man gets it through belief. I deny that salvation is by works... if salvation has anything to do with works, than there is biblical evidence to support it can be lost (even if just in theory). I've proved this on more than a couple occasions to Calvinists... through the process of careful discussion.

I can do a better job of describing this "process" - which is the topic of the thread :) which Calvinism hesitates to call a process, but if you've ever studied the Covenant of works, and the Covenant of Grace, you should see the basic gist of where I'm going. I find both the Covenant of Grace, and the Covenant of Works to be inferred at best. I'm a self described biblical Covenentalist (a term I picked up from reading Paul Henebury; not saying I coined it.)


I don't think there's any insight gained about salvation by breaking it down into microsteps because salvation is simple. If you're interested in something that gives a deeper understanding of salvation, delve into the Old Testament laws that pertain to the sacrificial system and inheritances, and elsewhere in the Old Testament about how those were applied because it's a pattern of salvation. It's really interesting.
Again... not to seem pretentious. But I'm prepared to discuss the "OT Laws", and how they pertain to salvation (Got a while?). You're right when you say it's interesting... eventually I would have had to have brought it up anyways, because all topics eventually lead to the reasons and purposes of the Incarnation of the Lord God Jesus, and you can't discuss those purposes without discussing the Mosaic Law.

That's circular which makes it unnecessary to insert irresistible grace at that moment in salvation. You're describing a point of no return, yet a point of no return is the very definition of what you describe. It's like saying "a married husband". The term married is unnecessary because it's included in the definition of husband (a married man).

Is this an attempt to understand the passages that state God draws us? If no, why do you insert IG there?
I genuinely do not understand why you have asserted this is circular reasoning... I'm guessing (and only guessing) that your guess relates to the passage "that God draws us".

How I understand irresistible grace does not relate to the Calvinistic view that God draws us, because I truly believe that man's will is not overridden by God in drawing us (I think Man's will is appealed to through the content of faith)... Therefore man's will is appealed to through the content of faith (which is a gift of God), man responds to this content (which is an aspect of repentance), man believes this content (saving faith), God see this faith and declares that demands of His Law are satisfied. The demands of the Law are related to the nature of the Atonement... I believe in substitutionary atonement. How this relates to our justification is that man (through the demands of the Law) receives death; man through accountability to the God's Law deserves God's wrath. Our Lord God Jesus made it possible for the demands of these Laws to be satisfied (death and wrath), through believing that He received death and wrath on our behalf. When we believe, God can judge us as having received justice based on The Christ receiving death and wrath on our behalf.

Therefore... God's grace is not irresistible in this sense ---> Not through the appeal He makes in drawing us, because that would be to over-ride our will. Not in working through us to persevere in belief, because that would be to over-ride our will. God's grace is irresistible in the sense that it is consistent with His nature to judge us as righteous, because His wrath is satisfied through cross. Once a person believes... they can not stop God from judging them, God is righteous in judging them; one might say, God must judge them. Once God judges them, He can not reverse His judgment, because His wrath has been satisfied for past and future sins. If... a person were to be able to fall away, then in order for them to be re-saved, Christ would have to come and endure the cross again.

Sorry for the length... I tried to keep it short.

Dave
 

DaveS

Well-Known Member
Hi Dave, I agree with you on both the basis and order of salvation.



In bringing up our continued battle with sin, I apologize for not carefully reading your post #4.

What interests me, and boggles my mind is how you use the irresistible grace of God as essential during our regeneration & sanctification. I am beginning to agree with you!

Maybe this is too simplistic, but if I understand you, here is what happens: Our faith in Christ’s gift of salvation, our sealing with the Holy Spirit begins our walk in faith; growing in God’s irresistible grace leads us to His determined good works for us and our sanctification; He will see us through (OSAS).

Unfortunately I do manage to resist His goodness at times and run to Him confessing my sin. He always forgives me and reassured me that He determines that one day I will be with Him in glory (never to sin again).

From my brief encounters with Calvinism I’ve understood that they place God’s irresistible grace and His determination of who gets saved first. They would not agree with you on this: “The order of salvation as I see it is repentance, faith, justification, regeneration, and sanctification.”

Honestly, I can’t recall learning of irresistible grace the way you are describing, if I understand you correctly.

Thanks!

Hello Ms. Hol,

Please check out my post to Sowen (above). Hopefully this will continue the fleshing out of why I saw fit to bring the topic up.

Kind regards,
Dave
 
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DaveS

Well-Known Member
I dont understand why this thread progressed past the above post. Salvation is by belief, and folks can make long winded comments all they want, but it does not change this FACT. Its not complicated.
Is that how you think the Holy Spirit guided you to respond? Long winded comments? If that's not just plain rude (whoever it's directed at, probably me), then it's insensitive and unnecessary at best. In my opinion, people who are above such "long winded" comments, can just not respond and ignore the people who are. But that would be way to uncomplicated... wouldn't it?



God bless you abundantly sir...
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Is that how you think the Holy Spirit guided you to respond? Long winded comments? If that's not just plain rude (whoever it's directed at, probably me), then it's insensitive and unnecessary at best. In my opinion, people who are above such "long winded" comments, can just not respond and ignore the people who are. But that would be way to uncomplicated... wouldn't it?



God bless you abundantly sir...
Its a simple process you are trying to lead others to believe is complicated. You obviously love the Lord, and thats what matters to me.
 

DaveS

Well-Known Member
Its a simple process you are trying to lead others to believe is complicated. You obviously love the Lord, and thats what matters to me.
It's not a process, remember? It's an event... and if you have read any of the long winded comments you may have noticed that I said it's not complicated to be saved. It's amazing to me that the actual doctrine of salvation can't be discussed and debated civilly without those types of comments though...

Yes I love the Lord, but I also genuinely like people. I genuinely like talking to people... and I genuinely like speaking to people about scripture. I also genuinely don't understand why someone has to make a rude or insensitive comment to another person unnecessarily. I dislike bullying behavior, and that post reeked of bullying behavior. If you're content with your knowledge, that's probably all you need to say, but you saw fit to add something that can be taken as an insult, and then a seemingly patronizing comment to boot ("you obviously love the Lord, and thats what matters to me.").

I think in all my posts I've been kind, measured, and respectful. I think I am semi-deserving of the same, and your comments do not extend that same courtesy.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
It's not a process, remember? It's an event... and if you have read any of the long winded comments you may have noticed that I said it's not complicated to be saved. It's amazing to me that the actual doctrine of salvation can't be discussed and debated civilly without those types of comments though...

Yes I love the Lord, but I also genuinely like people. I genuinely like talking to people... and I genuinely like speaking to people about scripture. I also genuinely don't understand why someone has to make a rude or insensitive comment to another person unnecessarily. I dislike bullying behavior, and that post reeked of bullying behavior. If you're content with your knowledge, that's probably all you need to say, but you saw fit to add something that can be taken as an insult, and then a seemingly patronizing comment to boot ("you obviously love the Lord, and thats what matters to me.").

I think in all my posts I've been kind, measured, and respectful. I think I am semi-deserving of the same, and your comments do not extend that same courtesy.
I stand corrected, I did not chose wisely in stating its a process, but a one time event.

Dont over read the meaning of my words, Im not that deep
 

DaveS

Well-Known Member
I stand corrected, I did not chose wisely in stating its a process, but a one time event.

Dont over read the meaning of my words, Im not that deep
One place people learn to choose their words more wisely is on mediums such as this. Sometimes, it can be "long winded".

Your mistake is overlooked and forgotten (in so far as calling salvation a process). Your evident indifferent attitude to the way you feel you can speak to others (or me) remains.
 
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Andy C

Well-Known Member
One place people learn to choose their words more wisely is on mediums such as this. Sometimes, it can be "long winded".

Your mistake is overlooked and forgotten (in so far as calling salvation a process). Your evident indifferent attitude to the way you feel you can speak to others (or me) remains.
There are many long winded posts on this thread, by different folks, why do you feel it was only intended for you? Why do you keep insulting me? How is saying you obviously love the Lord a bad thing? This forum is about everybody, not just one.

Ok, Im done and hopefully this thread will be locked.
 

Brother Albert R.

Well-Known Member
Hi! First, I miss you all & keep RF in prayers (thankful for the solid admins Chris & Adrian ❤). I needed a news story & was sure Chris would have it, and he did! Next thing I knew I was lurking for two hours...

This thread is very helpful, and I wanted to comment.



Good observation Dave, and based on my encounters with many folks here, I suggest it simply needs more fleshing out. Christ’s offer of salvation is through grace to us; and only based on His merit.

Sometimes we toss the notion of faith around as if faith had merit. Nope, none at all ✝. More often we adopt terms that become repetitive and almost meaningless. “I” placed my faith in God’s redemption plan for any who will come to Christ for life. Well, “I” received an unfathomably costly gift of eternal life that cost me nothing. Jesus had an awful agony to endure to pay ‘the bride price,’ and as I placed faith & trust in knowing that He agonized for me perfectly frames this: He is the basis of salvation. When I state that I placed my faith in Christ it should be easy to remember that my faith is not the value. Where is the basis / value? In the object of our faith, Jesus our Creator & His sacrifice. (We all need reminders.)

DaveS, I’m so glad to learn you are a determinist, so am I (maybe to a lesser degree?). While I embrace the realities of free choice & personal responsibility for those choices; I puzzle over a frequent undertone of pride from those debating. Again, placing faith in Christ by my free choice is non-meritorious. (BTW- this is not suggesting you presented any pride in your well thought out questions/comments.) For me, choosing to love God was simply a response of love because He first loved me. My trust grows through reading His Word, the Word of Life. I have no pride to find myself with a desperately wicked heart in need of salvation. Example: a person in critical need of rescue doesn’t deem that their allowing a First Responder to save them as an matter of responsible choice. Maybe determinism could relax as they term free-will as personal responsibility??

DaveS, your definition of ‘irresistible grace’ did bother me, but I’m not sure why? Your are not Calvinist, and that is their “I” in TULIP. Maybe I’m misunderstanding your terms? For me, if I can get through a day and not grieve the Holy Spirit, that’s a Gold Star day!! So He is resistible and I need DAILY to responsibly choose to bear my cross. (And dare I point out that my choice to ‘be responsible’ is largely a choice to avoid discipline?)

Would you agree that Apostle Paul continually wrestled with his sin nature? In other words, in Romans 7:19 “For the good which I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I practice.” Is it possible that he wrestled with his sin nature to the day he died?

Thanks DaveS
Welcome back HOL:)
And a very big, God bless You
Brother ALbert
 

DaveS

Well-Known Member
There are many long winded posts on this thread, by different folks, why do you feel it was only intended for you? Why do you keep insulting me? How is saying you obviously love the Lord a bad thing? This forum is about everybody, not just one.

Ok, Im done and hopefully this thread will be locked.
1. In general, I think your comment was as I described (Plain rude and or unnecessary).
2. I'm not insulting you, I'm calling out an obvious behavior.
3. Why do I feel it was intended for me? ("Its a simple process you are trying to lead others to believe is complicated. " ~ Andy C) You pretty much confirmed it.
4. Yes this forum is for everybody, and yet here you are complaining about others having a civil discussion, while using offensive terms (long winded). Then, hoping out loud that the thread will be locked. And, trying to turn what you instigated around on me... It's sounds like you feel the forum is all about you.
5. Saying someone loves the Lord isn't a bad thing, when the rest of their dialogue supports the genuineness of the comment. Most people understand that trust is earned. And trust is often earned by owning up to behavior we exhibit.
6. If you're done, that's fine... many times I've noticed that's what happens when one stands up to bullying behavior. This discourse is all because of your comments, it's not my doing.
 
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Andy C

Well-Known Member
1. In general, I think your comment was as I described (Plain rude and or unnecessary).
2. I'm not insulting you, I'm calling out an obvious behavior.
3. Why do I feel it was intended for me? ("Its a simple process you are trying to lead others to believe is complicated. " ~ Andy C) You pretty much confirmed it.
4. Yes this forum is for everybody, and yet here you are complaining about others having a civil discussion, while using offensive terms (long winded). Then, hoping out loud that the thread will be locked. And, trying to turn what you instigated around on me... It's sounds like you feel the forum is all about you.
5. Saying someone loves the Lord isn't a bad thing, when the rest of their dialogue supports the genuineness of the comment. Most people understand that trust is earned. And trust is often earned by owning up to behavior we exhibit.
6. If you're done, that's fine... many times I've noticed that's what happens when one stands up to bullying behavior. This discourse is all because of your comments, it's not my doing.
My intent was not to be rude, but I can be very direct at times. 29 years in the Marines has a tendency to make one cut to the chase.

I have posted over 29,000 times, and I have never been called a “bully” or rude. Again, dont read into my words what is not there.

However, this thread is not about you or me, so Im ready to move on, and focus on Him, and how simple He made salvation.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Back to what I believe. Salvation for the New Testament believer is “Good News”. Why is it good news? Because God has a gift for you and all you need to do is accept it. If you understand what this gift is you will rejoice! Well if someone gave you a lottery ticket with a chance to win the lottery, would you rejoice? Now if someone gave you the winning lottery ticket, then you would rejoice. My point here is that if the “Good News” is only a chance for salvation (process) why would I rejoice? I may not ever get saved.

I’m pretty sure I have not changed the mind of someone who does not believe in eternal security, but I would challenge you to stop using the past tense term of “saved” especially when sharing with others. Tell them the whole story if that’s what you believe. Don’t tell them all you have to do is this and then later tell them that there is more that they must do.

How easy it is to slip into saying that there is something other than acceptance that we must do, even if it is just to keep believing to earn our salvation.
Goodboy, you do have a way with words in stating in the simplest terms that even I can understand, and thats the good news, how simple it is for us, just say I believe.

Im eternally grateful that He knew what we are capable of, and He knew what must be done in order for us to live with Him for eternity. Thank you Jesus for doing for me what I could never earn for myself. Thank you Jesus for making our part simple.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
I think this topic has been well, covered here. So I am ending the thread. If anybody thinks this thread needs more input, then please report my post here, giving your reasons why it should be reopened, and I will certainly consider it.
 
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