Soteriology and a Personal Statement of Salvation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by jaigner, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. jaigner

    jaigner
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    This is kind of an open-ended thread on soteriology.

    I posted this message on another thread in response to someone asking me when I was "saved."

    "I believe I came to faith at 7. I don't like to say "saved" in this context as much because salvation won't be complete until I'm on the renewed earth. I needed to mature quite a bit before I was ready for baptism. Long story, but my parents pressured me so much about baptism even as a small child, that it took a while before I could get there on my own."

    Another poster, who I will not name, almost immediately made this statement.

    "There's so much wrong with this that I'm not even going to bother. It does tell me quite a bit about you though..."

    My question is, "Do you agree that my post resembles an accurate example of biblical soteriology?" If so, why? If not, why not?
     
  2. matt wade

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    Now I'm "He who must not be named"...I'm famous, yay!
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I am a septuagenarian, and more than once in my life I have revised the language I use in describing my conversion experience. It's the same experience, but my revisions were designed to bring it more in line with scripture. Or at least my understanding of scripture.

    That appears to be what you are doing in your reluctance to use the word "saved." I don't think you need to go quite that far.

    I agree that our ultimate salvation is off in the future. But I also believe we can accurately say "I am saved." The reason is that in the mind of God, our future redemption is already an accomplished fact.

    There is no way that our future salvation will not happen. It is as certain now as it will be then.

    One other thing to consider. When you "came to faith," were you changed? Were you converted, so to speak? Did your desires change? Were your mind and heart transformed? I'm guessing your answer is yes.

    If yes, then it confirms to me that salvation involves more than a future "don't-go-to-hell" ticket. It's a right-now kind of thing, as well.
     
  4. Paul3144

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    The only issue I see is the part about baptism. I believe baptism should occur shortly after one comes to faith in Christ. However, one should also seek it out of one's own volition, so I don't really see a huge issue here. I'm not sure what Matt's problem is. Maybe he'll explain.
     
  5. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I mentioned in an earlier post that I had periodically revised the language I used in giving my salvation testimony to bring it in line with my understanding of scripture.

    Would you salvation-by-grace folks like to join me in a little exercise?

    Write your salvation testimony without ever using the word "I."

    Okay, I'll cut you some slack. You can use "I" one time.

    Any takers?

    I'll give you mine later.
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Here's the way I used to give my testimony;

    I praise God that when I was nine years old, during a Sunday morning worship service, I came under conviction during the invitation. I saw my sin the way God sees it, and I suddenly understood that the penalty of sin was Hell.

    I walked the aisle and tearfully told my pastor I wanted to be saved. In answer to his questions, I repented of my sin, I trusted Jesus for my salvation. I accepted Christ as my Savior. You could say I invited him into my heart.

    I used "I" eleven times. Does your own testimony need that many "I's?"
     
  7. jaigner

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    Yes! Inaugurated eschatology. One of my favorites.

    Technically, "saved" is an appropriate term. You're right. Paul used it himself.

    I find it a trite, brittle word when used only referring to justification, however, so I choose to state it differently. "Came to faith" or "converted" are, in my opinion, clearer.
     
  8. jaigner

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    I don't disagree with you. Ideally, it would have happened that way. But, real as my faith was to me, my immaturity, along with the anxiety my parents created, took a while to overcome.
     
  9. Paul3144

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    Then we're on the same page. There was also a gap from when I was converted and when I was baptized. Not ideal- but that's just how it played out.
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    Thanks for clarifying. I have no problem with the terms you chose to describe the Lord's work in you. In fact, I much prefer your chosen terms than "I accepted Christ."
     
  11. menageriekeeper

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    LOL Tom, if a testimony is personal one must use the word I, don't you think? But I'll take you up on the challenge:

    One of my earliest memories is sitting behind a curtain having Sunday School or Children's Church (not sure which) while the adults were having big church. Songs were sung, Bible stories told and my life continued on "in the teaching and admonition of the Word" until one evening, at the age of 7, while sitting in the front seat of the car with my father, God used the teaching of all those people I can no longer remember along with that of my admittedly imperfect parents to bring me to the full knowledge of what Christ had sacrificed on my behalf. Upon choosing to accept that sacrifice and in willingness to follow Christ in obedience, my life was transformed and I became a new creature. Baptism as a sign of my new faith occured a few weeks later, my body still so short that my head barely made it above the water in the baptismal pool at the church we attended at the time. Almost 40 years later the Lord has allowed my faith to continue strongly, though there have been a few twists and turns in the path of my life. My wish is that I present myself daily as a living sacrifice and that my life daily, shows the world the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.



    I think the "I" count is 3, though it is very difficult for me to pull out individual words so someone else needs to check the count to be sure. :D

    Now, how much difference is there really between my testimony and others posted here? Now a whole lot except the adjectives, in my opinion.
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    So if you are checking on how many times "I" is in it... wouldn't you also check for how many time "my" or "me" is mentioned.

    Salvation is personal, how can we not use I or my? Of course, salvation is by God but using a personal pronoun does nothing to minimize God's place in salvation unless, of course, we say "I saved myself"
     
  13. menageriekeeper

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    Well now, that wasn't part of the stated rules. :D

    Or, if salvation isn't personal, why bother?
     
  14. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    It's a question of emphasis. The exercise is designed to make us the recipients of the acts of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There's nothing wrong with the use of I. But my use of I eleven times in my post #6, tended to make me the actor, with God sorta standing by until I did my part.

    All of us will agree that we are the objects of God's grace. But most personal testimonies I have heard seem to emphasize what we did and God as the responder to our actions and thoughts. We don't believe that. So let's make our testimonies conform to what we actually believe.

    Thanks for giving it a shot, menageriekeeper. Good effort. It's not easy, is it?

    BTW, objective pronouns such as me and us are acceptable. So are my and our, which are possessives.
     
    #14 Tom Butler, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2010
  15. menageriekeeper

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    Ah, then perhaps we are counting the wrong word(s). How about a comparision of how many times we use God's name against our own. Taking out the pronouns that refer or describe someone else (ie: my father) and removing the superfluous language describing the non essentials (ie baptism) my testimony reduces down to:

    "until one evening, at the age of 7, while sitting in the front seat of the car with my father, God used the teaching of all those people I can no longer remember along with that of my admittedly imperfect parents to bring me to the full knowledge of what Christ had sacrificed on my behalf. Upon choosing to accept that sacrifice and in willingness to follow Christ in obedience, my life was transformed and I became a new creature."

    and my ratio is: 3:3 which reduces to 1:1, God's gift + my choice = my salvation. Which correctly reflects my non-Cal beliefs. (the pronouns I counted are in blue, God references in red)
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    You make a significant point in your last paragraph. Your testimony takes into consideration your non-Cal beliefs. My testimony, as a Calvinist, will be different. I'll give it in a later post.

    Right now, though, I hope more folks will post their testimonies. And quit picking apart MK's, and let's see your effort.

    By the way, beyond just calling this an exercise, I get a real blessing from hearing people glorify God in their salvation testimonies.
     
  17. glfredrick

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    "Already, but not yet..."

    A great term that describes our salvation, which is indeed not complete until we are glorified and standing in the presence of the One who makes it possible.

    I wrote my testimony in another thread, so feel free to check that out. We necessarily use the terms "I", "me", and other personal pronouns when sharing our testimony because it happened to us.

    One question I would pose here is:

    Does one call on God, then believe; or does one believe, then call on God?
     
  18. menageriekeeper

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    Niether. Christ draws, man responds (belief or disbelief).
     
  19. zrs6v4

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    It seems to me that what you want to look at is your life. Faith in the Lord includes knowledge, agreement on the facts, and personal trust. If you can look back in your life and see a trusting onto and a love for Christ because of what He did in changing you then there is a good sign.

    I had quite a dramatic change in my conversion, but there have been times when I wondered away from the Lord for small things or in the business of life and found myself wondering was I saved? The more I go on, the more I trust the Lord and understand what He has done and is doing.

    I was around 11 when I was told that I needed Jesus to be in my heart and to save me from hell. I prayed around 50-100 times because I wasn't sure if Jesus came in when I asked, although I sincerely meant it and wanted Him to. Long story short I wasn't saved then, why? It is because the call to salvation in the Bible is to repent/believe the gospel. Which is an outcome of the work of the Spirit in ones life that brings them to trust in Christ through the gospel message.

    I was saved about 11 years later when I was 22 (3 years ago). I had lived a life of self-service, blindness, and spiritual deadness to good and love for God. I would have told you that Jesus is the only way and that I loved God, yet I served myself and loved self over Him. That is whats scary about being lost- when one is lost and thinks he's saved he doesn't know he's lost. This is all the more reason to trust onto Christ for mercy and help to surrender to Him. When I was saved I thought I was already saved :) based on my bad understanding of salvation. All I knew was I needed mercy, I saw my sin and hated it so much, and had a knew reason for living- a desire to cling onto and serve the Lord with all my heart. God did a work in me that I can't explain, but it was all Him. I was re-baptized a year later as I finally understood what it was and saw that I was not saved when I was younger.

    I say all of this not to try to convince you that you weren't saved, but to give you my testimony and more to chew on. Sorry Tom, I failed your test haha.
     
    #19 zrs6v4, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2010
  20. Tom Butler

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    Your testimony is blessing to me.

    I bolded a line that impressed me. Why don't you take that line and run with it, explaining how it was all Him? What was the work God did in you? How come you were blind, but then could see (spiritually)? Who made you see and hate your sin? Who put in you the desire to cling to and serve the Lord? Where did all that come from?

    C'mon, give it another try.
     

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