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Friday, July 29, 2005

My complete soteriology

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12 (KJV)

It all seems backwards. Why can’t we understand before we’re converted? Why must we work these things out after the fact? How is it even possible to be converted without having an understanding of all that is involved? Why do so many seem content to judge the understanding of others with such strong conviction when we are clearly instructed to do so for ourselves? I have heard the many who claim to have a clear and complete understanding of not only salvation but of every aspect of faith. Of course I would wish it true. Just imagine the relief at being able to escape all this fear and trembling. I have heard those that testify it was all so clear in their mind but the most I hear still struggle to understand just what it is that happened, is happening, and is going to happen to them and why. I suppose many would like to believe that the scripture is a clear and concise encyclopedia of truth and if you need to understand any topic just go to “the verse” that completely explains it. What I will offer here now and in future post in this series is my own understanding of salvation from a scriptural perspective. My understanding is my own and the scripture I offer is for your own evaluation. My hope is that some might benefit or be edified from my understanding and I always welcome the understanding of others in the hope I might benefit and be edified as well. With the remainder of this post I will offer a brief overview of what I understand is my complete salvation in Jesus the Christ. In upcoming post I will offer the scripture that is the basis of my understanding.

My studies have led me to perceive of my salvation in three parts, with each part being fully by the grace of God through my faith in Jesus. The first part being that of my soul, which was once condemned because I believed not but is now passed from death unto life because I now believe “in the name of the only begotten Son of God”. This was my conversion and the moment my soul received life. I was born of the Spirit of God by the will of God and not by the will of man. This was the very moment I accepted it true in my heart that Jesus really is the Son of God and entrusted to Him that, by Him, my soul is safe everlasting. This is the “instantaneous” salvation of the soul that we as Evangelicals so commonly and so rightly proclaim. In this respect I am saved.

Another part of my salvation occurs “at the resurrection of the just” when I am resurrected in my glorified body. The corrupt body I now posses shall return to the dust from whence it came but on that day I shall receive an incorrupt body that shall never die. In this respect I will be saved.

There is also a critical aspect of my salvation that pertains to my life and is an ongoing process, which can only be accomplished by the grace of God through my faith in Jesus. It began when through faith I started to follow my LORD, first in Baptism then, by striving to walk in the newness of life freely given me by His grace. I must one day face the judgment of my LORD pertaining the things I do in this life. Those things I do by His grace through my faith, because of His love and having hope in my LORD shall remain beyond the fire of His judgment. Those things I’ve wrought in my fear, my lust and my doubt shall be burned away. I strive now to insure that I will not be as some whose life is burned away even though they themselves are saved. This life must be sanctified. It must be a sacrament and His love in me will continually be measured in my sacrifice. In this respect I am being saved.

I do not find the scripture to declare in any way that any form of salvation can be attained through my understanding. I do not find the scripture to show any hope of salvation for me at all outside of the grace of God through my faith in Jesus as Christ. There are many who claim scriptural certainty concerning who can be saved and how and when they are saved. I will offer my understanding of this as well as my questions on it, but I must refuse to judge any other than myself regardless of what they might understand at present.

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13 Comments:

Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Very good.

I am not debating this view of Salvation. I would see no disagreements with it from my personal beliefs.

Yet, being highly reformed, you know how much emphasis I place on justification. Where is justification? I saw you speak nothing of this.

You spoke much about how YOU are transformed, and YOUR soul and body are transformed; but what is your belief about you being declared righteous?

Just curious.

7/30/2005 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam thanks for pointing this out because I should have made a preposition to this post.

When I first began this blog I was very concerned that there could potentially be many people who might read here and stumble because we often skip over certain issues that we all presuppose. I have now come to realize that the old saying is true, “birds of a feather, flock together”. Those outside our “flock”, for the most part, see “God” or “Jesus” written anywhere and fly off. So how can we use this medium to serve God? I realized I am edified each time I read and study the understanding of my brethren here. I then wrote this from the perspective that those reading it would have understanding of what is meant by soul salvation, bodily resurrection and the works of faith and how I see all these as a part of my complete salvation. I am also writing this series from a very personal perspective. While we are to carry the Gospel to the world our individual testimonies and understanding are unique. My hope is to offer a detailed explanation on each of these three parts of my salvation and the scripture on which I base my understanding. I would also hope that all who find that I’ve been slack concerning scripture and doctrine feel free to take as much space as they need to offer their own understanding of these things. I don’t expect us all to totally agree by any means, but I do expect that we all might at least come to know the basis of our understanding whether we agree or not. ;-)

7/30/2005 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

KC,
I love your humble yet concise approach. I especially like how you always "leave the door open" to new ideas without giving up your convictions!

7/30/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Hugo said...

I'm interested to read the rest of this - you've seen at least partially what I think about salvation on my last post, so now I want to see yours :-)

Blessings & Peace,
Hugo

7/31/2005 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Matt, thank you so much for the kind words. They’re very encouraging. I must admit I am persuaded that it is much easier to be saved than it is to understand it. ;-)

Hugo, I would have credited this post as a promise to you but honestly I expect to take a beating with this one and didn’t want you to share in that. It was your willingness to openly share you understanding that inspired me to do likewise and I intend to “tell it all brother” as far as I understand. As you know this is a difficult task. I really appreciate you being here.

7/31/2005 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Hugo said...

I really like your respose to Matts comment - I wholeheartedly agree! :-)

Glad my post could spur you to delve into your own soteriology and write it out for the world to see . . . I've been musing on some other Scripture passages . . . hope to update in the next few days.

Oh yeah - I'll gladly share in any beating you get . . . I can alwaays use some more time off of purgatory! :-)

Blessings & Peace,
Hugo

8/01/2005 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Hugo it’s true isn’t it? I can’t even fully understand the mechanics of my salvation let alone the reasoning. No pun intended but I really would be lost if I had to save myself.
I truly was inspired by your openness and I’ll be looking forward to your post. So now it’s settled. We split the profit and the loss. ;-)

8/01/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Hugo said...

lol! :-) Sounds like a fair deal . . . and I agree again: I am glad that salvation is being taken care of by someone else (the whole big picture of redemption and salvation for the entire universe) - it's not a job I would want to be responsible for (can you imagine that conversation: Umm, God . . .? I kinda messed up on a few billion lives . . . can you help me out here!)

Blessings & Peace,
Hugo

8/01/2005 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Hugo said...

Double post: just re-read th epost, and one of the lines in your last paragraph ("I do not find the scripture to declare in any way that any form of salvation can be attained through my understanding.") is a really concise explanation for the gnostic heresy (the gnostics believed that secret knowledge passed on by Jesus to a chosen few would save you, among other things).

Just thought you'd like to know (in case you already didn't!).

Blessings & Peace,
Hugo

8/01/2005 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

I read something today that had never occurred to me. The word "salvation" doesn't mean "the saving of something." It means "the healing of something."

The root of the word is the same one as for "salve" which means "healing ointment" or "to soothe or heal."

To think of it that way changes the whole dynamic of the concept, doesn't it? To me, it makes for a more sensible explanation for my faith. A great many people think they don't need saving. Most people know they need healing.

Food for thought...

Peace.

8/02/2005 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Hugo please double and triple post as needed! I really appreciate your critique and perspective as well as all the information you share.

Dorsey, good point. I find numerous scriptural analogies between sin and healing. BTW I’m really looking forward to reading you and Jeff. :-)

8/02/2005 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger jeff said...

(Thanks to the sovereignty of the blogger gods, I am having to re-post this. However, I cannot remember exactly what I said before. So, if you're reading this, please remember that the previous post was much more profound and impressive...)

Anyway...

My question is concerning the Greek word, soteria.

It has been expoused (specifically in more Charismatic circles) that "soteria" refers, not only to salvation of the spirit/soul of man, but also to his body.

In your post you mentioned our resurrected bodies. But, it has been preached that "soteria" is more o a soundness, wholeness or oompleteness that includes physical healing, emotional deliverance, and a basic total transformation, spirit, soul & body.

I am curious to hear your thoughts on the matter...

8/02/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

Step by step I will attempt to partially way in (however late this may be).

As we've discussed in person, I feel salvation seems to include a more integrated view of the body and soul. For Jeff, I do not see that this discussion is totally in a Charimatic setting. Probably no one else is thinking about it. For Dorsey, I would investigate soteria more before I assigned it "healing" over "deliverance". For Hugo's statement:("I do not find the scripture to declare in any way that any form of salvation can be attained through my understanding.") is a really concise explanation for the gnostic heresy (the gnostics believed that secret knowledge passed on by Jesus to a chosen few would save you, among other things). I would agree. And with a more integrated body and soul we step further away from gnostic heresy, rejected since John the apostle to present day by orthodox Christianity. This is important an issue with the rise of DaVinci Code. That's why I am still on this.

Otherwise I agree. But I was concerned with this statement: "There is also a critical aspect of my salvation that pertains to my life and is an ongoing process, which can only be accomplished by the grace of God through my faith in Jesus. It began when through faith I started to follow my LORD, first in Baptism...". Is this a personal statement of your experience or prescriptive of the Christian's experince? Bascially, are you saying the first act of obedience for a Christian should be baptism? If so, I would disagree. Baptism is an act of obedience, but why the first?

8/22/2005 11:38:00 PM  

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