Exactly Deena. Having a "requirement" that must be met such as "going forward" "Signing a declaration of faith card" "getting baptized" are all "works" which none of us are saved by. There is nothing wrong with them but these things should be done as a result of being saved - not as a "step" to salvation. How often I heard "Once saved, always saved, and when I was nine years old I went forward and gave Jesus my heart and was baptized... so you can't judge me for having this adulterous affair. The bible says we aren't under the law anymore and all things are lawful so you can't tell me it's wrong."
This woman was justifying her life on the acts(works) of an emotional nine-year old. My, how are attitude changes when puberty hits us!
CHB-we are in agreement so much it's almost like we both keep basing our thoughts on what the one same book says
Glad you guys agree so much....it warms my heart :o)
I have to disagree a little tho
(just kidding, I don't think this is really disagreeable- you tell me :o)
It all depends on what we hear when we hear the word "saved". Peter said, "In the same way baptism saves you....not by the cleansing of dirt from the body, but by the answer of a clear conscience". Also Jesus said, "He that believes and is baptized will be saved".
What does Peter mean?
Well, I believe we are so conditioned by generations of hell teaching that whenever we hear "saved" we go in our thoughts immediately to heaven or hell and we get all uptight about what "saves us". This is really about "initial salvation", deliverance from the old man.
Then, when scriptures that talk about "continuing salvation" come up people get all uptight.
"saved" simply means delivered, healed, made whole. We are initially delivered, healed, made whole only by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves- it is the gift of God."
God's "saving" begins whenever we are born by the implanting of the incorruptible seed trhough faith in Christ. It continues in the waters of baptism where we are sealed, buried, separated from the world and given the answer of a clear conscience in obedience to the word of Christ, it is empowered as we are filled with the Holy SPirit, and it grows deeper and deeper as we walk in the Spirit and perservere through trial and temptation.
"The one who perseveres to the end shall be saved" says Jesus. Is this salvation by works? Of course not. It is the deliverance that comes through progressive salvation as we abide in Christ.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness
, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth
. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth is an abiding thing. We get more and more healed, more and more whole, more and more "saved" as we continue, established in the faith.
For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach-- if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast
, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
If we begin to sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth (sins unto death persistently) then the "healing" becomes an even deeper injury(better never to have known than to have known and turned away, last state worst than the first) as we wither and dry up, to be cut-off from the fire and be thrown into the fire of "kolassis", but even that is so that the "spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus"(1 Cor 3:15, 1 Cor 5:5) and even that is subject to the hope and the active prayer by all the saints that such a one would return to their senses and be re-united to Christ before such correction becomes engaged and irreversible.
At every point God is always "saving", even by correction. That is the spirit of reconciliation :o) Wish all Christians had it!