Friday, January 13, 2017

Do you see the Contradiction?

I found this statement under the heading of SALVATION on a variety of church websites...
Because people are unable to save themselves from their sinful condition, salvation is altogether the work of God. Neither good works nor self-improvement can make up for our sin. Salvation is the free gift of God. However, like any gift it must be received. This gift is received by faith, or by believing and trusting in Jesus Christ who died as our substitute that we might live. Through repentance from sin and faith toward God, we turn from our self-ruled life to trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Do you see the contradiction lurking in this statement? This sort of error is found all over professing Christendom in our time. Many have been pickled in these contradictions for so long they they are utterly unable to see the issue. To draw that out more explicitly consider the following:

Three Important Observations

1. If "salvation is altogether a work of God" then why must man "receive it" in order for eternal salvation to transpire? If mowing my lawn was altogether a work of God, would I have to "receive it" by faith in order for the grass to have been cut? Clearly not.

2. How can an unregenerate man, who lacks the indwelling Holy Spirit of God and thus lacks the faith which is a fruit thereof (Galatians 5:22), receive this gift of salvation given that he does not possess the faith required for reception? (I Corinthians 2:14, II Thessalonians 3:2)

3. The statement affirms that "Neither good works nor self-improvement can make up for our sin" yet rejecting an untruth in favor of believing the truth is undeniably an act of self-improvement, one that is apparently required in order to obtain eternal salvation so far as this statement is concerned. If one must believe the truth in order to acquire eternal life, then it is obvious that an act of self-improvement is required to make up for one's sin.

The Simple, Biblical Truth

In contrast to the aforementioned salvation statement, biblical truth is very straightforward and easy to understand.

- God chose a people to save (Ephesians 1:4-5).
- Jesus Christ covenanted to give ALL of them eternal life (John 17:2).
- The Holy Spirit covenanted to regenerate ALL of them in time (Galatians 4:6).
- This is ALL of God and none of man (Titus 3:5).
- Those who believe on him HAVE eternal life already (John 6:47).
- They did not do ANYTHING to acquire that gift (Ephesians 2:1).

Simply put, you were not required to "receive" the gift of your natural life. No one ever asked, "Would you like to be alive?" or "Will you receive this gift of natural life?" That obvious and indisputable fact completely obliterates the common Christian notion that "a gift must be received." The gift of eternal life is not offered to men for acceptance or rejection, it is imparted to them by the working of His mighty power in keeping with the covenantal promise of God. (Ephesians 1:19-20)


The contradictions found in this statement are incredibly prevalent in modern Christendom. But they are resolvable provided we have a proper biblical understanding of the role of regeneration in eternal salvation. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." (John 5:25)

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