An apology of the ABC’s of salvation.
The ABC’s of salvation:
Admit that you are a sinner.
Believe that Jesus is Lord.
Call upon His name.
Simple, effective, and like everything else, contentious.
I have expanded them a bit so as to be able to communicate them quickly and thoroughly in writing, assuming the person will not hang around long enough for any further explanation.
A: Admit that you are a sinner, who violates the Will of God, and that you need a Saviour. Repent. Turn away from your sin and toward Jesus. (Matthew 4:17; Romans 2:4, 3:10, 6:23; Acts 3:19)
B: Believe that Jesus Christ, Son of God & Messiah, died for your sins and rose again, and that He will come again, as prophesied and recorded in the Word of God. Trust in His finished work on the cross. (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 2:8-9)
C: Call on His name, ask Him to save you, and confess that He is Lord. (Romans 10:9-10, 10:13, 14:10-11; Philippians 2:10)
Most of the complaints I hear say that this is either a works based salvation, or that it does not involve membership in a brick and mortar church. I believe both of these are narrow views of the whole matter.
I think of it like a coin.
Salvation is the substance of which it is made. Salvation through faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, “B” is the middle of the coin.
Admitting your sin is a private matter. I think of “A” as the back of the coin.
Calling on Jesus I see as the face, “C” is more public (even if you are the only person there) because it involves a declaration with spoken words.
The face and the back of the coin have no substance of themselves. They are merely impressions on the material of which the coin is made.
Unless you die in the moment of your belief in salvation, I am certain that you will both admit that you are a sinner, and therefore repent, and also call on Jesus and confess that He is Lord.
When you realize your sin is when most call on Jesus, thereby getting the whole thing out of order.
They couldn’t even tell you about the trinity, the need for a perfect sacrifice, or probably even quote “One” Corinthians 15:1-4. Does this mean that they have failed and are going to burn in hell for eternity?
It means that God must work in them so that their faith is sufficient unto salvation, because it is His work, not ours, lest any should boast.
If you have no face or back on a gold coin, you still have the gold.
If you think you only have the face and the back, but no middle, look again; they have to be stamped on something.
As you can see, this is in no way works based. The ABC’s of Salvation are merely our ham handed effort to illustrate both HOW you are saved and WHAT HAPPENS when you are saved.
As to membership in a church, I would like for those who lodge that complaint to tell me exactly which denomination the thief on the cross belonged to. Since you cannot, please keep quiet about the matter entirely.
This work is probably ongoing, so feel free to comment on what I should add, subtract, multiply, divide, etc.
Don’t leave a message if you can’t stand for your feelings to be hurt. I may not respond. Worse yet, I may.
On that note, biblically to offend means to cast a stumbling block before someone, not to hurt their fee-fees. Many of you ‘kind and gentle’ people routinely cast actual stumbling blocks before others by berating brothers and sisters who speak to the sin in the person’s life and then you mindlessly repeat the word ‘love’.
I am a father and a husband and I know full well that love without justice is no love at all.
Weak men have allowed love to be made a base thing in our time because they have refused to raise their voice when it needs to be raised and speak against the sin that has brought our country under the judgement of God.
Most of them can tell you who played with their balls on Christmas day, and which group of grown men played with them most effectively.
For that, men should be, but generally aren’t, ashamed.
I will close with the verse I studied last before writing this, and the final note I typed.
“ I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.” Psalm 119:176
“Thus he concludes the psalm with a penitent sense of his own sin and believing dependence on God’s grace. With these a devout Christian will conclude his duties, will conclude his life; he will live and die repenting and praying.” -Matthew Henry