TENET 20

20.  Salvation

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Salvation is a gift from God and there are no works which any man can do to earn this gift of Salvation.

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with God giving each man the free will.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

a.  Regeneration

Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.

b.  Justification

Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.

c.  Sanctification

Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.

d.  Glorification

Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

e.  Non-Calvinistic Doctrinal Views

We acknowledge that there are many ways to define exactly what Calvinism means. We will not attempt to define these views with a blanket answer. However, we do choose to clarify what we believe. We provide these beliefs to hold steadfast to sound doctrine. We do not allow these doctrines to be preached or taught in any of our services except to teach the difference in what we believe and the tenants of Calvinism.

1.   Total Depravity of the Sinner

We believe that God commanded all men everywhere to repent and that God would not command this if He made it impossible for men to repent (Acts 17:30, John 1:9, John 12:32,33). We disagree with many Calvinists who believe that God has predestined many to Hell, unable to repent.

2.   Unconditional Election

We believe that election simply means that God knows who will trust Him when they hear the Gospel and chooses them to be carried through till, they are conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-30). We believe no man can know beforehand whom God will save. Therefore, all men are commanded to preach the Gospel to all nations. We disagree with many Calvinists who believe that God compels some to be saved, and damns some whom he has decided He does not wish to save.

3.   Limited Atonement

We believe Christ died for everyone (John 1:29, 3:16, 1 Timothy 4:10). We disagree with many Calvinists who believe that Christ did not die for all men and made no provision for them so they could possibly be saved.

4.   Irresistible Grace

We believe that man has the choice to refuse God’s grace (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Matthew 23:37). We disagree with many Calvinists who believe that all who are elected to be saved will be saved, that they cannot resist this special grace limited to them but will be saved when God calls.

5.   Perseverance of the Saints

We believe that salvation does not come by works nor can we keep salvation by works. We also believe in the eternal security of the believer. It is God Himself that holds and keeps us saved (John 5:24, 10:27-29, 2 Timothy 1:12). We disagree with many Calvinists who believe those whom God has called into communion with Himself will continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away never had true faith to begin with.

Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:18-26; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:9,27-29; 15:1-16; 17:6,12-18; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2,18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-22; 3:1-11; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 1:12; 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:6-2:19; 3:2; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5

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