One of the terms that is often mentioned in Christian churches is grace. In particular, that term is often used in the context of salvation. Most churches tend to define grace as “unmerited kindness”, or “unmerited favor” – and by that, they mean that Christians have not earned salvation. That is, since we are all sinners, we do not “merit” salvation – and as a result, we are all dependent upon God’s grace to be saved.
Of course, it is certainly true that none of us “deserve” salvation, due to our sins. That, in turn, means that we are all dependent on grace for salvation. Here is one of the most well-known Scriptural passages, which confirms that concept:
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One item that is familiar to many Christians is the concept of “the book of life”. It is rather interesting that the book of life is so well known; given that there are very few references in Scripture to it. In fact, in most English translations, the phrase “book of life” only occurs eight times Scripture – one occurrence in Psalms, one in Philippians, and six in Revelation.
The book of life is essentially a metaphor, which refers to the people who will be saved. For example, consider the following passage:
Revelation 20:14-15 (ESV):
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Parables are short, allegorical stories, which are used to make a moral or spiritual point. Parables tend to be quite effective at getting their points across – as they place their lessons in very “real world” environments; so to speak.
Another item to note about parables is that many people are under the impression that parables only exist in the New Testament – i.e., some people believe that parables were only used by Jesus. However, that is not the case – parables were also used in the Old Testament.
Here are seven examples, of some of the more well-known Scriptural parables:
- The Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-37
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Without a doubt, one of the most famous verses in the New Testament is John 14:6. The context of that verse is that Jesus is speaking to his disciples, about salvation. The English Standard Version of the Bible translates that verse as follows:
John 14:6 (ESV):
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
That verse is very profound, of course – it tells us that the only way for us to approach God is to go through Jesus. In other words, there are no other ways for people to be saved, other than through Jesus.
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Chapters 9, 10 and 11 in the book of Romans go into detail about God’s covenants with the Israelites – beginning with Abraham, continuing through Moses and including the prophets.
Those chapters also discuss the relationship that Gentiles have with those covenants. In other words, those chapters also contain information about how Gentiles “fit” into God’s covenants with the patriarchs.
One of the passages that discusses this relationship between Israelites and Gentiles is contained in Romans 11, as follows:
Romans 11:13-24 (NIV):
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The first five books of the Bible – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy – are collectively known as the Torah. The Hebrew word “Torah” is usually translated as “Law”; but other valid translations are “Teaching” and “Instruction”.
Some of the information in the Torah deals with the rules and regulations that God gave to Moses – i.e., the so-called “Mosaic law”. According to the traditional Jewish interpretation of the Torah, there are a total of 613 rules and regulations, in the entire body of the Mosaic law.
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One item that the New Testament brings up, many times, is that knowledge about God and Jesus is necessary for salvation. In other words, in order for people to be granted eternal life, they need to understand about God and His Son. Here are some examples of this:
John 17:1-3 (ESV):
1When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
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I think the title says it all. The world as we know it is battling with hopelessness. Everything in our society these days has become uncertain. Nothing is guaranteed. Hence many are living in fear and misery. All they see is a pitiful life with no end in sight. Sometimes they wish death would take them and be rid of this little existence. How about when this begins to creep into the church? Today, I want to speak on the subject of hope and its importance in our life. Hope is an integral part of Christianity and each of us must learn about it and live it out.
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“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”
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One of the most important topics – if not the most important topic – which is debated in Christian circles is the topic of “soteriology”. That topic discusses the subject of salvation - that is, the exact process by which a person is granted eternal life.
As with most other theological topics, there are many different beliefs about how, exactly, a person can be saved. However, from my experience, there are three primary belief systems about that subject – and those three beliefs will be discussed in this post.
The “Evangelical” Doctrine
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