I have written an e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which is free to anyone. To download that book, in several formats, go here.
Creative Commons License
The posts in this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. In other words, you can copy and use this material, as long as you aren't making money from it, and as long as you give me credit.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Scripture that indicates that humans can choose salvation

This is a thorny topic, and one that I'm not expecting to settle. There are intelligent, Bible-believing people who disagree with the title of this post. See the Wikipedia articles on Free Will, Free will in theology, and Predestination for good treatment of this subject, including views opposed to mine. Now to what the title says, below. Some of these verses don't say anything directly about free choice, but these were chosen because they indicate that anyone may accept Christ's sacrifice for sin, thus implying that they may choose it:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (All scripture quotations from the World English Bible, which is public domain.)

Acts 2:20 The sun will be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.
21 It will be that whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
(quoting Joel 2)

Romans 5:17 For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one trespass, all men were condemned; even so through one act of righteousness, all men were justified to life.

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all who call on him. 13 For, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (quoting Joel 2)

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6a who gave himself as a ransom for all; 

1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

1 John 2:2 And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.

Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” He who hears, let him say, “Come!” He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Thanks for reading, whether you did it by a free choice, or not!


i am Grateful... Kerry i am. said...

Thanks for posting the good stuff for us. So glad you choose to do it over and over. -- kerry

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks,Kerry i am.

Gary said...

Is Salvation a transaction?

An evangelical Christian recently said to me, "When a sinner turns from sin to the Savior...A transaction is made and a soul is saved."

This statement is the crux of the problem with Baptist/evangelical theology: God DOES NOT conduct transactions with sinners!

God saves sinners, and he does so WITHOUT their assistance or even their cooperation. Salvation is not a is a FREE gift. Gifts do not involve "transactions".

It is interesting to note this point: In Baptist and evangelical theology the sinner has a free will BEFORE he is saved, but loses his free will, the ability to choose or to reject God, after the "transaction" of salvation with God has been completed.

In Lutheran theology, the sinner lacks ANY free will in spiritual matters prior to salvation. The reason that the sinner lacks a free will to make spiritual decisions (such as "accepting Jesus into his heart") is because the sinner is spiritually dead. However, once God saves him, quickens (makes alive) his spiritually dead soul, he then has the ability to make spiritual free-will decisions: to follow Christ, or to turn back to his former life of sin and darkness.

Which theology is most consistent with Scripture and the historic teachings of the Christian Church?

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Gary.

As I indicated, this is a controversial topic, and not one that I am going to settle. However, the scripture passages I quoted seem to indicate that humans do, indeed, have some choice in the matter of salvation, at least sometimes.