Project Description

Your eternal salvation. It’s why “God has appeared” as Paul writes to Titus. The great plan of God to “redeem us from all lawlessness” was revealed in the very first pages of the Bible.

Getting to truth on eternal salvation can be definitively known. Why would God leave it ambiguous? We have gathered just a few of the Scripture-based answers from our library addressing some of the most popular misunderstandings.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Titus 2:11-14

sound doctrine: salvation

Can I just follow my heart?

The heart may be the very last thing we should trust1,4,5 as it is where evil thoughts and deeds are spawned6,7. We must focus on God’s will and not our own2,5 and should be asking God for help3 and wisdom7.

What if I’ve said the ‘sinner’s prayer?’

It’s hard to find religious leaders today that don’t promote this as the single, only necessary act of salvation.

There is literally no passage that describes a “sinner’s prayer” or any prayer related to or connected with one’s being saved or converted. The only passage used to justify such a prayer1 does connect “calling on the Lord” to being saved, but no prayer is mentioned.

Actually, in the full context1, Paul qualifies “calling on the Lord” not as any sort of prayer. Rather, he ties it to belief (heart) and confession (mouth). Further, we see the phrase used again by Paul2 to describe the ongoing worship that the saved engage in as a local church. Indeed, we can go to other passages to see a complete more definition, including in Paul’s own conversion. But never do we see anything about a “sinner’s prayer.”

What role does the gospel play?

An individual must hear the gospel in order to know God’s will1,6. Not only does Paul tell us this plainly in his letters, but we see it played out in conversion stories in Scripture2,3,4,5. Interestingly, we see visions playing a role in all of these examples2,3,4 – even visions of Jesus, Himself5 – yet, in every case the fundamental pattern1 is followed (e.g. preacher sent, hearers hear, believers “call on him“), thus fulfilling what Isaiah writes, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”1

It should also be noted the role that prayer plays in each of these examples:

  • In Philippi2, Scripture says that Paul and Silas met an eventual convert at a “supposed place of prayer” (vs 13); presumably, Lydia was there praying when Paul and Silas met her,
  • The Ethiopian eunuch is coming from Jerusalem where he had journeyed specifically to worship God3 – no doubt praying during that time,
  • Cornelius is told by the angel of God in his vision that his prayers have been answered4 – Cornelius was praying,
  • Ananias5 is told by Jesus to “look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying” (vs 11)

If there were such a thing as a “Sinner’s Prayer” to recite for one’s salvation, why was it necessary for all of these ‘praying people’ to hear the gospel (and be baptized)?

So what saves me?

If we are to follow all Scripture without Scripture weighting, we understand that our salvation is not simply one thing. It’s not grace3 (alone). It’s not faith1 (alone). It’s not baptism5 (alone). It’s all of these (and more) working together (the very point James makes12)!

It’s all made possible with God’s grace3 and the sending of His Son1. But even in the immediate context of these “anchor” passages1,3, we see that it’s more. There and other places we see the necessity for obedience to His word1,2,3,6,8,9,11,12,13. We see the working/setting apart by the Holy Spirit7,8,13. We also repeatedly see the critical role that baptism plays. Scripture does not present anything optional or ceremonial about baptism, but rather connects it directly with grace and faith – it is, in a sense, the very first act of obedience4,7,8. Just as Paul emphasizes grace in one passage3, Peter emphasizes baptism in another5.

God has made provision for our salvation1,2,3,6,7,8,10; things we can only understand from His word2,9,10,11,13. It’s up to each of us to respond1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,11,13.

getting to truth on salvation is more than a little important, agreed?

Connect with us if you think we’re missing it….our souls depend on it too!

get all of the questions about salvation

answered by scripture with the Bible Study Framework

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