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Sunday, January 22, 2023

Salvation is Not an Event

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Salvation through faith in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ involves sanctification. Sanctification is the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Some who say they are saved do not exhibit the graces of the Holy Spirit.

Though there may be a moment of conscious commitment, salvation is not an event such as this:

“I’m saved!”

“What do you mean?”

“I went forward at the pastor's invitation in church, and I prayed the sinner’s prayer and asked Jesus into my heart.”

"Did you leave your heart open long enough for Him to come in? Are you letting Him establish Himself as the Lord of your life? Are you living a crucified lifestyle?

Churches that fail to make disciples create conditions in which "saved" people become disillusioned. Without discipleship training, the fruits of the Spirit and the joy of service are lacking. Christ's presence in the life of the individual is not evident.

What must disciple-making churches do to overcome this problem?

1. Teach that salvation is about being justified by faith in the Son of God, and justification involves obedience.

2. Teach the Bible from cover to cover and encourage daily Bible reading and memorization. The disciple is to be formed and informed by the Bible.

3. Connect new believers to mature believers with whom they can fellowship and grow in the Faith.

4. Remind new believers that repentance is an on-going attitude of the heart. For "godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation..." (2 Cor. 7:10)

5. Do not place legalistic burdens upon the new believer. Instead, emphasize that the life of the disciple is characterized by purity, humility, generosity, steadfastness, patience, and service.

6. Teach a crucified lifestyle. The crucified lifestyle is not another legalistic work, but the exchange of the corrupting ways of the old life for the life of the Spirit that dwells within. 

7. Teach that the disciple's life is grounded in prayer.

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