What is required?

HillsboroMom

Active member
I'm curious about what various people believe is "necessary" in order to be considered (a) a Christian, and/or (b) saved.
Is it the same thing?
What does "salvation" or "being saved" mean?

Here are some possible answers to the first question (What is "necessary" in order to be considered (a) a Christian, and/or (b) saved):
  • You must be baptized to be a Christian, and/or to be saved.
  • You must be baptized by immersion. Any other form of baptism doesn't count (i.e. sprinkled).
  • You must be baptized AND commit yourself to Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, you're a Christian. Any other requirement doesn't make sense, because different Christians have different requirements.
  • You must follow Jesus. (And then one must ask "How does one do that? What does it mean to "follow Jesus"?)
  • You must be a Catholic. (Or, Baptist. Or, Mormon.) Or, you must be a member of a church OTHER THAN one of the cults (i.e., any church except for Mormon or Catholic.)
  • You must accept certain theology (i.e. Trinity, or post-trib., or pre-trib., or reject the Trinity, or reject Works Righteousness, or whatever theology you think is necessary)
  • We can't possibly know who is saved. Only God knows. And we are not responsible for anyone else's salvation. All we can do is serve others as Jesus instructed us to do, and pray.
  • It is fore-ordained who is saved and who isn't. There's nothing you can do about it.
  • All mankind is saved. Jesus died once for ALL, not once for some.
  • Other ideas?
Here are some possible answers to the middle question:
  • All Christians are saved, and everyone who is saved is a Christian. (i.e. the Venn diagram is two concentric circles on top of each other)
  • All Christians are saved, and there might be people who are also saved who aren't Christian. ("Saved" is a circle larger than "Christian," which is entirely within "Saved")
  • Not all Christians are saved, and not all saved people are Christians. (Traditional Venn diagram)
  • All saved people are Christian, but not all Christians are saved. ("Christian" is the larger circle, and "saved" is entirely within it.)
  • Others?
Here are some possible answer to the last question (What does it mean to be "saved"?) (Obviously, one could pick more than one answer if one wanted)
  • "Salvation" means you will be resurrected at the end times with Jesus and live forever
  • "Salvation" means you will go to heaven after you die and see all your loved ones
  • "Salvation" means salvation from hell, a literal place of eternal physical torment and torture.
  • "Salvation" means you are chosen here and now, set aside to do God's work here on earth.
  • Other ideas?
Hoping this sparks discussion and FRIENDLY debate. Please be polite with those who disagree with you.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
I'm curious about what various people believe is "necessary" in order to be considered (a) a Christian, and/or (b) saved.

To be a saved Christian, one must:
- be a sinner;
- be chosen by God;
- hear the gospel;
- be regenerated by God;
- be given faith by God;
- be given repentance by God;
- be justified by God;
- by sanctified by God;
- be glorified by God; (cf. Rom. 8:29-30, Eph. 1)

Your question almost assumes being saved is something that individuals must do. In point of fact, it is all the work of God, from start to finish.

"The only thing you contribute to your salvation is the sin that makes it necessary. "
-- Jonathan Edwards.

Is it the same thing?
What does "salvation" or "being saved" mean?

In theory, they are the same thing. In practice, "Christian" is a label given to someone who testifies of Christ and has shown evidence in his church of his allegiance to Christ (eg. church membership, worship, teaching or participation in Bible study, etc.)

"Salvation" is something which can only be known by the individual Christian, as he confirms his relationship with God.


  • You must be baptized to be a Christian, and/or to be saved.
  • You must be baptized by immersion. Any other form of baptism doesn't count (i.e. sprinkled).
  • You must be baptized AND commit yourself to Jesus.

These are "salvation by works".

  • You must follow Jesus. (And then one must ask "How does one do that? What does it mean to "follow Jesus"?)

I would say that you must hold to the same moral code as represented in the Bible, strive to refrain from sin, and show repentance when you fail.

  • You must be a Catholic. (Or, Baptist. Or, Mormon.) Or, you must be a member of a church OTHER THAN one of the cults (i.e., any church except for Mormon or Catholic.)
  • You must accept certain theology (i.e. Trinity, or post-trib., or pre-trib., or reject the Trinity, or reject Works Righteousness, or whatever theology you think is necessary)

These are related questions. There are certain foundational doctrines, which one must affirm, to be Christian, such as monotheism, the Trinity, salvation by faith, etc. In some cases there may be doctrines that you don't have to explicitly hold, but to deny is problematic. There is likely discussion and disagreement on which doctrines false into which categories. Other doctrines (such as mode of baptism, whether to baptize babies, etc, whether you're exclusive psalmody or allow other hymns, etc.) are not essential. A quote attributed to Augustine goes:

"In essentials, unity;
in non-essentials, liberty;
in all things, charity."


The thing about churches labelled "cults" is that they tend to deny one or more fundamental doctrines, such as Mormons denying monotheism, JW's denying the deity of Christ, etc.

  • We can't possibly know who is saved. Only God knows. And we are not responsible for anyone else's salvation. All we can do is serve others as Jesus instructed us to do, and pray.

Correct.

  • It is fore-ordained who is saved and who isn't. There's nothing you can do about it.

Well, it is foreordained (and this true even of those who deny predestination, as long as they hold to God's foreknowledge). But we are commanded to preach the gospel to EVERYONE, so that particular doctrine shouldn't really affect our walk in Christ.

  • All mankind is saved. Jesus died once for ALL, not once for some.

Funny thing that Jesus preached about hell FAR more than he preached about heaven. Why preach about hell at all, if all are saved? Why even care about the gospel, if everyone is saved.

But the phrase, "once for all" occurs in Rom. 6:10, Heb. 7:27, 9:12, and 10:10.
In every case, it comes from the Greek term, "ephapax", which is a TEMPORAL adverb, meaning "once", and it is emphatic, so it means, "once only", or "once for all [time]".

It does NOT carry the two-fold meaning of (1) "once for" (2) "all [people]", so it cannot possibly be a support for universalism.
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
To be a saved Christian, one must:
- be a sinner;
- be chosen by God;
- hear the gospel;
- be regenerated by God;
- be given faith by God;
- be given repentance by God;
- be justified by God;
- by sanctified by God;
- be glorified by God; (cf. Rom. 8:29-30, Eph. 1)

Your question almost assumes being saved is something that individuals must do. In point of fact, it is all the work of God, from start to finish.

"The only thing you contribute to your salvation is the sin that makes it necessary. "
-- Jonathan Edwards.



In theory, they are the same thing. In practice, "Christian" is a label given to someone who testifies of Christ and has shown evidence in his church of his allegiance to Christ (eg. church membership, worship, teaching or participation in Bible study, etc.)

"Salvation" is something which can only be known by the individual Christian, as he confirms his relationship with God.




These are "salvation by works".



I would say that you must hold to the same moral code as represented in the Bible, strive to refrain from sin, and show repentance when you fail.



These are related questions. There are certain foundational doctrines, which one must affirm, to be Christian, such as monotheism, the Trinity, salvation by faith, etc. In some cases there may be doctrines that you don't have to explicitly hold, but to deny is problematic. There is likely discussion and disagreement on which doctrines false into which categories. Other doctrines (such as mode of baptism, whether to baptize babies, etc, whether you're exclusive psalmody or allow other hymns, etc.) are not essential. A quote attributed to Augustine goes:

"In essentials, unity;
in non-essentials, liberty;
in all things, charity."


The thing about churches labelled "cults" is that they tend to deny one or more fundamental doctrines, such as Mormons denying monotheism, JW's denying the deity of Christ, etc.



Correct.



Well, it is foreordained (and this true even of those who deny predestination, as long as they hold to God's foreknowledge). But we are commanded to preach the gospel to EVERYONE, so that particular doctrine shouldn't really affect our walk in Christ.



Funny thing that Jesus preached about hell FAR more than he preached about heaven. Why preach about hell at all, if all are saved? Why even care about the gospel, if everyone is saved.

But the phrase, "once for all" occurs in Rom. 6:10, Heb. 7:27, 9:12, and 10:10.
In every case, it comes from the Greek term, "ephapax", which is a TEMPORAL adverb, meaning "once", and it is emphatic, so it means, "once only", or "once for all [time]".

It does NOT carry the two-fold meaning of (1) "once for" (2) "all [people]", so it cannot possibly be a support for universalism.

Thank you for an awesome post. I disagree with you on a few points, but I appreciate your answers.

May you continue to be blessed.
 
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