Salvation is NOT a Process.

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ScottA

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Many will and do say that salvation is a "process"...because it would appear that "God is not done with us yet."

Nonetheless, in addition to saying what would appear to be describing a process, the scriptures also describe salvation as instantaneous, that anyone in Christ is "a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." Which of course echoes confirmation of Jesus' claim that "It is finished."

So...rather than salvation actually being a "process", which does NOT reconcile all of what is written, but rather is the result of human logic and unbelief in all that is written--Please consider calling salvation what it now is--something new.

Consider that during all of the Old Testament era before the cross--no one ever got saved, and certainly never got saved in the middle of their life, as is common for many during these times since the cross. Read that again and let it sink in.

Now...let's not make this a debate about the possibility of someone like Enoch or Elijah getting "saved"--as that is not the point. The point is, the salvation of Christ did not come until the cross, and until Jesus went to the Father and sent the Spirit, that we could be born again of the spirit of God.
Now then, we now have something new--something the world had never before seen or lived by. In fact much of the scriptures were written specifically about life as looking forward to salvation coming--and therefore much of what is written does not even apply to what we can now experience. Of course, we are not born with salvation, as they too were not. But that something new, is the possibility of coming to salvation in the midst of this life--something they never had or was even possible. Which, yes, does complicate the understanding of the scriptures, because it means "rightly dividing" what is indeed written to those who have not yet come to this new life opportunity that we now have only had for the past 2,000 years--from what is written to those who have. Meaning, there is two completely different narratives in what is written. The point being, that someone who has come to salvation, does not still need to do so, and so the words written to those who have not yet come to salvation do not apply. Likewise, those things that are written to and for those who have not yet come to salvation--those Old Testament passages still apply.

The difference between those who have and those who have not received salvation, is then that "change" that takes place that makes "all things new." This is what makes one "a changed person"...and it is being a changed person (or not) that makes each of the two different narratives apply or not apply.

But the point of salvation not being a "process", is that it has not been looked at correctly for 2,000 years. As I said, that is the wrong word to call it. It should rather be called, an "overlay." That is, an overlay of our new life born [again] of the spirit of God, over that old life that we were first born of in the flesh. This is what the apostle Paul described as "being alive and remaining." That is being alive by the spirit of God and no longer of the world, but remaining in the world and in that old body of flesh, simultaneously. This is that "new" thing that has never before been in all the former history of the world and that of Israel, before the salvation of Christ. In other words, never before have people been saved in the middle of their lifetime, left to carry the baggage of their former self until it too dies. And this is why the same Paul who wrote that "old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" also wrote seemingly to the contrary, that "what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do." Not because he had not been saved, but because he too experienced this mystery of being "alive and remaining" in our old body of sin, while being made alive and anew by the spirit of God.

So--a better word to describe the current way of salvation would be: Overlay--if that is easier to understand, since "Christ in us and we in Him" has not been effective to describe the circumstances for so many. Notably, not the Oneness that shall be, but a new and different means by which Christ has chosen to carry the burden of sins. Which means the only "process" is that of "until the fulness of the gentiles has come."

That is, since Pentecost we now live anew in Christ in overlay of that old self that is being used by Christ to preach the gospel, to live as Christ until these times of the gentiles are fulfilled. Which is the reason Paul came to say, "for me, to live is Christ." Not because He was Jesus Christ, but because even though Jesus had appointed him to serve "in weakness", it is the means that Jesus has chosen for His "strength to be made perfect."

Thus, when you see others struggling not to do what they will to do and doing what they hate (as did Paul), understand that "it is no longer they who live, but Christ lives in them." Take care therefore, not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit by whom this mystery of new life in Christ is fulfilled.
 
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dhh712

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Yes, we are working out our salvation in fear and trembling, knowing it is Christ working in us.

It may be that the terms get confused, but let's not get hung up on the terms justification and sanctification. Jesus says that all that the Father has given him he will not lose. So to say that someone can actually lose the salvation they once had is to call Jesus a liar.

Rather, let us admit what Jesus describes in the parabal of the sowers, that they were never saved in the first place. Someone can act very much like they are saved, but only God knows their heart. Time will tell, and ultimately it only matters where they are-- if they are in Christ Jesus -- at the time of death.
 
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ScottA

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Yes, we are working out our salvation in fear and trembling, knowing it is Christ working in us.

It may be that the terms get confused, but let's not get hung up on the terms justification and sanctification. Jesus says that all that the Father has given him he will not lose. So to say that someone can actually lose the salvation they once had is to call Jesus a liar.

Rather, let us admit what Jesus describes in the parabal of the sowers, that they were never saved in the first place. Someone can act very much like they are saved, but only God knows their heart. Time will tell, and ultimately it only matters where they are-- if they are in Christ Jesus -- at the time of death.
Indeed, there is a lot of confusion with the different terms.

"Work out your own salvation" is one such term. When we read that, it would appear as if we could even save ourselves--which simply is not true. Thus, the term is rather a directive which Paul gave because of his "absence." So the context is not "Do it yourself", nor was Paul saying that he would save them when he came--which he could not have done either. But, no, the context rather is that the Philistines were not even going to have Paul's help in guiding them in person, and that they would have to do what they could to prepare for their own salvation. Which Paul told them how to do, saying "in fear and trembling"--as if saying to them, "I am not going to be there at your side, so you will have to face God without me." Which then becomes the same advice for us who also do not have Paul at our side, but only have his directions by letter also.