Salvation Components

Everyone knows that to be "saved" (go to Heaven after you die), one must believe Christ paid for all one's sins (i.e., Acts 16:31). Yet there is much confusion over how salvation is constructed. Briefly, salvation is constructed based on an eternity-past LOVE contract among the Members of the Trinity. To Express Their Love For Each Other. We are the happy beneficiaries of that Love, and therefore all we need 'do' is consent. Beneficiaries cannot ever be forced to receive an inheritance, which Salvation essentially is. So the Beneficiary must have the right to REJECT the contract. So, if you never believe in the Payor of the Contract, Jesus the Christ, then you have rejected your inheritance and won't get it. He paid for your sins, and that payment is reserved to be spent on you to make you compatible with God, so you can live with Him forever. You accept it by 'doing' Acts 16:31: believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in that instant you are forever saved. (That's a corrected translation of the Greek tenses, versus English Bibles.) But you can refuse it. So to refuse it, don't EVER 'do' that verse, nor any others like it (John 3:16, Eph2:8-9, Eph1:13, Rom10:9, Gal 2:16, etc).

If you are an unbeliever reading this page, just believe Christ paid for all your sins. That makes you "saved" permanently. Being thus saved, if you use 1Jn1:9 (name any known sins in the life), you will be able to learn God: i.e., how your so-great salvation actually was accomplished. That's the method by which the Holy Spirit thus enables any believer to understand spiritual information. (Goofy Christians are goofy because they don't use 1Jn1:9 and 2Pet3:18.)

Please note: what follows is not in chronological order, but the logical order of the Plan of Salvation (which was later executed in time). This chart is but one way to parse the principal components of salvation, and is not all-inclusive, nor are all the applicable verses referenced. It is only provided to help people get a better sense of the Bible's technical terms (like Atonement, Expiation, Propitiation, Reconciliation, Redemption, etc).; The chart focuses on Which Agent does the Work. The explanation below the chart is surprisingly good, and covers terms the Bible itself uses to communicate the components.

Jesus Christ Atonement (payment) of all sins of all mankind God the Father "Funds" sufficient to justify saving all mankind "deposited". Please note, the "funds" and "deposit" metaphors are Bible terms in the Greek. (Eph, Timothy make much use of these metaphors.) These funds are: funds to completely Atone; funds to Propitiate the Father, funds to Reconcile (make peace), funds to Redeem (from slavery). All four types are needed for Propitiation (see below) to be completed, really, since man is "damaged goods" due to Adam's sin. Hypostatic Union,
His Rulership of Creation, King-Priesthhod vests forever in His Humanity.
All of the OT verses on Ark's "Mercy Seat" and "Holy of Holies" usage; Passover, Yom Kippur; on sacrifices and Levitical Offerings; Job9; Romans 4-5, Bk. Hebrews, 1Tim2:3-6. Death is the ultimate form of damage, and we are dead: Rom5:12. Christ (as God: Heb 1:3,Col1:16-17) created mankind as a present to the Father. As Atoner/Lamb, His Humanity also makes a present of mankind to the Father. Eph1, John17, "Christ our Passover" verse, 1Pet2:5,9, Rev1:6, 5:10. Col1:25-27.
Jesus Christ Expiation (payment) of all sins of mankind
"Funds" sufficient to regenerate all mankind "deposited" Creation of man verses on Expiation, like 2Cor5:14-15,1Jn2:2 (many in OT, NT)
God the Father Propitiated by Son's Atoning Work
Accepts "Funds" as sufficient; elects to apply funds to reward Christ Creation of man; Gospel communication to all mankind; salvation for those who believe Ephesians, and verses on Propitiation, Father's being "pleased"
God the Father Elections regarding mankind
Elects to create each human; Elects to have Gospel be provided to each human; Elects to apply salvation ONLY to those who believe in Christ Holy Spirit's Ministries creation election: "" verses;
Gospel provision: "call" verses (and synonyms)
Apply salvation: "chose(n)", (most) "ransom", "elect", "redeem" verses (among others)
God the Holy Spirit Common Grace mankind Makes God-consciousness/ Gospel completely perspicuous to spiritually brain-dead unbeliever via another human or other means. life (logistical) support for unbeliever; condemnation if unbeliever continually refuses His Ministry at either or both 1) God-consciousness, 2) Gospel transmission. Romans; John 3, 14, 16, 17; :"not willing that any should perish" in Peter; and the "unforgivable sin", "blasphemes the Holy Spirit" verses.
God the Father
those who believe in Christ
Full Justification
Application of Reconciliation and redemption funds
Verses in NT where "justification" , "reconciliation" and "redemption" concepts are used with God the Father as the Subject/Agency referenced.
God the Holy Spirit
Gospel message is that of "be reconciled to God" through faith in Christ.
Release of Reconciliation and Redemption funds to those who believe in Christ. This is "Efficacious Grace" (corrected version)
"Reconciliation" "reconcile" "peace" verses. (Greek word "eirene" really means "reconciliation". The term is a legal/war term: when the war is concluded, the parties are said to be "reconciled" (hence "peace" in that sense. So "prosperity" also is a meaning).
God the Father Redemption those who believe in Christ
Imputes His Righteousness (plus His Son's Righteousness, in the Church Age), to the believer.
Regeneration (aka "born again") "..Righteousness of God in Him" and similar verses. The OT versions have a different vocabulary: Gen15:6 and "righteous" title are the frequently- used patterns.
God the Holy Spirit Regeneration (aka "born again) those who believe in Christ
creates a human spirit, which is essential to being able to be of compatible "species" (as it were) with God. [Adam didn't have Eternal Life, which is why when he sinned, he lost his human spirit and became totally-depraved. When he believed in Christ (Gen3:21, in context), he too was regenerated.]
species-compatibility with God; home/target for the judicial imputations of Righteousness (above), and the REAL imputation of Eternal Life (next row).
John 3 and the "redemption" and "regeneration" verses where the Spirit is the subject of the sentence, or the Agency in the sentence. Tie-in verses include Heb 4:12 and 1Cor2, to show that regenerate man is tripartite.
God the Father Regeneration those who believe in Christ
Imputes His Eternal Life (plus the Eternal Life of the Son, in the Church Age).
permanent salvation, due to the nature of the human spirit being a spirit endowed with Eternal Life verses on believers having "eternal life" or "everlasting life" in OT and NT (viz., 1Jn5:13); where in NT you see we share in the Life of Christ, the double-EL imputation is referenced.
God the Holy Spirit Sealing those who believe in Christ
Sealing was a signature guarantee in the ancient world. A signature ring was dipped in melted wax and then applied to a scroll or envelope to prove ownership/acceptance of obligation.
permanent salvation
"sealing" verses (which don't all reference salvation, but prove what "sealing" means in the Bible); "sealed to the Day of Redemption" (which IS about permanence of salvation).

Why do people become confused about what salvation means? God's Love is not like human love; human love you can lose. God's Love you cannot lose. God loves the people in hell, and even Satan, just as much as He loves Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Himself. For Absolute Love never varies based on the object. Only Justice varies with the object, since we are all different, and Justice must insure Consistent, Competent FAIRNESS. A thing is only fair if matched to the justice requirements and needs of the object. So only God can truly be fair, since only God can know enough to BE Fair. Omniscience insures He knows Everything, so no incompetence is possible.

Almost every time you see the word "love" in the Bible, it's mistranslated. Should read "Divine Love", not merely Love. God's Love is Absolute, so is not emotional. Not changeable. Love loves to be competent, and hence always operates within JUSTICE. Folks are extremely uncomfortable with the idea that God has to execute Justice. They don't understand that His Love means absolutely nothing, if He can't be Perfectly Righteous. What seems like cold-Judge thinking is in fact the Absoluteness of Love. Your flaws don't dent God's Love. Your attractive qualities don't influence His Love for you either. So you CANNOT EVER LOSE His Love. But if you reject His Love, Justice requires you receive different judicial treatment. But the Love is still there. God's Head Sovereign Integrity IS His Love. Virtue is the backbone of Love, and Righteousness/Justice is the attitude of Virtue, and Love loves Virtue because Virtue is Competent. God is all ONE, here: His Attributes aren't divided. So Justice is Love, too. Absolutely.

So, the Bible's own vocabulary is legal: very precisely defined. As you read, notice how LOVE is in fact the result. What greater way to express Love, than via legal commitments? So: let's review what the principal Bible terms mean. Use 1Jn1:9 NOW, or else stop reading, for you will understand nothing apart from naming any known sins to God. Here goes...

"Atonement" in the Bible ONLY has a toward-God meaning. In the OT, the Ark was a symbol of the future Christ being the "Atonement" for sin: Yom Kippur, which means "Day of Atonement", is the annual Jewish holiday celebrated then and now to reference this fact. To "atone" means to pay a penalty for sin committed. The person to whom this penalty must be paid is the person who was wronged: here, God. To pay the penalty, one must pay for MORE than just the cost of the damage, but also the cost of the restoration of the object (here, man), and ALSO (very important), the cost of what 'best-use' (i.e., "seven-fold") the recipient could have received from the object were it not damaged.What the recipient does with that payment is solely up to the recipient.It is usually up to the recipient to say what is sufficient payment.Thus this Biblical definition has been a long-standing principle of Jewish law, and is behind most of the laws on restitution/reparation in many cultures.

    "Atonement" is WHOLLY substitutionary: It NEVER depicts a way to obtain something at a lower price, or a co-payment. It was depicted by the animal sacrifices in the OT. That's why animals' LIVES were sacrificed, showing the totality of the cost. The "Lamb of God" title for the Lord's Humanity carries that concept forward in the NT. Unlike the neighboring countries' practice of sacrifice, in the Mosaic Law, the guilty party placed his hand on the animal, while the Levitical priest cut its throat (this cut off pain for the animal as well), and as the animal bled to death, Christ was depicted as the Substitute-to-come being imputed with (hand-on-animal=impuation), judged for (cutting-throat), and paying for the penalty of, that sin (death-of-animal depicted His Substitutionary SPIRITUAL death on Cross).

"Propitiation" is the satisfaction of the aggrieved party , owing to the receipt of the atoning payment: here, God the Father. The Mercy Seat (top of the Ark) was often called "propitiation", depicted by the two gold angels who faced each other: one represented Righteousness, and the other Justice (of the Father) looking "down" on the Ark (whose gold represented Christ's Diety, and whose acacia wood represented His future Humanity), and being satisfied. The contents of the Ark represented "sin" (Aaron's rod that budded; the broken 1st set of Law Tablets; and a jar of some manna -- about which, Israel habitually complained). In the NT, the word "hilasterion" means "propitiation". It is (strangely) NOT always translated in English Bibles as "propitiation", but IS the same word as the LXX uses for the Mercy Seat in the OT. The Ark of the Covenant was central to all Jewish law on sacrifice, and the basis for it. Hence, the title, "Ark of the Covenant". Every covenant must have a sacrifice to justify it, as Heb 9:16ff explains. (That passage is a summary of what was understood in the OT, as the Levitical sacrifices attest.)

"Expiation", by contrast, is the RESULT of atonement: the person guilty is deemed to have expiated (satisfied) the restitution/penalty/reparation due. It is a judicial term, just as "Atonement" is, but is the judicial status of the person guilty AFTER "Atonement" has been accomplished. So "expiation" is both a result of "Atonement", and "Propitiation".IT IS MERELY A JUDICIAL STATUS. So, in our case, our damaged condition remains (total depravity, unsaved, still in Adam, still subject to physical death, still separated from God, etc). But we are no longer held guilty for the damage. THIS FACT IS CRITICAL: it explains why NO one goes to Hell for sins. (If you look up the "Great White Throne Judgement" in Revelation, you'll notice people there are judged for their works..not for their sins. ["Works", when not qualified by an adjective or adjectival phrase (or syntactical sarcasm), means "good deeds", in the Bible.]

"Reconciliation" is another legal term in the Bible, and it means "come to peace terms" (war/conflict between the parties is resolved). So, many English Bibles use the word "peace" to translate it, like in Isa 53. Even so, don't forget the legal meaning, "Reconciliation". The very word means voluntary consent by the parties in the reconciliation. Absent consent, there is no reconciliation, irrespective of any payment issues. Why? Because the agreement means a relationship is being created or healed. All relationships have legal ramifications. This one, most of all.

    Reconciliation restores or creates a peaceable relationship between two parties in a dispute/war. Obviously, if the accused party feels he is not at fault, he will not agree to any reconciliation. So, the "war" (or separation) status remains between them, even if some THIRD party had made sufficient payment to the injured party, such that the injured party seeks reconciliation with the accused. The legal point is, until the accused consents, no reconciliation exists. With or without any payment being made on his behalf.

    Again, you'll find many versions of this ancient Biblical legal principle of reconciliation in virtually every culture. War reparations. Damages. Divorce settlements. Dowries. All of these are financial or juridical ways of reconciling the parties, and ALL of them depend on consent. The common concept of "bail", even, which is a mere surety (which the accused can refuse), is a 'child' of the reconciliation principle. So-called "class action" lawsuits also have the same requirement -- after the suit is settled, those in the suit must individually consent to receive their portion of the settlement. So, if they do not, they STILL are able to "war" with the other party in the suit. Even more commonly, the concept of inheritance: the recipient must CONSENT to receive any bequest or other testamentary property, for it to be received. Until then, the testamentary property remains escrowed or otherwise separated from the recipient for whom it was intended. No one can force the recipient to take it. The recipient must be "reconciled" to the settlement, see. Until then, the issue between the recipient and the other legal party is unresolved, and a status of separation/war exists between them.

    So, regarding salvation, the issue is, do you, the accused, agree to be reconciled to God? (i.e., 2Cor5:20b) Yet also, in a happier way: do you, a potential heir, agree to be reconciled to your inheritance settlement in Christ? (Heb9) Either way you want to look at it, "Reconciliation" means YOU AGREE to Christ paying on your behalf. Your ONE-TIME CONSENT is required, for "peace" to exist between God, and you. That's the only way you can GET the Salvation Deposit, as it were, which Christ made on your behalf, about 2000 years ago. Reconciliation is a prerequisite for any of the funds to be used toward the restoration of our damage. Because we had no role in atonement, propitiation, or expiation: it was all done apart from our consent. Further, the damage still exists; all that has happened is that we CAN be justifiably reconcilied to God. However, at this point, our consent is required , because we are in a state of voluntary hostility to God, so long as we do not believe in His Son. Faith in Christ means the person agrees to the "terms of peace". (The "L" in the "TULIPS?" website explains this issue in more detail.) The party, us, who is hostile, at war, is obviously completely absent merit.

    Agreement profits us, not God. God has already been paid. We pay nothing, nor can we..that was why Atonement (etc.) was needed for us in the first place. It's merely a question of whether we admit defeat. If we don't, then we cannot be credited with the funds on deposit, as it were, since we don't accept the substitionary payment on our behalf (in USA, this is akin to "electing against the will" in estate law). So, if we REJECT these peace terms, we must then come up with our own atonements: the GWTJ reveals that all our "works" are not enough to compare with His Payment on the Cross, and THAT is why we go to Hell: "concerning sin, because they have never believed in Me" (John 16:9). [Note: "never" is a better translation of the Greek "ouk" with the indicative mood of the verb, since "ouk" is FAR more emphatic than the English "not". If you shouted "NOT!" in English, you could maybe translate "ouk" as "not" -- but "never" conveys the same idea as the shouted English "NOT!" 1Pet1:8 has a similar construction, as do many other passages. The Greek word "me" (prounounced "may") has a meaning akin to the weaker, English "not": Peter makes clever use of that fact, in 1Pet1:8. Good interpretation of that verse depends on knowing the difference between these two negative Greek particles. Peter uses BOTH of them to stress how he found the believers' faith amazing, despite their never having seen Him. Clearly implicit in that statement, because 'ouk' is used, is Peter's self-examination -- for Peter HAD seen Him. Peter uses the second, weaker "not" to implicitly stress how they WILL see Him..forever.]

"Redemption" in the Bible is used to free something or someone from enslavement or other commitment/bondage. "Ransom" refers to the payment itself, and "redemption" refers to the RESULT of the ransom's efficacious payment. For example, in the OT, a person could "redeem" a first-born animal or person from the various dedication-laws otherwise applicable, via "ransom" payment (aka "redemption price"). The recipient thus received the value for the animal/person, so the animal/person was freed (or free to return to its prior owner). So, in our case, the "ransom" is owed God the Father, who is the Head of the Godhead, so He has the first rights. Christ paid our redemption price. (See "redemption", "redeem", and "ransom" verses: 1Tim2:3-6 shows this ransom was paid for all mankind. By the way, "all" in the Greek plural, when it stands alone, means "all without exception": as usual, English translations chop off so much of the Greek meaning, the reader is left confused.) No one who is unreconciled can receive the previously-paid benefit of redemption, for (as we saw above), no one is acceptably-reconciled without his consent.

Redemption is an agreement between God the Father and Christ, NOT between God and man, because Christ, not man, is the Sole Redeemer. This contract is recorded in Isa53:10-12. It is because this Agreement is between THEM that you cannot EVER lose your salvation, once you've believed in Christ. A greater, more Absolute Guarantee cannot exist, than when you get something based on someone ELSE's consent. Staggeringly Beautiful, Absolute Love, Romans 5:8. Because Redemption is an agreement between God the Father and Christ, those are the parties to the Agreement. Man is not a party to the Agreement, so cannot claim any rights in it. It is God the Father's Sovereign right to extend the offer to man to believe in His Son, and it is the Godhead who unilaterally effectuate the redemption. This condition is NOT man's choice, but God's choice. Thus you know why God had to "elect" in eternity-past, else no one could be saved. Isa53.htm and Isa53trans.htm have better translations of the text than you'll find in the published translations, because some of the Hebrew text that is missing, is in the Greek OT which the Lord and the apostles used (called the LXX). It will be easier to see the contract provisions in those webpages. Frankly, every glossary word in this webpage is legally 'covered' in that contract.

    Why this Agreement? Legally speaking, Holy God is juridically due payment for this Redemption (see "Atonement", in chart above), and Christ's Humanity paid all that God the Father demanded. God the Father retains the right to do as He wishes. Since He is "not willing any should perish", we know He wishes "all men to come to a knowledge of the truth". Even so, man's agreement (faith in Christ) has no power, nor legal standing to force/contribute/claim redemption rights. Only the redeemer has legal standing, as has always been true under the Mosaic Law. So, God the Father set the redemption conditions with and in Christ, the "First-Born of all creation", "that whosovever shall believe in Him shall never perish, but have eternal life". These Bible phrases and many like them all show how God alone does the work, IN HIS SON. (This permanent-salvation Election in the Son, BY the Father in eternity-past, is overlooked in some Christian religions, but should not be.)

"Regeneration" means to be reborn (re=again, and "generation" here means "born"). John 3's born-again phrase. Notice that chapter: one must first believe in order to be reborn. (Some religions get these two steps backwards.) "Faith in Christ" is that nonmeritorious consent of human volition to Christ's substitutionary payment..agreement to receive reconciliation. There is zero juridical standing or merit in man's consent, since he is a Beneficiary, not a Contract Party. (Some religions mistakenly believe man can/would/does "contribute" something to God if or because his consent is required, because they misidentify the juridical standing and don't know Isa53:10-12, which the NT frequently references).

    Hence the requirement one first believe to be reborn, since the legal standing as Beneficiary is in Christ; hence the requirement to first believe in Christ; one thereby receives the spiritual assets. These assets begin with spiritual birth, Titus 3:5.

    Regeneration is the actual application of the salvation funds in Christ to the person (per Isa53:12's Hebrew) , making him "a new creature" (2Cor5:17 and other passages). The characteristics of the new creature made by God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are PERMANENT. That is why salvation cannot be lost. Technically, the person is OWNED by Christ (again, Isa53:12), so the delivery of salvation is treated as FOR Christ; again, since the Redemption Contract was based on Him, not on us. So it never compromises Justice that we receive this so-great salvation. It's legally done to and for and through Him.

"Sealing" is a testimony by the Holy Spirit to the foregoing facts; as you saw in the chart, Sealing is a Signature Guarantee of Ownership. You are Owned. So you are free from whatever your life was, 2Cor5:17. Further, all Members of the Trinity Indwell each believer, and, moreover, the Holy Spirit fills the believer when 1Jn1:9 is used (i.e., the believer is between sins). There are actually 40 things (maybe even more) mentioned in the Bible which occur at salvation, for those in the Church Age. (Many of these things, like the permanence of salvation, are true in all epochs of history). To explain all of these things is beyond the scope of this webpage.

Hopefully, you have gained enough understanding from the above explanation to at least turn over the concepts in your soul and see their "fit". You can easily verify that the descriptions above are accurate, by consulting a rabbi or a pastor regarding the Old Testament's definitions. You could probably review the words in the Bible yourself (especially, if you use 1Jn1:9 repeatedly), and see how these concepts do fit together.

    False doctrines almost always come from misunderstanding and mistranslation. For example, one idea which resurfaces from time to time in history is the idea that somehow Satan got paid by Christ's work on the Cross. Of course, since Satan himself sinned against God, obviously no payment for sins is due him -- sin is an offense against Righteousness, and juridically is due Righteousness. God, not Satan, then, should be paid. That's what the animal sacrifices depicted -- the future Atonement for Sin. Not anything else. The point is central to all Scripture, both OT and NT, not to mention the foundation of all justice concepts in every society. The Isaiah 53:11 contract in the Hebrew (Greek is in v.10) puts the core clause this way, and repeats the clause twice in v.12: "if you will give Your Soul as a Substitute for sin". The speaker in the verse, is Father (antiphony), and the Hearer is Son. Son fulfills contract, which is affirmed in v.12 (which verse is mistranslated in all English Bibles except maybe the JPS Tanakh 1985).

      The LXX of verse 11 contains the text missing from the Hebrew, which is a series of five chained infinitives explaining what Father will ordain and Spirit will do in Him to Him for Him, and through Him for "the many", shorthand for those who are the Beneficiaries (believers from Genesis through Rev), which amounts to a five-processed 'cloning' of Christ's 'soul' into us. For the sake of total Rapport, Compatibility. Compatibility is a soul function, requiring like-mindedness. That compatibility goal is the reason why we don't die as soon as we are saved; for we have The Book of His Thinking, to learn. A 24/7 issue of consent, POST-salvation. Those who "fully" grow up in His Thinking per the clauses in Eph3:15-19 and 4:11-16 (esp 3:19 and 4:13, the goal) will be kings with Him in the Millenium and eternity. So salvation is but a floor, 1Cor3. Atop it is learning His Thinking. "Thinking" series is dedicated to this topic, fleshing it out. Very long.

      The fact that Satan rules this world and 'loses' us when we are saved is merely the fact that God legally recaptures His Own Property: what Satan legally stole via Adam. Think of corporate proxy fights, and you'll see how "legally stole" is neither an oxymoron nor is it due recompense, if legal recapture takes place: in fact, the Angelic Conflict is a type of proxy fight -- do we want God, or Satan? Salvation is a result of total payment for SIN. The entire Bible is meaningless (or, a collection of witty aphorisms), else. More properly, a civil war occurred which occasioned man's creation, and the world was the "booty"; but per Trial terms those who begin in Satan's kingdom have the right to believe in Christ, since the Trial issue is who rules man the better. Again, "Thinking" series (beginning with LordvSatan1.htm) is devoted to this topic; however a shorter summary of it is in "Our Diplomatic Brief", a link section within DueDisclosure.htm (you'll see the link 'building' when the page uploads, so you can easily click on the link).

    Another common misconception is that God, Who needs nothing, doesn't need to be paid for sins, either. All faiths but (most of) Christianity are actually founded on this chopped-off idea. This idea is chopped off, because while it does recognize God's total Independence, it doesn't recognize the JUSTICE of paying one owed something. Doesn't matter if the one owed doesn't need the payment. The heart of Justice is this: so-and-so did something wrong, and must pay a price which is equivalent to the value of the wrong done plus the opportunity loss for what the rightful owner could have had from the property. The wrong done is the criterion, and no other factor, i.e., how 'rich' the one wronged might be, is allowed relevance. Obviously, if God, Who is Omnipotent, can't insure Justice be done to Himself, then His Love is unreliable -- even, hellish. For, such a 'god' would be either incompetent, or a masochist -- or both. That is why only the Christ accounts for a Perfect God. All other versions of 'god' incompletely account for the Justice Due Perfect God: He should be perfectly paid for any offenses He 'sees' at His Own Level.

    A third common misconception is that somehow what Christ paid can be nullified or is otherwise incomplete. Many Christian sects make Christ's payment sound like a way to get salvation at a discount price: as if He did some of the paying, and man pays some. Or variantly, as if He did all the paying but man can forfeit salvation under certain conditions (some heinous sin, or lack of repentance). Yet another variation: if the observed behavior in person "A" doesn't meet the observer's standards, or if "A" doesn't think he is a Christian, the observer considers the person to never-have-believed.

      This third class of misconceptions fails to grasp the nature of Atonement, time, volition, and belief.
    • We saw above that Atonement is wholly substitutionary. So there's no co-payment aspect to it.
    • We also saw above that this Atonement was made 2000 years ago. So there's no way any future sin or failure by one who has ONCE believed in Christ can be unknown, unprovided for, or ..undone.
    • Also, a person can believe. Belief is a faculty of personhood, and is executed by another faculty of personhood: free will. Belief is ONLY done in the soul, and it is ONLY a mental assent: no other part of the human being but the SOUL which God made at birth, is capable of "belief", for the body is but so many aggregates of DNA-driven, mindless cells.
    • Further, belief takes place instantly: in a nanosecond of time. That time cannot be reversed. It doesn't matter whether the individual remembers having believed, or changes his behavior. Time cannot be reversed.
    • The individual's behavior is not a database unveiling all his past decisions forever backwards to any observer -- so behavior reveals nothing. A nice person might look like a Christian, but is not. A nasty person might look like an unbeliever (pretend, since most Christians use "unbeliever" like an epithet), but is not. King David MURDERED. So did Moses. Yet we know from Scripture that not only are both saved, but they are God's HEROES. And were, even at the time of those sins.

    • In reality, people who believe salvation requires human 'cooperation' or that salvation can be lost ..well, these folks still don't sufficiently understand either Infinite Righteousness, nor Infinite Grace (which is a result of Propitiation, viz., Eph2:8-9, Rom4:1-10, Rom5:1-11). Instead, they see other humans who offend them, so want to ascribe some penalty to ease their offense -- and call that penalty, God's. It's a normal thing to think, for someone who's yet immature in Christ: it's a characteristic of (generally, early) spiritual adolescence. This is the big 'hump' a Christian must get past, to grow into a spiritual adult. Until he relaxes about what offends him, he will not grow farther in the spiritual life. He can only relax by learning just how Infinitely Valuable Christ's payment truly was. That takes time.
    • It is a far greater murder to reject the First Commandment. Emphasis on works rather than Word rejects God in favor of people. So those who are dismissive of studying Word are worse sinners in God's Estimation than murderers, viz., the Pharisees were called "sons of your father, the devil" in Jn 8:31-44.

In short, the more you understand the meaning of these terms, the more you are shielded from mistaken conceptions regarding our so-great salvation. Better still, the more you can come to see God's Own Nature, directly -- and there is no greater joy in life, than seeing Him. It takes time to assimilate this material, but it's worth it! (I've been working on how to succinctly describe these components since 1987, so I can attest to the value of "grasp[ing] the idea", as Paul puts it in Eph3.) May you prosper in Him as you review these ideas!

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