Salvation: Prelude

It is my firm belief that unless one acquires a firm grasp on the concept of biblical salvation, all other teachings in the Bible are subject to misinterpretation. And in order to understand biblical salvation, one needs to understand what it is that one needs to be saved from.

We need to be saved from the damage caused by Adam, in the Garden of Eden, when he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The damage caused by Adam was to bring death upon himself and to his descendants.1 Consequently, in order to be saved, we need to become alive again; that is, to return to that state of innocence as was sung about in a popular song, “…we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.”2  However, the only way to be saved, to return to life, to return to the garden, is to be born again.

Being born again is the key to salvation. Every Sunday, pastors in evangelical leaning churches across the U.S. will be admonishing their congregations on the need to be born again. It was considered important enough that the world’s leading evangelist wrote an entire book on the subject.3  While I won’t be writing anywhere near as much as a book, I do plan to elaborate on John 3:3-8 since these verses are key in understanding the consequences of Adam’s sin on the entire human race.

Along with the notion of being born again, I plan to answer some controversial questions such as:

  • Are people basically good? Are they sinners simply because they sin?
  • Is it God’s will that everyone should be saved?
  • Do people receive salvation simply by an exercise of their own free will?

By attempting to answer these and other questions, I will need to touch on many other theological and philosophical topics such as: free will, predestination, election, universal salvation, judgment, Hell, suffering, and sin. My goal is examine these topics from a biblical perspective—putting aside denominational biases.

Salvation is something I have been wanting to write about for quite some time. For me, it all seemed to come together after I heard a series of radio broadcasts during my daily commute in 1996 by R. C. Sproul on the story of Joseph. It all came together in that I finally understood the role played by the Holy Spirit and the real meaning of the verse “…that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”4 I have come to the belief that salvation is entirely of God and not by man’s initiative. I have stopped being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine concerning salvation. My desire is that you will too.

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Copyright 2013 Gerard Sczepura

  1. Rom. 5:12 NASB 

  2. Joni Mitchell, Woodstock (Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC), http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/joni+mitchell/woodstock_20075381.html 

  3. Billy Graham, How To Be Born Again (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1977, 1989). 

  4. Eph. 2:8 

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