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Christian Denominations & What they believe; Part 3: Salvation

When available, all of the teachings and practices are from the website of the organization itself.  Many denominations will have an official Statement of Fundamental belief and others will have a more fluid offering of their beliefs.

Denomination Salvation
 

Anglican (Episcopal;

Church of England)

 

Anglican

Communion.org

 

39 Articles of

Religion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is ironic that the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646; Church of England, Westminster Assembly) is not on or easily found on their websites.

6. “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation…”

10. “Of Free-Will: The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith; and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.”

17.  “Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God’s purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity…”

 

Westminster Confession; chapter 9, Of Free Will: God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined to good, or evil.  Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and pleasing to God; but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it.  Man, by his fall into a state of sin… is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself…  chapter 10, Of Effectual Calling: All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call by his Word and Spirit, out of the state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds…” chapter 14, of Saving Faith: The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word, by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened…”

 

 

Assemblies of God

 

Statement of

16 Fundamental

Truths

 

ag.org

 

5. “Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Conditions to Salvation: Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life.  The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit.”

Topic: ‘The Security of the Believer:’ “What is the Assemblies of God position on the security of the believer’s salvation?

The Assemblies of God has taken a strong stand against the teaching that God’s sovereign will completely overrides man’s free will to accept and serve Him. In view of this we believe it is possible for a person once saved to turn from God and be lost again. However, we do not go to the other extreme of teaching that mankind’s choice of receiving or rejecting Christ makes a person totally responsible for his own salvation apart from Christ’s atonement. Article VIII of the Assemblies of God Bylaws opposes unconditional security with the following statement:

In view of the biblical teaching that the security of the believer depends on a living relationship with Christ (John 15:6); in view of the Bible’s call to a life of holiness (1 Peter 1:16; Hebrews 12:14); in view of the clear teaching that a man may have his part taken out of the Book of Life (Revelation 22:19); and in view of the fact that one who believes for a while can fall away (Luke 8:13); The General Council of the Assemblies of God disapproves of the unconditional security position which holds that it is impossible for a person once saved to be lost…”

For whole article:

https://ag.org/Beliefs/Topics-Index/The-Security-of-the-Believer

Baptist

(Southern Baptist Convention)

 

sbc.net

 

 

 

 

 

Articles of Faith

National Baptist Convention

Nationalbaptist

.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1689 Baptist Confession of

Faith

(not on most Baptist websites)

(repentance to salvation after sin; not once saved always saved.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Calvin

Hebrew 10:26

Commentary

 

“Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. …All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.”

IV. Salvation: “We believe that the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.”

VI. Freeness of Salvation: “We believe that the Scriptures teach that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own determined depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.”

XI. Perseverance of the Saints: We believe the Scriptures teach that such only are real believers as endure to the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.”

1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (originally 1677 modified the Westminster Confession): chapter 14 Saving Faith: The grace of faith (by which the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls) is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts. It is normally brought into being by the ministry of the Word.  It is increased and strengthened by the ministry of the Word, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, prayer, and other means appointed by God.  …But the principal acts of saving faith are those directly to do with Christ—accepting, receiving, and resting on him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.  Chapter 15: Repentance to Life and Salvation: There is no one who does good and does not sin, and the best of people may fall into great sins and provocations [against God] through the power and deceitfulness of their indwelling corruption and the strength of temptation. Therefore God has mercifully provided in the covenant of grace that when believers sin and fall they shall be restored to salvation through repentance… Saving repentance is a gospel grace by which we are made aware of the many evils of our sin by the Holy Spirit. By faith in Christ we humble ourselves over our sin with godly sorrow, hatred of it, and self-loathing. We pray for pardon and strength of grace, and determine and endeavour, by [the power] supplied by the Spirit, to walk before God and to please him in all things.   …In the covenant of grace God has made full provision through Christ for the preservation of believers in their salvation, so, although even the smallest sin deserves damnation, yet there is no sin great enough to bring damnation on those who repent. This makes the constant preaching of repentance essential.”

For if we sin willfully, or voluntarily etc. He shows how severe a vengeance of God awaits all those who fall away from the grace of Christ; for being without that one true salvation, they are now as it were given up to an inevitable destruction. With this testimony Novatus and his sect formerly armed themselves, in order to take away the hope of pardon from all indiscriminately who had fallen after baptism. …Those who sin, mentioned by the Apostle, are not such as offend in any way, but such as forsake the Church, and wholly alienate themselves from Christ. For he speaks not here of this or of that sin, but he condemns by name those who willfully renounced fellowship with the Church. But there is a vast difference between particular fallings and a complete defection of this kind, by which we entirely fall away from the grace of Christ. And as this cannot be the case with anyone except he has been already enlightened, he says, If we sin willfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth; as though he had said, “If we knowingly and willingly renounce the grace which we had obtained.”

…And that the Apostle here refers only to apostates, is clear from the whole passage; for what he treats of is this, that those who had been once received into the Church ought not to forsake it, as some were wont to do. He now declares that there remained for such no sacrifice for sin, because they had willfully sinned after having received the knowledge of the truth. But as to sinners who fall in any other way, Christ offers himself daily to them, so that they are to seek no other sacrifice for expiating their sins. He denies, then, that any sacrifice remains for them who renounce the death of Christ, which is not done by any offense except by a total renunciation of the faith.

This severity of God is indeed dreadful, but it is set forth for the purpose of inspiring terror. He cannot, however, be accused of cruelty; for as the death of Christ is the only remedy by which we can be delivered from eternal death, are not they who destroy as far as they can its virtue and benefit worthy of being left to despair? God invites to daily reconciliation those who abide in Christ; they are daily washed by the blood of Christ, their sins are daily expiated by his perpetual sacrifice. As salvation is not to be sought except in him, there is no need to wonder that all those who willfully forsake him are deprived of every hope of pardon…”

Catholic Church

Catholic.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CCC

Catechism of the Catholic Church

 

 

 

“Outside the Church there is no salvation” (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus).  In the past many Catholic bishops taught that there was only salvation through the Roman Catholic Church and the sacraments given by their priests.  However, the 1994, Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Reformulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body.” (CCC 846).

Catholic.com (2017): “The first part of the reformulated teaching—”all salvation comes from Christ the Head”—is quite easy for all Christians, even non-Catholics, to understand and embrace. It echoes Jesus’ own words recorded by John: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6). So, Christians unanimously agree on this first part. But is this all that needs to be said about how one may be saved? The Catholic Church has historically recognized the importance of explaining further the means through which salvation is offered through Christ.

When speaking of salvation, Jesus offered more details than just his words quoted above. For example, consider these three verses:

  • He who believes and is baptized will be saved. (Mk 16:16)
  • [U]nless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Lk 13:3)
  • [H]e who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (Jn 6:54)

Notice that in these three verses Jesus associated salvation with baptism, confession, and the Eucharist, respectively. Catholics recognize that these sacraments are administered through the Church. In fact, in the case of the latter two, a validly ordained priest is necessary for their administration, so the sacrament of ordination must also be associated with salvation. A primary role of the Catholic Church in conjunction with salvation is becoming quite clear.

This brings us to the second part of the Catechism’s formulation of the doctrine being considered: “. . . through the Church which is his Body.”   Since the sacraments are the ordinary means through which Christ offers the grace necessary for salvation, and the Catholic Church that Christ established is the ordinary minister of those sacraments, it is appropriate to state that salvation comes through the Church.

This is not unlike the situation that existed prior to the establishment of the Catholic Church. Even before it was fully revealed that he was the Messiah, Jesus himself taught that “salvation is from the Jews” (Jn 4:22). He pointed the woman of Samaria to the body of believers existing at that time, through which salvation would be offered to all mankind: the Jews.  In a similar fashion, now that the Messiah has established his Church, Jesus might say, “salvation is from the Catholics”!

Recognizing this, we can see why the Church, especially during times of mass exodus (such as has happened in times when heresies have run rampant), has been even more forceful in the way it has taught this doctrine. Instead of simply pointing out how God offers salvation from Christ, through the Church, the Church has warned that there is no salvation apart from Christ, outside his Church.”

CCC 2003: Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning “favor,” “gratuitous gift,” “benefit.” Whatever their character – sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues – charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.

Part Two, IV. The Sacraments of Salvation

1127 Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify.48 They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies. The Father always hears the prayer of his Son’s Church which, in the epiclesis of each sacrament, expresses her faith in the power of the Spirit. As fire transforms into itself everything it touches, so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is subjected to his power.

1128 This is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation49 that the sacraments act ex opere operato (literally: “by the very fact of the action’s being performed”), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all. It follows that “the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.”50 From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.

1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.51 “Sacramental grace” is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament. the Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God. the fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature52 by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior.

Lutheran

 

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

Lcms.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Luther’s

Large Catechism

 

 

Lutherans believe that faith is created and strengthened not by looking inside of one’s self (to one’s own faith and/or doubts) but by looking outside of one’s self (to God’s Word and promises in Christ).

Therefore, assurance of salvation is to be sought by looking to God’s Word and promises in Christ (which create and strengthen the faith through which one is saved), not by looking inward at the strength or weakness of one’s own faith (which creates either pride and false assurance or doubt and lack of assurance).

The doctrine of Election is summarized in the Synod’s A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod. You may also find helpful the Commission on Theology and Church Relation’s 1983 Theses on Justification (see esp. section VI The Universal and Finished Results of Christ’s Work of Obedience).

From the standpoint of human reason, the scriptural teachings that God has objectively justified (objective justification) the whole world through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and wants all people to be saved through faith in Him (subjective justification), and that He elected by grace from eternity those who are saved, cannot be resolved.

We must say with Paul when he contemplates the mystery of our election, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”

And yet, we can say this on the basis of God’s Word. By faith we hold that it is precisely because we Christians are God’s elect that we proclaim the good news of salvation.  The Creed read as follows: “At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies and will give an account of their own works. And they that have done good will go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.”

It is important to note that the Athanasian Creed does not here say that certain people will “enter eternal life” because they “have done good.” It says that “those who have done good” (and only those who believe in Jesus alone for salvation are able to “do good” in God’s sight) “will enter eternal life.”

On Judgment Day, God will point to our good works not as the cause of our salvation but as the evidence of the faith through which we have been saved and which enabled us to do that which was well-pleasing in his sight.

There are numerous Bible passages that make the same point and use the same language (e.g., Matt. 25:31-46, Rom. 2:6-10, James 2:14-16).

The confession of these sentences in the Athanasian Creed in our churches is, in fact, a helpful reminder of the relation of faith and good works as taught in the Bible.

QUESTION: One of your FAQ answers states that it is possible for one to lose his salvation. However, in your Theses on Justification (1983) on this website it says plainly that believers have eternal assurance (paragraph 58). Which is it?

ANSWER: Lutherans believe both are true and Scriptural: It is possible for a believer to fall from faith and lose salvation, and it is possible for a believer to have complete assurance of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

If this seems paradoxical to human reason, then (Lutherans say) this is only because the teaching of Scripture itself on this issue (as on many other issues) appears paradoxical to human reason.

For Lutherans, this is essentially a matter of properly distinguishing between Law and Gospel: Warnings against falling from faith are the strongest form of God’s Law, intended to warn against “carnal security” based on “good works” or against the attitude that “since I’m saved, I can do anything I want to do.”

Assurances of God’s constant and eternal love in Christ are the sweetest and purest form of Gospel, intended to comfort those who are plagued by their sins and by their failures to keep God’s Law perfectly.

Of this living faith, Luther so eloquently said: “Oh faith is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, so that it is impossible for it not to be constantly doing what is good. Likewise, faith does not ask if good works are to be done, but before one can ask, faith has already done them and is constantly active” (Formula of Concord, SD, IV, 10-11).

Accordingly, Article 18 of the Augsburg Confession (“Freedom of the Will”) states:

It is also taught among us that man possesses some measure of freedom of the will which enables him to live an outwardly honorable life and to make choices among the things that reason comprehends. But without the grace, help, and activity of the Holy Spirit man is not capable of making himself acceptable to God, of fearing God and believing in God with his whole heart, or of expelling inborn evil lusts from his heart.

This is accomplished by the Holy Spirit, who is given through the Word of God, for Paul says in 1 Cor. 2:14, “Natural man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God.”

First Commandment “You shall have no other gods…”   …The Creed: The First Article: On Creation; I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth… The Second Article: On Redemption; I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to the dead (‘…hell’ or Sheol, place of the dead).  On the third day He rose again; He ascended into heaven, He is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead.”

Part 4: Baptism 35]
But
if
they
say,
as
they
are
accustomed:
Still
Baptism
is
itself
a
work,
and
you
say
works
 are
of
no
avail
for salvation;
what,
then,
becomes
of
faith?
Answer:
Yes,
our
works,
indeed,
 avail
nothing
for
salvation;
Baptism, however,
is
not
our
work,
but
God’s…
God’s
works,
however,
are
savingandnecessaryforsalvation,
and
do
not
exclude,
but demand,
faith;
for
without
 faith
they
could
not
be
apprehended.
36]
For
by
suffering
the
water
to
be
poured upon
you,
 you
have
not
yet
received
Baptism
in
such
a
manner
that
it
benefits
you
anything;
but
it
 becomes beneficial
to
you
if
you
have
yourself
baptized
with
the
thought
that
this
is
according
to
God’s
command
and ordinance,
and
besides
in
God’s
name,
in
order
that
you
 may
receive
in
the
water
the
promised
salvation.
Now, this
the
first
cannot
do,
nor
the
body;
 but
the
heart
must
believe
it.

How people are to be taught to confess what is confession? Confession consists of two parts. One is that we confess our sins. The other is that we receive the absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God himself and by no means doubt but firmly believe that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.”

 

Methodist

 

From umc.org

“Our Church teaches we can end up “losing” the salvation God has begun in us, and the consequence of this in the age to come is our eternal destruction in Hell. God freely grants us new birth and initiates us into the body of Christ in baptism. The profession of our faith and growth in holiness are necessary for God’s saving grace to continue its work in us, and both of these are things we must do for our love to be genuine and not compelled. We thus remain free to resist God’s grace, to revert to spiritual torpor, and possibly experience spiritual death and Hell as its consequence.”

The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church includes a section titled Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task, which records the official theology of The United Methodist Church.   The section on Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases includes a description of prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace. When a person, by the grace of God, accepts God’s “pardoning love,” he or she enters into a transformational process of salvation.

The Articles of Religion of The Methodist Church make the same point. Article XX — Of the One Oblation of Christ, Finished Upon the Cross affirms the salvific act of crucifixion and resurrection of Christ for salvation for all persons. The added Article “Of Sanctification” states that position in other words. The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church echoes the beliefs stated in the doctrinal statements of The Methodist Church…  While these statements of doctrine state that salvation is AVAILABLE to all persons, they stop short of saying that salvation is GUARANTEED to all persons. There is the stated or implied condition that, while God’s grace is necessary for salvation and that humankind cannot in any way attain salvation without God, that there is certainly an element of awareness and cooperation on our part to order our lives after the image of Christ if we have the capacity to do so.”

Article V; Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church: “The Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.”

United Methodists do believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way the Bible gives as clearly God’s gift and way of salvation and heaven.

 

Orthodox Church

Orthodoxchristian

.info

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

goarch.org

“Perhaps the most misunderstood sacrament of the Christian Church is confession (or repentance). How did it originate? What role does a priest play? Is there a special procedure for confession? The Holy Scriptures hold answers to these questions.  God’s Word promises “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The faithful are to bring their sins to God in repentance and receive cleansing and forgiveness.  The early Christians would stand and confess their sins to God in the presence of the whole congregation… St. John Chrysostom says, “The priests decree below, God confirms above, and the Master agrees with the opinion of His slaves”.

…It is the grace of the Holy Spirit which enables the priest to serve God and the people. Priests are only the visible instrument of God’s mercy at the performance of the Mystery, which is performed invisibly through them by God Himself. It is God (the Holy Triune) who forgives our sins.

…Thus the Church has encouraged her faithful: If you know you have committed a specific sin, do not hide it but confess it before coming to the Holy Eucharist. St. Paul wrote, “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor. 11:28), and “If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (1 Cor. 11:31).

It is essential to remember that the remission of sins in the Sacrament is an act of mercy. It is given for our spiritual profit, “for edification, and not for destruction” (2 Cor. 10:8).  Thus we come before the holy icon of Christ, to whom we confess, and are guided by the priest, our spiritual father, in a cleansing inventory of our lives. When we tell God all, naming our sins and failures, we hear those glorious words of freedom which announces Christ’s promise of forgiveness of all our sins. We resolve to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11).”

 

The Nicene Creed: “I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ… who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man.  He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate and suffered and was buried; and He rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and He will come again with glory to judge the living and dead…”

Pentecostal

UPCI.org

 

“Everyone has sinned and needs salvation.  Salvation comes by grace through faith based on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:23-; 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9).  The saving gospel is the good news that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again.  We obey the gospel (2 Thes. 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17) by repentance (death to sin), water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (burial), and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance (resurrection)…”

Presbyterian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPC.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presbyterian

Mission.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH

 

 

 

“We share beliefs in common with other denominations that split from the Roman Catholic Church in the sixteenth century as well as those that were founded later: Protestants believe in justification by faith. We are justified, or brought into a right relationship with God through grace. This does not happen by our own effort, but by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Because of God’s love for us, Jesus Christ took sin upon Himself and became the full and final sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Protestants also believe in the authority of scripture. Scripture is the written revelation of God and always points through the Holy Spirit, to the living revelation of God in Christ. The purpose of scripture is to bring persons to salvation and guide them in living a life of faith.  Central to this tradition is the affirmation of the majesty, holiness, and providence of God who creates, sustains, rules, and redeems the world in the freedom of sovereign righteousness and love.”

“Election: Before we ever said yes to God, God said yes to us. The central point is that the initiative belongs to God, and we respond to Him. We cannot boast in the fact that we say yes to his salvation. Election is the Reformed way of saying “grace alone”.”

“Salvation: God grants the gift of grace (unmerited favor), which enables us to gain the faith necessary for salvation. We are saved by grace rather than by good deeds, correct beliefs, or human ceremonies. It is not possible to earn salvation—it can only be accepted with thanksgiving and joy.”

 “Presbyterians believe God has offered us salvation because of God’s loving nature. It is not a right or a privilege to be earned by being “good enough.” No one of us is good enough on our own — we are all dependent upon God’s goodness and mercy. From the kindest, most devoted churchgoer to the most blatant sinner, we are all saved solely by the grace of God.

Out of the greatest possible love and compassion God reached out to us and redeemed us through Jesus Christ, the only one who was ever without sin. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection God triumphed over sin.

Presbyterians believe it is through the action of God working in us that we become aware of our sinfulness and our need for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Just as a parent is quick to welcome a wayward child who has repented of rebellion, God is willing to forgive our sins if we but confess them and ask for forgiveness in the name of Christ.   God further sent the Holy Spirit to be our companion, counselor and guide in living a life of service to God.

The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith, sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor, and binds us together with all believers
in the one body of Christ, the Church.”
—“Brief Statement of Faith,”

2001: Congregational Ministries Division unanimously endorsed a statement from its Office of Theology, Worship and Discipleship (OTWD).

Jesus Christ is the only Savior and Lord, and all people everywhere are called to place their faith, hope, and love in him. No one is saved by virtue of inherent goodness or admirable living. … No one is saved apart from God’s gracious redemption in Jesus Christ. Yet we do not presume to limit the sovereign freedom of ‘God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth’ (1 Tim. 2:4). Thus, we neither restrict the grace of God to those who profess explicit faith in Christ nor assume that all people are saved regardless of faith.

Westminster CoF; CHAPTER 17: Of the Perseverance of the Saints

1. They, whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

2. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

3. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

 

JW.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watchtower

Bible and Tract

Society

 

Let God be True (by Watchtower)

“The terms “save” and “salvation” are sometimes used by Bible writers to convey the idea of a person’s being delivered from danger or destruction. (Exodus 14:13, 14; Acts 27:20) Often, though, these terms refer to deliverance from sin. (Matthew 1:21) Since death is caused by sin, people who are saved from sin have the hope of living forever.—John 3:16, 17*

What is the way to salvation?  To gain salvation, you must exercise faith in Jesus and demonstrate that faith by obeying his commands.—Acts 4:10, 12; Romans 10:9, 10;Hebrews 5:9.  The Bible shows that you must have works, or acts of obedience, to prove that your faith is alive. (James 2:24, 26) However, this does not mean that you can earn salvation. It is “God’s gift” based on his “undeserved kindness,” or “grace.”—Ephesians 2:8, 9King James Version.

Can you lose out on salvation?

Yes. Just as a person saved from drowning could fall or jump back into the water, a person who has been saved from sin but fails to keep exercising faith could lose out on salvation. For this reason, the Bible urges Christians who have received salvation “to put up a hard fight for the faith.” (Jude 3) It also warns those who have been saved: “Keep working out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”—Philippians 2:12.

Who is the Savior—God or Jesus?  The Bible identifies God as the primary source of salvation, often referring to him as “Savior.” (1 Samuel 10:19; Isaiah 43:11; Titus 2:10;Jude 25) In addition, God used various men to deliver the ancient nation of Israel, and the Bible calls them “saviors.” (Nehemiah 9:27;Judges 3:9, 15; 2 Kings 13:5* Likewise, since God provides salvation from sin through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Bible refers to Jesus as “Savior.”—Acts 5:31; Titus 1:4*

Will everyone be saved?

No, some people will not be saved. (2 Thessalonians 1:9) When Jesus was asked, “Are those being saved few?” he replied: “Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able.”—Luke 13:23, 24.”

JW taught 144,000 will go to heaven (now re-examine their previous stance)

“We understand that this heavenly calling continued down through the centuries, though during the so-called Dark Ages, there may have been times when the number of anointed ones were very few. With the reestablishment of true Christianity near the end of the last century, more were called and chosen. But it seems that in the mid-1930’s, the full number of the 144,000 was basically completed. Thus there began to appear a group of loyal Christians with the earthly hope. Jesus termed such “other sheep,” who unite in worship with the anointed as one approved flock.” Watchtower 1996 Aug 15 p.31

“God having a fixed time for every purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1), his time to give creatures on earth the opportunity to get in line for a heavenly reward has been from A .D. 29 until, chiefly, 1931, called the “day of salvation”. “Let God be True” 1946 ed. p.298

“Although Jehovah had come to his temple in 1918 and had begun judgment of this anointed class, still others must be brought in, because some were found unworthy and they must be replaced. The evidences show that this continued until especially 1931, when there began a work of gathering those recognized as “other sheep” of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Jehovah’s Witnesses In The Divine Purpose 1959 p.139

Mormons

 

Mormon.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LDS.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BYU.edu

“Plan of Salvation: Long before the Creation of this earth, our Heavenly Father provided a plan that made it possible for us, His children, to become like Him. This plan is called the plan of salvation. Understanding this plan gives us greater purpose in life.

Before this mortal life we lived with God as His spirit children, without physical bodies. We chose the Father’s plan, which included the Creation of this earth and provided us the opportunity to come here to gain a body, make choices, develop faith, and accept responsibility for our actions. This allows us to progress beyond what was possible in the spirit world when we lived with God. Sin and death are also part of mortality.  The Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to provide a way to overcome sin and death. This He did through an act called the Atonement. Through Christ’s atoning sacrifice we can repent of our sins and someday live with God and with our families forever.“

 “To be cleansed from sin through the Savior’s Atonement, an individual must exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 2:37-38). Those who have been baptized and have received the Holy Ghost through the proper priesthood authority have been conditionally saved from sin. In this sense, salvation is conditional, depending on an individual’s continuing in faithfulness, or enduring to the end in keeping the commandments of God (see 2 Peter 2:20-22).

Individuals cannot be saved in their sins; they cannot receive unconditional salvation simply by declaring a belief in Christ with the understanding that they will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of their lives (see Alma 11:36-37). However, through the grace of God, all can be saved from their sins (see 2 Nephi 25:23Helaman 5:10-11) as they repent and follow Jesus Christ.”

“The Latter-day Saint concept of salvation derives from the teachings of Jesus Christ and the revelations given to ancient and latter-day prophets. It is evident from such teachings that there are different degrees or levels of salvation in the afterlife (see Degrees of Glory).

There are various levels of salvation because there are various levels of belief and works among people (D&C 76:99-101). The Prophet Joseph Smith observed, “If God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body the term “Heaven’ as intended for the Saints’ eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one” (TPJS, pp. 10-11).

The gospel of Jesus Christ comprises fundamental principles and ordinances that must be followed to obtain a fulness of salvation. The first steps are faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands by one who is in authority for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Additional ordinances are administered in the temple. And finally, “he only is saved who endureth unto the end” (D&C 53:7).

The most sacred ordinances pertaining to the salvation of both the living and the dead are performed in the temples. These ordinances include the Endowment, the sealing of husband and wife to form an eternal marriage, and the sealing of children to parents to form an eternal family. All the ordinances that are essential for the salvation of the living are likewise essential for the dead, beginning with proxy baptism for the dead. These can only be performed in a temple…”

Seventh – day

Adventist

 

Adventist.org

 

“Satan’s deception convinced a third of heaven’s angels, whom God expelled from heaven. Satan claimed rulership of our planet when he swindled its first couple, Adam and Eve, making them doubt God’s trustworthiness and love. That first sin distorted God’s image in us, twisting the world in on itself and threatening its self-destruction. The universe watched to see God’s response to Satan’s accusations.

The “great controversy” between good and evil over God’s character continues to rage, but Jesus, God’s own Son, settled its central question two thousand years ago when He died for humanity.

How strong is God’s love? Jesus’ self-sacrificing death showed that God is willing to pay the incalculable cost of our sins. His sacrifice unmasked the true horror of sin and made clear that God can be trusted. Why did Jesus’ death make such a difference? Because Jesus lived the perfect life that we’ve each failed to achieve and he died the death we each deserve.

The result: We can live for Him, now and forever. Jesus’ sacrifice reconciles us to a perfect God while transforming our hearts. The Holy Spirit shows us our need for God and assures us that we are saved and forgiven. The Spirit writes a new script in our hearts, empowering us to live in freedom, service and joy. God treats us as if we had never sinned, never doubted, never gone our own way.

The same Jesus who subdued demons during His life declared victory over all evil powers at His death. Jesus’ resurrection guarantees that death itself will die. Our new life in Jesus frees us from the fear of death and the shame of our past.”

Certain teaching by Ellen White and other are occasionally very different than mainline Protestants; such as Jesus entering ‘second compartment’ of ‘heavenly sanctuary’ October 1844.

According to their 28 Fundamental Beliefs, 1-3 states: “1. Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, and do you desire to live your life in a saving relationship with him?

2. Do you accept the teachings of the Bible as expressed in the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and do you pledge by God’s grace to live your life in harmony with these teachings?

3. Do you desire to be baptized as a public expression of your belief in Jesus Christ, to be accepted into the fellowship of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and to support the church and its mission as a faithful steward by your personal influence, tithes and offerings, and a life of service?”

 

 

 

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