In this episode, Veronica talks with Dale about two topics in his new book Real Christianity—How To Be Bold For Christ in a Culture of Darkness. The book is aimed at confronting the unspoken space that many Christians have found themselves—a barrenness, half-hearted, lethargic, and Bible-less Christianity. Essentially, the book is designed to look at scripture’s definition of “Christian” and allow the reader to measure it against their own life. Today’s topics are the basics of biblical salvation and the authority of Scripture.
Key Takeaways From This Episode
Christianity is more than merely believing in Jesus.
- First, we have to realize that faith is different than belief.
- Belief alone isn’t what makes you a Christian, but faith in Christ according to Scripture does make you a Christian. So what does Scripture say about how we come to salvation?
- Step one is confession: It doesn’t just mean you’re yelling “Jesus is Lord” out loud in public. It is confessing that you’re in agreement with what God holds to be true; You’re in agreement that you need a Savior and that God sent a Savior, and that this Savor is the only way to a reconciled relationship with God (Salvation).
- This is a public and not a private confession. A confession that Jesus is Lord. He is your Master. You don’t make any decisions outside of His boundaries. You are submitted to him, owned by him, and ruled by him.
- Step two after confession is believing, but not just believing in Jesus, but believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the grave. So this is a deep belief of sincerity.
- We have to recognize how important the resurrection is to the Gospel. 1 Corinthians 15 discusses this deeply; Without the resurrection, the Gospel falls apart. The resurrection is God’s validation of Jesus’ atoning work on the cross. His death was sufficient and accepted by God. This is why Jesus is called the propitiation for our sins because propitiation means to appease the wrath of God through blood sacrifice.
- So, real, true, honest salvation looks like:
- You’re in agreement with Him
- You’re publicly identifying with Him
- You’re making Him Lord
- You’re believing in your heart that God validated Jesus’ atoning work through the resurrection
Christians need to settle in their hearts that the Bible is completely true and completely authoritative over their lives.
- Think about how you come to be saved. It is because somebody preached the Gospel. Where did they get that Gospel? From the Bible.
- You see if the Bible isn’t completely true, then why should the Gospel you heard be true? To cherry-pick which verses and principles and ideas we like while abandoning the others is absurd. This is why people will take the Gospel which they hear mostly from the letters of Paul but they won’t take the doctrines of morality or Christian life which are in the same exact letters from the same exact person.
- We like to embrace the scriptures we find encouraging and reject the scriptures we dislike.
- We have to remember that God saved by the word, he sanctifies by the word, he teaches by the word, he encourages us by the word, he comforts us by the word. The word of God is so foundational that without it or with any doubt in it, you’re entire Christian experience crumbles.
- It is important to know that the Bible claims that it is without error. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament say that it is impossible for God to lie.
- So, either it is all true or none of it is, because if some of it is false who gets to determine which passages are true and which are not? A human being? If so, then you’re putting your faith in a human being, not God.
- In the book Real Christianity, I address this idea and develop an argument that you can use with others about how if we’re going to believe the Bible then we need to believe it’s dominating claim that it is inspired by God Himself.
- James 2:19 “Even the demons believe and tremble.”
- Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
- Philippians 2:10-11, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
- 1 Corinthians 15
- Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
- Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”
- 2 Timothy 3:15-17 “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
- The Reliability of the New Testament
- Duties of Christian Fellowship
- The Church of Christ
- Jonathan Edwards a New Biography
- Some Pastors and Teachers
After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.