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Geisler, Norman Vol. 3 Systematic TH 513 Systematic Theology II Theology II Dr. Mark E.

Hardgrove,
Instructor

SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY II GEISLER, NORMAN VOL. 3
Chapter Sixteen

“The Condition for Salvation”
pp. 470-523

Conditions for Giving and Receiving
According to all forms of Calvinism and most forms of Arminianism, there are no conditions for God’s provision of salvation. It is a free gift—with no strings attached. Eternal life is not conditioned on anything but God’s grace (cf. Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; Rom. 4:5; 11:29).

The Roman Catholic View
Though individual Catholic believers may not offer, in fact, some may not know or understand the official position of the Roman Catholic Church as stated at the Council of Trent (1545-1563): According to the Holy Writ, eternal blessedness in heave is the reward for good works performed on this earth, and rewards and merit are correlative concepts . . . (Matt. 5:12; 25:34, et seq.)

The Roman Catholic View
There are two responses to the Catholic view. The first is to respond to verses misused by Catholics to support the works view, and second is to demonstrate through Scripture that justification is by faith alone (see Geisler, pp. 473-474).

The Roman Catholic View
A Protestant Response:
1.It confuses gifts and merit. 2.It makes works a condition of eternal life. 3.It makes works of sanctification a condition of one’s ultimate salvation. 4.It confuses working for and working from salvation. 5.It makes a false distinction between “works of the law” (which they say are not necessary) and “works” (which they say are necessary). 6.It embraces the error of Galatianism (cf. Gal. 3) by making works necessary for ultimate justification (glorification) before God. 7.It confuses salvation and service. 8.It loads works into its concept of faith. 9.It sacramentalizes salvation, thereby making the Catholic Church to be the administrator of grace. 10.I institutionalizes salvation making the Church the official institution through which salvation is received, piecemeal, through its seven sacraments. ~ Geisler, p. 475

The Strong (Hyper) Calvinist View on the Condition for Salvation T-U-L-I-P Total depravity Unconditional election Limited atonement Irresistible grace Perseverance of the saints

The Strong (Hyper) Calvinist View on the Condition for Salvation
T-U-L-I-P
As the TULIP confession states, according to the extreme Calvinists, there can be absolutely no condition for a person to meet before he or she can receive the gift of salvation.
Therefore one is saved by grace (elected) before anything else happens, i.e., faith, justification, etc.

The Strong (Hyper) Calvinist View on the Condition for Salvation with the extreme Geisler notes three fundamental problems
Calvinist’s views: 1.The belief that justification is prior to faith; 2.The contention that God uses irresistible grace on the unwilling; and 3.The idea that faith is a gift of God only to the elect. Review Geisler, pp. 477-489, for his response to these problematic tenants of extreme Calvinist view. Please note that even as Geisler refutes the extreme Calvinist view, he support the Wesleyan view.

The Conditions of the Church of Christ
Four necessary condition for salvation according to the Church of Christ (this does not apply to the Church of God in Christ): 1.Faith as a Condition for Salvation 2.Repentance as a Condition for Salvation 3.Confession as a Condition for Salvation 4.Water Baptism as a Condition for Salvation

The Conditions of the Church of Christ
Response to the Church of Christ conditions: 1.Faith as a Condition for Salvation Faith is the means or the medium by which salvation is received, not a condition.

The Conditions of the Church of Christ
Responses to the Church of Christ conditions: 2.Repentance as a Condition for Salvation If this is a condition, then why does the Bible mention faith alone? Repentance is implicit in faith. Faith in Jesus is also a simultaneous acknowledgment of who we are, that is, sinners in need of a Savior.

The Conditions of the Church of Christ
Response to the Church of Christ conditions: 3. Confession as a Condition for Salvation Confession as expressed in scriptures, is nothing more than a verbalization of faith. The outward act add nothing to faith alone. It is the expression of what has occurred in the heart of the believer. It is a result, not a cause of salvation.

The Conditions of the Church of Christ
Response to the Church of Christ conditions: 4. Water Baptism as a Condition for Salvation
1.Faith and faith alone is scripturally set forth (Rom. 1:17; Titus 3:57). 2.In John’s Gospel only faith is listed as a condition. 3.Jesus called water baptism as work of righteousness, it is the response to the transformation of salvation, not the cause. 4.Baptism is not a part of the gospel. 5.Paul was saved before he was baptized. 6.Peter affirmed that Cornelius was saved before he was baptized. 7.Baptism is a directive to those who are saved, not a condition.

The Lordship-Salvation View on The Condition(s) for Salvation
Soteriologically, according to this view, we must accept Christ (i.e., Master) of our lives (as well as Savior) in order to be saved. In MacArthur’s words:
Lordship salvation . . . is “the view that for salvation a person must trust Jesus Christ as his Savior from sin and must also commit himself to Christ as Lord of his life, submitting to his sovereign authority,” It is astonishing that anyone would characterize that truth as unbiblical or heretical. Faith and faithfulness are the same. Therefore, no one can receive justification without sanctification.

The Lordship-Salvation View on The Condition(s) for Salvation
Geisler’s response to this view:
1.It overtly confuses salvation with discipleship. 2.It makes the promise of doing good works (by submitting to Christ’s lordship) a condition for receiving the free gift of everlasting life. 3.It fails to distinguish what is implicit in faith (e.g. obedience” from what is explicitly necessary to be saved (faith alone). 4.It overstates the important connection between faith and works by claiming that there is an “inevitable connection” between them. 5.It stereotypes the free-grace view by labeling it easy believism. 6.It fails to see that there can be a distinction between justification and sanctification without there being a dichotomy between them. 7.It makes faithfulness to the end (perseverance) a condition for certain knowledge of individual salvation (Wesleyan’s would agree with this). 8.With seeming inconsistency, it admits that a true Christian can be a secret believer and may even extensively backslide.

The Free-Grace View on The Condition(s) for Salvation
This view, as expressed by Zane Hodges, contends that saving faith cannot be distinguished from nonsaving faith by its fruits. Faith alone is the condition for our salvation. Repentance is neither a separate act nor a part of saving faith. Hodges does not accept that faith involves trust and that a person must be received in the believer’s heart. Personal appropriation is an aspect of true faith and will usually manifest in good works.

The Free-Grace View on The Condition(s) for Salvation
This view, as expressed by Zane Hodges, contends that repentance is not necessary for salvation, only faith is, and repentance is not a part of faith. Hodges does not accept that repentance is necessary to restore a right relationship with God. Faith is the only condition for salvation, but as a dimension of faith, repentance is the act by which a man turns away from a former lifestyle and pattern of thinking to a new life with a renewed mind.

The Free-Grace View on The Condition(s) for Salvation
This view, as expressed by Zane Hodges, contends that obedience to God is not soteriologically required. He says they should embrace obedience, but it is not a condition for salvation. Further, according to Hodges, neither obedience nor good works are evidence of one’s salvation. While obedience and good works are not conditions for salvation, and it is true that people who are not saved can do good works and appear to be obeying God’s Word, Jesus clearly indicates the works we do and the fruit we bear can indicate that one is not a child of God. A good spring cannot produce bitter water. The fig tree cannot produce grapes. A Christian’s life will reflect, in obedience and good works, the fact of his or her transformation.

Repentance
• The root meaning of “to repent” (Gk: metanoeo) is “to think differently” or “to reconsider.” Virtually all the Greek lexicons agree that to metanoeo is “to reconsider” or ‘to change one’s mind.”

Faith
• Faith, from the Greek pisteuo is a common New Testament term meaning “to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to a person of thing). . . by implication to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ) . . . commit (to trust), put in trust with” (Strong’s, NSECB).

Faith and Repentance
• There is a tight connection between faith and repentance, as two facets of the same action. • In the biblical (Protestant) principle of “faith alone”, both faith and repentance are necessary for salvation, but each is a part of one saving act by which a person receives the gift of everlasting life. • Faith and repentance are inseparable, in the same way as the command to “come here” cannot be fulfilled without “leaving there.”

Saving Faith
• Even Satan believes that Jesus is the Son of God, but this type of faith is insufficient. Saving faith contains more than mental assent to the fact. According to Geisler “saving faith”:
1. 2. 3. 4. Involves Involves Involves Involves Commitment Obedience Love Humility