One Time Event Or Ongoing Process?

Q. Thanks for such a wonderful opportunity to ask Bible-based questions. I so appreciate it!

I have a friend who says salvation is based on “steps.” When I questioned her further, she said that means accepting Christ as her Savior, getting baptized, and being obedient.

This is obviously against the Scriptures which clearly teaches trusting Christ as your Savior is the only way to Salvation. How can I best present this to her besides the usual John 3:16 or Ephesians 2:8,9 because she seems to know all the basic Scriptures, studies God’s Word daily, yet can’t see the light!

A. Salvation is an event, not a process. It happened in the first moment of belief. (Ephes. 1:13-14)

Your friend is including the process of sanctification in her definition. This is the life long work of the Holy Spirit counseling us to adjust our behavior to be conformed to the image and likeness of Jesus. It begins after salvation, and will not be complete until we’re changed at the Rapture.

I like the way Hebrews 10:14 distinguishes between the two.

“By one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Having been made perfect forever in God’s eyes means that our salvation’s a done deal. It’s in the past tense. We are now in the process of being made holy (sanctification). It’s in the present tense, ongoing.

Under your friend’s definition, no one would ever be saved, because only one man (Jesus) has ever been completely obedient.

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