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Anglican View of Salvation

Discussion in 'Scripture,Tradition,Reason-Anglican & Old Catholic' started by Tallguy88, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    How does one achieve salvation/be saved? I grew up in a non-denominational church that taught that you had to accept Jesus as your personal savior to be saved. While I still believe this to an extent, I also see that as just one part of a longer journey. Sort of like salvation being a process, rather than an event. But what else is there? What do Anglicans typically believe is necessary for salvation?:confused:

    Thanks
    James
     
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  2. Drax

    Drax Dominate

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    Because of the wide variety of Anglican beliefs right now, there will probably be many different answers to this question. :) But I think that your idea of a process is right on the money. Some come to faith as adults (or old enough to discern their sins) and might recognize a moment when their Christian life begins. Others are blessed with Christian homes and are raised in the Church, and perhaps came to faith so early in life that they might not even remember a discernible moment in which they passed from darkness to light. They might never have even had a clear moment; our Lord might have worked in their lives from the beginning, or from their Baptism. But no matter which story resembles your own, Anglicans believe that our Lord grants grace and faith to His followers. So, in a sense we were saved 2000 years ago by Christ; in another sense, we are saved when we first come to faith in that same Christ; and in yet another sense, we are being saved throughout our lives.

    So, we believe that the means of grace - prayer, preaching and reading of the Gospel, corporate worship, and especially the Sacraments (specifically Baptism and the Eucharist) - these are means by which the Holy Spirit begins and strengthens our saving faith. They are part of how we are being saved, the process as you so eloquently put it! Christ saves us. If we had no means of grace available, we could still cry out to him for forgiveness of sins and for mercy, and we know that he would provide it. The Atonement is our salvation. Repentance and faith are how he provides its benefits to us. The Sacraments found in the Church are ways through which he spiritually grants and sustains grace.

    This is probably a woefully incomplete and inadequate answer. I'm sure that there are people who will just say "Baptism saves" or "Sinner's Prayer saves." But for me, it's a complex issue. Indeed, it is the most mysterious and glorious issue that has ever been. So, I tried to give it my best shot. :):D
     
  3. MLynn

    MLynn Lifelong Disciple

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    Dear Tallguy, the common thread within the bond of Christian believers is our deep relationship with Jesus Christ. Because God ministers to each person as He see fit, sometimes (like myself) a person comes to Christ in a not-so-typical way. St. Paul had to have a personal visit from the Lord for him to turn around. When we say "yes" to Jesus we are saved and we grow over time if we let Him fill our lives (He is our first love). God's grace allows us to stumble and repent as many times as necessary for our growth in Him.

    I am not a theologian; this is my own observation from being a Christian since 1968. God bless you in your journey! :)
     
  4. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

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    The Anglican church is a mainstream Christian church. We do not have different views on salvation from other churches. :)

    Salvation is by Grace, as always. The interpretation of that may vary, and people's experiences may vary, but the basic truth of it never does. We do not achieve our own salvation; it is a free gift from God.

    The journey of faith that follows this salvation may be long and difficult, but it is not us effecting or perfecting our own salvation, because that is already done. Salvation is like our spiritual birth. When we are born we begin the process of growth and life, which all derives from the birth. But the process of growing is not itself part of the process of being born.
     
  5. LiturgyInDMinor

    LiturgyInDMinor Celtic Rite Old Catholic Church

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    I am saved.
    I am being saved.
    I will be saved.
     
  6. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

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    Nice saying, but I am afraid rather lacking in coherence. :)

    Because God is not in time, nor subject to it, we speak of him as 'the one who was, who is and who is to come'. It seems rather presumptuous, if not even blasphemous, to translate his name into a statement of our own salvation, for the simple reason that we remain part of Creation, and therefore subject to time. We will one day partake of eternity, but we are not there yet.

    Therefore, a person who is in this world can be either saved, in the process of salvation or not saved, but cannot in any meaningful sense be said to be all three at once. I could say, 'I am saved'. I could even say, in poetic terms, 'I was saved 2,000 years ago'. I can't really say, 'I am being saved' any more than, 'I am being born', and I can't say, 'I will be saved', because that is grammatically highly inaccurate, and rather makes a nonsense of time.
     
  7. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    Thanks for your response. I'd say that's pretty much what I believe too. I find myself especially liking the bolded parts, though the whole thing seems spot-on and well thought out.:thumbsup:

    Thanks,
    James
     
  8. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    Thank you. I hope you don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say. I do not believe that we are the cause of our own salvation. Rather, that God freely gives salvation to all regardless of merit or lack thereof.

    But I also believe that we have a part to play in salvation as well. We can choose to accept him or turn away from him. We can pray everyday or never. One can be baptized and confess belief, but never take it any further than that. I guess what I'm trying to say is, salvation is a freely given gift, but we can choose what we do with that gift, whether to treasure it and nurture it, or to say "No thanks." and throw it away.

    This is what I meant by process, living in faith and acting out that faith, trying to be as Christ-like as we can.

    I hope I don't come off as confrontational or stand-offish. That is certainly not my intent. I just wanted to clarify what I meant and what I didn't mean. Again, thank you for your response and feel free to point out any errors you see in my thinking, after all, that's why I asked! :)

    Thanks,
    James
     
  9. Drax

    Drax Dominate

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    Thank you sir :D
     
  10. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    What he said is quite accurate I would say - more accurate that our experience, which is, as you pointed out, limited by our presence in time. I'd say pointing that out is likely part of the reason for using that formulation.
     
  11. Naomi4Christ

    Naomi4Christ not a nutter Supporter

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    Article 11 of the 39 Articles of Faith says:

     
  12. Naomi4Christ

    Naomi4Christ not a nutter Supporter

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    That is the same as saying that salvation depends on good works, which is something Anglican do not believe.

    Good works are evidence of your salvation. Christians are known for their good works just as a tree is known for its fruit.

    Article 12: Although good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow on after justification, can never atone for our sins or face the strict justice of God's judgment, they are nevertheless pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ and necessarily spring from a true and living faith. Thus a living faith is as plainly known by its good works as a tree is known by its fruit.​
     
  13. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    Naomi, thank you for responding to my question. I don't believe that salvation depends on good works. Let me ask it another way. Is it possible to lose our salvation? I grew up in a pentecostal-leaning church that taught that you could lose your salvation. I was always in fear that if I screwed up and sinned and died a moment later (such as in a car crash) that I was going to hell for that one sin that I hadn't had time to repent of. I'm not sure if that was the theology, or if I just misunderstood it.

    That was one of the big reasons that I came to anglicanism after some wandering. I didn't want to be told that I was on the verge of hell every second, or that the world was going to end in a couple of years. So, I left Christianity and became at various times a pagan or an athiest. Intrestingly enough, it was an interest in Catholicism that started to slowly bring me back. I learned most of what I know about theology from Catholic and Orthodox sources. Hence my explaination of salvation as being a process and sounding works-based.

    So, while I sound like I'm promogulating works-based salvation, I'm not. Its just the way it comes off sometimes.

    So anyway, sorry for the rambling response, just wanted to let you know where I'm coming from on this issue. But I genuinly want to know: Is it possible to lose your salvation?

    Thanks,
    James
     
  14. Naomi4Christ

    Naomi4Christ not a nutter Supporter

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    I understand that the only way to lose your salvation is by blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I do not know anything about this really, but I am sure that others do.

    Your Christian faith is definitely a process, or a journey, as is the usual metaphor. There are times when your faith grows rapidly, times when you backslide, times when you are in the doldrums, and times when it makes steady growth.

    Once you make the decision to follow Christ and not the ways of the world, then you are 'saved'. However, you have to wonder how this reflects itself in your life. If you make no changes to your life, then is your decision 'real'? When you become a Christian, the bad things in your life gradually fall away as they become less important to you. The way that God wants you to live takes on more importance. You should stand out as a Christian because you exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    Christ came so that we would have life and have it to the full. (John 10.10). Having life to the full is about how we live our lives on this side of eternity, and I believe this means showing the fruit of the spirit (which we can't actually help doing - we don't manufacture or force ourselves).

    The great Christian relief organisation, Christian Aid, has as its motto, "Life before death", and I think this is a good way to think about our own Christian faith, and not only look to what will happen after our bodies finish their earthly lives.

    Sorry if I am the one that is rambling :)
     
  15. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

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    Well, yes and no. We choose, but when we do choose, that is not us effecting our own salvation. It is God giving us the Grace to choose.

    In everything we do, God is always the agent. Which is why we do not need to huff and puff about anyone for whom he has not done the same; he will get round to them in his own time, and in the meanwhile we only need to worry about our own sins, and our own standing before God.

    I am not a Christian because of anything I did. I am a Christian because God called me in such a way that his call was compelling, and I could not choose other than to answer him. This is, I think, true of each one of us.
     
  16. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

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    There is no way to lose your salvation.

    If a name is once written in the book of life, it cannot be erased. Either the name was never there, or else it remains there. There is no other option.

    As for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, nobody really knows what is meant by this, so we can't actually commit it, can we? Do you really imagine that God has ten commandments, plus two, for us to follow, plus a joker that nobody really understands, and that also cannot be forgiven?

    That is one weird God, if so.

    Rest assured, therefore; man cannot ever undo that which God has done.
     
  17. Flat Eric

    Flat Eric eibweN

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    It depends what you mean by "lose". You can't lose your salvation in the same way as you lose your car keys; you wake up in the morning and your keys are nowhere to be found, you search every where but to no avail. You may never see your car keys again because you have mislaid or lost them. Salvation is a gift of God, God has promised that "nothing can separate us from the love of God". Even sin committed that you have not repented of cannot deny your salvation because you are already considered dead to self and alive in Christ Jesus.

    However, if you were to stand at the edge of a sea cliff and throw your car key into the waves they would be considered as lost. This would be equivalent to you saying to God, "get out of my life, I don't want you and I don't need you." If you continued to live your life in this manner, spurning God and his gift, you could be considered to have "lost" you salvation.

    This is how it was explained to me, hope this helps!
     
  18. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. God as car keys off a cliff? Not really.

    God can't be discarded that easily, to be honest. How do you throw away something omnipresent? Clever trick if you can do it. Even on a human level this one doesn't work. My daughter could tell me all that stuff, and I still would be her Mum, and still would never give up on her; she can't throw me away. And God can't be a worse parent than I am.

    God is more like a boomerang. You may think you threw him away, and you may even have spent many years without him, but one day he is going to turn up again and thwack you on the back of the head, and say, 'Haha! I'm back!!! Did you miss me?' ^_^
     
  19. Flat Eric

    Flat Eric eibweN

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    I agree. My explaination is very simplistic, but I was trying to answer a very complex question in the confines of a single post.

    In the parable of the sower, three of the four types accept the word of God, but for one reason or another all but one falls away. I presume that when the word of God is accepted it means they became believers. The fact that only one type bore fruit suggests to me that they were not "in Christ" or connected to the true vine, not believers. They "lost" their salvation.

    It could be argued that they were not believers in the first place, but merely gave a mental assent to the Word. This could mean that Christians who fall away from faith have not actually lost their faith, but were never Christians at all.

    Hmm, I'm just thinking out loud now; more grist for the mill!
     
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