The Christian doctrine of Salvation (and all its ramifications) has been very thorny and topical among Bible scholars and theologians for over a century. The simplest definition of the word Salvation is “The total work of God in delivering us from sin and reconciling us to Himself.” St. Paul himself a great philosopher and the greatest hero of the New Testament writers declared that Salvation is found in Christ alone (Acts 4:12).
Some Bible scholars have argued that ‘Salvation is a two legged essence or comprises of faith and good works’, hold tenaciously one the theory ‘faith without works is dead, and works without faith is lame’. And that it is only the combination of both faith and good works can give man salvation. This school of thought seem to base their argument on the matches and fire theory, that fire or light will always happen if a match is scratched or comes into physical contact with or rubbed on a rough or phosphoresce element. These theorists forget that no fire can happen in the absence of oxygen. In the context of fire God is the life giving oxygen. This justifies the Pauline theory that Jesus is the ultimate for Salvation, no amount or quality or combination of works and faith can engender Salvation without the special grace or divine dispensation of Jesus Christ.
According to Wycliffe: “Understood actively, Salvation is the total work of God in bringing men from the state of sin to the state of glory through Jesus Christ. In the former state men are spiritually dead and subject to the divine wrath: in the latter, they are under God’s grace and experiencing eternal life. Understood passively, Salvation is the total present and future enjoyment by true believers in Christ, of God’s self-giving through His Son.”
Salvation brings the righteousness of God to man when he meets the condition of faith in Christ (Rms.1: 16-17; 1 Cor. 1:21). It is based on the death of Christ for the remission of sins. The basic accomplishments of Salvation include redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation. Redemption means full release becatse of the payment of a ransom price. Reconciliation means that because of Christ’s death, man’s relationship with God has been changed from the state of enmity to one of fellowship> Rm.5:10). Propitiation means that God’s wrath has been turned away by the offering of Christ (Rm. 3: 25; 1 Jn.4:10. In other words, man has been salvaged from eternal death and endowed with everlasting life (Rm. 5:9).
When a man believes in the Lord Jesus Christ he is saved (Acts16:31); therefore he is already justified, redeemed, reconciled, and cleansed. Yet Salvation is also progressive, and man needs the sanctifying work of the Spirit in the working out of his salvation with fear and trembling (1 Phil. 2: 13)
But the good news about Salvation is that in dispensing it God does not reckon where you are coming from, or what you had been, not even how dirty and filthy you where. The Bible is replete with examples of recipients (sinners) of the grace of Salvation: Mary Magdalene was possessed with seven demons before her encounter with Jesus, but she was the first to see the Resurrected Christ. The Samaritan woman whom Jesus converted at the well, became an evangelist for the gospel and through her the whole village received the saving light of the gospel (Jn.4: 39-42). Rahab the harlot of Jericho, was saved and her whole family through her (Jos. 6: 22-25; Heb. 11: 31). The jailor at Philippi and all his house hold were saved (Acts 16: 29-34). The thief at the right hand side of Christ at His crucifixion was saved (Lk.23: 43). But the most classic example of all was Saul who later became St. Paul.
In contemporary times, even in RCCG there are testimonies of how God elevated ordinary folks from grass to grace. God is not looking for perfect people. Jesus says that He did not come for the righteous, but to call sinners to repentance, and whosoever believes in Him will be saved and will have life and joy very abundantly. So also in RCCG King’s Court Parish Los Angeles, we profess and preach that our church is a clinic and the Lord Jesus is the Almighty physician who can mend and heal wounded and sick souls. Here we worship and serve God with fear and trembling because our goal is to make heaven and also to take with us as many souls as God gives us the grace to win for Him. And because Salvation is a progressive process, and because the race is never won until the game is over, at The King’s Parish we never rest on our oars, we keep striving and struggling and learning and searching to reach our goal. This is the reason we have put in place so many exciting programs, activities and departments and workshops where members can find their fulfillment in the quest for more spiritual knowledge on the way to Salvation.
These programs include:
- Small Cell groups for effective interactive Bible study, responsibilities and service in the church.
- Ministers in Training (MIT): An Advanced Bible/Theological Study and Research 7:30 – 8:55 AM every Sunday, for ministers only
- New Beginners Class: A foundational class for introducing beginners to the doctrines, ethics and Christian values in general, and the belief systems and practices of RCCG in particular.
- Digging Deep in the Word: Every Tuesday 7:00 PM, where members dig deep into the Word of God, discuss and exchange knowledge and views.
- In His Presence: Study, Praise and Worship: Every Friday 7-8:30 PM
- GAP: God Answers Prayer: First Sunday every month:6:00-8:PM an hour of one-on-one with God. People bring their prayer requests and in one accord we present these requests very prayerfully to God. Eventually people give testimonies of answered prayers.
- Retreat: A quarterly two-night serious prayer program on the mountains generally far out of town.
- Go-a-Fishing: an-outreach evangelism for winning souls and feeding the needy in the community.
- Night Vigil: a quarterly all-night prayer and worship program of intercession and worship.
- Holy Ghost Service: First Friday of the month, service starting at 9PM till past mid-night
- Family Fun Nite: a quarterly evening program where Marriage and Family issues and problems are discussed and x-rayed under scriptural microscope, using relevant Christian movie documentaries as support resources.
All these and more are ways and means of seeking the face of God for His grace which is a sine qua non for Salvation.