About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Lowering The Bar Of Biblical Salvation


I've often heard people say something like this.  "He's just a baby Christian.  You can't expect perfection."  No one is expecting perfection, but what is really meant by this statement?


The Apostle Paul and the author of Hebrews called their readers infants (1 Corinthians 3:1, Hebrews 6:12 - 13).  These believers had been Christians for some time but never matured into Christian adulthood as was to be expected.  The designation of being a baby Christian was a criticism of these people, not an excuse to ignore their immaturity. 


If you read Acts 5:1 to 11 you will see two newly born believers named Ananias and Sapphira.  Not long after the Day of Pentecost Jesus took their lives because they lied to the Holy Spirit.  That seems like a drastic thing to do to baby Christians but it does suggest the expectation of some evidence of change in the life of a baby believer.       


It seems to me that we are lowering the bar to the Biblical gospel.  This means that repentance doesn't necessarily mean walking away from a life dedicated to self.  It also means that faith doesn't necessarily mean trusting your entire life with Jesus.  It means the reception of the Holy Spirit into the life of a new believer is often omitted in today's gospel, and without Him, one does not belong to God (Romans 8:9).  I conclude that if any one of these three aspects to salvation has not been realized in a life, there is no salvation.  This suggests to me that many people sitting in church pews may not even be Christians, let alone baby Christians, which might account for the lack of change in the life of one we call a baby Christian.


John the Baptist refused to baptize those who did not show evidence of repentance (Luke 3:8).  Jesus said that we would recognize true believers by the fruit of faith in their lives (Matthew 7:16).  No one has obtained total perfection, but, if one is truly reborn by the Spirit of the Almighty God, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and will exhibit some kind of evidence of new birth. 


Instead of lowering the bar of Biblical salvation let us re-examine the gospel we preach and raise the bar to its proper Biblical height.  If we minimize the gospel's essential elements, we preach what Paul called "another gospel" in Galatians 1:6.  Another gospel saves no one. 

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