Monday, June 14, 2010

How do these two things reconcile

I have been wondering if anyone can scripturally reconcile this statement:
"To be saved, we must accept Jesus"

and this verse:
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Eph 2:4-10 (ESV)

How is "we must accept" not a work? Is it not an action done by our own power in order to gain salvation? Is that not something we can take credit for? Is that not something we can boast in? Do you really "accept" salvation, or are you just saved? Discuss:


  1. Your question is a valid one. It would most definitely appear that our accepting Christ would be something that we could take credit for thus making it a work. It is much easier for us, as humans, to comprehend something that we have to work for or earn. It is ego and pride that drives this mentality of works based salvation and for US to ACCEPT Christ just fits that train of thought like a glove. It it overwhelmingly evident that God chooses us. There, I said it.

  2. I think "through faith", we understand it is only by His grace we are saved. I understand that by works possibly means a checklist of sorts such as going to church, being good, keeping commandments, etc. Those are evidence of our salvation, not the cause of it. I don't understand 'accepting' and 'believing' as being works.

  3. Accepting means we are receiving something not by works. We have a choice to receive something or not to.Someone is giving us something and then we receive it.Rom.6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.When we accept Jesus as our Savor we are accepting a free gift by faith not works, we have to receive it. Read Gal.3:6-29 Maybe this will help,In Christ Jesus

  4. Dan, I think you hit on the head in the Scripture cited above that by our own will we cannot accept Jesus because we are dead in our sin ( see also John 1:12-13, John 3:6, 2 Cor. 2:14, 1 Cor. 12:3). How can a dead person be made alive? He needs something outside of himself to do this. It is only through the Holy Spirit working in and through the gospel promise (forgiveness of sins in Christ) that faith is engendered in a person (Romans 10:17).

    From a church history perspective the idea of accepting Jesus in the common sense resulted from Charles Finney in the late 1800s. The Arminians and Synergists did not know of such a practice.

  5. I think our verbage is very works oriented: you can't get to heaven unless you accept Jesus; I've found Jesus; I came to faith in Christ. Same may believe that they are reaching out the Jesus and that salvation is a partnership of our choice and His offer.

    I think the truth is that accepting Jesus is the natural consequence of regeneration. The un-Christian mind/heart is unable to comprehend Scripture or the Gospel message until God has chosen to give that one a new heart through regeneration. Then they are able to comprehend the call to repentance and respond. Not to say we are automatons, but like a mechanical device that has a wrench in the gears (sin); when it is removed, then we can go forward as we ought, not a work, but a natural consequence of regeneration --> repentance --> salvation and justification. Regeneration is the work; salvation is the work; justification is the work. Repentance and confession and worship (collectively acceptance) are outcomes to God's work in us; but they are not meritorious works themselves.

  6. I agree, we respond because we are regenerated by Christ. We respond to the grace that God gives us that saves us in order to respond. God chooses us and we then respond to the choosing. God moves and that moves us.