Sunday, July 11, 2010

Two-Step Plan of Salvation Part III

In parts one and two of "Two-Step Plan of Salvation," I attempted to answer the question, "what's wrong with this picture," and that picture being the idea presented to my wife and I by a friend that she got saved by "making a decision based an act of my will."

I tried making the point that this theological error, decisionism salvation, amounts to another Gospel and therefore Paul's warning in Galatians 1:8-9 applies:

"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8-9 NKJV)

Salvation is not the result of an act of one's fallen will. Salvation is being regenerated, made alive, or quickened, so that, or in order, that you might "confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead." (Romans 10:9)

As I pointed out in the part one, my friend elucidated what she meant by the Gospel by adding that first she "made a decision based an act of her will," then she said that part and parcel to her salvation experience was years later being "baptized in the Spirit evidenced by praying in tongues."

First part of what's wrong with this picture is that our friend thinks she is saved on the basis on something "she has done," i.e. making a decision based on an act of her will. Second part of what's wrong with this picture is that she thinks there is a second part to salvation, a second work of grace, if you will, to be sought after her first "decision based on an act of her will." Salvation is a "Two-Step Plan" for her and for literally thousands of professing (false) believers all over the world. They are false because they teach, preach, and believe another Gospel. To correct this second part of the "Two-Step Plan of Salvation," we have to take a look at what the Bible says about the "Baptism of the Spirit."

"For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and have all been made to drink into [a] one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NKJV)

So, we see the Bible does teach there is a baptism by (one) Spirit. But what does this mean?

"The baptism of the Holy Spirit may be defined as that work whereby the Spirit of God places the believer into union with Christ and into union with other believers in the body of Christ at the moment of salvation." (

Another text with which to demonstrate this doctrine is seen in Romans 6:1-4:

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (NKJV)

The 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 text tells us that the Holy Spirit is the agent of baptism into one body (the body of Christ) and the Romans 6:1-4 text tells us what else is involved in this Spirit baptism.

1. We were baptized into Christ Jesus, which made us partakers of His death to sin.

2. Therefore, we are united in the likeness of his burial through this baptism into death.

3. And, in the likeness of Christ's resurrection, we are co-raised in Christ that we might walk in newness of life. (see Romans 6:5-12)

Both of these texts of Scripture show that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit accomplishes the following and no more or no less:

1. It puts us, or unites us, into the Body of Christ.

2. It unites us in the likeness of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection so that we can say:

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20 NKJV)

If you want power to live the Spirit-filled life, look no further than your conversion experience and to your co-crucifixion, co-death, co-burial, and co-resurrection in Christ. Therein is the power of God unto salvation from the penalty and power of sin.

Two points obliterate this error that there is a second work of Grace one must seek after getting saved (if they are really saved at all).

1. The 1 Corinthians 12 text shows clearly that all Christians have been baptized by the Spirit into Christ. "We were all baptized," says Paul, "into Christ just as all have been given one Spirit to drink (the filling of the Spirit in Eph. 5:18)."

2. There is no text in Scripture where we are told to be baptized in, by, or with the Spirit.

"Experiencing the one Spirit baptism serves as the basis for keeping the unity of the church, as in the context of Ephesians 4:5. Being associated with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection through Spirit baptism establishes the basis for our separation from the power of indwelling sin and our walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-10; Colossians 2:12)." (

This, too, the second part of the "Two-Step Plan of Salvation" our friend shared and I mentioned in part one of this series, is another gospel. It is not the Gospel of the Bible, it is not the Gospel of Jesus, and it is not the Gospel of God. It is heretical.

To say that something more is required to experience the power of God unto salvation is not only error, it is blasphemy. To say what Christ bought for us with his death, burial and resurrection was insufficient is to deny the Doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). The redemption from the penalty of sin and the deliverance from the power of sin that we might walk in the newness of life was purchased at the Cross. At Calvary you got the whole deal.

You want to live a life that shows that you are a Christian? You want to live life walking worthy of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? You want to walk in a manner worthy of the calling in which you have been called?

Then the Apostle Paul would tell you three things:

1. In light of your co-crucifixion, your co-burial, your co-resurrection, reckon yourselves indeed dead unto sin and alive unto God in Christ Jesus.

2. And, because of the truth of point #1, or therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts.

3. You can do this because sin has no dominion over you because in Christ, you are not under law but under Grace. (Re-read Romans 6)

Beloved, don't trust anyone who presents you a decisionalism salvation. To do so would be to your peril. And, do not accept anyone who tells you what Christ purchased with his death on a Cross was not sufficient and that you need some "second blessing."

Believe the simple Gospel for redemption from the penalty of your sin and for freedom from sin's dominion and power in your life.

"And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."" (John 6:35-40 NJKV)