There is a man whom I would consider to be a very good friend and a dear brother in Christ. When I met him, I didn’t know the first thing about Christianity. I mean, I had some vague ideas, but no real understanding. He helped me tremendously in understanding the faith. I can honestly say if it weren’t for him, I would not be a Christian today.
Now it’s many years later and we have very different understandings of scripture. We are still brothers in Christ, but we could never commune together. Our beliefs are too different. One of the beliefs that separates us is salvation. I believe that there is absolutely nothing we can do to be saved. Outside of Christ choosing us for salvation, we can do nothing. My friend on the other hand believes that we must choose to accept Christ’s gift of salvation, effectively leaving it in our hands.
So, how can I say that if it weren’t for him I would not be a Christian today if I believe I did not have a choice in the matter of Salvation. We can find the answer in 2 Timothy 2:9-10.
I was elected for salvation, but faith comes through hearing. My friend spoke to me the Word and through the Word, Christ gave me forgiveness. This is how I can say if it were not for him, I would not be a Christian and at the same time claim that Christ first gave me forgiveness of sins and brought me to repentance through no action or choice of my own.
For those who are interested, here is a link to my friend’s blog. As stated, we have different understandings of scripture, but if what he has to say helps you with your faith as he has helped me, then I’m glad to share it. Do I believe in many ways he is in error? Yes. Do I believe he is heretical? Absolutely not. He is a dear brother in Christ. Our salvation is not contingent on these differences. We both believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. We both believe he died on the cross for our sins. And we both believe that through Christ is the only means of salvation.