We are not born again into salvation.

Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again.  That unless a man was born again, he could not enter the kingdom of God.  We understand from scriptures that this new birth was made possible through the death and resurrection of Christ.  This is a corner stone of most believers, I would assume.  To this, most of us would agree, I assume again.

We at the same time understand there is an inheritance kept for us in heaven.  We understand from scripture, this inheritance can never spoil or perish.  However at this point most believers make the assumption that this only pertains to our rewards based on our works. 

I have been advocating from scripture that we believers have a hope of salvation.  That our salvation is not given to us at conversion.  To say it another way, we are not born again into salvation.  I advocate The Gospel According to the Gospel teaches, believers have a coming salvation that will be given to us when Christ returns, and not before then.

Tossing my comments aside as insignificant and undoctrinal does not change what Peter left behind for us as his doctrine.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.[1]

The church teaches we are born again unto salvation.  Peter teaches our new birth is into a living hope, and this through the resurrection of Christ from the dead.  The church teaches this resurrection provides the believer with salvation.  Peter disagrees.

Peter teaches we are shielded by God’s power, in our new birth and living hope, until the coming of salvation.  This salvation is coming to believers at the last day when Jesus Himself brings us our salvation.

The writer of the book of Hebrews agrees with Peters doctrine.

so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.[2]

Through the sacrifice of Christ are sins are forgiven, hence we are born again.  But we are to wait for Christ at His second coming to bring us our salvation.

So what do you think?  Do you think Paul would agree with this?  Well he does.

while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.[3]

Paul agrees, we are redeemed from sin and we are waiting for our hope, even Jesus Christ.

Again, Paul testifies we were saved into a hope.  Doesn’t this agree with Peter who said, “we have been given a new birth into a living hope?”  Paul then says we do not have what we hope for.  We as believers are to wait for what we do not yet have.  We are waiting for our hope of salvation to be given to us when Christ returns.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.[4]

Do we do justice to the doctrine of scripture when we invite people to come forward to get salvation?

So what do we do with those scriptures that say we are saved, you ask?  You mean like this one.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.[5]

How is it that Paul can speak of being saved and in the same breath say we have a hope?  Is it that we have been saved, are being saved and will be saved?  Again who hopes for what he has?  Even though we have been reconciled by Christ through His death to be blameless in the sight of God (the church calls this possessing our salvation) Paul says we will have this, if we are not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.  Who is it that continues in the faith?  It is those who share the faith.

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation– if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.[6]

So if there is a big if in Paul’s doctrine, is it that we have been saved? 

We the church need to speak of our hope of salvation to both the saint and the sinners.  So that if they continue in it they may possess what they hope for when Christ returns.  We are not born again into salvation.  We are born again unto salvation.

[1] 1Peter 1:3-5

[2] Hebrews 9:28

[3] Titus 2:13-14

[4] Romans 8:24-25

[5] Titus 3:3-7

[6] Colossians 1:22-23

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