Salvation Like Ketchup–57 Ways to Salvation

Salvation Like Ketchup--57 Ways to Salvation

Salvation Like Ketchup–57 Ways to Salvation

 

Before you label me a heretic, let me be plain: The only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

Many “openings” with Jesus, however are recorded in the Bible. Probably more than 57. So I say, salvation is like ketchup, 57 ways to salvation. And remember, all the ways start and end with Jesus.

The Scriptures show numerous ways to become “saved.” We’ll get to the implications of this in a moment. But for starters, God is Bigger than we know. Bigger than our traditions, Bigger than our experience. He is a God filled with wonder and mystery. Get ready for some surprises.

Let’s examine the Bible together. Each should be read in context.

1 John 5:13 Believe in the name of the Son of God
1 John 4:15 Confess that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 4:16-17 Know and believe God’s love for us
1 John 4:7 Love one another with God’s love
Ephesians 2:8-10 Saved by grace through faith
Galatians 3:6 Believe God (as did Abraham)
John 3:36 Believe and obey the Son
John 1:12-13 Receive [Jesus]
John 1:41 Find the Messiah (as did Andrew)
John 1:43 Follow Jesus (as did Philip)
John 2:23, 4:48, 11:45 Beholding Jesus’ signs leads to belief in Him
John 3:3 Be born again (or born anew)
John 3:6 Be born of water and the Spirit
John 4:10-14 Drink of Jesus’ living water
John 4:42 Hear and know that Jesus is the Savior of the world
John 5:24 Hear Jesus’ word and believe Him who sent Him
John 6:35-37 Come to Jesus
John 6:51 Eat the Bread of Life (Jesus)
John 6:54 Eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood
John 8:51 Keep Jesus’ word
John 9:35-38 Believe in the Son of Man
John 10:9 Enter through the door (Jesus)
John 7:27-28 Hear Jesus voice and follow Him
John 11:25-27 Live and believe in Jesus
John 12:36 Believe in the light in order to become sons of light
John 14:6 Accept Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life
Matthew 26:27-28 Heart participation in the New Covenant
Luke 23:39-43 Request Jesus remember him when He comes in His kingdom
1 Peter 1:3 Born again according to God’s great mercy
1 Peter 1:23 Born again through the imperishable seed, the preached word of God
1 Peter 1:9 Salvation obtained as an outcome of personal faith
1 Peter 3:21 Baptism now saves you (An appeal to God for a good conscience)
Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
Acts 3:19 Repent and return
Acts 8:12 Believe the good news about the kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ
Acts 8:35-37 Believe with all heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God
Acts 13:38-39 Forgiveness of sins through Jesus; believers are freed from all things
James 1:18 By the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth
James 2:24 by works*
Revelation 3:20 Hear Jesus’ voice and open the door
Romans 3:24, 28 A gift by grace through faith
Romans 6:23 Free gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
Romans 10:9-10 Confess Jesus is Lord and believe in heart God raised Him from the dead
Romans 10:13 Call on the name of the Lord
Luke 18:10-14 By calling on God’s mercy
Luke 24-13-35 An Eucharistic “eye-opening” experience with Jesus
Matthew 27:54 Saw the earthquake and other crucifixion events (as did the centurion and those with him)

In addition, Jesus told stories designed to lead people into salvation:
Seed sown in good soil (Matt 13:23ff), leaven (Mat 12:33), treasure (12:44), pearls (12:45), dragnet (Matt 12:47ff).

*I have purposely not commented on the verses in order to let the Scriptures speak for themselves. I will comment on James 2:24, however because this verse has caused confusion in some minds.

In English some words have more than one meaning. Think “love.” Love can mean romantic love or it can mean something like, “I love ice cream.” Every English speaker understands the difference.

The same in Greek, the language of the New Testament. Paul uses the word dikaiosune meaning “to declare a sinner righteous in God’s sight.” James uses the same word with a different meaning. In the book of James the meaning is “to vindicate” or “to verify righteousness.” Paul uses the word for the event of justification; James uses the word to prove or verify the justification that has already taken place. Paul uses the word referring to the event of Genesis 15; James uses the word as proof of faith (the sacrifice of Isaac), an event that happened about 30 years later (Genesis 22).

The reader can add other Scriptures showing additional salvation truths and experiences. This compilation shows, at the very least, a remarkable variety of salvation experiences and the ways people “get saved.” That’s why I say, Salvation Like Ketchup–57 Ways to Salvation.

Acknowledging the various Biblical expressions (“openings”) of salvation encounters with Jesus prepares us for revival. Unity is important for God’s next great move on earth. We need to become broad enough to accept various forms of saving encounters with Christ. Baptists and other evangelicals have a common approach to salvation that differs from Lutherans and other confessional denominations. Faith in Jesus Christ is the sole denominator. Are you broad enough — Biblical enough — to accept the fact that many people are genuinely saved, yet have a different faith encounter with Christ?

A second implication of “Salvation is like Ketchup–57 Varieties to Salvation” is simply this: it will keep us humble. Let the truth sink in. Let it settle.  This understanding will cut away criticism. Judgment will be released.  “Salvation is like Ketchup–57 Varieties to Salvation” allows God to become very intimate in the hour(s) of salvation. He tenderly visits each individual in each situation to gently grasp the heart of each person. Salvation is “knowing” the only true God and Jesus Christ who send Him (John 17:3).

Another implication of the “Salvation is like Ketchup–57 Varieties to Salvation” is practical and liberating. It will help the church to witness more freely. There are no cookie-cutter relationships. No formulas. On earth, Jesus used an exciting array of approaches. He still does today. Become like Jesus and allow others to do the same. There’s liberty in evangelism! You use your way to witness, I use mine and, the third guy uses his. Witness with love and you can’t go wrong! 57 varieties, and they’re all good when they lead a man to eternal salvation!

Comments

  1. Vern Wall says:

    Mr. Anderson, I think this is wonderful and I want to encourage you to continue studying God’s word. There are some points that I disagree with, and they are very common sources of confusion.

    1. Christ was not a Christian. Anything found in the gospels does not apply to salvation or Christian worship.

    2. Jesus did not know the divine mystery.

    John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
    Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

    If Jesus had known the mystery then John 4:22 would have been a lie. So nothing Jesus said can apply to Christians. Jesus was a Jew speaking to Jews. Only.

    3. The gospel is much simpler than people try to make it. Preachers who try to amuse their listeners with clever viewpoints only introduce complexity. There has been a great deal of that in the past, and that is why so few Christians know anything at all about what they are supposed to believe.

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