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RELIGION or SALVATION?
Daniel E. Parks
“Religion is the work of man. It is something for man to do.” So said Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875), “The Father of Modern Revivalism”, a foremost advocate of so-called “Christian Perfectionism”, and probably the foremost proponent of Freewillism in his day. We are deeply indebted to him for his very frank admission, which is found on the very first page of Lectures on Revivals of Religion, the most influential of all of his writings.
Preachers of religion exhort you to do something in
order to be saved. Finney exhorted people to come to what he called the
“anxious seat”. Other Religionists exhort you to come to their mourner’s
bench, altar, baptistery, sabbath, or whatever else they substitute for coming
to Christ. Some exhort you to “Decide for Christ” or “Give your heart to
Jesus” or “Make Jesus your personal Lord and/or Savior” or whatever other
vain deed religionists contrive.
In sharp contrast to Mr. Finney, “Salvation is the work of God. It is something God does.” So say Holy Scriptures throughout. “Salvation is of Jehovah” (Jonah 2:9) – from beginning to end and throughout. When the Philippian jailer asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30f). In essence, they were telling him, “There is nothing you can do for your salvation. It is already done by God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Trust in the One who wrought salvation, and you will be saved!” And even this act of believing unto salvation is the work of God, for Jesus Christ declares, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29).
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726