Salvation

Salvation

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Within religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche
Psyche
- Psychology :* Psyche , a concept of intangible self* Psyche , a periodical on the study of consciousness* Soul in the Bible, or psyche , spirit or soul in philosophy and theology- Art :...

 or soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

 that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

s. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or "redemption
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

" from sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

 and its effects. Salvation is a concept common to most of the world's great religions and is in many respects the principal goal of religious practice. Depending on the religious tradition, salvation is considered to be caused either by the free will and grace of God (Theistic religion) or by personal responsibility and self-effort (e.g. the sramanic and yogic
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

 traditions of India). Religions often emphasize the necessity of both personal effort (e.g. repentance
Repentance
Repentance is a change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God, and resolving to live according to religious law...

 and asceticism
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

) and divine action.

Salvation (in both Eastern and Western religions) is also the phenomenon of being saved from death. In religion, death does not simply refer to the end of biological life but signifies the suffering and degradation within life resulting from the consequences of sin. In Christianity one who has attained salvation is said to experience and inherit eternal life
Eternal life (Christianity)
In Christianity the term eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, rather than immortality. While scholars such as John H. Leith assert that...

 in God or what in Buddhism is called 'deathlessness'.

The theological study of salvation is called soteriology
Soteriology
The branch of Christian theology that deals with salvation and redemption is called Soteriology. It is derived from the Greek sōtērion + English -logy....

. It concerns itself with the comparative study of how different religious traditions conceive salvation and how they believe it is effected or achieved. In Indian religions, for example, the concept of salvation (which is called moksha
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

) involves being free from an endless process of transmigration of the soul, a belief that is absent from Abrahamic soteriology.

The concept of salvation (as the phenomenon of being saved by divine agency) belongs mostly to Judaism and Christianity and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, the major Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

. Analogous concepts within Indian religions, such as nirvana
Nirvana
Nirvāṇa ; ) is a central concept in Indian religions. In sramanic thought, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union with the Supreme being through moksha...

 and moksha
Moksha
Within Indian religions, moksha or mukti , literally "release" , is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and reincarnation or rebirth.-Origins:It is highly probable that the concept of moksha was first developed in...

 are not exact equivalents to the concept of salvation in as far as they do not depend upon divine agency.

Christianity


According to Christian belief, salvation is made possible by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which in the context of salvation is referred to as the "atonement". His resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 vindicates his death and his victory is confirmed by his exaltation to God's throne
Throne of God
The Throne of God is the reigning centre of the chief deity of the Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The throne is said by various holy books to reside above the Seventh Heaven called Araboth in Judaism.-Judaism:...

. For this reason, the New Testament portrays Jesus as the only Saviour of human beings, and the Early Church regarded his salvation as a message for everyone, Gentiles as well as Jews. However, it has been pointed out that in the words of Jesus in "If there is one theological issue that both Jews and Christians should be able to agree on, it is that "salvation is from the Jews"." It had been expressed in Judaism from the days of Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 onward that the salvation of all mankind is to come from Israel, i.e. the Jews through their relationship with God. This is the primary sense in which the Jews are "the Chosen People
Jews as a chosen people
In Judaism, "chosenness" is the belief that the Jews are the Chosen People, chosen to be in a covenant with God. This idea is first found in the Torah and is elaborated on in later books of the Hebrew Bible...

". Christians who believe in the accuracy of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, would accept that "salvation is from the Jews", since "those are the very words that Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well".
Salvation is a process that begins when a person first becomes a Christian, continues through that person's life, and is completed when one stands before Christ in judgment
Last Judgment
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the...

. Therefore, according to Catholic apologist James Akin, the faithful Christian can say in faith and hope, "I have been saved; I am being saved; and I will be saved."

Christian salvation concepts are varied and complicated by certain theological concepts, traditional beliefs, and dogmas. Scripture is subject to individual and ecclesiastical interpretations. Therefore, Christian soteriology ranges from exclusive salvation to universal reconciliation
Universal reconciliation
In Christian theology, universal reconciliation is the doctrine that all sinful and alienated human souls—because of divine love and mercy—will ultimately be reconciled to God.Universal salvation may be related to the perception of a problem of Hell, standing opposed to ideas...

concepts. While some of the differences are as widespread as Christianity itself, the overwhelming majority agrees that salvation is made possible by the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying on the cross.

The purpose of salvation is debated (compare purpose of life), but in general most theologians agree that God devised and implemented His plan
God's plan
God's plan or God's Plan may refer to one or more religious concepts:* Divine providence - Divine providence, or simply providence, is the sovereignty, superintendence, or agency of God over events in people's lives and throughout history....

 of salvation because He loves them
Love of God
Love of God are central notions in monotheistic and polytheistic religions, and are important in one's personal relationship with God and one's conception of God ....

 and regards human beings as His children. Since human existence on Earth is said to be "[given] to sin," salvation also has connotations that deal with the liberation
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

 of human beings from sin, and therefore also the inevitable suffering
Suffering
Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, is an individual's basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be qualified as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and...

 associated with the punishment
Punishment
Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something negative or unpleasant on a person or animal in response to behavior deemed wrong by an individual or group....

 of sin—i.e., "the wages of sin
Epistle to the Romans
The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, often shortened to Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was composed by the Apostle Paul to explain that Salvation is offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ...

 is death."

Paradigms of salvation


Different theories of atonement have been proposed for how Christian salvation can be understood. Over the centuries, Christians have held different ideas about how Jesus saved people, and different views still exist within different Christian denominations. The main paradigms of salvation that have been proposed are:

Moral transformation


The moral transformation view was the predominant understanding of salvation among Christians during the first three centuries AD
Early Christianity
Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity before 325. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians records that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included James, Peter and John....

, and continues to be held by some denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox today. In this view, Jesus saved people from sinfulness through his life and teachings (see the moral influence theory of atonement), thus transforming their character to become righteous. This salvation is seen as undeserved, since God graciously sent Jesus to save people when they were unrighteous and did not in any way deserve such a favour. In the moral transformation paradigm, a person is saved from sinfulness by faithfully following the teachings of Jesus, and the example he set of how to live. Consequently, a person becomes righteous in God's sight, and can expect a positive final judgment
Last Judgment
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the...

 by God. Perfection is not required, and mistakes are forgiven after repentance
Repentance
Repentance is a change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God, and resolving to live according to religious law...

. In this view, Jesus' crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

 is understood primarily as a martyrdom.

The moral transformation view has been criticised and rejected by many Protestant Christians
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, for a variety of reasons. Critics believe that the moral transformation view conflicts with various biblical passages (particularly ones by Paul regarding 'faith' and 'works'), underestimates the seriousness of sin and denies the atoning value of Jesus' death.

Christus Victor


In the Christus Victor
Christus Victor
The term Christus Victor refers to a Christian understanding of the atonement which views Christ's death as the means by which the powers of evil, which held humankind under their dominion, were defeated...

 view, people needed salvation from the powers of evil. Jesus achieved salvation for people by defeating the powers of evil, particularly Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

. This view has been dated in writings of the Church Fathers
Church Fathers
The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were early and influential theologians, eminent Christian teachers and great bishops. Their scholarly works were used as a precedent for centuries to come...

 to the 4th centuries AD, although it remained popular for several centuries. Several perspectives on this idea existed, which can be roughly divided into conquest of Satan and rescue from Satan's power. In the conquest of Satan version, writers such as Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea also called Eusebius Pamphili, was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about the year 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon...

 depicted Jesus defeating Satan in a great spiritual battle that occurred between his death and resurrection. By winning this battle, Jesus overthrew Satan and saved people from his dominion. The Christus Victor view is not widely held in the West.

Ransom from Satan


The ransom from Satan view entails the idea that Satan had power over people's soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

s in the afterlife
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

, but that Christ rescued people from his power. Often, the death of Christ plays an important role in this rescue. The view appears to have arisen during the 3rd century, in the writings of Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

 and other theologians. In one version of the idea, Satan attempted to take Jesus' soul after he had died, but in doing so over-extended his authority, since Jesus had not sinned. As a consequence, Satan lost his authority completely, and all humanity gained freedom. In another version, God entered into a deal with Satan, offering to trade Jesus' soul in exchange for the souls of all people, but after the trade, God raised Jesus from the dead
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

 and left Satan with nothing. Other versions held that Jesus' divinity was masked by his human form, so Satan tried to take Jesus’ soul without realizing that his divinity would destroy Satan's power. Another idea is that Jesus came to teach how not to sin and Satan, in anger with this tried to take his soul. The Ransom from Satan view is also not widely held in the West.

Satisfaction


In the 11th century, Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury , also called of Aosta for his birthplace, and of Bec for his home monastery, was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109...

 rejected the ransom view, and proposed instead the satisfaction
Atonement (satisfaction view)
The satisfaction view of the atonement is a doctrine in Christian theology related to the meaning and effect of the death of Jesus Christ and has been traditionally taught in Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed circles...

 view. He depicted God as a feudal lord, whose honour had been offended by the sins of humankind. In this view, people needed salvation from the divine punishment
Wrath of God
Wrath of God may refer to:* Divine retribution, a general term for the phrase "Wrath of God"* Operation Wrath of God, an alleged Israeli military operation* The Wrath of God, a Western film starring Robert Mitchum and Frank Langella...

 that these offences would bring, since nothing they could do could repay the honour debt. Anselm held that Christ had infinitely honoured God through his life and death that Christ could repay what humanity owed God, thus resolving the offence to God's honour (satisfying it) and doing away with the need for punishment. When Anselm proposed the satisfaction view, it was immediately criticised by Peter Abelard
Peter Abelard
Peter Abelard was a medieval French scholastic philosopher, theologian and preeminent logician. The story of his affair with and love for Héloïse has become legendary...

.

Penal substitution and faith



In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformers
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 reinterpreted Anselm's satisfaction theory of salvation within a legal paradigm. In the legal system, offences required punishment, and no satisfaction could be given to avert this need. They proposed a theory known as penal substitution
Penal substitution
Penal substitution is a theory of the atonement within Christian theology, developed with the Reformed tradition. It argues that Christ, by his own sacrificial choice, was punished in the place of sinners , thus satisfying the demands of justice so God can justly forgive the sins...

, in which Christ takes the penalty of people's sin as their substitute, thus saving people from God's wrath against sin. Penal substitution thus presents Jesus saving people from the divine punishment of their past wrongdoings. However, this salvation is not presented as automatic. Rather, a person must have faith
Faith in Christianity
Faith, in Christianity, has been most commonly defined by the biblical formulation in the Letter to the Hebrews as "'the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen". Most of the definitions in the history of Christian theology have followed this biblical formulation...

 in order to receive this free gift of salvation. In the penal substitution view, salvation is not dependent upon human effort or deeds.

The penal substitution paradigm of salvation is widely held among Protestant Christians
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, who often consider it central to Christianity. However, it has also be widely critiqued. Advocates of the New Perspective on Paul
New Perspective on Paul
The "New Perspective on Paul" is a significant shift in the way some scholars, especially Protestant scholars, interpret the writings of the Apostle Paul.-Description:Since the Protestant Reformation The "New Perspective on Paul" is a significant shift in the way some scholars, especially...

 also argue that many New Testament books by Paul the Apostle used to support the theory of penal substitution should be interpreted differently.

Bible passages


The New International Version of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 contains 138 verses that with the words "salvation" (45), "save" (41) or "saved" (52). The following are some of the New Testament passages most cited in this regard:
  • Belief and baptism:
    • "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
    • "…all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."
    • "Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
    • "Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented."
    • "In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
    • "After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized."
    • "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word
      Word
      In language, a word is the smallest free form that may be uttered in isolation with semantic or pragmatic content . This contrasts with a morpheme, which is the smallest unit of meaning but will not necessarily stand on its own...

       of God".
  • Belief in Jesus:
    • "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
    • "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved."
  • Born again: "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again…Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.'"
  • Confession and belief:
    • "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."
    • "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
  • Gift of God through Christ:
    • "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
    • "...And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." Calvary
      Calvary
      Calvary or Golgotha was the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred. Calvary and Golgotha are the English names for the site used in Western Christianity...

  • Forgiving others necessary: "If you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
  • God's love:
    • "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
    • "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."
    • "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…."
  • Judged by works: "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and everyone was judged according to what they had done."
  • Repentance and baptism: "Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
  • Salvation and works: "You see that people are justified by what they do and not by faith alone." This verse and the surrounding passage is disputed, centering primarily on the meaning of the word justified.
  • Salvation by God's Grace, not by works:
    • "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."
    • "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."
    • "When the kindness of God our Saviour, and his love towards us, appeared, not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
  • Salvation as an ongoing process: "To us who are being saved, (the word of the cross) is the power of God."
  • Salvation as yet to be obtained: "Since, therefore, we are now justified by (Christ's) blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God."
  • Salvation as a narrow path: "Wide is the gate, and broad the way, that leads to destruction, and many go in there: because strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it....
  • Sin separates humanity from God.
    • "For all have sin
      Sin
      In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

      ned and fall short of the glory of God."
    • "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned...."

Catholicism



A crucial difference between the Catholic and Protestant understanding of salvation is that, unlike Protestantism, Catholicism believes that, after the Fall humanity did not become totally corrupt but was “wounded by sin” (rather than destroyed) and “stands in need of salvation from God. Divine help comes in Christ through the law that guides and the grace that sustains” That divine help, that grace, is a favour, a free and undeserved gift from God which helps us to respond to His invitation to enter relationship.
Catholics profess belief that Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 alone is the Saviour of the human race. Christ is God incarnate
Incarnation (Christianity)
The Incarnation in traditional Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos , "became flesh" by being conceived in the womb of a woman, the Virgin Mary, also known as the Theotokos .The Incarnation is a fundamental theological...

, bringing about redemption
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

 from sin, for “…all salvation comes through Christ.” Indeed
”…she (the Church) proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ 'the way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself."


For Catholicism, Christ provides the Church with "the fullness of the means of salvation which [the Father] has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession
Apostolic Succession
Apostolic succession is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, which asserts that the chosen successors of the Twelve Apostles, from the first century to the present day, have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority, power, and responsibility that were...

."

To Catholic thinking, this does not mean that only Christians can enter heaven, for "By his death (Jesus, the Son of God) has conquered death, and so opened the possibility of salvation to all ." As Pope John Paul II stated in his encyclical
Encyclical
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Catholic Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop...

 Redemptoris missio
“The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the Gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions. For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation.”


This encyclical echoes what the Church solemnly declared in the documents of the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

 (1962–1965) and is thus binding on all Catholics. Concerning Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 and Muslims, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium
Lumen Gentium
Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. This dogmatic constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5...

, states:
"In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh; the Jews On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues. But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge humanity"


Paragraph 16 of Lumen Gentium takes a step further and declares:
"Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel"


Thus, the Catholic Church clearly teaches that, although Christ is the Saviour of the human race, it is not necessary to know Him personally to be saved. This is because Catholicism believes that the salvation, and reconciliation, of humanity took place when Christ died and rose again, and that this salvation applies to all people whether or not they realise this fact. This in no way means that Catholicism believes that all religions are equal, but merely that not everyone knows of Christ and that even those who do may have had the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

 presented in such manner as to have turned them away (e.g. by missionaries who were poor examples of the Christian life).

In its Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis humanae
Dignitatis Humanae
Dignitatis Humanae is the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom. In the context of the Council's stated intention “to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society”, Dignitatis Humanae spells out the...

, the same Vatican II also stated:
”This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.
The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right"

Anselm


Shortly after 1100, Anselm
Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury , also called of Aosta for his birthplace, and of Bec for his home monastery, was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109...

, appointed as archbishop of Canterbury, wrote a classic treatise about atonement. In it he puts forward the "satisfaction theory" of the Atonement in salvation. Man's offense of rebellion against God is one that demands a payment or satisfaction. Fallen man is incapable of making adequate satisfaction. Nevertheless, such is God's love that God will not simply abandon us (at least not all of us) to the consequences of our sins. Anselm wrote,
"This debt was so great that, while none but man must solve the debt, none but God was able to do it; so that he who does it must be both God and man."
The suffering of Christ, the God-man who is God's only son, pays off what human beings owe to God's honor, and we are thereby reconciled to God. So God took human nature upon Himself so that a perfect man might make perfect satisfaction and so restore the human race. Anselm is called the founder of scholasticism
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

, and he is noted as the originator of the ontological argument
Ontological argument
The ontological argument for the existence of God is an a priori argument for the existence of God. The ontological argument was first proposed by the eleventh-century monk Anselm of Canterbury, who defined God as the greatest possible being we can conceive...

 for the existence of God
Existence of God
Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others. In philosophical terms, arguments for and against the existence of God involve primarily the sub-disciplines of epistemology and ontology , but also of the theory of value, since...

. His foundational work is seen later in Calvinism and Arminianism.

Eastern Christianity



Eastern Christianity was much less influenced by Augustine
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

. It asks different questions, and it generally views salvation less in legalistic terms (e.g. grace and punishment), more in medical terms (sickness, healing etc.). It views salvation more along the lines of theosis
Theosis
In Christian theology, divinization, deification, making divine or theosis is the transforming effect of divine grace. This concept of salvation is historical and fundamental for Christian understanding that is prominent in the Eastern Orthodox Church and also in the Catholic Church, and is a...

, a seeking to become holy or draw closer to God, a traditional concept of Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, Oriental Orthodox
Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon...

, and Eastern Catholic Christians. It also stresses teaching about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all...

.

The Longer Catechism of the Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church, known also as The Catechism of St. Philaret includes the questions and answers: "155. To save men from what did (the Son of God) come upon earth? From sin, the curse, and death." "208. How does the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross deliver us from sin, the curse, and death? That we may the more readily believe this mystery, the Word of God teaches us of it, so much as we may be able to receive, by the comparison of Jesus Christ with Adam. Adam is by nature the head of all humanity, which is one with him by natural descent from him. Jesus Christ, in whom the Godhead is united with manhood, graciously made himself the new almighty Head of men, whom he unites to himself through faith. Therefore as in Adam we had fallen under sin, the curse, and death, so we are delivered from sin, the curse, and death in Jesus Christ. His voluntary suffering and death on the cross for us, being of infinite value and merit, as the death of one sinless, God and man in one person, is both a perfect satisfaction to the justice of God, which had condemned us for sin to death, and a fund of infinite merit, which has obtained him the right, without prejudice to justice, to give us sinners pardon of our sins, and grace to have victory over sin and death.

Orthodox theology teaches prevenient grace
Prevenient grace
Prevenient grace is a Christian theological concept rooted in Augustinian theology. It is embraced primarily by Arminian Christians who are influenced by the theology of Jacob Arminius or John Wesley. Wesley typically referred to it in 18th century language as prevenient grace...

, meaning that God makes the first movement toward man, and that salvation is impossible from our own will alone. However, man is endowed with free will
Free will
"To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

, and an individual can either accept or reject the grace of God. Thus an individual must cooperate with God's grace to be saved, though he can claim no credit of his own, as any progress he makes is possible only by the grace of God.

Besides, the Orthodox Church supposes that the person has salvation not only by his good deeds, but also by his patient suffering of various griefs, illnesses, misfortunes, failures (-31, -38, -11, -3).

Protestantism



The Protestant Christian perspective on salvation is that no one can merit the grace of God by performing rituals, good works
Good works
Good works, or simply works, within Christian theology are a person's actions or deeds, contrasting with interior qualities such as grace or faith.The New Testament exhibits a tension between two aspects of grace:...

, asceticism
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

 or meditation
Meditation
Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit....

, because grace is the result of one's initiative without any regard whatsoever to any merit in the one towards whom the good is being initiated. To be forgiven and brought back into a personal relationship with God, it is not enough that the grace of God exists as potential solution. It must be claimed personally by the sinful person by their own initiative. The recognition of one’s sinful state, followed by a complete turning away from that sinful lifestyle and attitude, is called repentance
Repentance
Repentance is a change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God, and resolving to live according to religious law...

.
Repentance in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 has a wider meaning than simply regretting the mistakes of the past. "When the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost, repentance meant to be sorry for rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior, accompanied by a subsequent change of mentality. The same change in attitude toward Jesus is required today. This repentance followed by a complete turning toward and believing in the atoning death and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for one's sins is what results in salvation. Christianity teaches that Jesus is not a mere man, a prophet, a guru or something similar, but the savior of the world, the only "name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Only then can the atoning death of Christ become an actual solution for one’s sins.

According to Christian theologian Frank Stagg, salvation is rooted in the grace of God. "For bankrupt sinners with no ground of their own upon which to stand, with nothing of their own upon which to stand, with nothing of their own to hold up to God for [one's] reward, it is their only hope, but it is their sufficient hope."

According to the New Testament, this salvation is a gift from God that anyone may receive by exercising faith in Christ and repenting for their sin.

Some of the benefits of this salvation are that people become "new creations in Christ," their sins are forgiven, they receive eternal life
Eternal life (Christianity)
In Christianity the term eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, rather than immortality. While scholars such as John H. Leith assert that...

 and become children of God. They also receive the Holy Spirit, who enables them to live a new life based on God's requirements and to spread the gospel to others.

In Christianity, the human problem is sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

 that causes suffering in this life but may lead to eternal suffering in the next life. According to Christian teachings, God is good, perfect, and just, and so sin by its nature prevents a right relationship with God and provokes God to anger at all humanity who consistently rebel against His law and commandments. Therefore, people who have not accepted salvation cannot enjoy the full benefits of knowing God in this life, such as peace and comfort in times of trouble. They also cannot spend eternity in God's presence, and will consequently suffer the eternal wrath of God's righteous punishment and judgement in a place called Hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

.

Christianity claims to offer "good news," and this good news is that it is possible to be saved (attain salvation) from sin and the wrath of God's holy and righteous judgement
Divine retribution
Divine retribution is supernatural punishment of a person, a group of people, or all humanity by a deity in response to some human action.Many cultures have a story about how a deity exacted punishment on previous inhabitants of their land, causing their doom.An example of divine retribution is the...

. The solution, then, is salvation from sin, temporal suffering, and suffering under the eternal wrath of God.

According to Christianity, eternal life
Eternal life (Christianity)
In Christianity the term eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, rather than immortality. While scholars such as John H. Leith assert that...

 is not the annihilation of soul and personhood, but an embodied existence of perfect and eternal communion with God.

In the Protestant view, Jesus took God's justice and wrath upon himself and was crushed in order to conquer death and bring into right standing with God, those who believe and repent.

Broadly speaking, Protestants hold to the five solas
Five solas
The Five solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English...

 of the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 which declare that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone to the Glory of God alone.
  • Some Protestants understand this to mean that God saves solely by grace and that works follow as a necessary consequence of saving grace (see Lordship salvation
    Lordship salvation
    The "lordship salvation" controversy is a theological dispute regarding key soteriological questions within Protestantism, involving some non-denominational and Evangelical churches in North America since the 1980's...

    ).
  • Others rigidly believe that salvation is accomplished by faith alone without any reference to works whatsoever, including the works that may follow salvation (see Free Grace theology
    Free Grace theology
    Free Grace theology is a soteriological view within Protestantism teaching that everyone receives eternal life the moment they believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. "Lord" refers to the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and therefore able to be their "Savior"...

    ).
  • Still others believe that salvation is by faith alone but that salvation can be forfeited if it is not accompanied by continued faith and the works that naturally follow from it.
  • Karl Barth notes a range of alternative themes: forensic (we are guilty of a crime, and Christ takes the punishment), financial (we are indebted to God, and Christ pays our debt) and cultic (Christ makes a sacrifice on our behalf). For various cultural reasons, the oldest themes (honor and sacrifice) prove to have more depth than the more modern ones (payment of a debt, punishment for a crime). But in all these alternatives, the understanding of atonement has the same structure. Human beings owe something to God that we cannot pay. Christ pays it on our behalf. Thus God remains both perfectly just (insisting on a penalty) and perfectly loving (paying the penalty himself). A great many Christians would define such a substitutionary view of the atonement as simply part of what orthodox Christians believe.

Calvinism



Calvinists are theologically conservative Protestant Christians whose foundational approach to Christian life and thought somewhat parallel those articulated by John Calvin, a French Protestant Reformer of the 16th century. They adhere to Lordship salvation. They believe in Predestination of the "elect"
Predestination (Calvinism)
The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination is a doctrine of Calvinism which deals with the question of the control God exercises over the world...

 before the foundation of the world. All of the elect necessarily persevere in faith
Perseverance of the saints
Perseverance of the saints, as well as the corollary—though distinct—doctrine known as "Once Saved, Always Saved", is a Calvinist teaching that once persons are truly saved they can never lose their salvation....

 because God keeps them from falling away. Thus, the Calvinist system is called monergism
Monergism
Monergism describes the position in Christian theology of those who believe that God, through the Holy Spirit, works to bring about effectually the salvation of individuals through spiritual regeneration without cooperation from the individual...

because God alone acts to bring about salvation. Calvinists further understand the doctrines of salvation to include the five points of Calvinism
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

, typically arranged to form the acrostic "TULIP." All five contrast sharply with Arminianism
Arminianism
Arminianism is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius and his historic followers, the Remonstrants...

:
  • Total Inability (Radical and Pervasive Depravity). Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel
    Gospel
    A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

    . The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not—indeed he cannot—choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ—it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation—it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.
  • Unconditional (Sovereign, Divine) Election. God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response of obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.
  • Limited (Definite) Atonement (Particular Redemption). Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing their salvation.
  • Irresistible (Effectual, Saving) Grace. In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.
  • Perseverance (of God) with the Saints. All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.

Arminianism



Arminianism is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity. It is based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius
Jacobus Arminius
Jacobus Arminius , the Latinized name of the Dutch theologian Jakob Hermanszoon from the Protestant Reformation period, served from 1603 as professor in theology at the University of Leiden...

 (1560–1609). Like Calvinists, Arminians agree that all people are born sinful and are in need of salvation. Classical Arminians emphasize that God's free grace (or "prevenient grace") enables humans to freely respond to or to reject the salvation offered through Christ. Classical Arminians believe that a person's saving relationship with Christ is conditional upon faith, and thus, a person can sever their saving relationship with Christ through persistent unbelief. Arminians hold the following beliefs:
  • Depravity is total
    Total depravity
    Total depravity is a theological doctrine that derives from the Augustinian concept of original sin...

    : Arminius states "In this [fallen] state, the free will of man towards the true good is not only wounded, infirm, bent, and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, and lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace."
  • Atonement is intended for all
    Unlimited atonement
    Unlimited atonement is the majority doctrine in Protestant Christianity that is normally associated with Non-Calvinist and persons who are up to "four-point" Calvinist Christians...

    : Jesus's death was for all people, Jesus draws all people to himself, and all people have opportunity for salvation through faith.
  • Jesus's death satisfies
    Atonement (satisfaction view)
    The satisfaction view of the atonement is a doctrine in Christian theology related to the meaning and effect of the death of Jesus Christ and has been traditionally taught in Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed circles...

     God's justice
    : The penalty for the sins of the elect is paid in full through Jesus's work on the cross. Thus Christ's atonement is intended for all, but requires faith to be effected. Arminius states that "Justification, when used for the act of a Judge, is either purely the imputation of righteousness through mercy… or that man is justified before God… according to the rigor of justice without any forgiveness." Stephen Ashby clarifies: "Arminius allowed for only two possible ways in which the sinner might be justified: (1) by our absolute and perfect adherence to the law, or (2) purely by God's imputation of Christ's righteousness."
  • Grace is resistible: God takes initiative in the salvation process and His grace comes to all people. This grace (often called prevenient
    Prevenient grace
    Prevenient grace is a Christian theological concept rooted in Augustinian theology. It is embraced primarily by Arminian Christians who are influenced by the theology of Jacob Arminius or John Wesley. Wesley typically referred to it in 18th century language as prevenient grace...

    or pre-regenerating grace) acts on all people to convince them of the Gospel, draw them strongly towards salvation, and enable the possibility of sincere faith. Picirilli states that "indeed this grace is so close to regeneration that it inevitably leads to regeneration unless finally resisted." The offer of salvation through grace does not act irresistibly in a purely cause-effect, deterministic method but rather in an influence-and-response fashion that can be both freely accepted and freely denied.
  • Man has grace enabled free will to respond or resist: Free will is limited by God's sovereignty, but God's sovereignty allows all men the choice to accept the Gospel of Jesus through faith, simultaneously allowing all men to resist.
  • Election is conditional
    Conditional election
    In Christian theology, conditional election is the belief that God chooses, for eternal salvation, those whom He foresees will have faith in Christ. This belief emphasizes the importance of a person's free will...

    : Arminius defined election as "the decree of God by which, of Himself, from eternity, He decreed to justify in Christ, believers, and to accept them unto eternal life." God alone determines who will be saved and his determination is that all who believe Jesus through faith will be justified. According to Arminius, "God regards no one in Christ unless they are engrafted in him by faith."
  • God predestines the elect to a glorious future: Predestination is not the predetermination of who will believe, but rather the predetermination of the believer's future inheritance. The elect are therefore predestined to sonship through adoption, glorification, and eternal life.
  • Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believer: Justification is sola fide. When individuals repent and believe in Christ (saving faith), they are regenerated and brought into union with Christ, whereby the death and righteousness of Christ are imputed to them for their justification before God.
  • Eternal security is also conditional
    Conditional preservation of the saints
    The Conditional preservation of the saints, or commonly conditional security, is the Arminian belief that believers are kept safe by God in their saving relationship with Him upon the condition of a persevering faith in Christ...

    : All believers have full assurance of salvation with the condition that they remain in Christ. Salvation is conditioned on faith, therefore perseverance is also conditioned. Apostasy (turning from Christ) is only committed through a deliberate, willful rejection of Jesus and renunciation of saving faith. Such apostasy is irremediable.

Universalism


Universalists
Universalism
Universalism in its primary meaning refers to religious, theological, and philosophical concepts with universal application or applicability...

 agree with both Calvinists and Arminians that everyone is born in sin and in need of salvation. They also believe that one is saved by Jesus Christ. However, they emphasize that judgment in hell upon sinners is of limited duration, and that God uses judgment to bring sinners to repentance.

Churches of Christ



Western Churches of Christ are strongly anti-Calvinist
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 in their understanding of salvation, and generally present conversion as "obedience to the proclaimed facts of the gospel rather than as the result of an emotional, Spirit-initiated conversion."

Churches of Christ hold the view that humans of accountable age are lost because of their sins. These lost souls can be redeemed because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offered Himself as the atoning sacrifice. Children too young to understand right from wrong, and make a conscious choice between the two, are believed to be innocent of sin. The age when this occurs is generally believed to be around 13.

Churches of Christ generally teach that the process of salvation involves the following steps:
  1. One must be properly taught, and hear
  2. One must believe or have faith
  3. One must repent, which means turning from one's former lifestyle and choosing God's ways
  4. One must confess belief that Jesus is the son of God
  5. One must be baptized for the remission of sins
  6. One must remain faithful unto death .


Beginning in the 1960s, many preachers began placing more emphasis on the role of grace in salvation, instead of focusing exclusively implementing all of the New Testament commands and examples. This was not an entirely new approach, as others had actively "affirmed a theology of free and unmerited grace," but it did represent a change of emphasis with grace becoming "a theme that would increasingly define this tradition."

Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration
Baptismal regeneration
Baptismal regeneration, the literal meaning of which is "being born again" "through baptism" , is the doctrine within some Christian denominations that holds that salvation is dependent upon the act of baptism; in other words, baptismal regenerationists believe that it is essential for one to be...

. However, members of the Churches of Christ reject this, arguing that since faith and repentance are necessary, and that the cleansing of sins is by the blood of Christ through the grace of God, baptism is not an inherently redeeming ritual. One author describes the relationship between faith and baptism this way, "Faith is the reason why a person is a child of God; baptism is the time at which one is incorporated into Christ and so becomes a child of God" (italics are in the source). Baptism is understood as a confessional expression of faith and repentance, rather than a "work" that earns salvation.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons
Mormons
The Mormons are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, a religion started by Joseph Smith during the American Second Great Awakening. A vast majority of Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while a minority are members of other independent churches....

) defines the term salvation based on the teachings of their modern-day prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants
Doctrine and Covenants
The Doctrine and Covenants is a part of the open scriptural canon of several denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement...

 and summarized in the Articles of Faith (Latter Day Saints) number four.

"4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."


The general Christian belief that salvation means returning to the presence of God and Jesus Christ is similar to the way the word is used in the Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement that adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2600 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr...

, wherein the prophet Amulek teaches that through the "great and last sacrifice" of the Son of God, "he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; ... to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice;" (Alma 34:14-16)

Islam


Salvation


"Salvation" in Islam refers to the eventual entrance to heaven. The word does not cover the possible entry to hellfire, or the different levels of hellfire and heaven.
The Quran teaches that the only thing guaranteeing no salvation is a disbelief in the “One God”; associating others with God,
The above verse is referring to the forgiveness in the hereafter. Those who die believing not in the “One God” do not receive salvation. Those who die believing in the “One God”, but disbelieving in his message (Islam), are left to his will; God might forgive them, or might not. Those who die believing in the “One God” and his message “Islam” receive salvation. Narrated Anas that Mohammad said,
A person who becomes a Muslim must testify that "none has the right to be worshiped but Allah" indicating the belief in the One God, and "Mohammad is Allah's Apostle" indicating the belief in God's message.

Islam teaches that if one wishes to enter heaven, and avoid hellfire completely, one must believe in the "One God", and obey him following his message. There is no other way. The Quran states,

Belief in the “One God”



Belief in the “One God”, also known as the Tawheed
Tawhid
Tawhid is the concept of monotheism in Islam. It is the religion's most fundamental concept and holds God is one and unique ....

 (التَوْحيدْ) in Arabic, is broken into two parts (or principals):
  1. Tawheedo Al Ruboobeeya ( تَوْحيدُ الرُبوبِيَّة): Believing in the attributes of God and attributing them to no other but God. Such attributes include Creation, having no beginning, and having no end. These attributes are what make a God. Islam also teaches 99 names for God, and each of these names defines one attribute. One breaks this principle, for example, by believing in an Idol as an intercessor to God. The idol, in this case, is thought of having powers that only God should have, thereby breaking this part of Tawheed. No intercession is required to communicate with, or worship, God.
  2. Tawheedo Al Ilooheeya (تَوْحيدُ الإِلوهيَّة): Directing worship, prayer, or deed to God, and God only. For example, Worshiping a planet, or God along with a creation, or multiple Gods, breaks this principle, and consequently breaks the Tawheed.


Tawheedo Al Ruboobeeya is seen to “imply” Tawheedo Al Ilooheeya, because it is seen that that who has the attributes of a God deserves to be worshiped.

Some Muslim scholars break the Tawheed into further parts by breaking Tawheedo Al Ruboobeeya into multiple parts putting emphases on some of the attributes of God that they see being vastly ignored, or forgotten, in their respective times. Many scholars, for example, state a third principle, Tawheedo Al Asma'a (تَوْحيدُ الأَسْماءْ) which explicitly states the belief in the names of God. Other scholars state another principal, Tawheedo Al Hukmee (تَوْحيدُ الحُكْم), which explicitly states the belief in the Governance Attribute of God, emphasizing this attribute which is a part of Tawheed seen to be vastly broken by modern governments of Muslim nations which do not follow the Islamic law.

The Test


To avoid hell, one must also avoid sin; belief is not enough; Islam acknowledges the inclination of man towards sin. A Muslim must think of his sin, seek God's forgiveness and repent. However, this repentance must be sincere, and God's mercy must not be taken as a license to sin further. Islam teaches that God is Merciful, but it also teaches that he is wise. The Quran states:
Islam teaches that every person, including man, woman and prophet, is responsible for his/her own sins. A Muslim must be aware of his sin, and repent
Repentance in Islam
The word Tawbah in Arabic literally means 'to return'. In an Islamic context, it refers to the act of leaving what God has prohibited and returning to what He has commanded. The subject of repentance is one which concerns all people who believe in God, and is central to Islamic belief as well. It...

. The Quran states,
Al-Agharr al-Muzani, a companion of Mohammad, reported that Ibn 'Umar stated to him that Mohammad said,
Sin in Islam is not a state, but an action (a bad deed); Islam teaches that a child who dies young, regardless of the belief of his parents, dies a Muslim; he enters heaven, and does not enter hell.

A Muslim must also think of heaven. The matter is not as simple as entering hellfire or entering heaven. Both hellfire and heaven have levels. A Muslim seeks to enter heaven and aims for the highest level. He does this by increasing his good deeds. In the Quran, whenever those who enter heaven are mentioned, and the virtue of belief is mentioned, it is coupled with the mention of good deeds. Some examples are,
A Muslim does not believe that his good deeds merit him heaven, instead it is God's mercy on the people that lets them into heaven. The levels in heaven (and hell) are only a direct result of God's justice: those who do better, deserve better. Narrated Aisha, that Mohammad said,
Those with belief will eventually enter heaven, but only after they are punished for their sins (those that God did not forgive). God forgives sins but it is not a guarantee. Therefore, a Muslim must keep a balance between fear of God, and hope in his mercy. One who does not have this balance is in danger of losing his belief; one who has absolute hope in God's mercy and no fear of his wrath will end up sinning, believing God will forgive him regardless, and one who has absolute fear of God's wrath and no hope in his mercy will also end up sinning, believing himself entering hellfire regardless.

Mandatory acts of worship


There are acts of worship that Islam teaches to be mandatory. Islam is built on five principles. Narrated Ibn 'Umar that Muhammad said,


Not performing the mandatory acts of worship is a sin. See also Shirk. A person who becomes a Muslim must testify that "none has the right to be worshiped but Allah" indicating the belief in the One God, and "Mohammad is Allah's Apostle" indicating the belief in God's message and thereby obeying his commands. The Quran states.

Redemption

For other uses of the word, see Redemption (disambiguation)

Redemption is a religious concept referring to forgiveness or absolution
Absolution
Absolution is a traditional theological term for the forgiveness experienced in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This concept is found in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Anglican churches, and most Lutheran churches....

 for past sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

s or errors and protection from damnation
Damnation
Damnation is the concept of everlasting divine punishment and/or disgrace, especially the punishment for sin as threatened by God . A damned being "in damnation" is said to be either in Hell, or living in a state wherein they are divorced from Heaven and/or in a state of disgrace from God's favor...

 and disgrace, eternal or temporary, generally through sacrifice. Redemption is common in many world religions, including Indic religions and all Abrahamic Religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

, especially in Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 (المغفرة).

In Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, (Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 ge'ulah), redemption refers to God
God in Judaism
The conception of God in Judaism is strictly monotheistic. God is an absolute one indivisible incomparable being who is the ultimate cause of all existence. Jewish tradition teaches that the true aspect of God is incomprehensible and unknowable, and that it is only God's revealed aspect that...

 redeeming the people of Israel from their various exiles. This includes the final redemption
Jewish eschatology
Jewish eschatology is concerned with the Jewish Messiah, afterlife, and the revival of the dead. Eschatology, generically, is the area of theology and philosophy concerned with the final events in the history of the world, the ultimate destiny of humanity, and related concepts.-The Messiah:The...

 from the present exile.

In Christianity, redemption is synonymous with salvation. The Christian religion, though not the exclusive possessor of the idea of redemption, has given to it a special definiteness and a dominant position. Taken in its widest sense, as deliverance from dangers and ills in general, most religions teach some form of it. It assumes an important position, however, only when the ills in question form part of a great system against which human power is helpless.

Hinduism


Within Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, salvation is considered as a unity with the entire universe. This is obtained through either four paths or a combination of all four:
Karma
Karma
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

 (Loving service)
Bhakthi (Accepting a Deity as a manifestation of the supreme)
Jnana
Jnana
Jñāna or gñāna is a Sanskrit and Pali word that means knowledge. It has various nuances of meaning depending on the context. The idea of jnana centers around a cognitive event which is recognized when experienced...

 (Obtaining Knowledge)
Yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

  (Performing austerities to control the mind)

In some forms of Buddhism, redemption is inherent in the discipline of giving up attachments to desires. Theravada Buddhism teaches that in this quest one can rely on no one and on nothing but oneself: neither gods nor priests, neither church nor sacraments, nor faith nor works are of any avail. Other disciplines are not so desolate, and "each Buddha and Bodhisattwa is a redeemer", assisting the Buddhist in seeking to achieve the redemptive state. The assistance rendered is a form of self-sacrifice on the part of the teachers, who would presumably be able to achieve total detachment from worldly concerns, but have instead chosen to remain engaged in the material world to the degree that this is necessary to assist others in achieving such detachment.

See also


  • Antinomianism
    Antinomianism
    Antinomianism is defined as holding that, under the gospel dispensation of grace, moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation....

  • Atonement in Christianity
  • Born again Christianity
  • Divine filiation
    Divine filiation
    Divine filiation is a Christian concept of becoming a "child of God". The concept implicates a share in the life and role of Jesus Christ. Divine filiation refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as the second person of the Trinity, "God the Son"...

  • Enlightenment (spiritual)
    Enlightenment (spiritual)
    Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual...

  • Henosis
    Henosis
    Henosis is the word for "oneness," "union," or "unity" in classical Greek, and is spelled identically in modern Greek where "Enosis" is particulary connected with the modern political "Unity" movement to unify Greece and Cyprus....

  • Legalism (theology)
    Legalism (theology)
    Legalism, in Christian theology, is a sometimes-pejorative term referring to an over-emphasis on discipline of conduct, or legal ideas, usually implying an allegation of misguided rigour, pride, superficiality, the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace of God or emphasizing the letter of...

  • New Birth
  • Nirvana
    Nirvana
    Nirvāṇa ; ) is a central concept in Indian religions. In sramanic thought, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union with the Supreme being through moksha...

  • Predestination
    Predestination
    Predestination, in theology is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God. John Calvin interpreted biblical predestination to mean that God willed eternal damnation for some people and salvation for others...

  • Prevenient grace
    Prevenient grace
    Prevenient grace is a Christian theological concept rooted in Augustinian theology. It is embraced primarily by Arminian Christians who are influenced by the theology of Jacob Arminius or John Wesley. Wesley typically referred to it in 18th century language as prevenient grace...

  • Sin
    Sin
    In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

  • Steps to Christ
    Steps to Christ
    Steps to Christ is an evangelistic book written by Ellen G. White, co-founder and prophetess of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was first published in 1892 by Fleming H. Revell Company. The copyright was purchased by Seventh-day Adventist publisher Review and Herald Publishing Association in...

  • Total depravity
    Total depravity
    Total depravity is a theological doctrine that derives from the Augustinian concept of original sin...



External links