Questions about when people get "saved"


Its every bit as speculative as an “age of accountability”, the “sinner’s prayer”, separated youth groups, altar calls, “faith alone”, “scripture alone” or any other thing that lacks clear, unambiguous scriptural support.



Well just for the record I too do not believe in separated youth groups or altar calls for salvation. But as far as faith alone, or, apart from works, just faith! (Eph. 2:8) this was the Apostle’s teaching. Or, how about inspired scripture alone, meaning no other “revelation” but sacred scripture, These things were settled matters in the first and second century Church. And I agree with the men who preached them, don’t you?


When I look at scripture as a whole I see the kingdom of God used 122 times. 90 of those 122 times those words came directly from Jesus mouth.

I see the kingdom of God being SUMMED up in three ways.

The Kingdom of God is shown not to be a particular place of location, like a worldly kingdom. The way in which Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of God, He leads men to realize the overwhelming fact that in him God himself is present among them, that He, himself, is God’s presence.”

The Kingdom of God also seems to reside in man’s heart. I think this would be what you define as “God’s way of doing things”.

Finally, the kingdom of God is also the Body of Christ - Jesus’ Church. It’s the Church here on earth which now grows in the field of the world with both weeds and wheat until the harvest when Christ says he will “tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned. But gather the wheat into my barn” (Matt 13:30). As well as the Church in heaven, since death does not separate us from the Body of Christ.

I’m not sure what verse you are quoting.

Luke 16:16Amplified Bible (AMP)
16 “The Law and the [writings of the] Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God has been and continues to be preached, and everyone tries forcefully to go into it.

All this verse is saying is John the Baptist stands at the pivot of salvation history. I’m not sure if you were speaking of a different verse?

Which I totally 100% agree with.

The fact that I agree, with no exceptions, is why I can’t see why children under the age of reason get a free pass.


There isn’t a concept of inherited grace, that was my own personal terminology.

The way I understand original sin is it is something we inherit from Adam, it is not something we did.

To see where I am going I need to define my understanding of grace. The word grace in Greek is charis (χαρις) it literally means a favor. God is doing us a favor, he is bestowing upon us his mercy and kindness. He washes our sins away (personal and original)

When Adam was in the garden he walked with God. While he was there he had God’s grace. When he was expelled from the garden he lost this grace. Since we are descendants of Adam, and he “gambled” away all the grace, there was no grace left to pass down to his descendants. Therefore there was no grace for us to “inherit”. This lack of grace (God’s favor, His mercy and kindness) is what we would call original sin.

The thing that confuses me is how is this statement not contrary to the Bible which explicitly states…For by grace you have been saved…(Eph. 2:8)

How are they saved without grace?

Sure take your time.

I think we might be having a hard time connecting on this because we have different understandings of original sin. I gave a summary of it above. Do you agree with what I said or do you define it differently? If so could you define it for me?


God Bless


Let us not forget that “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26 KJV).

So in constructing a sound and complete (or catholic, if you will) doctrine, we must consider all of scripture, right?

As a historical fact, what ultimately became scripture wasn’t even finished being written until the very end of the first century. And what was and wasn’t scripture wasn’t somewhat firmly decided until near the end of the fourth century.

The idea you forward that scripture was a settled issue by the second century enjoys virtually no real historical support. It’s more faith than fact.

Thank God that his son Jesus gave us a living and authoritative Church rather than texts, amen? After all, who could have read them? Common literacy wouldn’t be around until almost within living memory!


Of course tgG. Ephesians, like the rest of the NT, was written by , for, and about Catholics. our separated brethren seem to like to cherry pick certain verses like this one to prove a point, but those who have not separated themselves from the Apostolic faith will continue on to v. 10.

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph. 2

Saving faith is faith that WORKS. It is not “faith plus works” as much as it is faith THAT works. The grace that saves us is the same grace that produces good works in us. The reason we can know that saving grace is present is that we also see the good works that God has prepared in advance for us that we should walk in them.

no, tgG, and thank God they were not, since the NT canon was not ratified until 382 AD, so we are fortunate that there is such a thing as Sacred Tradition. God (Jesus) breathed upon His Church, and promised them that the HS would lead them into “all Truth”. This promise did not “expire” after the scripture was written. God revealed Himself to the Church, and He never indicated that what He had revealed should be disregarded.

This is the denial of original sin.

Yes I think this is true.


This all goes back to the view of original sin. Either we were separated from communion and harmony from God through the sin of Adam and Eve, or not. If we were not separated, then we really have no need for a saviour, do we?

The assertion that babies are “innocent” and therefore do not need baptism is a rejection of the Apostolic teaching that baptism replaces circumcision as the entrance rite into the Kingdom of God.

1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.

1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.

Denial that infants and children need baptism is a denial of the fallen human nature. Adam and Eve were created without sin, but all who were born after them were born into the consequence of their sin. Baptism washes this.


No… it is saying more than that. read on… SINCE THEN… the gospel of the kingdom of God has been and continues to be preached and everyone tries forcefully to go into it.

To go into what? … the kingdom. So what does it mean to go into the kingdom?

As mentioned before, the Pharisees were preventing the people from entering the kingdom of God. They had the KEY of knowledge at their disposal but refused to impart it, so that the people were lacking this knowledge and understanding and unable to enter. see. Mt. 23. and Luke 11:52.


We were separated by Adam’s original sin resulting in our own fallen nature to sin. So that we are born into a fallen family with the undoubted propensity to sin. It is not that we were sinners simply by being born into the family of Adam. I am not charged directly with Adam’s sin in the garden. I am held accountable because his sin plunged me and the human race into the inability to NOT sin. Therefore if I live long enough as a new born baby, I will come to understand what good and evil really is, and by my fallen nature, will choose to do evil. It is then that Adam’s sin has come full circle in my actions, and I now share his guilt.

Unfortunately there is not much said about the age of accountability from scripture but there is one interesting verse found in Romans chapter 9.

Paul talking about the doctrine of election said that not all of Israel is actually Israel. It is the children of Promise who are counted as the seed. 9:8 says "That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are NOT the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. … v11 “for the children not yet born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls.”

Here Paul just touches on the idea that children still in the womb who have not yet done good or evil, are counted as the promised seed, according to the election of God. Not even their good works play apart in God’s decision, seeing that they are not yet born and cannot do good works.

My only point here is that Paul seemed to zero in on a class of people who have not yet done good or evil. It is not a perfect example, but honestly I can not find scriptural justification for either side of this debate. Yet this class of people are counted as the inheritors of God’s election.

But I do know that our God is not the kind of God who would sentence a new born baby to the pit of hell without the baby committing sin. What charge will be placed on this babies head? and on what justification? NONE.

It is because our God is merciful, and these babies who do not understand good or evil, (in that sense innocent) or who do not understand anything about this fallen life will be the recipients of mercy and grace.


I agree with much of what you are saying here. But how do you conclude that the church is also the kingdom of God. I can agree that the Church is the “man” who sowed good seed. The good seed is the knowledge of the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is here spiritually in men’s hearts, but can we agree that it will come literally at the second coming of Christ? This is what I believe. A physical kingdom will come on that day, but until then, the kingdom of God is spiritual.


Adam did not lose that grace permanently. If you remember, God slew an animal and used it’s skin to cover Adam. This was a type and shadow of the cross where the spilling of blood covered our shame.
Secondly, we are only descendants of Adam before new birth. Today we’ve been born into the second Adam and we no longer share Adam’s shame or his sin.


What scripture do you use to support your claims here?


From the context of this passage, he is speaking of Isaac and Ishmael. He told Abraham that the promise of the covenant was to Isaac. Other promises were made to Ishmael.

Paul also writes that we are all dead in our trespasses and sins. We entrust the souls of the unbaptized to the mercy of God, but since we have His assurance that baptism washes and regenerates, we do not delay to bring infants into this promise. If God told you that you could go stand under a certain waterfall to receive a special gift, would you hesitate to stand under it? Even if you believed you would probably receive that gift anyway if you didn’t stand under the waterfall?

Paul writes extensively about how the Divine law is written into the human heart.

But since we understand that baptism replaced circumcision, and circumcision was given to infants, we see no need to delay.

Yes, but like Christ, it has two natures, both spiritual and physical. Clearly the book of Acts describes how that Kingdom was manifested. It is manifested each time your community gathers together, as the Kingdome is also “among” us.


Catholics do not extract their doctrines from Scripture. The deposit of faith was handed down to us from the Apostles. It is reflected in the NT, but the NT was never intended to be a full compendium of the faith. We see this Apostolic teaching also reflected in the Didache.

“11In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” Col. 2

In baptism the Holy Spirit seals the believer. The “old man”, ruled by the flesh, is put to death so that we are no longer slaves to sin. We have been freed and made spiritually able to obey Christ.

Why would the Apostle say that a person was “circumcised by Christ” in baptism, if baptism did not replace it? The Apostles also taught that 1) Jesus intended for all who became disciples to be baptized 2) disciples are not to forbid infants/children to come to him, to be touched, held and received by Him. Baptism is the circumcision made by the Holy Spirit, which is afforded to infants as well as those who have reached the age of reason.

Do you deny the validity of the Didache?


If this is true then inspired scripture becomes a mere reflection of the true substance, the so-called oral tradition.
You claim this is what the Apostles taught, yet I read from at least one Apostle the exact opposite.

                 "All scripture is inspired by God and 
                   profitable for doctrine, for reproof, 
                  for CORRECTION...." 2 Tim. 3:16.   

There is absolutely no talk found in the Apostles writings or that of any other N.T writer to the authority or supremacy of oral tradition over scripture that it becomes a mere “reflection” of oral tradition. Scripture is made to be the supreme venue of truth while tradition was elusive enough for Jesus to make the warnings He did about it.

And never is tradition considered to be inspired by God in any writings found in the N.T. So! if the oral tradition says X, and the scripture says, Y and Z. Scripture trumps tradition. Always.

As far as your quote from Col. 2:11, this would all depend on how you make your interpretation. I will offer mine here with commentary in parenthesis.

Col 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, (circumcision without hands is an expression of God’s approval and the mark of one who had covenant with God. But in this case seeing that it was made without hands, Paul means that this circumcision for a N.T. believer is not physical but spiritual.) by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, (meaning that sin’s penalty is removed.)

12 buried with Him in baptism, (again not literal but spiritual seeing that it would be impossible to be buried literally with Christ,) in which you also were raised (spiritually first) with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Again this passage is missing a key ingredient in your theology. water. It is no accident however. Paul wasn’t talking about a baptism with physical water here much like in several other places of the N.T. water is never mentioned in the theological equation. Such as: Rom 6:3 “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?..” We weren’t literally baptized into His death because he wasn’t talking physical here. Gal. 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Again the language is all spiritual here. We cannot physically put on Christ. Christ becomes the object to which we are submerged and soaked spiritually. And again, water is not included.


Paul tells the Corinthian Church that he wasn’t called to do physical baptisms in 1st. Cor. 1:17 you may want to consider that.

And lastly, I’ll give you a contrast between these two distinct functions (water baptism and spirit baptism) found in Acts 1:5,
“for John truly baptized with WATER, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit…”

I would suggest that physical water becomes the mere reflection of the greater truth which is that we become spiritually baptized into Christ himself. This truth is repeated in Acts many times. Consider Acts 10:47, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT just as we have?” receiving the holy Spirit is a regenerating work. His indwelling presence became resident even before they had a chance to baptize them in water.


Sorry you are losing me, how does this shows us that when the Bible says kingdom of God this = God’s way which = lacking knowledge and understanding?


I don’t see how you can say that Scripture is “mere” in any manner. How could you refer to the inerrant Word of God in such a manner?

The earliest epistle we have is about 20 years after the fact, by a person who did not even walk with Christ. How do you think the faith was transmitted for an entire generation?

If you deny that the Word of God is deposited in the Church, and infallibly preserved there, you are saying that God did not do what He promised.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears…He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”” John 16;13

You are saying that the Spirit did not guide them into “all Truth”, or that He stopped without notice after some of the Scripture was written. In your view, why did Jesus abandon His promise? Scripture itself testifies that it does not contain all of what Christ revealed.

Of course Sacred Tradition must be rejected by all Refomed Christians. This is necessary in order to replace the authority appointed by Christ with different authority.

No, I never claimed that the Apostles or the Scriptures were “mere” anything. I think you have forgotten, tgG. The New Testament wasy written by, for, and about Catholics. In this passage you cite, the “Scripture” in which Paul is referring to “Scripture” is pointing to the Septuagint. This is the canon that was used by Jesus and the Apostles for instruction and evangelization. Since the books of the NT had not yet been canonized and all of them had not yet been written, it is a forgone conclusion that any reference may by the Apostles to “Scripture” is pointing to the Septuagint (save one).


No, of course not! The Sacred Tradition and the Sacred Scriptures are equal and intwined parts of the once for all divine deposit of faith. YOu seem to have an issue with regard to “supremacy” which you have brought into this discussion unnecessarily.

In addtion, what you are stating that Scripture does on it’s own is erroneous. God appointed PEOPLE to do the correction teaching, and reproving. Scripture was never meant to be separated from the persons who were given this authority.

Of course Scripture reflects what Jesus committed to the Church. Jesus never wrote (except in the sand) and most of the Apostles never wrote. Everything in the NT came from the Word of God that was given once for all to the Church. The Word that was alive and working in the believers. The Word that was delivered in person, or in writing.

"so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. " Isa 55;11

Jesus was clear that His purpose was to lead the Church into “all Truth”. Therefore, His Word that He placed in the Church would accomplish all His desire, and the purpose for which He sent it. This is why we say that the Sacred Tradition (Word of God) placed in the Church by Jesus, is protected infallibly by the Holy Spirit.


Jesus warned about Human tradition, but not oral. tgG, how do you think the Truth was preserved from Abraham to Moses? How can you possibly believe that God did not preserve His Word orally from creation until it began to be written at the time of Moses?

"so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. " Isa 55;11

You are saying that God is unwilling, or unable to fulfill this scripture.

It is likely that even the writers of NT Scripture did not know that what they penned would eventually be regarded as “scripture”. Luke, whose books of the Gospel and Acts comprise the bulk of the NT, only set about to give an accounting of events.

Jesus warned about human tradition(customs), but enjoined the faithful to listen to the Teachings that came from the Seat of Moses because they were authorative. Jesus then transferred the Seat of Moses (teaching authority) to the Apostles. His instruction applies as much today as it did then.

So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." Matt 23;3

You have much accusation agianst those who have served in the authorative teaching office in a peccable manner, but Jesus makes it clear that we are not at liberty to abandon the validity of that office just because the persons holding office are hypocrites.

Perhaps Jesus did not breathe upon the Apostles? Perhaps the Word of God that was placed by God in the Church was not really inspired?

“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” Thess. 2; 15

Perhaps Paul was adjoining them to “stand firm and hold” only human traditions that did not come from God? Why would He do that? He never is recorded as doing that elsewhere?

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