The Role of Man in His Salvation, or to "Achieve" v. "Recieve" Salvation


A long-winded title, but a simple question. Why do we use the term “achieve” when referring to salvation, instead of “recieve”? The latter seems to be far more in line with the Christian thought that only through God’s mercy can humans be saved. I contrast this with the philosophy of the Indian faiths, in which man alone, through his own efforts entirely, is believed to achieve moksha/nirvana. Is this just semantics? Would it be wrong of me to say “recieve”?


I think either is fine depending on context. I think it’s more semantic. It is true we can achieve no salvation on our own. But if you completely exclude any cooperation on our part, that would be false. It is our response to the grace God gives us.

See for instance:
Romans 8:14-17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba, Father!” it is the Spirit Himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.


Achieving Salvation could be likened to finishing the race, and persevering to the end. As Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4: 7 “I have competed well, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith”


Our will is involved but it is God causing us to do that which He would have us to do. Even the works that we do we take no credit for…

Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

It is our yieldedness and submission (humility) as well as our persevering faith that brings the grace that we need to do that which is well-pleasing in His sight. Ultimately, our whole salvation is of God.


That’s contradictory. If God causes us to do something, then our will cannot be involved.


It is one thing to MAKE someone do it…it is another thing to cause one to do something. I guess you hate Ezekiel 36:27…or maybe Jeremiah 32:40…

Jeremiah 32:40 KJV 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

God changes the heart so that the heart chooses the things of God. This is the miracle of salvation.


Great points. I just also believe that even with a softened heart (softened by God), we still have the freewill the reject the grace being offered.


[quote=VociMike]That’s contradictory. If God causes us to do something, then our will cannot be involved.

God sent Assyria against Israel:**Isaiah 10:5-6

Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hands is My indignation, I** [God]** send it **[Assyria] **against a godless nation And commission it against the people of My fury To capture booty and to seize plunder, And to trample them down like mud in the streets.**The King of Assyria thinks that it is **his will, and his plan to attack Israel, and that it is his power that overcomes Israel:****Isaiah 10:13-14

For he has said, [the King of Assyria] “By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this, For I have understanding; And I removed the boundaries of the peoples And plundered their treasures, And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants, And my hand reached to the riches of the peoples like a nest, And as one gathers abandoned eggs, I gathered all the earth; And there was not one that flapped its wing or opened its beak or chirped.”**But, God makes it clear that It was His (God’s) will, and His plan, and His power that sent the Assyrians, and, God punishes Assyria for its arrogance in thinking that its will and power were in control:**Isaiah 10:12, 15

12 So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.”

15 Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.**It is NOT beyond God’s power to make a voluntary act of man an absolute certainty. :slight_smile:


Where on God’s green earth do you get off “guessing” that I hate scripture?! You owe me an apology.


It sounds like you agree that we have participation, just like I said in post #2. Very Catholic!


This is a distinction without a difference. “Make” and “cause” mean exactly the same thing in this context.


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