What Scripture Says About Salvation
A Bible Study by Fred Kenison
When I was much younger, I found many sermons in my church troubling and contradictory. I not only challenged the preacher, but began to seriously study the scriptures myself. This led me to rely more on what the Bible actually said than on what the church doctrine said.
These were my first studies. They did not start out to be a book; rather, they were a series of short studies, or monographs, around the general theme of salvation. They were what I first discovered when, by God's grace, I began to break out of the denominational doctrines and move beyond their religious parameters.
When I began, I did not have any particular format in mind; I simply started studying the topic of salvation and followed wherever it led. What I discovered was that salvation has many nuances, and includes many sub-topics.
The first nine monographs were undertaken specifically to determine whether or not the denominational teaching of our church was accurate. I had no preconceived notion as to where the studies would wind up. I prayed constantly to God for wisdom and asked that he show me what his word actually said.
More than anything else, I wanted to know whether or not the scriptures
truly supported the church doctrine I had been exposed to for many years. What I found absolutely astonished me. The so-called "Roman Road" to salvation was completely dissolved, and salvation became a far more complex issue than I had ever suspected.
Some people may wonder why this book includes so much material about the doctrine of the trinity. The reason is that the trinity concept touches on several important aspects of God's total salvation. Failing to rightly divide the divine personages makes it impossible to understand salvation issues accurately.
When I started working on the scriptural concept of salvation I had no intention of delving into the trinity issue. However, I found that it was necessary in order to correctly understand the issues of salvation. Initially, I was simply exploring the relationship of the Father to the issue of salvation. Along, the way, I discovered that the term "God the Son" was not in the scriptures. This, of course, led to many other questions.
After many years of delving into the issues surrounding the trinity, I can see that this concept is far more devastating than I first realized. The perpetuation of men's doctrine of the trinity over the centuries has proven to be a major stumbling block preventing people from properly understanding what the scriptures actually say.
The studies on the holy spirit came about as I realized that it is holy spirit which empowers those committed to God. This also led to all kinds of questions related to the nature and purpose of holy spirit.
The further I progressed in studying the issue of salvation, the more I realized that it was tied to God's covenant promise to Abraham. This is the underlying factor in all of salvation, and concerns the issue of inheritance under the covenant. But, if the covenant is an underlying factor, it is only the locomotive running on the track of God's love for all his creation.
The last three monographs about the Christ are concerned with his relationship in some of the final phases of salvation, both in this age and in the age to come.
Usually, if a foundation for a doctrine cannot be found in the Old Testament, it should be examined very carefully for authenticity. Can the principles stated in the New Testament also be found in the Old Testament, and vice versa? In all of my studies, I have carefully examined the relationship between the Old and New Testament.
As a result of relying on what the Bible actually said, rather than simply accepting denominational doctrine, I was literally thrown out of church for disagreeing with church doctrine. Although that was a very traumatic experience for me and my family, I now believe that this was God's way of setting me outside the organized church. By being outside the church, I would not be obligated or biased toward any particular set of denominational doctrines that might detract from the message within the scriptures.
My greatest sorrow today is to see so many people blindly accept the doctrines and pronouncements of organized religion which are full of error. For centuries, churches have limited and misinterpreted and twisted the word of God to make sure it matches their doctrines. I truly pray that people will search the Bible for themselves to discover the truth. The more people sincerely seek the truth in the scriptures, the more God will reveal it to them.
As with all my studies, I do not write to convince people that I am right. My goal is to explain, plainly and simply, what the scriptures actually say. My prayer is that these studies will cause readers to become serious Bible scholars who diligently search for God's truth.
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