A Calvinist engaged me in a long conversation concerning justification. To him the great heresy is attaching anything that resembles works to salvation. I am weary with arguing the finer points of theology, while souls are perishing. We need to keep the gospel simple.
Nor should we be afraid of works. The works that Paul objected to was not good morals or baptism but seeking salvation through the rites and rituals of Judaism. How many people when they get saved really understand the theology of the gospel or the doctrine of justification? People, who get saved, born again, converted, become Christians (however one wants to describe the experience), realize they are in need of a Savior. They are desperate for the mercy of God. We should urge sinners to throw themselves at the foot of the Cross and cry out for God’s forgiveness.
I have written a book on the theology of Jesus’ atonement; however, men are not usually saved by understanding correct theology or doctrine. In addition to forgiveness, the promise of eternal life is also an incentive for men bowing before the Cross with a confidence that Jesus conquered death in his resurrection.
Many people who testify that when they were saved, they cannot even remember what the preacher said. Some get saved merely because they see Jesus or Light radiating from the one who is preaching or witnessing. They see a ray of hope through the bewilderment and desperation which has them overcome.
Ministers can become Pharisaical in insisting that the message be presented in a certain manner and thus they remove themselves from the simplicity of the gospel. Others shy away from sharing the way of salvation because they can not expound on deep theological truths.
There is also a great depth in the gospel that Christians in their pursuit of Truth should come to appreciate but not at the expense of the simple Truth that the death and resurrection of Christ makes possible the penitent sinner’s salvation from sin and its terrible consequences. Arminians can be as guilty as Calvinists of elevating complex theology and doctrine over the simple fact that Jesus Saves.
I finally walked away from the Calvinist and his concerns to preach the law, which brings conviction of sin and God’s grace which gives us hope.