The Great Blessing of This Age: Salvation By Grace, Through Faith Alone -- By: Mal Couch

Journal: Conservative Theological Journal
Volume: CTJ 07:20 (Mar 2003)
Article: The Great Blessing of This Age: Salvation By Grace, Through Faith Alone
Author: Mal Couch

The Great Blessing of This Age:
Salvation By Grace, Through Faith Alone

Mal Couch

President, Tyndale Seminary

This edition of the Journal is dedicated to the great theme of the doctrine of salvation, the great truth that is found only in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often, we all get caught up in the disagreements over some of the issues that confront us today. This is not to say that we can let our guard down or ignore major doctrinal problems we feel compelled to proclaim. However, on the issue of salvation, all evangelicals need to stand together, and remain firm, as to what we believe, and of course to proclaim what we hold dear.

Since the Reformation, the issue of salvation by grace has been secure in our larger evangelical camp. We pretty much hold and proclaim justification by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This teaching cannot be compromised or watered down. It is this great work of grace to which our present Journal issue is given over.

While there have been those who have thrown rocks at dispensationalists on this doctrine, saying that dispensationalists do not hold the basic Reform view, in my opinion there can be nothing further from the facts. In seminary, in my dispensational circles, we were all taught to exegete, and then teach the great passages that set forth this great cornerstone of salvation. Another accusation is that one cannot be a dispensationalist and hold to basic Reformation theology about salvation. Again, such accusations are unfounded.

While there may be minor points of disagreement on the subject, the overall thrust on the doctrine of salvation remains the same in our two camps. The differences would be: (1) in the nature of the church, (2) the validity of Covenant Theology, and (3) with some minor points on sanctification. What has created a false view of salvation and dispensationalism is the fact that, for example, a charismatic may be a dispensationalist and hold quite different

views about salvation. I am not addressing this issue here. Most dispensationalists I know are Calvinistic at heart. In my own experience, most dispensationalists have always been far more Reformed on salvation issues then Arminian in persuasion.

But, in my mind, none of these differences between the mainstream dispensationalists and the Reformed folks negate what we have in common: (1) absolute predestination and election, (2) eternal security, and (3) the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation. In this, most of us stand shoulder to shoulder in conviction.

Dispensationalists, in concert with Reformed teachers, also hold that salvation brings glory to God. His redeemed and ...

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