Christian Life, ECWA, Faith, Pastoral Letter, Prayer, Revival — June 24, 2024 at 9:36 am

PASTORAL LETTER: Exposition of ECWA Articles of Faith and Practice. Exploring The Meaning and Depth of Salvation.


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Jesus answered and said to him ”Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ”Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Jn.3:3,5.

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to that I may inherit eternal life?” Mk.10:17.

Nor is there salvation in any other name given among men whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12.

And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:30-31.

ECWA’s belief in Salvation is stated as follows:
Salvation is received by faith alone in the God-Man, Jesus Christ, apart from works. Christ died as a substitutionary sacrifice to redeem us from our sins, if we believe in Him. His shed blood and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation. Only those who receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit and are truly Christians, even children of God. There is no salvation for those who die outside of Christ (Acts 4:12, John.3:5-6; John 3:16; 2 Cor.5:21; John 1:12; Rom.5:8; John 2:18; John 3:18.)

Statements, questions and declarations about salvation abound in the Scriptures as shown above. The response of Jesus to Nicodemus is about salvation. The question of the rich young ruler is an enquiry about salvation. The declaration by Peter is a declaration about salvation.

The anxious question of the Philippian jailor and the answer he received are about salvation.

In Romans 3:27-28, Paul argues,” where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” The logic of Paul’s argument is that salvation comes not of works or of keeping the commandments, but by faith. He gives further affirmation to this when he writes “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” Gal.2:16.

In the study of theology, the doctrine of salvation is known as Soteriology. Soteriology is derived from the Greek word Sozo which means to save. The noun form is Soter, which means Savior. The term salvation is a translation of the Greek word Soterios, which is derived from Soter. While the use of salvation in this discussion is in the narrow context of spiritual salvation or from eternal perdition, the Scriptures however, speak of salvation in various other ways.

There exist also other terminologies that are used in the Scriptures for salvation. Such terms as redemption, deliverance, liberty, reconciliation, born-again, new birth, and justification, all refer to different ways of describing what happens when a sinner – any sinner, puts trust in Christ.

Salvation is a very broad subject indeed. It goes beyond mere receiving Jesus as my personal Savior. To think of salvation only as receiving Christ and having my sins forgiven is to least understand the scope and depth of salvation. Salvation encompasses many other major doctrines such as Predestination, Election, Justification, Sanctification, and other lesser-known doctrines of Adoption, Sealing of the Spirit, Union with Christ, Baptism by the Spirit into the body of Christ, and many more. Although on this side of eternity, the human mind is incapable of understanding the full extent of salvation, but to think of salvation in isolation from these associated doctrines will only result in a shallow knowledge of such a deep and glorious truth. 

Dr. Millard Erickson has a very simple, but profound definition of salvation. “Salvation is the application of the work of Christ to the life of an individual.” Salvation is constituted by everything that was represented in the life and work of Christ including His death and resurrection, and all this is applied to the believer. What a glorious thought! Think of the atonement of Christ’s blood, His prayer to His Father for the forgiveness of sinners, the skin-tearing lashes that bruised His body, the jagged and piercing crown of thorns, the nakedness and humiliation on the cross, the temporary abandonment by the Father, the jubilant proclamation,” It is finished, Gr. Tetelestai. And on the third day, the early dawn of the sacred Easter morning, the majestic and glorious resurrection. And after His ascension, at the right hand of His Father, the unceasing intercessory ministry for all believers. All of these and a lot more are part of the salvation package, and they apply instantly the moment anyone believes in Christ. 

Salvation does not stop with the fact that its scope and depth are more than even the regenerated human mind can comprehend, it comes with a bundle of assorted blessings. Rev. Homer Duncan was the founder of Missionary Crusader, a worldwide Christian Literature Distributing ministry based in Lubbock, Texas. He was also a prolific author of more than 100 books, booklets and gospel tracts. It was a tremendous blessing for me to read his book, The Anchor of Hope as a young Christian. It was the book that first taught me the blessed truth of the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer. In the book, Rev. Duncan writes, A correct understanding of what the Bible teaches about salvation will lead us to understand that salvation is eternal. All too often our conception of salvation is very shallow. We think that being a Christian means that a person turns over a new leaf, and decides that he is going to try to live better and do better… But a careful study of the New Testament reveals that salvation when used in a Biblical sense is a stupendous transaction of God for the believer, that it is a work of God for man and never a work of man for God. When a sinner who is dead in trespasses and sins exercises saving faith in Christ, the New Testament reveals that at least sixty stupendous transactions take place in his life. Rev. Duncan then proceeds and gives a partial listing of these transactions.

When a person is saved, he is in God (1 John 4:15,16), and God is in him (Eph.4:6). He is in Christ (Eph.1:3; John 14:20), and Christ is in him (Col.1:27). He is in the Spirit (Gal.5:25), and the Spirit is in him (1 Cor.6:19). All of his sins are completely forgiven, past, present, and future (1 John 1:7) There is therefore now no condemnation to those  who are in Christ Jesus(Rom.8:1) He is justified or declared righteous in the sight of God…on the basis of the atoning death of Christ (Rom.3:24).He is reconciled to God through the death of Christ (Rom.5:10). He makes his peace with God through the blood of the cross (Col.1:20-23). He is redeemed from sin (Eph.1:7). He is redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal.3:13). He is delivered from this present evil world (Gal.1:4). He is regenerated or born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:3,5,7). Therefore, he is a son of God ((John 1:12), and an heir of God, and a joint heir with the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom.8:17). He is a partaker of the very image of God (2 Peter 1:4). He is delivered from the power of darkness and is translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Col.1:13). As a son of God, he has access to God (Rom.5:2). He has been raised with Christ (Col.3:1), ascended with Christ (Eph.2:6), and is now seated with Christ at the right hand of God (Eph.2:6; Col.3:1). When a person is saved, he is indwelt by the Spirit of God (Rom.8:9,1 Cor.6:19), he is baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13 and is thus made one with Christ (John 14:20; Rom.6:3,5), and he is sealed by the Spirit unto the day of redemption (Eph.4:30). 

As is apparent from the above partial list, salvation can be rightly included in what Paul called “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Eph.3:7.

In Colossians 2:8, Paul issued a strong warning to the believers of Colosse about the endangering presence and menace of the false teachers who would take them captive. In like manner, this letter closes with a warning. Just as Satan deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, likewise today, he is still on the warpath.  In his subtlety, he has misled many believers to embrace a shallow, if not entirely a faulty soteriology. This has resulted for some of these believers, instead of living with confidence and the joy of salvation, they live in constant apprehension of losing their salvation, and for others, being in daily travail of renouncing the so-called “generational curse” which they “inherited” from the evil deeds or wickedness of their parents or ancestral relations who have since gone or that is still prevalent in their family. The so-called “generational/ancestral curse” is a theological quackery and a spiritual enslavement that cannot withstand the light of a sound biblical soteriology. 

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’ Gal.5:1.

The renowned hymn writer, Phillip P. Bliss, penned a hymn,‘Tis the Promise of God that is appropriate to conclude this letter.

1 ‘Tis the promise of God, full salvation to give
Unto him who on Jesus, His Son, will believe.

Hallelujah, ’tis done! I believe on the Son;
I am saved by the blood of the crucified One.

2 Though the pathway be lonely, and dangerous, too,
Surely Jesus is able to carry me through. [Refrain]

3 Many loved ones have I in yon heavenly throng;
They are safe now in glory, and this is their song: [Refrain]

4 Little children I see standing close by their King,
And He smiles as their song of salvation they sing. [Refrain]

5 There’s a part in that chorus for you and for me,
And the theme of our praises forever will be: [Refrain]

Source: African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #400


  • Rev. Joseph Ezeigbo

    Rev. Joseph Ezeigbo attended Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana where he graduated in 1984 with a BA in History and Biblical Studies (Double major). Rev. Ezeigbo began his graduate studies at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake and later transferred to Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Maryland where he graduated with an M.Div. and Th.M. degrees in 1988 and 1989 respectively. He pursued post-graduate education at Liberty University and Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia. Rev. Ezeigbo previously served as secretary and chairman of ECWA USA and currently serving as the vice chairman and prayer coordinator. As a hobby, he is a researcher in Theology and Church history. He help to raise prayer awareness for the worldwide Persecuted church and prayer for the Muslim world.

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