Paul, as a theologian, developed key concepts that continue to define doctrine and
practice for Christians and the Church.
In the Epistles Paul emphasized and clarified the issue of salvation. Mainly, it can be seen in Romans, where he showed us that way salvation may be found through
justification, sanctification, and glorification.
When speaking about definition of salvation, then according to the Bible dictionary it is: the application of the work of Jesus Christ to the life of people.
Paul sees Lord as righteous and understands that humans are unholy, which is the
cause he gives us a way through salvation in three abovementioned aspects:
We are justified through Jesus by faith.
We are sanctified through liberation from sin.
We will be glorified one day and we will live with Him in heaven.
According to Hebrews 11:1, faith may be defined as `confidence in what we hope
for and assurance about what we do not see`, while grace can, as well as salvation
and forgiveness, mean something very broad. Usual definition for grace is: the unmerited
favour of Lord toward people.
The concept of Salvation by Grace through Faith was developed from Ephesians 2:8-9, which states that “For by grace are ye saved through faith”
Lord’s gift of salvation is only possible through faith in Jesus, who offered us a way to eternal life (according to Romans 5:1, Romans 5:2).
The concept of Salvation by Grace, postulated by the Apostle Paul is often opposed to the concept of Salvation by Works, postulated by James. And the greatest question is if salvation is available by faith alone or by both faith and works?
James believes that true Christian people will do good works because of their wish and states that faith without works is not strong enough for salvation (Verses 2:14, 2:17, 2:20, 2:24). Such a difference between two concepts is the reason of big confusion.
A theologian D. Hiebert, in his book The Epistle of James even stated that this question is "a theological battle ground"
Comments from three sources discussing Paul`s concept:
In the book Theology in the Context of World Christianity, T. Tennent analyses the concept of salvation by faith through grace in the perspective of finding it in other religions and particularly in Buddhism and Islam, but in another understanding. There are some
examples to prove that Pail`s conception is the result of a prior exposure to Christianity.
In the book Lordship Salvation, Charles C. Bing analyses the difficulty of renderingand proper understanding of those Verses, where Paul`s and James` concepts are
explained from a linguistic point of view. The author thinks that the confused
understanding could be the result of incorrect translation. The text of those Verses too
easily confuses the words.
In the book The Genesis of the Bible, S. Dolo analyses the difference between
Paul`s and James` concepts and their rendering in the Bible in translation of William
Tyndale, who believed in Paul`s concept himself. The scholars who translated the Bible
into English about 1610 Anno Domini introduced this concept instead of James` one,
which used to be previous ancient belief of the Roman Catholic Church.
Bing, C. (2010) Lordship Salvation. Xulon Press.
Dolo, S. (2012) The Genesis of the Bible, AuthorHouse.
Tennent, T. (2009) Theology in the Context of World Christianity. Zondervan.