"What is Salvation? A Biblical Study of God's Greatest Gift" is written by Pastor Bill Parker, a man with thirty years pastoral experience. He is currently pastor at Eager Avenue Grace Church in Albany, Georgia. In the acknowledgments section of the book it states that the book's content was derived from a series of video messages which the author preached at Thirteenth Street Baptist Church in Ashland, KY and that the idea for the book publication sprang from the desire to have a written document to complement the video production on the subject of Salvation. We are further advised that the original motivation for the series of sermons was the amount of division to be found amongst Gospel churches and the fact that so many Christians are actually ignorant of what the Bible teaches about salvation. It is the author's hope that the sermons will cause readers to strive to examine themselves and test their own profession of faith.
Pastor Parker challenges the reader to consider what the true gospel of salvation actually is; pointing out that today in the Churches the gospel of salvation has been reduced to a set of formulas. It is quite a short book and commences in Chapter One with an observation of the erroneous way in which many Christians define salvation couched in language that is not found in Scripture, for example: 'accepting Jesus as personal Savior' or 'getting saved,' and he points out that all such terms define salvation as a past tense action. He points out that Salvation is altogether a past, present and future action. There are even Christians who believe that you can 'get saved' and then 'lose your salvation' which I look upon as akin to a man gaining and losing the good favor of a temperamental wife.
I found the book to be very well written and consider Pastor Parker an obviously good teacher. I would recommend the book to everyone who calls themselves a Christian, if for no other reason than to succinctly study again, what the basis of salvation is.
There are two basic premises in this work, the first of which is that most Christians simply do not have a correct Biblical understanding of Salvation. With this premise I totally agree. It is a terrible thing indeed to listen to so called 'born-again" Christians talking as though they deserve or had earned salvation and that others do not. Pastor Parker goes to great lengths to point out the Biblical truth that Salvation does not in any way shape or form depend on the actions and will of the "saved." This of course leads to the second premise, which is the doctrine of 'Predestination.'
The Doctrine of Predestination is one to which I do hold, but not in the fashion that it is normally taught, nor taught by Pastor Parker. Nevertheless his first premise is undeniably correct and for that reason I believe every Christian should read this great little book.
As the good pastor points out, many people balk at the concept of Predestination, but be that as it may be, the Scriptures are quite clear about the fact that it is God who calls and God who saves, and that salvation is dependent entirely on the faith, work and obedience of Christ and the grace of God, lest any man should boast. This book does not teach the doctrine of Predestination, it is merely a natural conclusion to be drawn from the Scriptures which clearly define the Salvation that God offers.
I've read a lot of Christian books in my life, but none are as enjoyable as those which teach in simple fashion, the Scriptures as they appear. Well done Pastor.
M. Wallace Johnson
Bill Parker is a pastor at Eager Avenue Grace Church in Albany, Georgia. He has been active in pastoral ministry for over 30 years.
"What Is Salvation?"
By Bill Parker
Published Feb 25, 2014