"Believe in the inspiration of the Bible. Believe in the Deity of Christ. Believe in Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection; and you will become a Christian."
So the whole plan of salvation is to give intellectual assent to some doctrine?
A person is considered a "Christian" because they could say "Yup" at places they were asked to? A simple cure for the spiritual issue.
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."
Have we been cheating people of true salvation by giving them philosophy and doctrine instead of giving them the Spirit of God that gives us life and that causes all spiritual change? We have removed ourselves from the spiritual because it is uncontrollable. We have a few moments in the Spirit here and there but where is the consistency of life that the Spirit gives the believer? There are great cathedrals that have been built in honor to God but have the people who worship in those beautiful establishments honored Him as well?
Don't get me wrong. I know salvation is not earned and that it is a free gift of God. But here lies the issue as well; just like every free gift I must take ownership of it. For example, if I were given a gym membership as a gift but I never spent time at the gym would I really know what it is like to workout in that gym? No. I can show you my membership card...but the evidence of me being at the gym is missing.
I fully believe that salvation comes through a truly repentant heart but I believe it also goes so much deeper. Paul told the church in Philippi to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". It is not a 2 minute prayer at an altar. It is taking that 2 minute time at an altar and letting God take our life time to alter us.
We act as though we are doing God a favor by accepting His salvation. We are not saved so we can go to heaven. Salvation is not a fire insurance policy. We are not saved to see what we can get out of God; salvation is about God getting glory out of our lives.
We work out our salvation by devoting our LIVES to God. Letting the spiritual impact our physical. We must start to let God interrupt how we usually act toward people, how we work, how we play. It all is affected by our salvation.
"As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God."
Does that sound like a person who let their salvation become a thing to be forgotten? That is the heart of a person truly repentant and needing more of their God.
The question boils down to this...how's your salvation? Is it being worked out or is it some vain philosophy?
I guess if we take it a step further still can Jesus be our Savior and NOT our Lord? This question however has an easy answer but a harsh reality.