Who wants to take a crack at the list of propositions, reduced to its irreducible minimum, that MUST be believed in order to be saved? By "saved," I mean eternal life with God.
What is the bare minimum for saving faith?
And I mean this literally. If, in your view of things, it is not essential to salvation that one believe it, don't put it on your list. "Irreducible minimum" is what I'm going for here.
It is very popular today to tell someone what Romans 10:9 states in order to simplify the message of salvation, but any study of the word will tell us that there are multiple things happening at the time of salvation and multiple things are require for legitimate salvation to occur in the human heart.
David--Thanks for your insightful comment. Salvation can't be reduced to a bumper sticker slogan.
As someone who sees scripture a bit different than most who profess faith in Christ today in matters of salvation, I see through scripture that God is the determining factor for man's salvation.
Saving faith is a gift to those who God elects for salvation, for salvation is of the Lord. However, in God’s plan there is room for men's choice. We truly choose God at the moment of salvation, but that choice is after the Holy Spirit, who comes and goes as He pleases in matters of salvation, has regenerated the heart of the recipient of God's saving grace.
How much does one have to believe for saving faith to happen or what does each person have to believe to be saved? I do not know.
I came to Christ in a cell, having no previous religious back ground or any substantial knowledge of Christ, yet He saved me. He dropped me to my knees with conviction, without human help and I had no choice at that moment, no matter how much I turned, tossed in my bunk and fought against the feelings/conviction/emotions boiling inside of me. I had no choice at that moment but to cry out, I am sorry, I am sorry for all I done, I am tire, so tire, change me, if you are real and you are there, change me. I did that as I sobbed like a little child. It was the work of God in me and once that work had happened I chose Christ. I do not make doctrine out of personal experience for that is a very dangerous thing, but that is what I see in scripture. God saves who He wills, for it is according to his good pleasure and perfect plan. Just like the thief on the cross. Men are called to repent and believe.
I was hesitant about sharing, because it is obvious that I aligned with Reformed theology, which to me is biblical theology in matters of salvation, but I do not want to hurt this great discussion by being the cause to deviate from the topic. :)
Your response is on-topic, especially since it speaks to your personal experience with having come to a saving faith, as you understand it from a Biblical perspective, and it's much appreciated as are the contributions of others to this discussion.
1 I exhorta therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authorityb; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.