A Brief Evaluation of Iglesia ni Kristo’s Soteriology in Ephesians 5:23


An Excerpt to the Critical Examination to the Critical Arguments of Iglesia ni Kristo Against Justification by Faith Alone (Chapter 4)

The soteriology of INK confuses between “Christ as the Savior of the Church” and “Christ as the Savior of the sinners” (Eph. 5:23).

Perhaps, the most favored argument of INK for the notion of salvation by membership can be concisely put down into this statement: “Since it is theinc AND THE bIBLE church that will be saved by the Savior, one must then be in the Church to be saved.”[47] Ephesians 5:23 becomes now pivotal for this assertion.[48] This calls us again to carefully investigate this text in its proper context.

First, this verse simply informs us “who the Savior is” and not “how to become saved by the Savior”. Neither the immediate context nor the larger context support the interpretation offered by INK. To argue on the methodology of salvation here is a wishful exegesis on the INK part.

Second, even though the notion of salvation by membership does not necessarily excluded here on this text—it does not also necessarily included. Thus, their assertion would become argument from silence at its best.

Third, it is unfortunate for the side of INK to see them confusing the motif between “Christ as the Savior of the Church” and “Christ as the Savior of the sinners.” As we have pointed out earlier, the biblical writers have no intention of limiting the efficacy of salvation solely into the church when they referred Christ as its Savior. Thus, if the biblical writers wanted to convey a significant doctrine such as salvation by membership in Christ as Savior of the church motif, they could have developed this concept more in their soteriology as they did in justification by faith in Christ as the Savior of the sinner motif. Unfortunately, one could hardly find a single text to support such teaching in the Scripture.[49] Instead, we can find a sharp opposite in 1 Timothy 4:10, we read, “Because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”[50]

______________

[47] Ruben D. Aromin, No other way, Pasugo 54 December 2002, 7.

[48] Although, this is not only the text which was commonly used to prove this assertion, it is the writer’s opinion that Eph 5:23 can be most explicit text to support this view, therefore, this text will be the main focus of this section (see also argument no. 4 and no. 5).

[49] Except maybe with John 10:9 as INK would likely to argue (see argument no. 4 for response).

[50] NIV, emphasis mine.

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