A Truth, B Truth | Differentiate Between Salvation vs. Discipleship PassagesNov 14, 2021
Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross paid the price of sin and brought us salvation. But many of us become confused with the gospel and the free gift of eternal life. Dr. Charlie Bing presents a better way to understand the Scriptures by separating the passages into A Truth (salvation) and B Truth (discipleship or Christian growth).
Salvation and Christian Growth
As you read the New Testament, it is important to know the difference between salvation and growth. Dr. Bing suggests writing it down on paper and creating two columns for A Truth on the left and B Truth on the right. By approaching the passages this way, you can show their difference. Passages like John 3:16 explain the great love of God for us, and it can be the starting point to which a believer begins to acknowledge Jesus as his Savior and Lord. However, when we look at the growth of a believer, the love of God enables us to love others, and it leads us to obedience.
Justification and Sanctification
A Truth talks about justification while B Truth talks about sanctification. The moment we turned away from our sins and returned to Jesus Christ, He justified us and gave us His righteousness through faith. But we continue to go through a process of sanctification, being pruned and refined every single day to become more Christ-like. “It is very important to distinguish justification and sanctification. They are related, but they are distinct,” Dr. Charlie Bing added.
The A Truth talks about spiritual birth, while B Truth talks about the continuous spiritual transformation process. Reading the passages allows you to determine whether it is A Truth or B Truth. It also enables you to become rooted in the right foundation of living your life here on earth. Through our correct view of justification and sanctification, we stop the endless cycle of trying to become perfect in the eyes of God to gain His approval. We become so secure in His love and our position as His justified children. But we also stop tolerating sinful ways by taking advantage of the word sanctification. We no longer live the old life we had. Likewise, we no longer condone anyone who fails to obey God’s Word because we understand the difficult process of being pruned and tested into Christ-likeness.
There are Bible truths that talk about being born into God’s family and forming a relationship with Him. The other Bible truths also speak about maintaining this important relationship and growing more intimate in your fellowship with Him.
The Gift and the Prize
We also need to take into account the eternal life and the prize that God has in store. This holds us accountable for how we live and use every moment of our lives. Following Jesus Christ grants us the gift of eternal life (A Truth) and going through this journey with Him brings us eternal rewards on how we spent our lifetime on earth (B Truth).
Tips for Bible Study & Understanding the Truth:
To distinguish the A Truth and B Truth, here are some Bible Study guideline questions that you may use:
- What is the book saying?
- Who is the author of the book?
- To whom is the book written?
- What is the paragraph saying?
- How does it fit into the flow of the book?
- What are the words and sentences around the passage?
- What are the words in the passages trying to say?
- Are there figures of speech, and what do these words mean?
Dr. Charlie Bing emphasizes the importance of meditating on God’s Word day and night. He is convinced that “the Bible was written to be understood not just by theologians and Bible teachers, but also the average-normal people.” He also added, “But the average person cannot be lazy.” Reading the Bible should always come from a clear understanding of the context instead of pulling out specific Bible verses and confusing them by making them all about you or relating them literally in your life.
The A Truth and B Truth approach helps us understand the verses that were often misquoted and misused.
Discover more about this topic on the Bible Exposition Course and Systematic Theology certificate courses on Grace On Demand.
Listen to Dr. Charlie Bing's podcast episodes below or take a deep dive into this topic even further through his book "Grace, Salvation, and Discipleship."
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