Q: I’ve read about the Seventh-day Adventist Church but can’t pinpoint the Adventist “moment of salvation.” Very simply, when is someone saved according to Adventist doctrine? What takes place? — Brice, from the United States
A: Brice, thank you for your interest in learning about Seventh-day Adventists. We believe that salvation is by grace through faith and that even faith itself is a gift (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Notice how Paul explains this in Titus 3:5-7: “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Adventist Fundamental Belief No. 10, “The Experience of Salvation,” describes it this way: “In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, Substitute and Example. This saving faith comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God’s grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God’s sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God’s law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment.”
As you can see, sensing our need, acknowledging our sinfulness, repenting of our transgressions, and exercising faith in Jesus may take time. Sometimes this is more of a process than a single event. That’s why it is sometimes difficult for someone to pinpoint the exact “moment of salvation.”
In one of my favorite books, “Steps to Christ,” page 57, it says this: “A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or trace all the chain of circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. … [John 3:8 quoted] Like the wind, which is invisible, yet the effects of which are plainly seen and felt, is the Spirit of God in its work upon the human heart. That regenerating power, which no human eye can see, begets a new life in the soul; it creates a new being in the image of God.”
Seventh-day Adventists have no creed but the Bible, which is the basis of all our beliefs and practices as a church. The principal teachings of the Bible are summarized in our statement of 28 Fundamental Beliefs, which may be found at the link given above.
If you would like to know more about what Seventh-day Adventist believe, I encourage you to visit a Seventh-day Adventist service and talk with a pastor or elder of the church who would be happy to tell you more.