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Soteriology

Notes & Transcripts

Soteriology
Doctrine of Salvation

C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia once said

“Doctrines, are like maps. They are not the reality and may not be as exciting as reality, but they chart reality for us in a vital way. Just as studying a map of the shore of the Atlantic is not as exciting as walking along the Atlantic coast itself, so studying the doctrine of atonement is not exactly the same as the experiencing the cross itself. But the purpose of a map is to represent, graph, and explain the reality. If you want to find your way, you need to have a reliable map, and we should consult it frequently.”

Why do we have to learn something as boring as doctrine?  Well we’ll get to cover something as liberating as doctrine because if you don’t know sound doctrine, you’ll be fooled into believing other forms of doctrine, because it’ll sound good but eventually lead you astray.

Read 2 Timothy 4:1-4

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching [didache, meaning doctrine]. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching [didache], but having itching [knēthomai, meaning desirous to hear something pleasant] ears, (having ears that desire to hear something pleasant) they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Myth: An unfounded or false notion embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society.

Myths are notions whose origins were once truth but have been perverted in order to embrace the ideals and institutions of modern day culture.

So what are some gospel myths?

Self-Help Gospel: A gospel in which man comes to God to receive a good life, a healthy and fulfilled life and a life which overcomes obstacles, but does not mention the need of coming to God which is, in short, for the forgiveness of sins.

The gospel always includes the need of hearing and acting on it.

The Sugar Daddy Gospel: A gospel that involves man elevating to a “godhood” status whereby he can participate with God in the acquisition of wealth, health and happiness.  Even more consumer-oriented than the self-help gospel, this false gospel presents God as sharing his glory with others- even to the point of empowering man with his own attributes.

The Social Action Gospel: A gospel that states that being made right with God is as simple as “doing” the types of things that Jesus did; in other words “a works based gospel”. This gospel teaches that if one does the ministry of Christ- feed the hungry, nurse the sick, care for the needy, then one is a “Christian” by merit of having joined oneself with Christ’s kingdom work.

What does the bible say about the flavors of gospel?

Galatians 1:6-12

I can’t believe your fickleness—how easily you have turned traitor to him who called you by the grace of Christ by embracing a variant message! It is not a minor variation, you know; it is completely other, an alien message, a no-message, a lie about God. Those who are provoking this agitation among you are turning the Message of Christ on its head. Let me be blunt: If one of us—even if an angel from heaven!—were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed. I said it once; I’ll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed. Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate crowds? Or curry favor with God? Or get popular applause? If my goal was popularity, I wouldn’t bother being Christ’s slave. Know this—I am most emphatic here, friends—this great Message I delivered to you is not mere human optimism. I didn’t receive it through the traditions, and I wasn’t taught it in some school. I got it straight from God, received the Message directly from Jesus Christ. Reason we need to understand doctrine.

So what is the gospel that Paul preaches?

Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-2

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-24

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

So we know that Paul’s gospel is Christ and Him crucified.

And so what does this gospel of Christ crucified teach us?

Read Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it [being the gospel] is the power of God [which is] for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek [which was His current audience].

The word salvation in Romans 1:16 is translated soteria’ in the Greek, which is where we get Soteriology, or the study of the doctrine of salvation.

So we know that doctrine is important, right?

If we have right doctrine we have right gospel.  And right gospel produces true salvation.  It gives us the knowledge that enables us to be saved. 

I’m Saved!

Which brings me to my next point; you might say “I’m saved what else do I need to know?”

My questions to you are:

·         Are you saved?

·         Saved from what?

·         Who saved you?

·         Why are you saved?

·         How do you know you’re saved?

·         How do I get saved too?

·         What do you do when you get saved?

·         Can I ever be unsaved again, how does that work?

·         How do I keep being saved?

So why do you need to know the answers to these questions?

1 Peter 3:15

[We are] always [to be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope [expectation of eternal salvation] that is in you..

Whenever we talk about salvation, we must always arrive at this word; atonement.

Atonement: The reconciliation of God and mankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

The meaning and understanding of the word atonement is really comprised of a collection of terms that consists of:

·         Substitution

·         Redemption

·         Reconciliation

·         Propitiation

·         Forgiveness

·         Justification

SUBSTITUTION/VICARIOUS ATONEMENT “IN PLACE OF”

2 Corinthians 5:21

For our sake he [the Father] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.

Substitution is important because its emphasis is expressed in the sense that the equivalence of who we are as sinners - not just people who have sinned but by nature are sinners - was met by Christ on the cross.  It essentially means that in order for God to be able to redeem, reconcile, forgive, propitiate and justify us, there had to be a sacrifice that was equal to the sum or totality of our wickedness.

Illustration: Bail Bond

REDEMPTION

The word redemption comes from the Greek word agorazo and means “to purchase in the marketplace.” Frequently it had to do with the sale of slaves in the marketplace. The word is used to describe the believer being purchased out of the slavemarket of sin and set free from sin’s bondage. The purchase price for the believer’s freedom and release from sin was the death of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; Rev. 5:9; 14:3, 4).

·         Redemption from the Penalty of the Law:

·         Redemption from the Law:

·         Redemption from the Power of Sin:

·         Redemption from the Power of Satan:

·         Final Redemption from all Evil:

Redemption is viewed sinward; mankind was in bondage to sin and in need of release from bondage and slavery to sin.

RECONCILIATION

An accounting term that means to settle all accounts.

Reconcile: to check (a financial account) against another for accuracy

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Reconciliation is manward: man was the one that had moved out of fellowship because of sin, and man needed to be reconciled to renew the fellowship.

PROPITIATION “to cover”

Propitiation means that the death of Christ fully satisfied all the righteous demands of God toward the sinner. Because God is holy and righteous He cannot overlook sin; through the work of Jesus Christ God is fully satisfied that His righteous standard has been met. Through union with Christ the believer can now be accepted by God and be spared from the wrath of God.

Propitiation is Godward; God is propitiated—His holiness is vindicated and satisfied by the death of Christ.

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness is the legal act of God whereby He removes the charges that were held against the sinner because proper satisfaction or atonement for those sins has been made. There are several Greek words used to describe forgiveness. One is charizomai, which is related to the word grace and means “to forgive out of grace.”8 It is used of cancellation of a debt (Col. 2:13). The context emphasizes that our debts were nailed to the cross, with Christ’s atonement freely forgiving the sins that were charged against us.

The most common word for forgiveness is aphiemi, which means “to let go, release” or “send away.” The noun form is used in Ephesians 1:7 where it stresses the believer’s sins have been forgiven or sent away because of the riches of God’s grace as revealed in the death of Christ. Forgiveness forever solves the problem of sin in the believer’s life—all sins past, present, and future (Col. 2:13). This is distinct from the daily cleansing from sin that is necessary to maintain fellowship with God (1 John 1:9).

Forgiveness is manward; man had sinned and needed to have his sins dealt with and removed.

JUSTIFICATION

Whereas forgiveness is the negative side of salvation, justification is the positive side. To justify is to declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus Christ. It is a forensic (legal) act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of the blood of Christ. The major emphasis of justification is positive and involves two main aspects. It involves the pardon and removal of all sins and the end of separation from God (Acts 13:39; Rom. 4:6–7; 5:9–11; 2 Cor. 5:19). It also involves the bestowal of righteousness upon the believing person and “a title to all the blessings promised to the just.”

 Justification is a gift given through the grace of God (Rom. 3:24) and takes place the moment the individual has faith in Christ (Rom. 4:2; 5:1). The ground of justification is the death of Christ (Rom. 5:9), apart from any works (Rom. 4:5). The means of justification is faith (Rom. 5:1). Through justification God maintains His integrity and His standard, yet is able to enter into fellowship with sinners because they have the very righteousness of Christ imputed to them.

Justification is manward; man had sinned and broken God’s standard. Man was in need of receiving the righteousness of God to enter into fellowship with Him.

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