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Faithlife

Doctrine of Salvation

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“Salvation is the work of God that delivers us from sin and its penalty, restores us to a right relationship with him, and imparts to us eternal life.”

God accomplished and is accomplishing this work through his Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible presents Christ as the Alpha and Omega, the first and last of our salvation, and as the author and finisher of our faith. He is the Alpha of our salvation because he is the foundation of our election in eternity past. He is the Omega because he will be the basis of our justification in the day of judgment. From beginning to end, salvation is the work of God and is not found in any program, process, or prayer. Salvation is a person, Jesus Christ, and therefore, he who has the Son has life.
Tonight, we’re going to talk about all of the different components of the doctrine of salvation, but the starting point, I believe, is
Ephesians 1:3–14 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:3–5 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Ephesians 1:6–9 ESV
to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
Ephesians 1:10–12 ESV
as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:13–14 ESV
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Union with Christ is not one phase or aspect of salvation; it is the whole of salvation in which all other aspects are subsets.

“Union with Christ is really the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation not only in its application but also in its once-for-all accomplishment in the finished work of Christ. Indeed the whole process of salvation has its origin in one phase of union with Christ and salvation has in view the realization of other phases of union with Christ.”

Paul uses “in Christ” 38 times; “in Christ Jesus” 51 times; “in him” 21 times; “in the Lord” 44 times; and other similar expressions 216 times.
Every aspect of our salvation is connected to our union with Christ.

Election

A hotbed topic. The NT clearly teaches election - there’s no getting around it. We shouldn’t let the hair on our necks stand up…shouldn’t start reaching for our ammunition of verses.
Ephesians 1:4 ESV
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
2 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
1 Thessalonians 1:4–5 ESV
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
1 Peter 1:1 ESV
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
A lot of time and energy has been spent arguing over this doctrine…we’re not going to go into all of that tonight…FREE WILL vs. SOVEREIGNTY…as if these two can’t exist together. By sovereignty, some people jump to the definition - “deterministic.”

Election is by his grace alone.

Election is through his Son alone.

Election is for his glory alone.

Also…this should be comforting to us...
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Call

“God’s call is the act of grace by which he invites men to accept by faith the salvation provided by Christ.”

God communicates his call through human instruments...
Romans 10:14–15 ESV
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
The Holy Spirit oversees and accompanies the communication of the gospel working in the unbeliever’s heart while the messenger is speaking to the unbeliever’s ears.
1 Corinthians 2:1–5 ESV
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. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Conversion

Upon hearing the gospel and the Spirit’s work, the hearer must respond. To respond in faith, is what we call “conversion.” It is the turning from sin and toward Christ. Another word we associate with this is “repentance.”
2 Corinthians 7:9–10 ESV
As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
Hebrews 6:1 ESV
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Romans 10:17 ESV
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

“Saving faith is trust in Jesus Christ as a living person for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God.”

“Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.”

Regeneration

“Regeneration is a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us.”

The Holy Spirit causes us to be born again…an instantaneous event.
John 3:3–5 ESV
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
John 3:3–8 ESV
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:6–8 ESV
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Romans 6:4 ESV
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
1 Peter 1:3 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Ezekiel 36:26–27 ESV
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
New birth - Old Adam

Justification

“Justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.”

A legal term - substitutionary atonement//imputation
Romans 8:30 ESV
And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 3:26 ESV
It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:28 ESV
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Romans 5:1 ESV
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Regeneration is an act of God in us; justification is a judgment of God with respect to us. The distinction is like that of the distinction between the act of a surgeon and the act of a judge. The surgeon, when he removes an inward cancer, does something in us. That is not what a judge does - he gives a verdict regarding our judicial status. If we are innocent he declares accordingly.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Adoption

“Adoption is an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family.”

John 1:12 ESV
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Ephesians 1:2–3 ESV
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Ephesians 2:2–3 ESV
in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Ephesians 5:6 ESV
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Galatians 4:4–7 ESV
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
1 John 3:2 ESV
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Privileges:
Relationship with God as Father
Matthew 6:9 ESV
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Romans 8:15–16 ESV
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
1 John 3:1 ESV
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Psalm 103:13–14 ESV
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Matthew 7:11 ESV
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Luke 11:13 ESV
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
LED BY THE SPIRIT
Romans 8:14 ESV
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
DISCIPLINE
Hebrews 12:5–7 ESV
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Hebrews 12:10 ESV
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
INHERITANCE
Romans 8:17 ESV
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Ephesians 1:11 ESV
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
1 Peter 1:4 ESV
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

Sanctification

“Sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.”

God’s role:
1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:13 ESV
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Hebrews 13:20–21 ESV
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Our role:
Romans 6:13 ESV
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Hebrews 12:14 ESV
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Ephesians 5:18 ESV
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Glorification

“Glorification is the final step in the application of redemption. It will happen when Christ returns and raises from the dead the bodies of all believers for all time who have died, and reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all believers who remain alive, thereby giving all believers at the same time perfect resurrection bodies like his own.”
1 Corinthians 15:22–23 ESV
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
1 Corin
1 Corinthians 15:51–52 ESV
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
John 6:39–40 ESV
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
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