Salvation In Christ
Understanding clearly the Biblical doctrine of salvation is essential to the Christian because 1) it gives him a fuller understanding of the original proclamation he heard and responded to and 2) this is God's message entrusted to the believer to proclaim to the world. You can't clearly share it, if you don't clearly understand it.
I. Salvation Defined
A. A definition
"The work of God by which He delivers man from spiritual death now and forever and bestows on him eternal life now and eternal glory in heaven."
II. Man's Problem
A. As we saw in our study of The Creation and Fall of Man, because of the fall of Adam, man is spiritually dead, dominated by Satan, the world, and the flesh and doomed to eternal punishment in hell. Ephesians 2:1-3
B. Man is unable to solve this problem and save himself. John 8:24 He cannot make himself alive. He cannot free himself from the world, Satan, and the flesh. He cannot free himself from God's condemnation.
C. Man's false solutions to his problems - Man tries to solve his problem apart from God on his own in many ways.
1 . Religion Man has invented false religion and twisted the truth of Christianity to try to save himself.
Romans 9:30-33 Not by self-righteousness
Romans 10:3 religion
2. A good life
Man believes that if he lives a "good" life (according to the human definition of "good") he will be saved from his lost condition. Romans 8:8, Isaiah 64:6, Hebrews 11:6
Man denies the problem exists: "man is not lost and destined to hell." Luke 12:16-21
4. A false view of God
Man denies the justice of God and claims that a loving God would never condemn anyone to hell.
2 Peter 3:34
III. God's Solution
Because man cannot save himself, there is only one way he can be saved-- by the salvation provided by a loving God.
A. God's provision of salvation through Christ's death.
This has already been discussed under The Ministry of Jesus Christ regarding His death.
1 . God sent His Son to die on the cross to pay the penalty for sin and provide forgiveness of sin. Romans 5:8-9
2. God provided this solution of Christ's death out of His wonderful grace.
a. Grace is God's free favor upon man giving him what he does not deserve.
Ephesians 2:5, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23
b. God's grace excludes works.
Romans 11:6, Romans 4:1-5, Ephesians 2:8-9
3. God's provision of salvation is for all men.
I John 2:2
4. God elects (chooses) those He desires to come to Christ by faith.
a. He chooses them before the foundation of the world.
Ephesians 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Acts 13:48, Romans 8:29-30
b. God the Father draws them to His Son at a particular point in time.
John 6:44, John 6:39
c. God removes the veil of blindness from their minds and hearts so they can see the truth of Christ and they believe in Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
d. God chooses certain ones for salvation out of His abundant mercy. Romans 9:14-24
e. Even though people accept Christ because God opens their hearts, they still choose him freely as an act of their wills.
Acts 2:37-39, Matthew 11:28-30
f. Although those who reject Christ have not been chosen by God, they refuse by their own wills to come that they might have life.
John 6:44, 3:19-20, John 5:39-40
g. No one who is condemned to hell will say to God on the day of judgment, "I truly wanted to be saved and love You, but You didn't choose me." All will enter hell with anger against God.
Revelation 20:11-14, Matthew 13:41-42
The "gnashing of teeth" is a sign of anger against God. The “wailing" is from loss of eternal life and sorrow for punishment, but not sorrow for sin.
5. Salvation in Christ is the only way of salvation. It is God's onlv solution.
John 14:6; 8:24, Acts 4:8-12, John 5:24; 3:16
IV. Man's Response God offers salvation to man as a free gift. Man, therefore, must respond to God's offer by His will.
A. Man responds in only two ways:
1. He accepts Him. John 1: 11
2. He rejects Him. John 1: 12
3. Not to accept Christ by faith is to reject Him. Matthew 12:30
B. Man accepts God's offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. What is saving faith?
1 . Trusting that Christ is who He claimed to be and did what He claimed to do.
John 8:24, I John 2:22-23, John 6:68-69
2. Accepting Christ's payment for your sin.
3. Trusting Him to save us.
a. Calling upon Him to save us. -- Romans 10:13
b. Depending on Him to do it. John 3:16 Greek word "Pistis" = "believe"
4. Repentance of sin
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ involves repentance.
a. Submission to God in obedience. Acts 3:19, Acts 26:20; 26:18
b. Turning away from sin. Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, 2 Peter 3:9, I Thessalonians 1:9
Believing intellectually in the Biblical Christ, accepting Christ's payment on the cross, trusting Christ to save you from your sins, and repenting (turning to God in obedience and away from sin) is all one act of faith. This is a commitment, not a "good work."
c. Faith in Christ is the only response God accepts. John 3:16
Faith in Christ alone. Christ plus works is unacceptable.
Not Christ plus water baptism - Not Christ plus religious works - Not Christ plus good works
V. God's Results
When man believes in Christ, God brings him to salvation.
A. Man becomes spiritually alive. Ephesians 2:5
B. Man is freed from the domination of:
the flesh: Romans 8:12-13
the world: I John 5:4-5
Satan: I John 5:19
C. Man is freed from the condemnation of God. Romans 8:1 John 5:24
D. Man becomes a child of God and heir of heaven. Romans 8:16-17