Soteriology - Jacob Shelton
Soteriology - Jacob Shelton
The Salvation Diamond
Key passages: Romans 3:21-31, Galatians 2:15-3:14
Justification is available to all who believe.
Justification is a FREE gift from God; there is no "fine print."
Justification definition: To be
righteous by God.
It is NOT to be
God is the judge.
The prosecuting attorney is God's law.
Jesus is our defense attorney.
We are the defendant.
God's law reads out the transgressions we have committed against God.
Jesus steps in, but agrees we are guilty, and offers to take our punishment and gives his good standing with the judge to us; His righteousness is now ours, while he bears our sin.
Having a clean slate is not good enough to take our place.
God considers the offer and accepts.
We are viewed as righteous (even though we are not righteous).
We leave the courtroom declared legally righteous.
We are not innocent or righteous, but we
We are justified by
and not by law.
Our good works cannot earn us justification.
Only our faith in the Gospel can justify us.
Results of Justification
Jesus has taken our condemnation so that we are legally justified and declared righteous by God.
access to God's grace.
Definition of “sanctification”: a process where we work with God to live according to the Spirit and to have our behavior become more Christ-like
Sanctification comes from a Greek word meaning “to be holy or set apart.”
The idea is to be set apart from sin and set apart to God.
Sanctification is viewed from three different phases
Past – we are viewed as sanctified.
1 Corinthians 1:2 – “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…”
Present – we are viewed as in process of being sanctified.
Future – we hope for a future completed sanctification.
There are two aspects of our sanctification.
Both are found in Jesus’ “High Priestly” prayer in John 17:20-23.
Jesus is “in” the Father, and the Father is “in” Jesus.
Jesus prays that we might have the same relationship: Christ “in” us, and we “in” Christ.
Our identification with Jesus – we are in the “in Christ” club.
Jesus’ dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit
The first aspect of Sanctification: identification with Jesus.
All those who have believed the Gospel are identified with Christ.
This is like being in a club; the “in Christ club.”
Ephesians 1:13-14 – all those who hear the Gospel and believe the Gospel are sealed “in Christ” by the Holy Spirit.
Characteristics of those identified with Christ:
We are no longer under condemnation [Romans 8:1]
We are blessed with all spiritual blessings [Ephesians 1:3]
We are holy and blameless before God [Ephesians 1:4]
We are given all things that pertain to life and godliness [2 Peter 1:3]
We are a citizen of heaven [Philippians 3:20]
We are dearly loved [Romans 8:1-39]
What is true of Jesus is true of us.
What does this practically mean for Christians?
We should see ourselves from god’s perspective as identified with Jesus; this is our true identity before God.
We do not work for this identity.
We should not try and earn our own identity.
We should view other believers from God’s perspective as identified with Jesus.
The second aspect of Sanctification: Jesus’ life in the believer via the Holy Spirit.
It is important to remember the image of the tree and roots: sin produces sins in both believers and unbelievers.
Paul describes the struggle he experiences when he desires to do good but finds that sin is right there with him [Romans 7:14-25].
Paul recognizes that he has both the old nature (i.e., the flesh) and the new nature (a desire to please God).
Paul also recognizes that he needs the Holy Spirit to produce the character of Jesus through him.
Romans 8:1-4 – walk in the spirit we produce righteous actions
John 15:1-8 – abide in him to produce good fruit
Galatians 5:16-26 – the fruit of the Spirit
To “walk according to the Holy Spirit” means for a Christian to live daily in dependence upon the Holy Spirit to produce the character of Christ in him/her.
Definition: to purchase sinners out of the slave market of sin
In the ancient world, slavery was very common.
A person could become a slave by being born a slave captive in war, or self-sale into slavery.
The classic OT example of redemption is Israel crossing the Red Sea after Israel after Moses lead them out of Egypt.
The Scripture speaks of people being slaves of sin and of the Devil.
Even as believers we live in captivity to sin/slaves to sin [Romans 6:6, 11-14].
Thus, our redemption means that sin, while still present in us, is not our master: we have a choice whether to walk in the flesh or the Spirit.
The Scripture portrays people who sin as slaves to sin John [8:34].
Believers are said to be free from the authority of sin (i.e., “dead to sin”).
One day our bodies will be redeemed: freed from the presence of sin [Romans 8:23].
Definition: the act of God where he places believers into His family.
Benefits of being adopted by God
As believers, we are considered his children and call him "Abba," father.
As his children, we have unhindered access to God.
Never let your sin prevent you from talking to the Lord.
We are always able to call upon him for help.
As his children, we are in a community with many other siblings.
As his children, God discliplines us/trains us; we are not abandoned.
What do I need to do to be saved?
“Let Jesus into your heart.”
“Giving it all to Jesus.”
“I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior”
“I’ve prayed the prayer.”
“Lay your burdens at the foot of the cross.”
Scripture tells us one condition: exercise faith. But what is faith?
The Greek verb is “pisteuo” – to believe, to trust, to rely on.
It is used almost one hundred times in the Gospel of John in relation to salvation.
The definition of faith demands an object.
To believe, trust, rely on what or whom?
Faith is valuable before God is faith in the person of God and His Word, i.e., absolute truth.
Faith that is worthless or invaluable has as its object something other than God or His Word.
Faith is a simple, human response.
Faith involves human will (we have to make a choice).
Illustrations of faith
Sitting in a chair.
Relying and putting confidence in the chair to hold you up.
Asking someone to move a desk for you.
You trust that the person will not only follow through with the request, but that the person is strong enough.
C. What faith is not.
Faith is not something supernatural given to us by God.
Everyone uses their faith every day.
The object of people’s faith is what is the problem (it is not Jesus’ work).
Faith is not a “work”; it is not meritorious.
Illustration: a bank withdraw slip.
There is nothing meritorious about the slip; good handwriting (works) will not any extra money (love/salvation).
Although exercising our faith in Jesus is “good,” it is not a “good work.”
Romans 4:5 says that faith is not a work.
Faith is not an emotion.
An emotional response can, however, happen at the same time that we decide to trust God.
We should not confuse emotion with faith.
Can a person do something to lose their salvation?
What kind of actions do we think would remove our salvation?
Certain terrible sins
Claiming not to believe in Christ
Denying that Jesus is God or that he died for your sins (i.e. apostasy)
What does the Scripture say?
If you believe in Jesus’ work, then you have eternal life.
John 6:47 – he who believes has eternal life.
John 5:24 – those who believe have passed from death to life.
You are sealed by the Holy Spirit “in Christ.”
Ephesians 1:13-14 – the Holy Spirit is the seal of our salvation.
The symbol of “seal” most likely refers to God’s preservation and ownership of us.
We are secure because we are kept by Jesus.
John 6:37-40 – Jesus promises to lose none of the ones who are his.
Romans 8:31-39 – nothing can separate believers from the love of God.
Neither the past, nor the future.
Neither angels nor powers.
Why is sin not mentioned in Paul’s list? Because Jesus has already taken care of it.
Unbiblical ways to evaluate our eternal security.
Our emotions: “I just don’t feel saved.”
Thankfully, our emotions are not a condition to being saved.
Just as our citizenship is not based on our emotions, neither is our heavenly citizenship. Ex.: “I just don’t feel like I’m an American citizen.”
Our good works: “I am not doing enough good works to be truly saved.”
Thankfully, our good works are not a condition to being saved.
Examining our good works, or lack thereof, is to look at the wrong person for our salvation: us, and not Jesus.
Solution: 1 Corinthians 3:14-15
What is the Gospel?
What does a person need to know in order to be saved?
Why is this important?
Teaching the wrong Gospel has terrible consequences [Galatians 1:6-9].
An incorrect Gospel will give people a false hope of salvation.
A correct understanding of the Gospel is a crucial foundation for our walk with the Lord [Colossians 2:6].
It is important to distinguish two important aspects: The Gospel and foundational information.
The Gospel message [1 Corinthians 15:1-8].
Jesus Christ died for our sins (v. 3).
Jesus was buried (v. 4).
Jesus arose from the dead three days later (v. 4).
Jesus appeared to over five hundred eye witnesses (v. 5-8).
The Gospel message is about a specific person: Jesus.
This information is needed to understand the Gospel.
For example, what sin is.
For example, that Jesus is divine and human.
This information is not technically part of the Gospel, but is needed to make sense of it.