Issues in Sotierology?
what does a person need to do to be saved?
“Let Jesus into your heart.”
“Giving it all to Jesus.”
“Accepted Jesus as my savior”
“Lay your burdens at the foot of the cross.”
“Prayed the prayer.”
Scripture tells us one condition: exercise faith, but what is faith?
The Greek verb is pisteuo – to believe, to trust, to rely on.
The definition of faith demands an object.
to believe, trust, rely on what or whom?
Faith that is valuable before God is faith in the person of God and his Word, i.e., truth.
Faith that is worthless or invaluable has as its object something other than God or his word.
It is used almost 100x in just the Gospel of John in relation to salvation.
Faith is a simple, human response.
Faith involves human will (we have to make a choice).
Illustrations of faith.
Sitting in a chair.
Asking for someone to move a desk for you.
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 a not a “work,” (i.e., it is non-meritorious).
Illus: a bank withdraw slip.
Although exercising our faith in Jesus is “good” it is not a good work.
Faith is not an emotion.
An emotional response can happen at the same time that we trust in God.
We should not confuse the emotion with our faith.
What does a person need to know to be saved?
Why is the 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 2 important aspects: the Gospel and foundational information
The Gospel message (1 Corinthians 15:1-7)
Jesus was buried (v.4)
Jesus arose from the dead 3 days later (v.4)
Jesus Christ died for our sins (v.3)
He appeared to over 500 eyewitnesses (vv 5-8)
The Gospel message is about a 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.
Can a person do something to lose their salvation?
What kind of actions do we think might remove our salvation?
Certain terrible sins
Claiming to not believe in God
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 the “seal” most likely refers to God’s preservation and ownership
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 future
Why is sin not mentioned in Paul’s list? Because Jesus has already taken care of that
Neither angels nor powers
Unbiblical ways to evaluate our eternal security
Our emotions: “I don’t feel saved.”
Thankfully, our emotions are not a condition of being saved
Just like our citizenship is not emotionally based, neither is our heavenly citizenship. (“I dont ’t feel like i’m an american citizen.”)
Our good works: “I am not doing enough good works to be truly saved.”
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
What is true of a person when they are saved?
The Salvation Diamond
Just like a diamond has many faces so a person’s salvation has many aspects to describe it.
Words to discuss:
Union with Christ
The NT uses several terms to describe different aspects of our salvation.
They key passages are Romans 3:21-31 and Galatians 2:15-3:14
The word justification means to be declared righteous
NOT made righteous
Pronounced righteous by God
The prosecuting attorney is God’s law
Defendant is human beings (us!)
God is the judge
The defense attorney is Jesus
The prosecuting attorney reads out the transgressions we have committed
Our defense attorney steps in but he does not attempt to defend us
Instead he agrees that we are guilty
He offers to take the punishment we deserve upon himself
The right standing he has with the court he asks to be given to us
The judge considers the offer and punishes Jesus with giving us the righteous standing which Jesus had
We leave the court justified (declared legally righteous)
We are not innocent
We are not made righteous
We are pronounced righteous
Justification is available to all who believe (Romans 3:22)
Justification is a free gift from God (Romans 3:24)
Justification is by grace (Romans 3:24)
There is no “small pint” or “strings attached.”
There is no boasting bc it was undeserved
Justified by faith and not by law (Romans 3:28)
Our good works (either before or after believing) cannot earn our justification
Only our faith (belief) in Jesus’ death for our sins justifies us
Results of justification:
Jesus has taken our condemnation and we are legally righteous before God
We have bold access to God’s grace (Romans 5:1-2)
This should create humility before God and others
the second facet
Definition of “adoption”: the act of God where he places believers into his family.
Benefits of being adopted by God:
As his children, we are in community with many other siblings
As his children we have unhindered access to God
We are always able to call upon him for help.[Heb 4:14-16]
Never let you sin prevent you from talking to the Lord!
As believers we are considered his children and call him Father (Abba) [Romans 8:14-17]
As his children, God disciplines/trains us; we are not abandoned.[Heb 12:4-12]
The concept of “discipline” is closely related to the concept of “training”
God disciplines/trains his legitimate children. [Heb 12:8]
God’s discipline/training is for our good.[Heb 12:10]
Our parents do the best they can and we respect them
God actually disciplines us for what is truly our good
When discipline is received, God’s children grow in holiness [Heb 12:10]
the third facet
To purchase sinners out of the slave market of sin
Slavery in ancient world was very common
A person could become a slave by being born a slave, a captive in war, self-sale into slavery
The classic OT illustration of redemption is Israel crossing the Red Sea after Moses leads them out of slavery in Egypt
The scripture speaks of people being slaves of sin and of the devil
Even as believers we can live in captivity to sin/slaves to sin [Rom 6:6,11-14]
The scripture portrays people who sin as slaves to sin[John 8:34]
Believers are said to be free from the authority of sin (“dead to sin)
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 of the spirit
One day our bodies will be redeemed: freed from the presence of sin(Rom 8:23
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