Lesson 07 第七课

THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION

I.    The Need for Salvation

A.    The Fall of Man

1.    When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that disobedience was sin.  In essence, sin is anything which is disobedience to God or is contrary to the nature of God.

2.    At the foundation of man’s choice to sin was the desire to be like God (Genesis 3:5).  Sin is a person’s desire to be his or her own god, making his or her own choices of right and wrong.

3.    Sin is universal, meaning everyone who has ever lived, apart from Jesus Christ, has sinned (Psalm 14:1-3; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:9-18; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:12).

B.    The Results of Sin

1.    To the Man and Woman:

a.    Sin marred the image of God within them.

b.    They lost their fellowship with God.

c.    The woman was to be cursed in childbirth (Gen. 3:16).

d.    The man was cursed in his labor (Gen. 3:17-19).

e.    They were driven out of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:23).

f.    Death became a reality, both the process of physical death as well as spiritual death in separation from God.

2.    To the Human Race:

a.    All of mankind became heirs of Adam’s fallen nature (Rom. 5:12, 17-19).

b.    Man’s whole nature is affected by sin.  The presence of sin in the world and in man’s nature makes it inevitable that he will sin (Rom. 3:9-18, 23).

3.    To the Rest of Creation:

a.    The curse of Adam’s sin fell upon the animal kingdom (Gen. 1:30; Gen. 3:21).

b.    The curse of sin also fell upon the physical creation (Gen. 3:17-18; Rom. 8:20-22).

4.    The Bible makes it clear that sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:1-2).  So in essence, we need salvation because as sinners we cannot have a relationship with God nor spend eternity with Him.  God had to do for us what we could not do for ourselves (Titus 3:5).  God had to take away the sin that separates us from Him.

II.    Salvation By Grace

A.    The Meaning of “Grace”

1.    The Hebrew word for “grace” as used in the Old Testament is chesed.  This word stands for God’s self-giving to Israel within a covenant relationship.  It also is related to the idea of God’s righteousness.  Chesed in the Old Testament stands for the righteous love of God – a love that is perfect, totally unconditional.   

2.    The Greek word for “grace” as used in the New Testament is charis.  It comes from a root word indicating that which gives pleasure or joy.  In other words, when God extends His grace, it gives Him pleasure and joy to do so.  The usual meaning in the New Testament is that of favor, good will, or benefit.  The Bible clearly teaches that we are unworthy of this grace.

B.    Grace in the New Testament

1.    Paul saw grace as the giving and forgiving love of God in the person of Jesus Christ.  For Paul, grace stood over against all ideas of merit or reward (Rom. 4:1-8; 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9).

2.    Although grace is not the result of works, it does produce works and a new life (Rom. 5:21; Rom. 6:1-4; Eph. 2:10).

3.    It is important to understand that the grace of God seeks men, they do not seek Him (John 6:44).

III.    Salvation By Faith   

A.    The meaning of “faith”

1.    Faith is trust.  Christian faith, or saving faith, might be defined as trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and a surrender to Him as Lord.

2.    Faith is an action, not just a belief (James 2:19).  The Greek verb translated “faith” in the New Testament is pisteuo, which literally means “to faith.”  In other words, it is an action verb.

3.    One action that must be taken for salvation is to pray for God to save you from your sins (Rom. 10:9-10).

4.    Although one must receive salvation through faith, faith itself is a gift from God (Rom. 12:3).

B.    The Object of Faith

1.    Our faith must be placed in Jesus Christ.  He is the only way to a relationship with God (John 14:6).  Faith is more than belief in a doctrine of a church.

2.    Faith is not merely the rational acceptance of facts, though that is a part of it.  More importantly, faith is a personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and a commitment to Him as Lord.

IV.    Repentance and Conversion

A.    The meaning of Repentance

1.    Repentance is more than being sorry for sins (2 Cor. 7:9-11), and it is more than just a change of mind, although it includes both.

2.    Repentance is a change of direction.  The New Testament call to repentance is a call to individuals for a radical turn from one way of life to another.  This is also called “conversion.”

B.    Repentance is essential for salvation (Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19).

1.    Repentance includes making Jesus Lord of one’s life.  The New Testament offers no salvation which leaves the Lordship of Jesus Christ as optional (John 14:15, 21; John 15:10; 2 John 6).

2.    Repentance in a real sense is God’s gift, not man’s achievement (Acts 11:18; Rom. 2:4; Rom. 12:3; 2 Tim. 2:25).  In other words, people cannot achieve faith or repentance, but they must receive it.

3.    By faith a person receives Jesus Christ into his or her innermost person; and Christ, as a transforming presence, reverses the course of that life from self-trust to trust in God, from self-assertion to self-denial.  That is why James said, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).

V.    The Three Tenses of Salvation

A.    Salvation as Past (Justification)

1.    There are various New Testament passages which speak of salvation as something already given and experienced in the past.  For example, Ephesians 2:8 states that “by grace you have been saved,” using the perfect tense to describe an accomplished fact with continuing results.  2 Tim. 1:9 identifies God as the One “who has saved us.”  Titus 3:5 also affirms that “He saved us.”  Also, notice 1 John 5:13

2.    The point is, the saving work of Jesus Christ lies at a fixed historical period in the past in each person’s life who has come to faith in Him.

3.    The writer of Hebrews stressed that salvation originated with Jesus Christ who was its pioneer (Heb. 2:10), its cause (Heb. 5:9), and its author or founder (Heb. 12:2).  Thus, one aspect of our salvation is inescapably located in the past because it is grounded in the unique, unrepeatable, once-for-all life, death, and resurrection of our Savior (Heb. 7:27; 9:12; 10:10).

4.    Our own salvation is far from finished, but at the same time it is a past experience in that we were saved at the moment we placed our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

5.    The past aspect of salvation is called “justification.”  Justification is God making “upright” those who trust Christ as Savior (Luke 18:14).  It also places us in a right standing with God.  See also Rom. 3:24-26, 28; Rom. 5:1, 9; 1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:7.

B.    Salvation as Present (Sanctification)

1.    Salvation also is spoken of in the New Testament as a reality which is unfolding in the present.  Paul, for example, spoke of the fact that in the present we are being saved (1 Cor. 1:18; 15:2).

2.    In Philippians 2:12 Christians are encouraged to persist in working out their own salvation “with fear and trembling.”

3.    Hebrews 2:3 states that we are not to neglect our salvation, indicating it is an experience in which we are continuing.

4.    1 Peter 2:2 encourages us to “grow up” in our salvation.

5.    The present aspect of salvation is called “sanctification.”  Sanctification is the act whereby God sets us apart for service to Him (2 Tim. 2:21).  The New Testament word for “sanctification” is closely related to the word “holy.”  Sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit.  Sanctification is from one standpoint a completed work of Christ through the Holt Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11).  However, it is also a continuing work of Christian growth and discipleship (1 Thess. 4:3-7; 2 Cor. 7:1).

6.    Therefore, although salvation is something we already have experienced by placing our faith in Christ, we are to experience this salvation as fully as possible in each moment of our ongoing lives on this earth.  This means that we are to continue to grow in our faith and our relationship with Christ.

C.    Salvation as Future (Glorification)

1.    The future tense of our salvation is the most common category spoken of in the New Testament.

2.    Paul said plainly in Romans 13:11, “now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.”

3.    Elsewhere, Paul spoke of salvation as something yet to be obtained (1 Thess. 5:9; 2 Tim. 2:10).  The Book of Hebrews also speaks of this final obtainment of salvation at the Second Coming of Jesus (Heb. 9:28; see also, 1 Peter 1:5, 9).

4.    The future aspect of our salvation is called “glorification.”  Glorification is that part of salvation which ultimately will be realized only in heaven (Rom. 8:17, 29-30; Heb. 9:28).  Glorification is the eternal state of the redeemed (Phil. 3:21; Col. 3:4).