ARTICLE 4 | SALVATION
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
- Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.
- Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.
- Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.
- Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
- Genesis 3:15 >> The curse of sin would be broken by someone who would crush Satan, even though He Himself would also be hurt
- Exodus 3:14-17 >> God is a God of deliverance who uses human mediators to deliver His people
- Matthew 1:21 >> Jesus was foretold to be the Deliverer from sin that was promised in Genesis 3.
- Matthew 16:21-26 >> Repentance involves denying yourself & dying to your own agenda & desires, having traded them for the Lordship of Jesus Christ
- Matthew 27:22-28:6 >> The Gospel consists of a call to faith & repentance based on the good news that Christ has died & risen from the grave, conquering sin & death for all who would believe in Him.
- John 1:11-14, 29 >> Those who believe in Jesus receive entrance into God’s family, only to realize that they were brought by the will of God & bought by the blood of the Son of God.
- John 3:3-21,36 >> Jesus describes salvation as being “born again,” which is a work of the Spirit, renewing & regenerating the hearts of men & women as described in Ezekiel 36:25-27.
- John 10:9,28-29 >> When a person believes in Jesus they are kept eternally secure by the Father who holds their eternal life.
- John 17:17 >> Sanctification is the process of being transformed by the Word of God so that you increase in practical Christlikeness & godliness.
- Acts 2:21 >> Everyone who trusts in God’s saving character will be delivered from sin & death.
- Acts 15:11 >> All people, no matter what race or nationality, are saved by grace through Jesus.
- Acts 20:32 >> God’s Word brings grace which brings growth in holiness.
- Romans 1:16-18 >> The good news about what Jesus has done unleashes God’s power in our lives, saving them from death.
- Romans 3:23-25 >> God declares us righteous through our faith in the finished work in Jesus
- Romans 5:8-10 >> In a perfect display of love, God sent Jesus while we were still our sin to do the work of salvation & deliverance that we could not do.
- Romans 8:1-18, 29-39 >> The Spirit of God is the seal upon the life of those who have trusted in Jesus, bring adoption as children, hope in the midst of suffering, the promise of life, & enduring purpose in all things.
- Romans 13:11-14 >> Repentance is characterized as “throwing off the works of darkness” & faith is putting on the “armor of light.”
- 1 Corinthians 1:18, 30 >> While the Gospel is the power of God for those who are being saved, it is foolishness to those who won’t believe that Jesus is everything for those who are being saved.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 >> When a person believes in Jesus, the Holy Spirit takes us residence inside of him or her, thus making glorifying God something that can happen at all times.
- 1 Corinthians 15:10 >> God’s grace, not our own effort or choice, is the source of our transformation.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 >> When a person trusts in Jesus, they are a new person, giving evidence that they are reconciled to God and are now an ambassador for Christ.
- Galatians 2:20 >> Because the “old me” was crucified with Jesus, the life I know live is totally His, which means that I live by faith in Him at each moment.
- Galatians 5:22-25 >> The Holy Spirit is at work in us, actively causing us to bear the fruit of godliness & Christlikeness in our actions & attitudes.
- Galatians 6:15 >> The Old Covenant symbol of physical circumcision is now meaningless in religious significance. The New Covenant symbol is spiritual regeneration, done by the Holy Spirit in the human heart.
- Ephesians 4:11-16 >> Through the Holy Spirit, normal believers are equipped to edify & promote growth within the body of Christ as they speak the truth in love.
- Philippians 2:12-13 >> Because God’s power is dynamically at work within us, we are called to flesh out that work on a daily basis.
- Colossians 3:1 >> Our spiritual vigor & energy on a daily basis is dependent upon what we fix our minds on. Because of Jesus’ work, we are heavenly creatures that must have our eyes fixed on eternal things rather than earthly creatures consumed with earthly things.
- 2 Timothy 1:12 >> Christians can have a fearless confidence of the fact that God is able to keep them & hold them until the time comes for them to go to Heaven.
- Hebrews 2:1-3 >> The life of believers is characterized by heeding the Word & clinging to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Hebrews 9:24-28 >> Jesus has come once so that, being our Great High Priest, He could offer Himself as our atoning sacrifice.
- Hebrews 11:1-12:8,14 >> Faith, as evidenced in the lives of those who follow Jesus, is the only correct response to God’s work.
- James 2:14-26 >> Far from being just a prayer or something that we say, true faith is always accompanied by Christ-honoring works, which give external evidence of the internal presence of the Holy Spirit.
- 1 Peter 1:2-23 >> The enduring joy of Christians in the midst of trials is founded upon the confidence that God foreknew them & chose them in His grace to be brought from death to life. If He has the power to eternally save, then He has the strength to hold secure all those who are suffering on earth.
- 1 John 1:6-2:11 >> The life of a believer is characterized by walking with God in surrendered obedience to His revealed Word.
- Revelation 3:20 >> For the person who hears the invitation of the Father, there can be assurance that if they respond in faith, they will enter into a relationship with Him.
- Revelation 21:1-22:5 >> Heaven is a place of eternal communion with God the Father, God the Son, & God the Holy Spirit.
ARTICLE 5 | GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
- Genesis 12:1-3 >> The Lord “elected” or “chose” to reveal Himself to Abram (who would become “Abraham”). It was because of His own love & mercy that He chose Abram rather than all of the others in the world at that time.
- Exodus 19:5-8 >> Because of the freedom of His choice, God chose Israel to be His chosen people, unique among all of the other peoples & nations of the world at that time.
- 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22 >> While God was a sufficient king over Israel, He still allowed the people to follow through with the wicked desires of their hearts to have a human king. He allowed this so that it would break them & their offspring of the thought that any but God are sufficient to be their lord.
- Jeremiah 31:31-34 >> The New Covenant that God would establish would be one where He would write His Law & His righteousness upon the hearts of people by calling them individually into a relationship with Himself.
- Matthew 24:22, 31 >> Just like Israel, God’s New Covenant believers (referred to as the “elect”) are capable of being deceived by false prophets. However, Jesus will still faithfully gather them, thus proving Himself ultimately responsible for their salvation & their perseverance.
- John 1:12-14 >> Notice whose will is responsible for the salvation of individuals. It is not the will of the flesh (human effort) or human willpower (strategy or intellect), but because of the will of God.
- John 3:16 >> Jesus was sent to the world because God has a perfect love for all of His creation.
- John 5:24 >> While God decrees salvation from eternity, the greatest evidence of God’s predestination of you for salvation is that you believe in the Lord Jesus.
- John 6:44-45, 65 >> Because of the spiritual deadness of the human heart, God must work by His Spirit within their hearts to draw them to hear the voice of Jesus the Great Shepherd & understand the call to repent of sin.
- Johns 10:27-29 >> Jesus is the Great Shepherd who calls His sheep to repent of their sin & follow Him.
- John 15:16 >> It is a humbling reality in the life of a disciple to recognize that God, in His own love, mercy & grace, chose us to become His child.
- Acts 13:48 >> As Paul & Barnabas preached, the Gentiles rejoiced & responded in faith. How many? As “many as were appointed to eternal life”.
- Romans 8:28-39 >> Just as God sovereignly called us to Himself, not being deterred by our sin, neither shall He be deterred from sanctifying us despite all of the suffering we face.
- Romans 10:8-15 >> If people are to believe in the Gospel, there must be the internal working of the Holy Spirit & external proclamation of the truth by the messenger or missionary.
- Ephesians 1:4-23 >> In this passage, Paul shows us that true theology results in doxology as he meditates upon salvation past, present & future.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 >> Paul recognized that those who first believed in the Thessalonica were chosen by God to believe.
- James 1:12 >> A trademark of true faith is endurance.
- 1 Peter 1:2-5,13 >> Just like Paul in Ephesians 1, Peter praises God for His sovereignty as a means for understanding how God will sustain them in the midst of the suffering they are facing.