WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT SALVATION?
I. How Does a Person Get Born Again? How Can a Person Be Saved From the Results of the Fall of Man?
A. First, salvation is of God
1. God purposed and promised to save men from their sins (Gen. 3:15) (Is. 45:21,22) (Zech. 9:9).
2. God provided the way of salvation, Jesus Christ (John 3:16) (Acts 4:12).
3. God saved us by His choosing (John 1:13) (Psalms 37:39).
4. God saved us by His free gift (Rom. 6:23) (Eph. 2:8,9).
5. God saved us by His mercy (Titus 3:5).
6. God saved us by His love (Rom. 5:8).
7. God saved us by making known His will and our need (Eph. 1:9) (Matt. 16:17).
8. God saved us by drawing each of us unto Himself (John 6:44).
B. Salvation is received by men
1. Men must come to see their need to be saved (Acts 2:37) (Acts 10:33).
2. Men must call upon the name of the Lord (Rom. 10:13).
3. Men must confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God has raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9,10) (John 3:14-18).
4. Men must receive Jesus personally (John 1:12).
5. Men must confess their sin (1 John 1:9).
6. Men must turn and forsake their sin (1 John 3:7-9). (Note: the word sin in each of these verses is in the present tense, referring to the continual practice of sin Prov. 28:13).
7. Men must be willing to practice righteousness by denying themselves, taking up the cross and following Him (Matt. 16:24,25).
C. The results of salvation and the new birth
1. The Spirit of God dwells in you (1 Cor. 6:19).
2. You have passed from death to life (John 5:24).
3. Your life will be outwardly transformed and inwardly renewed (Rom. 12:2).
4. You experience victory over the world (1 John 5:4).
5. You will not practice sin anymore (1 John 3:7-9).
6. You will now practice righteousness (1 John 3:10).
7. You will love the brethren (1 John 4:7).
8. The old things are passed away and all things become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
Repentance is essential in understanding what the Bible teaches about
salvation. Repent is the first word of the Gospel. John the Baptist said, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matt. 3:1,2) Jesus preached the same thing (Matt. 4:17). Jesus told the disciples they were to preach repentance and remission of sins (Luke 24:47). You see this commandment carried out by Peter (Acts 2:38), and Paul (Acts 20:21). This teaching is central to the message of the Gospel. Failure to heed the call of God to repentance means that a man will surely perish (Luke 13:3).
A. What does it mean to repent?
1. Repentance must affect your mind. The word repent means to reconsider or change your mind, (Strong's Concordance). It is a choice one makes with his mind (Matt. 21:29).
2. Repentance must affect your emotions. Paul said, "he rejoiced that the Corinthians sorrowed to repentance." (2 Cor. 7:9) (Psalms 38:18).
3. Repentance must affect your actions. The word also means to reverse direction in your life (Strong's Concordance). After the repentance of the prodigal son, he turned his steps toward home (Luke 15:18,20). If we expect to be forgiven, we must also forsake our sin (Is. 55:7) (Prov. 28:13). Also, we must not only turn from our sin but turn to God (1 Thess. 1:9) (Acts 26:20).
B. How is repentance produced?
1. It is a divine gift (Acts 11:18) (2 Tim. 2:25).
2. It is brought about through preaching the Word of God (Acts 2:37,38,41) (1 Thess. 1:5,6,9,10).
3. It is brought about by God revealing His goodness and long-suffering (Rom. 2:5).
4. It is brought about by God's chastisement (Rev. 3:19).
5. It is brought about by the correction of God's servants (2 Tim. 2:24,25).
C. What are the results of repentance?
1. There is joy in heaven (Luke 15:7,10).
2. It results in pardon and the blotting out of your sins (Is. 55:7) (Acts 3:19).
3. The Holy Spirit is poured out upon you (Acts 2:38).
4. The fruit of the spirit being poured out upon you naturally will produce faith. The fruit of the spirit is faith (Gal. 5:22). Faith is then a natural result of repentance (Matt. 21:32) (Mark 1:15).
Now after a person has repented of their sin they need to begin to grow in the salvation God has given. Understanding the place and importance of faith is essential to this growth. The Scripture teaches us that we are to live by faith (Rom. 1:17), to walk by faith (2 Cor. 5:7), to pray in faith (Matt. 21:22), and overcome the world by faith (1 John 2:13-17). Faith is an absolute necessity for a growing and victorious Christian experience.
A. How do you get faith?
1. It is the work of God
a. It is the gift of God (Rom. 12:3) (Eph. 2:8).
b. Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith (Heb. 12:2).
c. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22).
2. There is a human responsibility to faith
a. Faith is produced through the preaching of the Gospel (Acts 15:7) (John 17:20).
b. Faith is produced by the individual hearing the Word and receiving it (Rom. 10:17).
c. We should pray for faith (Mark 9:24) (Luke 11:9,11,13) (Luke 22:32).
d. If we want more faith we should use the faith we have (Matt. 25:29) (Mark 4:24,25).
B. How is faith manifested?
1. By bringing your needs to Jesus (Mark 2:3-5).
2. By continuing to come to Jesus even in the face of discouragement by people, and even the seeming lack of response of God (Matt. 15:22-28).
3. By turning to the Lord (Acts 11:21).
4. By obedience to God's commandments (Heb. 11:8,17).
5. By forsaking sin and endurance in righteousness (Heb. 11:27).
6. By forsaking a present sinful advantage for a future unseen reward (Heb. 11:24-26).
7. By receiving Christ as Savior (John 1:12).
8. By diligently seeking God (Heb. 11:6).
9. By works of love and compassion upon others (James 2:14-20).
C. The results of faith
1. It pleases God (Heb. 11:6).
2. We are saved by faith (Eph. 2:8,9).
3. We are delivered from anxiety of heart (John 14:1).
4. Our hunger and thirst is satisfied (John 6:35).
5. A fountain of living water begins to flow (John 7:38,39).
6. Answers to prayer (Mark 11:24) (Matt. 21:22).
7. Joy unspeakable (1 Peter 1:8).
8. We inherit the promises of God (Heb. 6:12).
9. All things are possible to him that believes (Mark 9:23).
10. We are justified before God (Rom. 5:1).
11. We experience peace with God (Rom. 5:1).
12. We experience the peace of God (Phil. 4:6,7) (Is. 26:3).
D. Four keys to faith
1. First, you must believe that God is willing to do something (Matt. 8:1-3).
a. Is it God's will to do it? (1 John 5:14)
b. Is He willing to do it because of His love for me? (Rom. 8:32)
2. Second, you must be willing.
a. Jesus said to the paralytic, "do you want to be made well?" (John 5:6)
b. Sometimes people give up when there seems like there is no hope (John 11:40).
3. Third, you must believe God is able to do what you are asking of Him (Matt. 9:28).
a. Faith is a choice to believe God can do it. Unbelief is a choice we make to believe God can't do it (Rom. 4:20,21).
b. We must stop thinking in terms of big or small and hard or easy problems (Gen. 18:14) (Mark 9:22,23).
4. Fourth, you must believe that God is doing what you ask right now (Mark 11:24).
a. There must always be a "now" to all believing prayer.
b. If I touch the hem of His garment now, stretch forth your hand now, rise up and walk now, commit this to God now or take unto yourself the whole armor of God now.
E. What faith is and what faith is not
1. Faith isn't for things I can see and understand (Heb. 11:1).
Faith is the confidence that God sees and He understands how to handle the situation.
2. Faith isn't something you need a lot of (Luke 17:5,6). The issue is not if you have a big faith, but do you have a big God? All you need is a little faith placed in a big God.
3. Faith isn't always an escape ladder out of all your problems. Sometimes God wants you to exercise your faith in endurance of great hardship (Heb. 11:32-37).
4. Faith isn't presumptuous. This is an arrogant overconfidence. Faith does not step out where it has not been called (Matt. 14:28,29). Faith should be a response of our hearts to His Word, His command or His direct promise. In Hebrews chapter eleven notice all the men and women who exercised their faith as they are requested to offer up, move, obey or sacrifice. Each in response to God's direction.
5. Faith isn't a power you possess in your mind, or a power you possess to speak things into existence by your confession. If this were true you would be having faith in your faith. God would be unnecessary and His will concerning an issue would be irrelevant. We are encouraged to, "have faith in God", not our ability to create by the power of our faith (Mark 11:22). We are encouraged to pray and ask according to His will, not our own will (1 John 5:14) (Matt. 26:39).
6. Faith isn't something you exercise once and that is enough. Faith is persistent, and continues to come to God until it receives an answer (2 Cor. 12:7-10) (Matt. 15:21-28).
7. Faith isn't something you work up by your emotion, fervency or volume for a request. There is no magic or aid to your faith by repeating certain words over and over again in a vain repetition. Jesus said, "don't think you will be heard for your many words (Matt. 7:6). Faith is given by grace and can't be worked up (Rom. 12:3). Faith is naturally produced in a surrendered heart by the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Faith is a simple choice of your will to take God at His Word.
Justification is a term that describes the present standing of the believer. Once a person has been born again, they are declared justified by God. The word justified means, to render one righteous, innocent or holy (Strong's Concordance). This declaration by God is only in reference to a persons standing, not a persons conduct. There still may be areas in a persons conduct that need to be conformed to the image of Christ.
A. How are we justified before God?
1. We are not justified by the works of the law (Rom. 3:20) (Gal. 2:16) (Rom. 4:4-5). Why? Because if you don't continue in all things which the law commands (or be perfect), you are then under the curse of the law (Gal. 3:10).
2. We are justified by the free gift of God's grace (Rom. 3:24). This gift is given through the redemption that is in Christ. In other words we are justified because of what Jesus has done, not by what we have done.
3. We are justified by His blood (Rom. 5:9).
4. We are justified by faith (Rom. 4:5) (Rom. 5:1) (Acts 13:39).
5. We are justified specifically by faith in His blood (Rom. 3:24-26).
6. We are justified by faith that comes from the heart (Rom. 10:9,10).
B. The extent of justification
1. We are justified from all things (Acts 13:39).
2. There is now no condemnation for those God has justified (Rom. 8:1,33,34).
3. We are made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).
C. The results of justification
1. We have peace with God (Rom. 5:1).
2. We have been made heirs to all that is His, and been given the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7).
3. We have been saved from His wrath (Rom. 5:9).
4. We have the assurance that He will one day glorify us (Rom. 8:30).
5. We can reign in life victorious (Rom. 5:17).
Justification has to do with a believers standing before God. Adoption has to do with a believers position in the family of God. The word adoption means, to be placed as an adult son (Strong's Concordance). When a believer is adopted into the family of God, he now possesses all the rights, privileges and inheritance as if he were always a part of that family. He possesses all the rights of an adult son. He has left one family, (no longer a child of the devil), and has been adopted into a new family, (becoming a child of God), or an adult son of God (1 John 3:10).
A. The origin and source of our adoption
1. The predestined plan of God (Eph. 1:5).
2. According to the good pleasure of His will (Eph. 1:5).
3. By the work of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:5).
B. When does the adoption take place?
1. Before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4,5).
2. Yet the moment we believe in Jesus we receive our adoption into God's family (1 John 3:2) (Gal. 3:26) (John 1:12) (Gal. 4:5).
3. Yet we are still waiting for the full manifestation of all our rights and privileges at the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:23).
C. What are the results and blessings of our adoption?
1. The privilege of the Holy Spirit living in us (Gal. 4:6).
2. The privilege of prayer to God as the Father (Rom. 8:15).
3. The blessing of assurance that we are His children, as the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit (Rom. 8:16).
4. We receive the same love of the Father that is given to Jesus Christ (John 17:23).
5. We are heirs and partakers of His promises (Eph. 3:6).
6. We have boldness and access to the Father (Eph. 3:12).
7. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ to the Fathers eternal inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-5) (Rom. 8:17).
8. We receive the Father's correction (Heb. 12:7,8).
Justification deals with our standing; adoption deals with our position in the family of God; sanctification deals with our character and conduct. The word sanctification means, to purify, to set apart, or to make holy (Strong's Concordance). Notice the difference between justification and sanctification. Justification is to declare your standing as holy. Sanctification is God making you holy in your character and conduct.
A. How are you sanctified?
1. By the Father (Jude 1).
2. By Christ (Eph. 5:25,26) (1 Cor. 1:2).
3. By the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:2) (2 Thess. 2:13).
4. Through the blood of Jesus (Heb. 13:12).
5. Through the Word of God (John 17:17).
6. Jesus Himself is our sanctification (1 Cor. 1:30).
B. The human responsibility of sanctification
1. To be transformed you must refuse to be conformed to this world and present yourself to God (Rom. 6:19) (Rom. 12:1,2).
2. To partake of God's holiness you must receive His correction and chastisement (Heb. 12:9-11).
3. You must pursue peace with all men and holiness (Heb. 12:14).
4. You must press toward the goal and reach forward for the things of God in Christ (Phil. 3:12-14).
5. You must separate yourself from all that is unclean or sinful (2 Cor. 6:17) (2 Cor.7:1).
C. When does sanctification take place?
1. All believers in Christ are sanctified right now (1 Cor. 6:11)(1 Cor. 1:2)(Heb. 10:10,14).
2. There is also a progressive work and a continuous need of sanctification (1 Thess. 5:23). You must grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18), increase and abound (1 Thess. 3:12), abound more and more (1 Thess. 4:1,10) and be in the process of perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1).
3. Last, sanctification will be fully accomplished in, the future, at the coming of Christ (1 Thess. 5:23) (1 Thess. 3:12,13).
D. The results of sanctification
1. We are saved by His sanctifying work (2 Thess. 2:13).
2. If we are being sanctified, then our standing is forever secure and guiltless before God (Heb. 10:14).
3. We will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).
4. The sanctified have an eternal inheritance (Acts 20:32) (Acts 26:18).
VII. The Assurance of Salvation and Eternal Life
One of the great encouragements to your Christian walk, is to know that you have eternal life before you die. This assurance is the purpose for the entire Epistle of 1 John. "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you might know that you have eternal life.(1 John 5:13).
A. How may we know that we have eternal life?
1. Because we have fulfilled the conditions God has required to be saved. (to repent and believe!).
a. Believe in Jesus' name (John 1:12) (John 3:16).
b. Personally receive Jesus (John 1:12).
c. Repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15).
d. Call on the name of the Lord (Rom. 10:13).
e. Confess and forsake sin (1 John 1:9) (1 John 3:9) (Prov. 28:13).
2. Because the Word of God asserts that, if we believe, we are justified from all things (Acts 13:39).
3. We may know we have eternal life through what is written. The testimony of Scripture is the testimony of God (1 John 5:13).
4. We may know we have eternal life by the results in our life.
a. Because we love the brethren (1 John 3:14).
b. Because of the infilling of the Holy Spirit (1 John 3:24).
c. Because we have the witness and testimony of the Holy Spirit with our spirit, that we are children of God (1 John 5:9-11)(Rom. 8:16).
d. Because we experience His life in us (1 John 5:12).
e. Because we don't love the world anymore (1 John 2:15).
f. Because we have turned from practicing sin to practicing righteousness (1 John 2:29).
g. Because we keep His commandments (1 John 2:3).
B. How can you obtain this assurance of salvation?
1. Fulfill the conditions to be saved.
2. Believe the testimony of His Word and not just your feelings.
3. Look for the results in your life.
VIII. The Future Destiny of Those Who Are Saved
God has made many promises to those who are saved. There are glorious promises to those who believe and overcome. May these promises instill hope & faith in our hearts, as we look to that which is not seen. (Heb. 11:1).
A. Where has He promised to take you?
1. A place prepared for you (John 14:2).
2. You will be with Christ (Jn. 14:3)(Phil. 1:23,24).
3. If you are alive and remain unto the coming of Christ you will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. (1 Thess. 4:17).
4. You will then live and reign with Christ here on a renewed earth for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4)(Rev. 2:26,27)(Rev. 3:21)(Rev. 20:6).
5. If you die before the coming of Christ, you will wait in the presence of Christ until He returns (2 Cor. 5:1-8)(Phil. 1:23,24)(Rev. 7:13-17).
6. Christ will then bring you with Him when He comes again (1 Thess. 4:14)(1 Thess. 5:10).
7. After the thousand years are over then we will dwell in the New Heaven and the New Earth in the New Jerusalem (Rev.21:1-7).
B. What will it be like in heaven?
1. We will have a new body like His (Phil. 3:20,21).
2. We will be like Him (1 John 3:2).
3. We will neither hunger nor thirst anymore (Rev. 7:16).
4. Jesus will shepherd us and lead us into living fountains of water (Rev. 7:17).
5. God will wipe away all tears from our eyes (Rev. 7:17).
6. We will see God face to face and know all things in a perfect way (1 Cor. 13:12).
7. We shall receive our eternal inheritance (I Pe. 1:4,5).
8. Rewards will vary in proportion to the faithfulness of our service to Him (Matt. 25:21)(1 Cor. 3:11-15).
C. How long will the saved be with the Lord?
1. They will never see the second death (John 8:51)(Rev. 20:6)
2. Their inheritance can never be corrupted or defiled (1 Peter 1:4).
3. They will abide forever (1 John 2:17).
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT SALVATION?