Summary: This message summarizes the study of Salvation of Man.
Soteriology -- The Study Salvation
As a result of willful rebellion, all humans since Adam have become separated from God and spiritually stillborn. The Scriptures unfold a most glorious story of redemption and God’s human renovation plan. The truths conceding this glorious restoration come under a category called Soteriology. This comes from the Greek word “soter” meaning salvation or to save and “ology” (study of). Today I will present a basic outline for organizing the truths concerning man’s salvation. The term salvation can be used in the broad sense of the term to refer to all the aspects of the restoring and renewing process from beginning to end. Salvation is both an event and a process. There are some aspects that happen instantaneously at the moment of genuine faith and there are others that take place over time culminating in our glorified state at the return of Jesus. Today we will stick with the monumental event that happens at the moment of faith.
Let us again start with the official C&MA doctrinal statement regarding salvation.
Salvation has been provided through Jesus Christ for all men; and those who repent and believe in Him are born again of the Holy Spirit, receive the gift of eternal life,
and become the children of God. Many people who would claim to be “saved” have very limited understanding of what it is. Paul tells us to protect ourselves from Satan’s attack by taking up the “helmet of salvation.”
Since he was addressing those who were already saved it is clear he was not admonishing them to get saved but get a firm grip on the wonder of the salvation that God had provided them. Satan attacks by causing doubt about what Christ did for us by His death and resurrection. He does not want us to realize just what God has done in us as well as for us and through us. If we did, we would most certainly live differently than we do. I am here to encourage you to wear your helmet; the helmet of Salvation. The war between God and Satan grows more intense everyday and you will need it.
I like to organize my thoughts in this category around six main headings.
1. The necessity of Salvation
2. The Promise of Salvation
3. The Pictures of Salvation
4. The Provision of salvation
5. The Possession of salvation
6. The Product (result) of salvation
I. THE NECESSITY OF SALVATION
A. The Character of God
The holy and righteous perfection of God demands that sin be judged. God’s absolutely holy character cannot simply overlook sin without exacting a penalty. God must remain separate from sin. Isaiah made clear that it is man's sin that produces a gulf between man and God.
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2
This separation is due to the incompatibility of holy character of God and the sinful bent of man. Therefore if man is to survive, let alone have fellowship with God, God's righteous character must somehow be appeased without compromising that character through failure to righteously deal with the offense.
B. The Corruption of Man
1. Imputed Sin
Scripture is clear as to the fact that corruptness in man is due to a sinful nature inherited from Adam. Man sins because he is born a sinner. Man is not a sinner because he sins.
Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Rom 5:19
2. Inherited sin
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 1Pe 1:18
3. Intentional sin
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23
The results of the fall were total. Man's whole being was marred by sin. Adam passed on a nature that was totally selfish and committed to finding life apart from dependence on God.
Jeremiah recorded the essence of sin:
This is what the Lord says: "What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror," declares the Lord. "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jer 2:13