Doctrine of Salvation

Lesson 1

Soteriology is the study of the doctrine of salvation. This is one of the most vital themes in the Scriptures. The term salvation in the scriptures deals with the complete and total work of Christ. For the study of salvation here we will look specifically at the concept of eternal salvation.

Life’s Origin

Man was originally created in the image of God so that we may enjoy a meaningful relationship with him. This means we were created to have fellowship with God as an essential and integral part of our normal human existence. Gen 1:26; Gen 3:8 

The reason man is now out of fellowship with God and in need of salvation is because of sin. Adam the first man chose the path of rebellion by refusing God the right to be God in his life. 1 Cor 15:21-22

  • Sin is simply when we want to live life our way and not God’s way. God has given us His word to explain what we can and cannot do, it describes what is sin and what is not sin. Genesis 2:15-17
  • The serpent came and deceived them by getting them to act against God’s Word and because of this sin came into the world. Genesis 3:1-4
  • The result of Adam’s rebellion or sin was death or separation from God.
  • Just as God created us body, soul and spirit, sin affected us on all these three dimensions.
  • Our bodies became subject to sickness and decay and ultimately death. Our soul, which is our mind and emotions, became corrupted by our sinful nature.
  • Our spirit man, which is eternal, became separated from God and destined to a lost eternity.

When the bible speaks of death and subsequently new life it is speaking about what has happened to our spirit man.

2 Cor 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
1 Pet 1:23  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

As you know when you gave your life to Christ you did not get a new body or a new brain, but your spirit came alive to God when you were born again. When we die our bodies will go to the grave, our mind and personalities will go with it but our spirit man is eternal and will live forever. 1 Th 5:23

Interesting note: We were never created to live out of our mind, emotion or reason alone, we were created to live out of our spirit man. Rom 8:5-7

This is the result of how sin affected us in these three ways.

  1. Spiritual death. This is the separation of man spirit with God’s spirit which affects everyone the moment they were born because of the fall of Adam.
  2. Physical death. This is separation of man’s body from his spirit and happens at the grave.
  3. Eternal death. This is an irreversible separation from God for eternity and happens after the judgment for the unbeliever.

The sinful Nature Of Man

Just as Adam was made in God’s image, so when Adam brought children into the world the bible tells us they were born in his own likeness, the likeness of his corrupted and sinful nature. Gen 5:3 

  • This is the reason that all men are subject to spiritual death. Rom 5:12
  • Each of us by our own sinful nature have both confirmed and demonstrated the effect of Adam’s fall on the human race. Rom 3:23-24

The Nature Of God

Psa 22:3 Yet you are enthroned as the holy one; you are the praise of Israel.

  • The most outstanding characteristic of God that we see from study of the Old Testament is his holiness. This means that God is completely and absolutely holy, righteous, and separate from sin and evil.
  • God’s law is simply an expression of his holy nature.
  • Therefore the penalty for disobedience of his law cannot simply be brushed aside once it has been disobeyed. To do so it would require God to deny his own character.
  • Therefore the penalty of sin (which is death) must be paid. Rom 6:23

God’s Solution For Salvation

God’s solution to man’s separation from himself due to sin was in the sending of his son Jesus Christ to be the saviour of the world.  John 3:16

  • Because Christ was without sin, He was in a position to pay the penalty for our sins. 2 Cor 5:21

Salvation comes through Jesus Christ and him alone

John 14:6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Luke 2:11  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Acts 5:31  God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.
1 Tim 2:5  For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1 John 4:14  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

It is vital to understand that without a saviour we have no salvation. This is a very important distinction as our eternal destiny pivots on this truth. John 14:6

Interesting note: As the battle of good and evil rages the best way to deceive people is to get them to believe the bible but not to believe in Jesus

  • There is a big difference between religion and Christianity, religion is man trying to earn his way to God through good works, good morals or by trying to live right according to the bible and this does not make a person saved.
  • Christianity is simply a relationship with Christ believing that he paid the price for our salvation and redeemed us from the kingdom of darkness.
  • This is why most religions, cults or deceptive religious group will often use the bible as the bases of their beliefs but they will always exclude Christ as their personal saviour.
  • Only Christianity offers a salvation based on grace rather than works. All the other religions of the world have man working to acquire salvation.
  • In all the other religions of the world, salvation is a work that man does for God.
  • Salvation is God working on behalf of Man through his only son Jesus Christ. Acts 4:10-12, Acts 16:30-31
  • This is why it is vital to understand that without a saviour we have no salvation no matter how good and sincere a person may be. Heb 9:22
  • There has never been anyone in the history of mankind that has shed his blood for the salvation and forgiveness of the sins of man.
  • This is a very important distinction as our eternal destiny pivots on this truth.

God’s Grace and Undeserved Favour

  • Eternal life is a free gift that we could never earn and a gift we don’t deserve. Eph 2:4-9
  • God was not obliged to save anyone since man chose to wilfully rebel against Him. However because of God’s great love and mercy he chose to make provision for man’s salvation through Christ. This undeserved mercy is what is meant by the grace of God. Titus 3:5

God’s Gift Of Salvation

  • The free gift of eternal life, in order to be ours, must be received by faith. John 1:12; Col 1:12-14
  • Salvation comes by accepting that:
  • Jesus Christ and he alone has paid the price for our sin, he alone is the only one who can save us and redeem us from our sins you give us a new life, when you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you become born again and your spirit comes alive to God, and at that moment God makes us a brand new person on the inside. Jesus said it’s like being born all over again.

John 3:3  In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
1 Pet 1:23  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Someone once said “If we don’t believe in something we will fall for anything”

Place Your Life Before God Romans 12:1-2 Message Bible

1So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life  your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life  and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 2Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Why we need salvation Eph 2:1 3

  • Paul begins this chapter with a bit of shock therapy, he said it doesn’t matter how good or how bad, how rich or how famous you were before Christ, you were as good as the living dead. (We were spiritually dead before God)
  • When the Bible uses the word dead or death it actually means to be separated, because in God’s eyes there is no death, we are eternal being.
  • Paul describes it like this: Without God, we walk according to the course of the world and lived according to the world’s standards, morals, opinions, pleasures, values
  • You only have to open the newspaper turn on the TV to realise that the world’s standards, morals, and values are all going from bad to worse.
  • We have a choice to either walk in the ways of the world or according to the will of God. 2 Cor 5:17; Rom 12:2

Someone has said, God formed us, sin deformed us and now God wants to reform us.

  • This process of change and transformation should begin when we accept Christ.
  • We were under the power of Satan
  • Man was never created to be evil, yet you have only got to look at some of the most hideous crimes we hear about to day, who in their right mind would do those things
  • It means we were literally controlled and manipulated like a puppet on a string.

TLB Eph 2:2  You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord.
TLB 1 John 5:19  We know that we are children of God and that all the rest of the world around us is under Satan’s power and control.

Before Christ:

  • We walked in disobedience to God
  • We were walking outside of the plans and purposes of God
  • We were living against God, we were just doing our own thing, without even knowing it we were on a pathway to destruction

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • The Bible says sin is anything that causes us to miss the mark, to fall short of our destiny or anything that will cause us not to conform to the will of God. Psa 139:14-16
  • Sin is anything that is hindering us from fulfilling the plans and purposes of God.
  • On top of all of that that Paul has already described we were also controlled by lust.
  • We were governed by our corrupt and sensual nature; we were living trying to fulfil the call of the wild.
  • Whatever tasted good, felt good, looked good we went after it, we would have spent our lives trying to fulfil this passion.
  • Think about it, we have this unbridled passion that is influenced by the morals and standards of the world, it manipulated by the power of Satan, and has no desire to please God.
  • Can you imagine how easy it would be for the enemy to send us on a pathway to eternal destruction? Eph 2:4-9
  • Salvation through Christ Jesus is a finished and complete proposition. Man’s responsibility is to accept this by faith alone in Christ. The finished work of Christ includes not only deliverance from the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin.

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson, we are looking forward to seeing what God has revealed to you in His Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.