Salvation doctrine


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Salvation doctrine

  1. 1. Book 17 SALTServant and Leadership Training The Christian Doctrine of Salvation July 2002
  2. 2. Table of ContentsI. Introduction ......................................................................................................... 4 A. Definition ........................................................................................................ 4 B. Old and New Testament Usage of the Term “Salvation”................................ 4II. The Source of Salvation..................................................................................... 5III. The Need for Salvation ..................................................................................... 8IV. The Story of Salvation .................................................................................... 10 A. The Creation and the Fall............................................................................ 10 B. From the Seventh Day in Eden to the Call of Abraham................................ 11 C. From the Call of Abraham through the Times of the Judges........................ 12 D. From the First of the Prophets to the Founding of the Kingdom .................. 13 E. David and the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah............................................... 14 F. From the Prophets to the Messiah to the Day of Pentecost ......................... 14 G. The Preaching of Paul ................................................................................. 16 H. The Revelation and the End of the Age ....................................................... 16V. The Three Tenses (Aspects or Stages) of Salvation ....................................... 17VI. The Conditions of Salvation............................................................................ 18 First Condition – Confession of Sin .................................................................. 19 Second Condition - Repentance....................................................................... 19 Third Condition – Faith ..................................................................................... 20VII. The Extent of Salvation.................................................................................. 21VIII. The Purpose of Salvation ............................................................................. 23IX. The Individual in Salvation.............................................................................. 26X. The Pictures of Salvation................................................................................. 27XI. The Results of Rejecting this Salvation .......................................................... 29XII. The Culmination of Salvation......................................................................... 31XIII. Ten Terms Used in Salvation ...................................................................... 33 Adoption ........................................................................................................... 33 Atonement ........................................................................................................ 35 Born again ........................................................................................................ 35 Forgiveness...................................................................................................... 36 Grace ............................................................................................................... 37 Justification....................................................................................................... 38 Reconciliation ................................................................................................... 40 2
  3. 3. Redemption ...................................................................................................... 41 Substitution....................................................................................................... 43 Sanctification .................................................................................................... 44Appendix A – More Comments on the “Three Tenses” of Salvation .................... 46APPENDIX B - An Outline of Salvation from Ephesians 2:1-10 ........................... 48APPENDIX C – “Sheol, Hell (Hades/Gehenna), Heaven and Paradise”.............. 50 3
  4. 4. The Christian Doctrine of Salvation I. IntroductionA. DefinitionThe word "salvation" means deliverance from a dangerous, life-threateningsituation, from imprisonment or from a hurtful act. When it is used as a religiousterm, salvation means deliverance from the penalty of sin, which is hell, and fromslavery to satan. It can also mean safety, preservation, healing and soundness.This word also describes deliverance from distress and the resultant victory andwell-being. The term occurs most often in the Psalms and Isaiah where it isfrequently used along with the word righteousness, indicating a connectionbetween God’s righteousness and His saving acts (Isaiah 45:8, 51:6- 8, 56:1, 62:1and Psalm 98:2). “Salvation” can also be used for a military victory (1 Samuel14:45), but it is normally used of God’s deliverance (Exodus 15:2 and Psalm13:5). The expressions “the salvation of the LORD ” and “the salvation of our God”speak of God’s work on behalf of His people. The expression “the God of mysalvation” is more private in nature, referring to the deliverance of an individual(Isaiah 12:2, 52:10, Exodus 14:13, 2 Chronicles 20:17, Psalm 88:1 and 98:3).As we study the Word of God, we see that salvation is the most common biblicalexpression used to identify the changes in people’s lives, when by faith they havereceived the benefit of the Messiah’s death and resurrection.Note: “Conversion” is the initial change [of attitude and will] that brings a personinto right relationship with God. The word “conversion” appears as a noun onlyonce in the New Testament, referring to the conversion of the Gentiles (Acts15:3). However, the Bible is filled with examples of persons who experiencedconversion. The word “conversion” is easily understood and will not be furtherexplored or used in this course book. We shall mainly use the term “salvation” andother terms/words related directly to that word.As noted above, the term “salvation” implies deliverance, safety, preservation,healing and soundness. It occurs in Scripture in three “tenses.” First, the believerhas been saved (past tense) from the guilt and penalty of sin (Ephesians 2:5, 8).Second, the believer is being saved (present tense) from the habit and dominionof sin in this life (Galatians 2:19, 20). Finally, when the Lord returns, the believerwill be saved (future tense) from all the physical results of sin and of God’s curseon the world (Romans 8:18–23).B. Old and New Testament Usage of the Term “Salvation”As we study the important doctrinal word “salvation,” let’s first look at its generalusage in both the Old and New Testaments. Generally in the Old Testament, the 4
  5. 5. term salvation concerns physical deliverance or preservation. The major Hebrewverb for salvation – yasha - means help, deliver or save. It is used about 205times in the Bible. It usually occurs in contexts of removing a burden or danger(Exodus 2:17) and can be used of removing someone from the danger of defeat(Joshua 10:6). At other times, the word refers to being liberated or set free(Judges 12:2). Used in civil law, yasha pertains to the obligation of one who hearsthe cry of someone who needs to be saved from mistreatment (Deuteronomy22:27, 28:29 and 2 Samuel 14:4). The Hebrew word appears in many prayerpetitions in reference to war and judicial issues (Psalm 3:7, 20:9, 72:4 and 86:2).The noun speaks of preservation from threatened, impending and perhapsdeserved danger and suffering (Genesis 49:18, 1 Samuel 14:45 and Isaiah 12:3).The New Testament concept of salvation includes most of the elements of theOld Testament concept and also adds spiritual dimensions. The Greek term forsalvation – soteria - (occurring about 40 times in the New Testament) has bothnational and personal aspects. National deliverance is discussed in Luke 1:69.There is personal deliverance from the sea (Acts 27:34) and prison (Philippians1:19), and spiritual and eternal deliverance through repentance and faith in theMessiah (Acts 4:12 and Romans 10:10).Although Jesus used this word “salvation” only once (Luke 19:9), He used manyother expressions to describe salvation. The dramatic change in Zaccheus wasproof of his salvation. The believer today should also demonstrate a change in hislife to confirm this “great salvation” (2 Corinthians 5:17 and Hebrews 2:3).Who is the source of our salvation? What is the history of God’s salvation plan?Why is salvation needed? How is salvation attained? Who is the deliverer or theagent of salvation? What are the results of salvation? These are some of thequestions that we will discuss in this book. II. The Source of SalvationThe source of salvation is God Himself -- the God who created man in His ownimage that He might have fellowship with him throughout eternity. There are threecharacteristics in the nature of God that we must consider in order to understandGod as the source of salvation. • God is holyHe is absolute good - there has never been and never will be any evil thought,action or desire in Him. He is morally perfect. Everything He does in relation toman is for mans good.In Isaiah 6:3, we read about the prophets vision. Isaiah describes a scene inheaven with God sitting on His throne. The angels called out to one anothersaying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty." In contrast to the holiness of God,the prophet sees his own sinfulness and the sinfulness of his nation. He falls downbefore God in fear and shame. God is holy. His holiness reveals and stands 5
  6. 6. against all sin. To see Gods holiness causes man to see the awfulness andterrible filth of sin and to realize sin cannot be tolerated in Gods presence.In Exodus, we read about God standing before Israel in the wilderness on MountSinai. Moses is permitted to come before God on the mountain. However, thepeople are forbidden to come because of their sin. Exodus 19:12 says, "put limitsfor the people around the mountain and tell them, Be careful that you do not goup the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surelybe put to death.” God is holy, and no sin is permitted in His presence.Again in the book of Revelation we are given a glimpse of God on His throne(Revelation 4:8). God is surrounded by thousands of angels along with the savedpersons of all the ages. They are singing the same song as heard in Isaiah --"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." • God is righteousThe Lord God is always right. He always does what is right. Not only is Hepersonally free from evil, He is also in every way opposed to sin.As a righteous God, He is just. Because He is just, He demands justice from menin their relationships with one another. He rewards the righteous and punishes thewrong. He not only judges the actions of men; He also judges their motives anddesires. He always judges correctly because He knows even the thoughts andintents of mens hearts. He judges according to the laws that are written in HisWord.Gods laws are clear, everlasting and personal. They apply to every individual."The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). "The soul who sins is the one who willdie. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guiltof the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and thewickedness of the wicked will be charged against him" (Ezekiel 18:20). Godsrighteousness demands that sin be punished, because all sin is against God. • God is loveThe Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8). Gods dealings with mankind havealways been in love. Let us think about that love.Gods love is universal, reaching to all men of every race and nation. His love isconstant. It does not waver according to the response of men. Gods love doesnot depend upon mans receiving it. It is present because God is present. Perhapsthis can be described by looking at the sun. Sometimes there are clouds that shutout the suns light, but that does not mean that the sun is not shining. In menslives, there are sins, attitudes and habits that shut them off from the awareness ofGods love. However, that doesnt mean that His love is not present.Gods love always seeks the best for man. He rejoices in our victories, grieving inour failures. Gods love is always ready to forgive mans sins and receive him untoHimself. Gods love is giving, not taking. 6
  7. 7. Because He loved, "He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Himshall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).We have not attempted to describe all the characteristics of God. We are onlylooking at these three characteristics of His. [Other characteristics of God will bediscussed in more detail in the book “The Doctrine of the Godhead.”] When wesee them together, they seem to contradict one another. How could a holy Godlove sinners? How could God, as a righteous Judge, forgive?The answer to these questions is not found when these characteristics are seenseparately but when they are seen together as a whole. Gods holiness iscombined with love, and His righteousness is influenced by mercy. A person mayask – how could God, who hates sin and evil, punish sin in His righteousness andyet act in love to the one who committed the sin? The answer to this question isseen in the latter half of a verse we read earlier: "The wages of sin is death, butthe gift of God is eternal life in the Messiah Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).God Himself paid mans debt of sin through His love. Then He righteouslydeclared man free from that debt -- free to live in fellowship with God in Hisholiness. In accepting Jesus payment for his sin, man would be made holy by theholiness of Jesus. He would live His life under the command of the Lord. He wouldno longer walk in sin but in the righteousness of God in Jesus.An amazing thing about salvation is that it was all determined before the creationof the world. The cross was not planned after the fall of man into sin, but longbefore. Before God created man, He knew that man would sin and He plannedhow man could be saved. The Bible speaks of Jesus as “the Lamb that was slainfrom the creation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). John the Baptist greeted Jesusas "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).Jesus became a man and shed His blood on the cross at Calvary so that throughHim man could then have fellowship with God. Salvation began in the heart ofGod. It was assured by the sacrifice of God. It is available today by the work ofGod. Some have explained salvation in the following manner: • God the Father purposed mans salvation in heaven • God the Son provided mans salvation at Calvary • God the Spirit brings and perfects mans salvation today.While there is truth in this statement, it is far from complete and fails to recognizethe oneness of the Godhead. The Bible says - "God was reconciling the world toHimself in the Messiah” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus was filled by the Holy Spiritduring His ministry on earth (Matthew 3:16), led by the Spirit (Mark 1:12), cast outdemons by the power of the Spirit (Matthew 12:28), taught and preached by thepower of the Spirit (Luke 4:18). In Acts 2, we read about the coming of the HolySpirit to lead, empower and train Gods people. He is at work today in everyperson who has experienced Gods salvation through Jesus.Yet Jesus farewell words to His disciples promised, "I am with you always, to thevery end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). Paul, writing to the Gentile believers at 7
  8. 8. Colosse, wrote "The Messiah in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). WhenPaul was facing persecution in Corinth and seeking the Lords advice on what heshould do, Jesus said in a vision to him, "I am with you" (Acts 18:10). Thougheach person of the triune God does His special work, they also work together asone in man’s salvation. Paul, speaking of salvation, says, "it is God who works inyou to will and to act according to His good purpose" (Philippians 2:13).Thus, we see that the salvation of man has come from God and is continuallyenriched and empowered in God. It was planned even before time began. Finally,it was provided in Gods own time to be carried on until the end of time. III. The Need for SalvationIn the beginning God created man in His own image. Man was provided witheverything that he would ever need. He was given authority over all of Godscreation. He walked with God in perfect fellowship and harmony. There was onlyone requirement - he was to live under the authority of God. Although man did notrealize it, living under the authority of God brought only good things to him.However, despite all that God had done for him, man rejected Gods authority andthus rejected God Himself. The fellowship was broken. By choosing his own way,man opened himself to the dominance of the Evil One. Man sinned and his sinseparated him from God. Mans perfect world was destroyed and he was drivenfrom the place God had prepared for him.Mans whole nature is affected by sin, and his weakness is passed down to allgenerations. The result, according to the Word of God, is that "All have sinnedand fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). The Word also states that"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, noone who seeks God….there is no one who does good, not even one" (Romans3:11-13). The domination of sin in the lives of mankind is total.The results of sin in the life of man are many. Some of them are as follows:Separation from God- Man is now separated from God’s leadership, protection,fellowship and salvation. "But your iniquities have separated you from your God;your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:2).Suffering - Much human suffering is due to either our own sin or the sin of others.Before sin came into the world, there was peace and harmony everywhere. Aftertheir sin, God spoke to both Adam and Eve, declaring hardships and sufferingthey would endure as a result of their sin (Genesis 3:16 -19).Death - God said that Adam “must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of goodand evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die" (Genesis 2:17). Paul writes,"The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23) and "You were dead in yourtransgressions and sin" (Ephesians 2:1). 8
  9. 9. Slavery to satan and sin - Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is aslave to sin" (John 8:34).Hopelessness - When you are separated from the God of hope, upon what canyou place your hope? Is there any hope in a stone idol made by human hands orin the promises of an ancestor who lies dead in a grave? Paul reminds theEphesians of the condition in which they were when he says, "Remember that atthat time you were separate from the Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israeland foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in theworld" (Ephesians 2:12).Fear - Sinful man fears facing the danger of the future alone, armed with only hisown power and knowledge. The man separated from God cannot say with David,"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4).Moral and spiritual blindness - Sin brings more sin and the more a person sins,the more he becomes addicted to sin. He is like a person who is taking ahabit-forming drug. He loses sight of reality and morality. He will do anything toobtain his drug. Paul speaks of these kinds of people in Romans 1:18-32. In theirspiritual blindness, they could not recognize the revelation of God, but insteadworshipped idols they made with their own hands. Three times in this passagePaul says, "God gave them over…” (verses 24, 26 and 28). In other words, Godallowed them to continue in their wickedness and sin.Since the fall of man, he has sought to return to God, but in his own ways, whichhave always failed. Man in his sin is unable to escape. He has sought to return toGod through his own good life and deeds, only to fall again because of hispowerlessness to resist satan. Man has sought to reach God through his intellectand understanding.Yet the finite mind of man can never grasp the depths of the infinite mind andheart of God. Besides, knowledge cannot take away sin or pay its penalty. Manhas sought to reach God through religion. He has developed many religions, buteach has been man-made and not God-revealed. Though many religiousteachings have been good, none has reached God.Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Fatherexcept through Me" (John 14:6). In Acts 4:12 we read, "Salvation is found in noone else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we mustbe saved."Mans search for God is caused by his separation from God. Man was created forfellowship with God, and without this fellowship he is incomplete. He is like a blindman, staggering around, feeling with his outstretched hands, searching for God.He is like a drowning man - he needs a Savior, someone who will dive into thewater and pull him out to safety. 9
  10. 10. Man’s need for God is easy to see. There is also a need in the heart of God.Although God is complete in Himself, a God who is love needs someone to whomto express that love. Because of this love, "He gave His one and only Son."Study Questions: 1) What is the main Hebrew verb for salvation and what does it mean? 2) What is the New Testament Greek word for salvation? Did Jesus use it? 3) What does God’s righteousness demand? 4) When did the Lord God determine the plan of salvation? 5) By choosing his own way, to what did man open himself? 6) What are spiritually blind people not able to recognize? IV. The Story of SalvationThe whole of the Bible, whether the Old Testament or the New Testament, looksto the mighty act of redemption of the Messiah. His blood sacrifice is the pricepaid for our “deliverance.” He took our sinful nature upon Himself in order that Hemight satisfy the demands of the Law. His sacrifice is accepted as the payment forthe debt the sinner man or woman owes to God. His death is accepted as the fullpayment for man’s deliverance. God, through the blood of Jesus, saved man.There is a dual idea in the word “redemption”: it refers to deliverance and it refersto the price paid for that deliverance, a ransom. We are redeemed from thepenalty of sin and from the power of satan and evil by the price Jesus paid on thecross for us. We are redeemed to a new freedom from sin, to a new relationship toGod, and to a new life of love by the appropriation of that atonement for our sins.Our Lord’s work of redemption for us involves three things: • It is closely associated with forgiveness, since we receive forgiveness through the redemptive price of Jesus’ death. • It involves justification, since the deliverance establishes us in a restored position of favor before God. • It promises final deliverance (or, salvation) from the power of sin at the coming of the Lord.In this book, we shall call the story of this deliverance “The Story of Salvation.”[Please refer to pages 30 and following for a more detailed explanation of termssuch as “redemption,” “justification,” “atonement,” etc.]A. The Creation and the FallWhen God made the heavens and the earth, they were beautiful, perfect andpure, as only God could create them. But sin entered the world through the pride 10
  11. 11. of satan, and the beautiful creation was destroyed. Sin always destroys. AfterGod’s perfect creation [described in the first chapter of Genesis] sin began todestroy. In the Garden of Eden, through a denial of the word of God and throughsatan’s deception of the woman, our first “parents” fell. When Eve was deceived,Adam chose to die by the side of the woman whom God had created for him.As the Lord came to visit the man and his wife in the cool of the day, He could notfind them (Genesis 3:8 – 9). They were afraid and hid themselves from the Lordbecause they were naked and ashamed. To hide their guilt, they made forthemselves clothing (“coverings” – Genesis 3:7) of fig leaves, but when Godlooked upon the covering, He knew that this “covering” was not sufficient.Human hands cannot weave this type of “covering” for sin (atonement for sin).Therefore, somewhere in the Garden of Eden, the Lord took an innocent animaland [before the eyes of Adam and Eve], God killed that innocent animal.This is the beginning of “The Story of Salvation.” Through the slaughter of aninnocent animal, God took coats of skin and covered over the shame and thenakedness of the man and his wife. This is the first sacrifice, and Almighty GodHimself offered this sacrifice by His own hand.Possibly, when Adam saw the dying life of that innocent animal, and when he sawthe blood stain which soiled the ground, it was his first experience of seeing whatit meant to die because of sin. Thus, the story of salvation [the story of atonementand sacrifice] begins and unfolds throughout the Word of God. Finally, in glory weshall see great throngs of the saints who have washed their robes and made themwhite in the blood of the Lamb. This is “The Story of Salvation.”B. From the Seventh Day in Eden to the Call of AbrahamIn the Garden of Eden, as the Lord covered the nakedness of the man and thewoman, He turned to satan and said, “The Seed (descendant) of this woman,whom you have deceived and through whom you have attempted to destroy thehuman race, will crush your head ” (Genesis 3:15). For centuries, the old rabbisstudied what the Lord God said to satan. Particularly, they studied the phrase “theSeed of the woman.” Seed is masculine - seed belongs to the man. A womandoes not have seed. The old rabbis, not understanding, looked in amazement atthat Word and the promise of God that the Seed of the woman would crushsatan’s head.We now know that the promise relates to the virgin birth and to the long conflictand struggle between the hatred of the devil and the love of God in Jesus theMessiah. It speaks of Jesus at Calvary. Jesus suffered. Satan struck his heel (lastwords of Genesis 3:15). But after that striking, the Messiah defeated once and forall the power of that old serpent, the devil. He crushed his head!As the man Adam and his wife Eve made their first home in an earth cursed fortheir sakes, in the passing of time there were born to them two sons. One wasnamed Cain and the other Abel. In jealousy and great anger, the older brother 11
  12. 12. killed the younger brother. But the seed of God must be preserved. The Lord,therefore, gave Eve another son, named Seth.Seth was a man of faith as Cain was a man of the world. When the children ofSeth [the godly remnant] married the children of Cain [the seed of the world], theresult was a fallen line of descendants that filled the earth with violence. Finally,God said, “I am going to put an end to all people…I am surely going to destroyboth them and the earth” (Genesis 6:13).But a member of the line of Seth found grace in the sight of the Lord. His namewas Noah. To preserve the righteous seed, God told Noah to build an ark and intothat ark of safety, salvation and hope, Noah brought his family. After the passingof the awesome judgment of the flood, the earth once again began its story ofsalvation through the lives of this one man and his three sons.It was not long, however, before the destructiveness of sin began to harm theselect family of God. Instead of carrying out the great commission of the Lord formankind to inhabit the whole earth, the people drew together into the plain ofShinar (Genesis 11:2 – Babylonia). They announced their purpose to build a toweraround which they were to center their civilization and their collective unity.When God looked down and saw the pride of men in their hearts, He confusedtheir speech and “scattered them over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:9).From this “Tower of Babel,” (“Babel” sounds like the Hebrew word for “confused”)the different parts of the human race, not being able to understand each other,scattered in different directions. Then, all the nations of the earth grew out fromthose three great family lines of Noah.C. From the Call of Abraham through the Times of the JudgesWe begin the story of Abraham in a dark day. The whole world had plunged intoterrible idolatry, but God called out this man to leave his home, his place, hiscountry and his family to go into another country. Afterward he would receive thisland for an inheritance. In obedience, Abraham left the Mesopotamian valley andcame as a pilgrim, a stranger and a sojourner into the Promised Land of Canaan.He lived in the land of Canaan and God gave him two sons – Isaac and Ishmael.But the Lord God said to Abraham that Ishmael, the child of the “old nature” andthe son of a slave woman, would not be the promised seed.When Abraham was one hundred years old and when Sarah was ninety years old,God miraculously placed into the arms of the parents the child and seed ofpromise whom they named Isaac. Isaac was the father of two sons, Esau andJacob. The Lord, refusing Esau, chose Jacob, whom He renamed “Israel.”Because of a severe famine in Canaan and because of the presence of Joseph,the son of Jacob, in Egypt, the entire household of Jacob went down to live in theland of the Nile. After many years had passed, a pharaoh came to power in Egyptwho did not know Joseph. The chosen family became slaves to this new ruler of 12
  13. 13. Egypt, and their heavy groaning ascended to the ears of the Lord God in heaven(see Exodus 1 and 2).The Lord, therefore, raised a mighty prophet by the name of Moses to deliver hispeople from slavery to the Egyptians. God brought about this great “deliverance”(or, salvation) by a marvelous miracle called the Passover.For the Lord had said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructiveplague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (Exodus 12:13). Once again, we seethis way of salvation through the blood.After the Lord God delivered the chosen family out of Egypt, He brought them bythe hand of Moses through the dividing of the Red Sea into the Sinai Peninsula, tothe base of Mount Sinai. There for forty days and forty nights Moses was withGod. On Mount Sinai, the Lord gave to Moses the Ten Commandments, thepattern of the tabernacle and the ritual instructions of holy worship. All of thesemarvelous things [in the books of Exodus and Leviticus] portray and prophesy thesacrifice of the Messiah, the Son of God.After the death of Moses, Joshua crossed over the Jordan and completed thewars of conquest. In the first confrontation at Jericho an incident occurred whichwas very important. The scouts sent by Joshua to spy out Jericho were saved bythe faith and the kindness of Rahab. The men of Israel promised life and safety,both for her and her father’s house, if she would tie a scarlet cord in her window.This she faithfully did. When Jericho was delivered into the hands of Israel by themighty act of God, Rahab and her family were “delivered/saved” because of thatscarlet cord which hung down from her window.After the conquest of Canaan, through the military ability and genius of Joshua,we have the story of the judges. The difference between a judge and a king is this:a king gives his throne to his son, but a judge is raised up in a time of crisis and isgiven special gifts and abilities from God for that one period of time. The days ofthe judges ended with the birth of Samuel.D. From the First of the Prophets to the Founding of theKingdomDuring the time of Samuel, the people began to ask for a king. It was not thepurpose of God in the beginning for the children of Israel to have a king over them(Deuteronomy 17:1–20), but He knew the hearts of the children of Israel. And ithurt the heart of the Lord that the request should come in so vain and rebellious away as they presented it to Samuel. But, according to the word and instruction ofGod, Samuel anointed Saul to be king over Israel.In his early days as king over Israel, Saul was a mighty man and carried out thecommands of the Lord, but he soon fell away from the instruction of Samuel andfell into gross disobedience to the will of God. The word of the Lord, therefore,came to Samuel that he should anoint one after God’s own heart. That anointingcame upon a boy who was a shepherd - a son of Jesse by the name of David. 13
  14. 14. E. David and the Kingdoms of Israel and JudahThe first part of David’s life as king of Israel was magnificent. Then, in the veryprime of his life, at the very height of his glory, he turned aside from the will of Godand became soft and indulgent and lustful - much like the kings of surroundingcountries. This brought to David a great tragedy, one by which the name of Godwas blasphemed and has been injured ever since.Nevertheless, God forgave the sin of David and chose him to be the father of thatmarvelous Son [the Messiah] who would sit upon His throne as king forever.A type of that glorious Son of David [later, Jesus the Messiah] was the immediateson of David, called Solomon. Solomon also began his reign gloriously andtriumphantly. However, like his father, Solomon fell into tragic decline. Upon hisdeath, the kingdom was torn in two.Thereafter, the people of God were divided into two kingdoms. The northernkingdom was called the Kingdom of Israel, and the southern kingdom was calledthe Kingdom of Judah. In 722 BC, the ruthless Assyrians took away the northernkingdom of Israel into captivity. In 586 BC, the Babylonians [under the rule of KingNebuchadnezzar] carried away the southern kingdom into captivity. In the days ofthe Babylonian captivity, Jeremiah prophesied in Jerusalem. At the sameapproximate time, Daniel, the prophet-statesman, and Ezekiel, the prophet,comforted and strengthened the people of God in the land of Babylon.Out of the Babylonian captivity came three great establishments by which Godhas blessed our world. First, the Jews were monotheistic - never to be idolatrousagain [“Monotheism” simply means believing in one God only]. Second, thesynagogue came into being, and from the synagogue came the church. Theworship services of the synagogue are similar to Christian worship today. Third,out of the captivity came the canon [or, the books] of the Old Testament. Out oftears and suffering have come great blessings in this story of salvation.F. From the Prophets to the Messiah to the Day of PentecostOut of the agonies of the days of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah came theprophecies by men of God of a more glorious Savior and King whom God wouldsend to His people. When we read a passage like Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53, we arestanding by the cross of the Son of God!As the days passed, the great spiritual leaders of Israel and Judah began tooutline and to prophesy the coming of a Savior, a Redeemer, who would save thepeople from their sins. This coming Savior would bring to them the everlastinghope and righteousness of God as the promised Messiah. This messianic hopebecame stronger and more gloriously received as the centuries passed.Marking the end of the Babylonian captivity, in 539 BC, Cyrus the Persian gavethe people the right to return to their homeland in Judah and to build their holytemple in Jerusalem. A small remnant of the people returned under Zerubbabel, 14
  15. 15. the political leader, and Joshua, the high priest. This holy remnant sought torestore the worship of the true God in Jerusalem and to recreate the political life ofJudah. God’s messengers - Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi – encouraged them.Of the three great prophets of this period of restoration, Zechariah is perhaps thegreatest. Zechariah spoke much about Israel, about the end time, and about theconversion of the people of the Lord. The last prophet, of course, is Malachi. Hedelivered his message of hope and the promise of the Messiah in the general timeperiod of 440–430 BC.The four hundred year period between the Old Testament and the New Testamentmarks the rise of the Hellenistic or Greek Empire. God used Alexander the Greatto spread abroad throughout the civilized world one culture and one language,which made possible the preaching of Jesus to all men everywhere.In that time period also arose the mighty and powerful Roman Empire. WhenAugustus Caesar was the Roman emperor and when Rome was ruling virtuallythe entire world, the great prophecies of Scripture concerning the coming of theMessiah came to pass. The prophecies of Isaiah, Micah, Nathan and Jacob, aswell as the great promise of God Almighty to Eve in the Garden of Eden came topass. In the “Seed” of the woman and through the “Seed” of Abraham all thefamilies of the earth are to be blessed. The Savior, the promised Messiah, is to beborn into the world. “The Story of Salvation” has now led us to the birth of Himwho has come to save and to redeem the human race from its fallen state.In His ministry, Jesus began early to teach His disciples that He should suffer anddie. When He was transfigured (Matthew 17: 1- 8), there appeared Moses andElijah, talking with Him about His death, which He should accomplish inJerusalem. When Mary of Bethany anointed Him, He said it was for His burial.When the Greeks came to see Him, He said, “But I, when I am lifted up from theearth, will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32).At the Last Supper Jesus told His disciples, “This is My body given for you; do thisin remembrance of Me” (Luke 22: 19). Then He said, “This cup is the newcovenant in My blood” (Luke 22:20). Before He went to the cross, He said, “Mysoul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38) as Helabored earnestly in prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. Finally, when on thecross, He bowed His head and died. He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).When we proclaim the cross and the shed blood of the Messiah, when weannounce the sacrificial death of Jesus - we are preaching the meaning of Hiscoming into the world. The sacrifice of the Messiah finished the great redemptiveplan and purpose of God in the earth. This is “The Story of Salvation.”After the resurrection of our Lord, He gave the Great Commission to the apostles(Matthew 28:18 – 20). Then, after His ascension into heaven, the Lord poured outthe Holy Spirit upon His church in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Thereafter,the disciples of Jesus, those who preached the message of the Messiah, began tomake known throughout the earth the Good News of our hope and salvation. 15
  16. 16. G. The Preaching of PaulThe letters of Paul are divided into four distinct groups. They are as follows: The first group he wrote from Athens and Corinth, during his second missionary journey. They are 1 and 2 Thessalonians. He wrote the second group of letters during his third missionary journey. While he was in Ephesus, he wrote 1 Corinthians. Somewhere in Macedonia between Ephesus and Corinth, he wrote 2 Corinthians. Then, either in Antioch or on his way to Antioch, he wrote Galatians and Romans. Therefore, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians and Romans center about the city of Ephesus. The third group of letters Paul wrote during his first Roman imprisonment. They are Philippians, Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians. The fourth and last group of his letters, which were written after his first Roman imprisonment, was 1Timothy, Titus and 2 Timothy, called the “Pastoral Letters.”In all Paul’s letters there is the constant theme of the Messiah’s redemptive loveand His sacrificial death. Paul writes of His shed blood and the apostle explains tothe churches “The Story of Salvation.”H. The Revelation and the End of the AgeWe come now to the conclusion of the Bible. On the Isle of Patmos, a small islandseveral kilometers southwest of Ephesus, the apostle John was exiled to die.While on the island of Patmos, the Lord appeared to John in a glorious vision. Thevision is called the Revelation, that is, “the uncovering,” or, “the unveiling.” Thebook of Revelation is therefore the uncovering of Jesus the Messiah in His glory,in His majesty and in His kingdom.After the vision of the exalted and glorified Messiah in chapter 1 and after theprophetic words concerning the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3, we have theword that John went through an open door into heaven (Revelation 4:1-2). WhileJohn the apostle was in the spirit and with the Lord in heaven, there are pouredout upon the earth the judgments of Almighty God in a period of time known asThe Great Tribulation.The judgments are described in the opening of the seven seals, the seventrumpets and the seven bowls. In those dark days John sees a vision inRevelation, chapter 7, concerning the redeemed of the Lord in glory. Their robeshave been washed and made white by the “blood of the Lamb” (verse 14). Theseare the ones who have come out of the Great Tribulation. This is the final chapterin “The Story of Salvation.” This story began with the blood of covering in the 16
  17. 17. Garden of Eden and finds its ultimate and final consummation in the blood-washed multitude of believers standing before the throne of God in glory.The book closes with the wonderful message of the hope and salvation we havein the personal coming and presence of the Lord Jesus Himself. This is “The Storyof Salvation” that leads to glory. V. The Three Tenses (Aspects or Stages) of SalvationSalvation is a central theme of the Bible, because God desires that every one ofus be saved from sin (Luke 19:10, Romans 5:8 and 1 Timothy 2:4). The Book ofRomans indicates that we can think about salvation in terms of three tenses: Past tense - Salvation can be understood as a finished work in the past. If you have placed faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross for your sin, then you have been saved (past tense). From that moment on, your eternal destiny was secure, because the Messiah’s atonement has made you righteous, or free to stand before God without guilt or penalty for your sins. To use Paul’s word, you have been “justified” (Romans 5:1, 8–9). That is, a complete, one-time work of God’s grace has transformed you from a condemned sinner to a righteous child of God. That’s why Paul could tell the Philippian jailer to believe on the Lord Jesus the Messiah and he would be saved (Acts 16:31).The first aspect of salvation is presented as a specific happening at a specifictime. Paul said, "By grace you have been saved" (Ephesians 2:8). At the particulartime you believed, you were saved from the penalty of sin. This aspect ofsalvation is seen as a past action. Present tense – Salvation can also be understood as an ongoing process in the present. Have you ever wondered how you can be saved from sin, yet still sin? The believers at Rome struggled with this problem (Romans 6:1–2), and so did Paul (Romans 7:15–20). Like him, you may cry out to be set free from ongoing sin (Romans 7:24). The Messiah’s atonement again provides the answer (Romans 8:1–3). Furthermore, the Holy Spirit provides grace and power to overcome temptation and deal with what comes your way (Romans 5:3–5, 6:12–14 and 8:2, 9–17). Thus, as you trust Jesus on a daily basis, you are being saved (present tense) in the midst of trials and temptations. This life-long process, called “sanctification,” involves the development of a holy lifestyle (Titus 2:11–14). Whereas justification saves you from the penalty of sin (eternal death), sanctification saves you from the power of sin, so that you become more and more like the Lord Jesus.Then, in the second aspect, salvation is presented as a process. Those in theprocess of perishing are sinking farther and farther under the domination of satan.We who are being saved are becoming more and more like Jesus. The believer isbeing saved from the power of sin. This aspect of salvation is a present action. Future tense – Salvation can likewise be understood as a hope to hold onto in the future. In describing salvation, the Book of Romans looks ahead to an ultimate outcome. Paul says that you will “share in His glory” [with 17
  18. 18. Jesus the Messiah] (Romans 8:17). That is, you will be saved (future tense) in the sense that you will be completely perfected when you finally stand before God. You will be fully delivered from judgment, removed from sin’s presence, restored to the likeness of God in which you were created, and enter into eternal life with God.This is the eternal dimension of salvation called the believer’s hope of glory(Romans 5:2, 8:18, Ephesians 1:18 and Colossians 1:27). As a result, God’sactivity, begun with His choice of believers for salvation from the beginning,reaches its glorious conclusion (Romans 8:29).Finally, in the third aspect, salvation is presented as something that will becompleted in the future. In heaven the believer will be completely conformed tothe image of the Messiah. He will be completely saved from the presence andinfluence of sin. This aspect of salvation is seen as a future action.Following Jesus involves all three tenses, or aspects, of salvation. By faith wehave been saved from God’s wrath. By faith, we are being set free from sin. Andby faith we look forward to being made complete in Jesus when we go “home” tobe with Him. Therefore, in very simple terms, salvation in the Messiah iscommonly stated in terms of three tenses such as the following: Salvation past—deliverance from the guilt and penalty of sin Salvation present—deliverance from the power of sin Salvation future—deliverance from the presence of sin.Note: For further comments about the “Three Tenses of Salvation,” please refer toAppendix A on page 43.Study Questions: 1) To what mighty act does the whole Bible look? 2) To what does the promise of Genesis 3:15 relate? According to that verse, what has the Messiah done to the devil? 3) Ishmael is called the child of “what”? Isaac is called the child of “what”? 4) What is the difference between a king and a judge? When did the days of the judges end? 5) What happened in 722 BC and in 586 BC? Where did Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel prophesy? 6) What finished the great redemptive plan and purpose of God on this earth? 7) The book of Revelation tells us about the uncovering of what? 8) If “justification” saves from the penalty of sin, from what does “sanctification” save us? VI. The Conditions of SalvationAlthough salvation is provided for all by the free, undeserved grace of God, eachperson must do certain things before he can receive this gift. These conditions do 18
  19. 19. not place limits on who can receive salvation, but they prepare anyone who wantsit to receive it. When these conditions are met, the way is open for the new birth.There are three fundamental conditions for salvation. We shall now carefully studythese three conditions for salvation and the new birth in the Messiah.First Condition – Confession of SinThe first condition for salvation is confession of our sin. We are all sinners andmust admit that and confess that. The Apostle John writes: "If we confess oursins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from allunrighteousness" (I John 1:9).Confession is more than merely naming shortcomings and wrong-doings - it is aheartfelt realization that those actions are wrong and are against God. Confessioninvolves an awareness that these sins must be admitted both to one’s self and toGod in order for them to be forgiven. Confession is not admission in broadgeneralities - it is personal and specific.We also confess the Lordship of Jesus as the only means of salvation. Paul linksconfession with belief when he writes, "If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus isLord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will besaved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with yourmouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10).Second Condition - RepentanceThe second condition for salvation – repentance – is closely connected withconfession. In repentance one first becomes aware of his sins and is willing toadmit them before God. Then, with Gods help he turns away from them and fromthe kind of life that produced the sin. Repentance is a military term that means"about face," or moving in the opposite direction. John the Baptist emphasizedrepentance in his ministry. Jesus said, "Unless you repent, you too will all perish"(Luke 13:3,5).There are three essential elements in repentance. In order to properly understandthe full meaning of repentance, let’s examine these three elements. The first element of repentance is simply to understand our condition as a sinner. We understand the guilt of sin and the condemnation that it brings. This is often referred to as "conviction of sin." This conviction comes about through the work of the Holy Spirit, Who often uses the truths presented in the Gospel to bring conviction. The second element involved in repentance is that the love of sin dies in ones heart. A person may see himself clearly as a sinner and even understand the horror of sin. Yet, unless the love of sin and its pleasures dies in his heart, there will be no lasting difference in his life. 19
  20. 20. The third element of repentance is turning away from the former life of sin. When the love of sin dies in ones heart, it is replaced by an intense dislike toward sin and a hatred for its pleasures. This turning away from sin must be coupled with a turning to Jesus and the new life He brings.We see that repentance is fundamentally a change of the direction of ones life.This change is from within and will influence all ones thoughts and actions. It iscaused by an intense dislike of sin and its resulting lifestyle. It is more than justfear of punishment.Third Condition – FaithThe third condition for salvation is faith. Faith is a word that is often used withwidely different meanings. As in repentance, faith also has different elements.Faith includes at least three elements that are essential for our understanding.These three elements of faith are as follows: Acceptance - both intellectually and emotionally. Salvation comes through the acceptance of the Messiah as the Son of God and the only way of salvation. Jesus said - “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). He is the eternal Son, but He is also one with the Father (John 10:30). Faith is accepting His willingness to receive me with all my sin and failures. Faith is accepting Jesus ability and power to overcome my sinful nature, deliver me from the punishment of sin and give me eternal life. Surrender - A man must surrender his sins and wrong-doings to Jesus so that Jesus might take them upon Himself. A man must also surrender his life [and all that he has and is] to the Lord so that He may rule his life.Paul said, "For to me, to live is the Messiah" (Philippians 1:21). He also said, "Ihave been crucified with the Messiah and I no longer live, but the Messiah lives inme. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me andgave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). Commitment – this means total commitment of oneself to the Lordship of Jesus, to His Word, to His work and to His will. Faith that falls short of total commitment is not acceptable to the Lord, and is an insult to His total sacrifice on the cross."Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyonewho loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone whodoes not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:37-38).Jesus would not accept the rich young ruler unless he gave up the things in lifethat had been most important to him, and totally committed himself to the Lord(Matthew 19:16 – 30). Neither will He accept a faith today that does not includetotal commitment. 20
  21. 21. Although all three of these conditions are not mentioned in every instance in theBible, they are definitely present throughout the New Testament as the conditionsfor salvation. Some people want to add other conditions for salvation, such asgood works or baptism. Although baptism followed salvation in almost everycase in Acts, it was not a condition of salvation.Those who add baptism as a condition for salvation usually state Peters reply atPentecost to the question: "Brothers, what shall we do?" Peters reply was,"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah forthe forgiveness of your sins" (Acts 2:37 - 38). There is no other place in Scripturewhere baptism is linked to salvation. Baptism, however, is practiced after salvationas a means of identification with Jesus and His church. Baptism is a picture of asalvation already experienced – not a condition of salvation to be gained.When one makes good works a condition of salvation, he shows that he does notunderstand the meaning of faith. Good works are a proof and a product of thefaith that brings salvation, not the condition of faith. Paul writes to the Ephesianchurch, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not fromyourselves, it is the gift of God - not by [good] works, so that no one can boast"(Ephesians 2:8-9). Paul also wrote to Titus, "He saved us, not because ofrighteous things we had done, but because of His mercy" (Titus 3:5).Confession of sin, repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus – these are the threefundamental conditions of salvation. We must correctly and accurately teach thesethree and add no other conditions. To add other conditions would be un-Biblical. VII. The Extent of SalvationThere are three basic questions that we need to consider concerning salvation:First Question: To whom is salvation offered? Just as God is the Creator of allmen, He also loves all men and offers all men His gift of salvation. Considercarefully all of these Scripture verses that point to this wonderful offer of salvation: Jesus says (John 3:16): "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Peter writes (2 Peter 3:9): "The Lord…is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Paul writes (1 Timothy 2:4): "God… wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” John writes (John 1:12): "To all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God." John also writes (John 3:36): "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life." 21
  22. 22. Jesus invites (Matthew 11:28): "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."Romans 10:13 states: "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will besaved." Gods salvation is offered to all men and women of all nations, at all times.The simple answer is this: salvation is offered to all who will trust Jesus.Second Question: What does salvation mean?Let us look at some words that are used to describe salvation. The basic worddescribing salvation is probably the word “life.” "Life" is in contrast to death."Eternal" and "everlasting" speak of a life that never ends but goes on forever andever. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the resurrection and the Life.Eternal life is not only life without end. It describes the depth and quality of thatlife. It is the quality of life that is like Gods. Paul describes this life in Galatians5:22-23 as he describes the life characterized by the fruit of the Holy Spirit.Then there is the word "light." Light is in contrast to darkness. "Darkness" speaksof things such as ignorance, fear, evil, superstition and doubt. The “light” exposesand conquers these areas of darkness. Jesus called Himself the Light of theworld. A life lived in His Light is a life that has direction and purpose.There is also the word “hope.” Our "living hope" speaks of a life lived withexpectancy and faith in the Lord Jesus. Romans 5:5 clearly states that asbelievers our hope will not disappoint us. God’s Word (Hebrews 3:6) tells us tohold on to this hope in the Lord.Thus, the answer to the second question asked above is that salvation meanseternal life in Jesus who is our living hope. This is a life in the light, with realpurpose and direction.Third Question: Can we be certain that we are saved and will be saved forever?The security of the salvation that God offers is seen in the nature of God Himself.He is absolutely trustworthy. What He says can be trusted. He Himself assures usthat our salvation is secure. Let us examine some important Bible references.When Moses made his final speech to Israel, he reminded the people of all thatGod had done for them. Then Moses said - "Be strong and courageous. Do not beafraid or terrified because of them [their enemies], for the Lord your God goes withyou; He will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).Jesus Himself promised in Matthew 28:20 - "I am with you always, to the very endof the age." Earlier during His earthly ministry, Jesus had said to the Jewsgathered around Him one day in Jerusalem:"I give them [His sheep] eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one cansnatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greaterthan all; no one can snatch them out of My Fathers hand" (John 10:28 – 29). 22
  23. 23. The apostle Paul speaks of the security of the salvation given by God when hewrites to the believers in Ephesus: "Having believed, you were marked in Him witha seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritanceuntil the redemption of those who are God’s possession" (Ephesians 1:13 -14).Think about the “picture” that is painted of salvation in these verses that we havejust studied. The man who places his life in Jesus is held with the hand of theMessiah tightly closed around him. Over the hand of Jesus comes the strong handof Almighty God. Then the unbreakable seal of the Holy Spirit “seals” (or, covers)the hand of God. What a beautiful picture of certainty and security!No wonder Paul could write with such assurance to the Roman believers:"Who shall separate us from the love of the Messiah? Shall trouble or hardship orpersecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ….No, in all these thingswe are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced thatneither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor thefuture, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in the Messiah Jesus ourLord" (Romans 8:35, 37 - 39).As the apostle sat in prison and wrote his last letter before his death to youngTimothy, he said: "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He isable to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day" (2 Timothy 1:12).We also see the security of salvation in the words used to describe this life thatwe as believers in Jesus have: "eternal," "everlasting," "unending," "new birth,""new creation," etc. Jude, Jesus younger half brother who came to faith afterJesus death and resurrection, wrote these words in his letter:"To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before Hisglorious presence without fault and with great joy…" (Jude 24).This eternal security in God gives us peace and comfort and delivers us from fear,anxiety and worry forever. Therefore, we clearly understand from the Lord’sperfect Word the answer to the third question – yes, we can be certain that weare saved and will be saved forever. VIII. The Purpose of SalvationWhen we look at the salvation for which God has paid such a high price, we mustask ourselves two questions: "Why?" and "For what purpose?"Let’s first consider the question “Why?” Surely, no one could have blamed God ifHe had destroyed the world because of man’s wickedness. Instead of doing so,He allowed the cross to happen. Why did He allow His only Son to suffer suchgreat pain and humiliation at the hands of the jeering and laughing crowd? Why 23
  24. 24. did He forsake His Son, instead of turning His back on man whose sins Jesusbore? The answer is simple: love. Yet this love is not simple, rather it is a love sodeep that men will spend eternity learning all its meaning.Mankind’s universal need for salvation is one of the clearest teachings of theBible. This need goes back to man’s removal from the Garden of Eden (pleasesee Genesis 3). After the fall, man’s life was marked by strife and difficulty, as wellas a loss of divine purpose. He was oppressed by the evil one. Increasingly,corruption and violence came to dominate his world (Genesis 6:11-13). When Goddestroyed the world with the Flood, He also performed the first act of salvation bysaving Noah and his family. This action was a symbol or a pattern of that fullsalvation which we may receive in the Messiah (1 Peter 3:18-22).Concerning the second question: What is Gods purpose in our salvation? It isinspiring to know that the great God Almighty, the Creator of all, has a purposeand hope, not just for mankind in general, but for each individual man and woman.It is important that we understand His purpose.The central Old Testament experience and picture of salvation is the Exodus(Exodus 12:40-14:31), when God redeemed and freed His people to a destinybeyond their grasp (Exodus 13:3-16). The prophets, however, declared that thefull realization of God’s purpose of salvation would involve a coming Savior andthe promise of a completely new age (Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and 65:17-25).The doctrine of salvation reached its fulfillment in the death of Jesus the Messiahon our behalf. His mission was to save the world from sin and the wrath of God(Matthew 1:21, John 12:47 and Romans 5:9). His completed earthly ministrybrought salvation as a promised availability opened to us through His death andresurrection (Mark 10:24 - 27 and Luke 19:9-10).The apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 1:18 - 19:"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you mayknow the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance inthe saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe."In this verse Paul not only states the fact that God has a purpose for every man,but also that Gods power is available to carry out that purpose. The power isfurther explained in Romans 8:28:"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,who have been called according to His purpose." The purpose is explained in thefollowing verse. He wants us to "….be conformed to the likeness of His Son"(Romans 8:29). Therefore, it seems clear that Gods purpose through Hissalvation is that we might be like His dear Son Jesus. This purpose is carriedout in three areas: The first purpose of salvation is fellowship with God. As has already been discussed, God created man so that Ho might have fellowship with him. God walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve. Man was not just an 24
  25. 25. object of Gods creation. Instead, man was the crown of that creation as he was created in the likeness and nature of God.How wonderful that fellowship must have been as God and Adam named theanimals. How it must have pleased the heart of God to see the man and womanthat He had created. How much they must have enjoyed walking together withGod in the garden He had made for them. Then Adam and Eve sinned and theirfellowship with God was broken.Sin broke the heart of God, because He could no longer have this relationshipwith mankind. He must have wept at the suffering sin was bringing upon the manHe loved. He saw mans useless attempts to restore this fellowship that alwaysended in failure. In the salvation He brought to man, God restored this fellowship. The second purpose of salvation is service. God did not save us just to have fellowship with Him, but also that we might serve Him. The life of a believer is a life of service. We are to be like Jesus who "did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). The Messiahs life should teach us what the life of a servant is like.In Matthew 20:26, Jesus reminds His disciples that if they want to be great in HisKingdom, they must be servants. From the moment of salvation man must beginto serve both the person of God and the purposes of God. Paul states inEphesians 2:10, "For we are God’s workmanship, created in the Messiah Jesus todo good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."We serve Him by living a godly life. This kind of life happens when His Spirit is atwork within us, enabling us to do the will of God. He is bearing His fruit in our life."The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self control" (Galatians 5:22-23).We serve Him as we serve His church. Here, again, the Holy Spirit helps usthrough His gifts. These gifts are discussed in 1Corinthians 12 and 14, as well asin Romans 12 and Ephesians 4.We serve Him through obedience to His commands. By this, we express our loveto Him. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command" (John 14:15).We serve Him as we carry His Word of salvation to others. We know Jesuscommand in Matthew 28:19 to “go and make disciples of all nations.” We oftenquote from Acts 1:8 that we are to be His witnesses, even “to the ends of theearth.” Do we serve Him by witnessing as we should? He said, "You did notchoose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that willlast" (John 15:16).Note: The New Testament often calls those who have been saved "servants" ofGod. However, in the new relationship that salvation brings, we have become Hissons and daughters. "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’schildren. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs withthe Messiah…." (Romans 8:16-17). We serve God not only as slaves because He 25
  26. 26. owns us or even as servants for a reward. But we serve as children out of love forour Father and for the advancement of His Kingdom of which we are heirs. The third purpose of our salvation is that we may glorify God. It is interesting as we read the first fourteen verses of Ephesians 1 that the term "to the praise of His glory" is repeated three times. Our life and our service are to bring glory to God.Jesus tells us, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your gooddeeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). He also says, "This is toMy Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be Mydisciples" (John 15:8).Let us look again at Ephesians 2:10 where the Bible calls us "His workmanship."Here, Paul is painting a picture of a wood carver who patiently works on a piece ofwood. He has seen something beautiful in that uncut wood. He takes it and chipsaway the bark, and for hours and days he works at making it a piece of art.Before, the wood was useful only to be burned, but when it is finished, the makerwill display it for everyone to see. When others come by and see it some peoplewill say what a fine piece it is, but most of the comments will be about the skill ofthe one who made it.In the same way, God has taken the life of a person who was headed for the firesof hell. He has seen something worthwhile in the midst of all our sinfulness. He isbusy molding that life and refining it to be something beautiful. It is on display nowand throughout eternity "to the praise of His glory."Study Questions: 1) What is the first condition for salvation? 2) What is repentance? What are its three elements? 3) What are the three elements of faith? What type of commitment does the Lord want from us? 4) To whom is salvation offered? May we add conditions for salvation? 5) How is the security of our salvation seen in the nature of God Himself? 6) When God saved Noah and his family, it was a pattern of what? 7) The central Old Testament experience and picture of salvation is what? 8) Name four ways by which we serve the Lord God. IX. The Individual in SalvationJesus taught that God saves and delivers individuals as well as nations. Thiswas a radically new thought in the Jewish world. Yet the doctrine of personalsalvation was the heart of Christian teaching.The early believers identified themselves with Israel - God’s chosen people. Theybelieved that Jesus’ coming and His ministry fulfilled God’s promise to thepatriarchs (Matthew 2:6, Luke 1:68 and Acts 5:31). They believed that God had 26
  27. 27. established a new and better covenant with Jesus’ followers (2 Corinthians 3:6,Hebrews 7:22 and 9:15).The early church believed that the Lord had established His new “Israel of God”(see Galatians 6:16) on the basis of personal salvation rather than family descent.His church was a spiritual nation that transcended all cultural and nationalheritages. Anyone who placed his faith in God’s new covenant by surrendering hislife to Jesus became Abraham’s spiritual descendant. Thus, this spiritualdescendant of Abraham was a part of the “new Israel” (Matthew 8:11, Luke13:28–30, Romans 4:9–25, Galatians 3–4 and Hebrews 11–12).The individual is of great importance to God. In Luke 15, Jesus tells threeparables emphasizing the importance of the individual. In the parable of the lostsheep, the shepherd left the 99 sheep safely in their pen and went out andsearched until he found the lost sheep. In the parable of the lost coin, the womanlooked for one coin until she found it. In the parable of the lost son, the fatherwaited for that one boy to come home. When the son returned, he was forgiven --although he was unworthy -- and restored to his place within the family.In Luke 8, we read about Jesus leaving the crowds of people around Him andcrossing the Sea of Galilee where He ministered and delivered a man possessedby satan. God changed the direction of Pauls second missionary journey by thecall of the one man from Macedonia.Each individual must accept Gods salvation for himself. Parents cannot do this fortheir children. Husbands cannot do this for their wives, or wives for theirhusbands. Each individual must stand before the judgment throne of God forhimself. Parents can create an atmosphere where their children will more easilyunderstand about God and His salvation, but each person must make his or herown choice. He can only be saved by his own faith. X. The Pictures of SalvationThe salvation of man has always been the plan and purpose of God. He haspursued this plan throughout the history of man. Salvation was preached, picturedand promised in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. We havealready discussed some of the promises and the preaching of salvation. Let usnow look at the pictures of salvation that are presented through the ceremoniesof the Old Testament and the church ordinances of the New Testament.The first picture in the Old Testament is that of the Passover lamb. The Lordinstituted this ceremony at the time the Israelites were led out of Egypt by Moses.God had proved Himself and His power to Pharaoh through nine plagues – everyone connected with Moses request for Israel to be allowed to leave Egypt.Each time Pharaoh had agreed to release the children of Israel. But each time hewould harden his heart and change his mind. Finally, God’s tenth (His last) plaguewas announced by Moses - Gods angel of death was to come across the land ofEgypt and cause the first-born male in every family to die (Exodus 11:1 –10). 27
  28. 28. In preparation for that day, Moses ordered the people to sacrifice a perfect lamband to place its blood on the doorframes of their houses. When the angel came tothe homes of the children of Israel and saw the blood on the doorframes, Hewould pass over that house, and all in it would be saved (Read Exodus 12:1 – 30).This was a picture of what happened almost 1500 years later. Jesus became thePassover Lamb and His blood became a sign over the hearts “door” of all thosewho believe and entrust their lives to Him. Gods judgment of death on sin wouldpass over those who believe, because they had been saved through the shedblood of the Messiah (Romans 3:25, 5:9).The second picture in the Old Testament is the sacrifice of an animal on theDay of Atonement (described in Leviticus 16, especially verses 15-22). The goatwas killed and its blood was sprinkled on the altar. People believed that by theshedding of the animals blood, the sins of men could be forgiven and atonementcould be made. However, each year there needed to be a new sacrifice.The animal to be sacrificed must be without any blemishes, scars or scratches. Ithad to be perfectly formed and in good health. Only the best was acceptable tothe Lord God. The animal sacrifices pointed to the promised Lamb of God whowas to come and be sacrificed once and for all (Hebrews 7:27). In His sacrifice onthe cross, Jesus gave His life and shed his blood for the sins of mankind for allages. John the Baptist openly prophesied concerning the Messiah when helooked at Jesus and said “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36) God had clearlyrevealed to John this second picture pointing to the Lord Jesus.The third picture in the Old Testament, which we also see in Leviticus 16, is thatof the scapegoat. God commanded this Day of Atonement ceremony while thechildren of Israel were still in the wilderness. The priest laid both of his hands onthe head of a live goat. Then he confessed the sins of the people. After that, thegoat was driven out of the camp. He was driven out into the wilderness away fromthe people. This pictures the forgiveness and removal of sin that comes throughconfession of sin and the acceptance of Gods salvation in Jesus the Messiah.An interesting parallel Scripture is found in Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east isfrom the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”Now let’s turn to the New Testament where we discover that the two ordinancesthat are given perfectly picture salvation. [Note: An “ordinance” can be defined as“an act that helps us to remember.” A different concept is that of a “sacrament.” A“sacrament” can be defined as “an act that brings salvation.” Naturally, evangelicalbelievers hold to the church ordinances, as opposed to the church sacraments.]The first ordinance we’ll discuss is baptism. Baptism completely pictures man’ssalvation in that it shows both Gods part and mans part. In baptism, we see thepicture of the death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah that is the basis of oursalvation. When man is immersed (or, “buried”) in the water, he pictures his owndeath to sin, burial by faith in Jesus and his resurrection into eternal life. This newlife is purchased through the sacrifice of the Messiah on the cross and is to be 28
  29. 29. controlled by Him. The “new creation” honors Jesus throughout eternity (Romans6:1 – 10, 2 Corinthians 5: 17, Ephesians 4: 22 – 24 and Colossians 2:12).The church’s second ordinance - the Lords Supper - also pictures our salvation.It pictures the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross that we might be saved. Itreminds us of His suffering and His humiliation as He was nailed to the cross. Itreminds us that with His broken body and shed blood, He paid the penalty for oursin on the cross. It also pictures the new relationship we have with God. When wedrink the wine and eat the bread, we take it into our lives. It becomes a part of us.(Matthew 26: 26 – 30, Mark 14: 22 – 26, Luke 22:19 – 20 and Philippians 2:8)In the same way, the Messiah (from the moment that we received Him and wereborn again) became a part of our lives. By His indwelling Holy Spirit, He now liveswithin our hearts where He strengthens and guides us as He provides us with Hiseternal salvation (John 1:12, Romans 8:9 – 17). His life is now our life.In summary, it is no wonder that in the New Testament churches these twoordinances were often observed. They give a beautiful picture of our salvation.They serve to remind Gods people of the love, the provisions and the newrelationship they have in the Lord Jesus (also read 1 Corinthians 11:23 – 29). XI. The Results of Rejecting this SalvationHebrews 10:26-29 states a truth, then asks a disturbing question:"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of thetruth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and ofraging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law ofMoses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How muchmore severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled theSon of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of thecovenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?"In Romans 1:20, Paul writes that "men are without excuse." The consequence ofrejecting Gods love and salvation is selecting Gods judgment and wrath. It is notthe purpose of this book to dwell upon the subject of Gods judgment on sin, buteach one of us must be aware of what awaits those who are outside of Godssalvation.In Romans 6:23 Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death." What does thismean? How are men who are outside of the Messiah “dead”? The meaning of thisdeath is spiritual death and hell. The consequences of rejection, however, can beseen in this life as well as in hell. Some of the consequences are as follows: First, when man rejects salvation, he faces the temptations of satan without any help outside of himself. The purpose of satan is always to destroy.I Peter 5:8 reads, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowlsaround like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 29
  30. 30. Most men do not intend to do evil, but they just cannot resist the temptations.Without Jesus, man must face them alone. Second, when man rejects salvation, he loses all true direction in life. He becomes like a bottle floating in the ocean that is swept back and forth by the waves. His direction in life depends upon the emotions of the moment, or the desire of the flesh. Third, when man rejects salvation, he continues to live in sin and reaps its results. Sin causes broken relationships. It is the source of prejudice, injustice and hatred. Sin not only separates man from God, it also alienates man from his fellowman. Fourth, when man rejects salvation, he lives a life in constant fear of what the future may bring. He fears demonic spirits and he also fears Gods judgment. He fears life and death. There is no real peace without the Lord.In death, the results of rejecting God’s salvation are well documented in the Bible.In the book of Revelation, John was given a glimpse of the “last days.” He wrotethe words from God describing what he saw as follows:"Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and skyfled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead,great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Anotherbook was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according towhat they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead thatwere in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and eachperson was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades werethrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyones namewas not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire"(Revelation 20:11-15).Jesus used the Greek word "Gehenna" to describe hell. This was the name of thegarbage pit of Jerusalem where the fires continually burned in the midst of all therottenness of mens waste. In Mark 9:48, Jesus described hell as the place “wheretheir worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (this is a quotation fromIsaiah 66:24; also see Isaiah 1:31). [See Appendix C for a fuller description of theterm “Gehenna.”]The Messiah also related the story of a rich man who rejected God in his life hereon this earth. When the rich man died he went to hell. This man looked intoheaven and saw the former beggar who used to sit beside his gate. The rich manpleaded with Abraham that the beggar "dip the tip of his finger in water and coolmy tongue, because I am in agony in this fire" (Luke 16:19-31).Hear the words of John in Revelation 21:8: "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, thevile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, theidolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This isthe second death." 30
  31. 31. There are two other characteristics of hell we need to see. In hell there is not onlyseparation from God, but also separation from all the good that God brings. Itis a place of evil. No comfort enters hell. In Luke 16, the rich man asked for help.God explained to him that there was “a great chasm” between heaven and hellthat no man could cross. Hell offers no second chance, no release and nohope. The doors of hell are forever closed.The Bible speaks of Jesus as the Advocate -- One who is with the Father and“who speaks to the Father in our defense” (1 John 2:1). He not only passes thebeliever’s prayers on to the Father and represents the believer in the courts ofheaven, but He stands beside the believer at the time of judgment.When a man refuses the Advocates counsel in this life here on earth, he alsorefuses His counsel at the time of judgment. That person will stand alone, withoutany defense, at the judgment seat of God. He will be judged according to hissins. His sentence is death -- hell forever, without reprieve. The Bible says, "Manis destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). XII. The Culmination of SalvationPaul wrote these words: "Being confident of this, that He who began a good workin you will carry it on to completion until the day of the Messiah Jesus"(Philippians 1:6).The work that God has begun in man is the work of salvation. It began at themoment man opened his heart in faith to Jesus the Messiah. This work of Godhas brought a change in mens lives, but the change will not be complete until"that day." Paul uses this expression [“that day”] on several occasions, and itusually refers to the day that the Lord Jesus returns. He expected the secondcoming to happen in his lifetime, but it did not. When, then, is the day that Godswork of salvation will be completed in each man? There are really two answers. The first answer - on the day of a mans physical death, God’s work of salvation will be completed in him. At that time his spirit separates from his physical body and ascends to the place where God and the Messiah dwell.Jesus said to the thief on the cross, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with Mein paradise" (Luke 23:43). The body, with all its weaknesses and imperfections,will perish and return to the dust from which it was made. But mans spirit standsin the presence of his Lord and Gods work in mans salvation is complete.John, writing of "that day," also expected it to happen in his lifetime. However, hiswords speak more of the event of being in Gods presence than of the time itwould happen. "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will behas not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall belike Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2).The saved/redeemed man will live with his God until the return of the Messiah toearth. On that day, he will be united with his immortal [or, resurrected] body. "In a 31
  32. 32. flash, in the twinkling of an eye...the dead will be raised imperishable, and we willbe changed" (1 Corinthians 15:52). The second answer – This answer is for those who are alive when Jesus returns. They, too, shall see His coming and go to meet Him in the air. Their salvation will be completed (perfected) as they are drawn bodily up from this earth to be with Him.Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers concerning the coming of Jesus:"For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with thevoice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in theMessiah will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caughtup together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will bewith the Lord forever" (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).“The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying,‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on apregnant woman, and they will not escape" (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).Jesus had much to say about His return to this earth. He told His disciples someof the signs that will show that the time for His coming is near. For example, inpassages such as Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21:6 – 36, we read that theLord Jesus told His disciples: in those last days…. There shall be wars and rumors of wars Nations shall rise against nations There shall be famines and earthquakes and great times of difficulty The love of most will grow cold There will be great persecution There will come many false prophets Much lawlessness shall be seen among the nations Jerusalem shall be surrounded by armies The gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to all nationsThe task of man is not to set or predict the time of Jesus second coming, butto prepare for this great event. In Matthew 25, Jesus gives us two parables. Inboth the parable of the ten virgins and the parable of the five talents, He tells menof their responsibility to be prepared for His coming. The believer also has theadded responsibility to warn the world around him to be prepared to meet theirMaker and Lord.When Jesus does return, all mankind will know it. All shall see Him as He comesin His glory. Jesus said, "For as lightning that comes from the east is visible evenin the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man" (Matthew 24:27).Similarly, in Mark 13:26, Jesus says, "At that time men will see the Son of Mancoming in clouds with great power and glory." 32
  33. 33. The angel who appeared to Jesus followers at the time of His ascension said,"This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back inthe same way you have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).Many have tried to predict the day and some have even gathered their followerstogether to welcome Jesus on His return. But the day of their prediction came andpassed, to their disappointment. Jesus instructed us through His Word not to try topredict the day of His return, for we cannot do that.The Lord said – “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels inheaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32).Therefore, this marvelous salvation will have been completed and will continuebeyond all time throughout eternity. The transformation that began at the timeman first invited Jesus into his life will have been completed. Then, he will be likeJesus in character and in attitude. Jesus’ prayer (John 17:21) will be answered.Read carefully and prayerfully this word of prayer from the lips of Jesus as Heprayed that last night in the Garden of Gethsemane:"That all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. Maythey also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”Study Questions: 1) What doctrine is the heart of Christian teaching? 2) In preparation for the Passover day, what did Moses order the people to do? 3) What are the definitions of “ordinance” and “sacrament”? 4) When facing the temptations of satan, what happens to the man who rejects salvation? 5) In the first century, what place did the word “Gehenna” describe? 6) As our Advocate, what does Jesus do? 7) Concerning Jesus’ coming again, what is man’s main task? XIII. Ten Terms Used in SalvationThere are many terms (or, words) that need to be defined which are used toexpress certain aspects of Gods salvation. Most of these terms are used in theBible. Some are theological terms that describe Biblical truths but they are notused specifically in the Bible (such as the word “substitution”). Now, let usexamine these ten terms in order to gain a clearer understanding of the full scopeof God’s mighty act of salvation. These ten terms are as follows:Adoption“Adoption” is the act of taking voluntarily a person of other parents as one’s ownchild. In a biblical sense, it is the act of God’s grace by which sinful people arebrought into his redeemed family. 33
  34. 34. In the New Testament, the Greek word translated adoption has the literalmeaning “placing as a son.” It is a legal term that expresses the process by whicha man brings another person into his family, endowing him with the status andprivileges of a biological son or daughter.In the Old Testament, adoption was never common among the Israelites. In theOld Testament, foreigners or Jews influenced by foreign customs adoptedchildren. Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses (Exodus 2:10) and another pharaohadopted Genubath (1 Kings 11: 20). Furthermore, there is no Hebrew word todescribe the process of adoption. When the Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses,the text says, “And he became her son” (Exodus 2:10).By New Testament times, Roman customs exercised a great deal of influence onJewish family life. One custom is particularly significant in relation to adoption.Roman law required that the “adopter” be a male and childless. The one to beadopted had to be an independent adult, able to agree to be adopted. In theeyes of the law, the adopted one became a new creature. He was regarded asbeing born again into the new family—an illustration of what happens to thebeliever at conversion.The apostle Paul used this legal concept of adoption as an analogy to show thebeliever’s relationship to God. Although similar ideas are found throughout theNew Testament, the word “adoption,” used in a theological sense, is found only inthe writings of Paul (Romans 8:15, 23, 9:4, Galatians 4:5 and Ephesians 1:5).In Galatians, Paul wrote that God sent His Son to redeem those under the law thatthey might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5).In Ephesians 1, the Bible says that God has chosen the believer (verse 4). He hasbeen adopted and accepted as a member of Gods family. He has been given anew Father, a new name and a new nature. Paul’s emphasis was that ouradoption rests with God, who “predestined us to be adopted as His sons throughJesus the Messiah” (Ephesians 1:5).In Romans 8:15-17, Paul says that the believer has been made a child of God, anheir, and a joint heir with the Messiah. The believer now has free access to hisnew Father through prayer and the Holy Spirit who lives within him. In verse 15,believers are said to have received “the Spirit of adoption,” (sometimes translated“the Spirit of sonship”). This is the Holy Spirit who, given as the first fruits of allthat is to be theirs, produces in them the realization of sonship and the attitudebelonging to sons.God’s adoption of the believer also has a future dimension, the assurance that thebeliever’s body will be resurrected (Romans 8:23). In the next chapter in his letterto the Romans, Paul also used the term to describe Israel’s place of honor inGod’s plan (Romans 9:4).We must be careful not to misunderstand this word adoption in relation to our newbirth. God does not “adopt” believers as children - they are “born again” by His 34