Thursday, May 18, 2017

“Answers About Salvation”

The following is a pseudo-outline of answers for the various questions. Scripture references are included, but are not all inclusive. The bold questions represent a category of questioning while the italicized are the actual questions being addressed.

What is Salvation?
What is salvation?
  • Simply, to be saved – to be delivered from something
  • The question we must each ask ourselves is “Do I need to be saved?” If so, “From what?”
  • Our answer to the first question is critical and makes the rest of this discussion necessary.
  • Romans 5.12-21

What is the plan of salvation?
1.  God desires that all will be saved and come to the truth – 1 Timothy 2.4
2.  God is patient that all have a chance to be saved – 2 Peter 3.9
  • Both of these verses provide evidence that God believes we need to be saved.
In the simplest terms:  Creation – Fall – Redemption
Further Explained: God had to make a way to save us because we could not save ourselves.
1.  A perfect sacrifice was needed to cover the sins of all who are not perfect.
2.  If the sacrifice had remained dead, we would have no reason to believe or have hope, so the sacrifice rose from the dead
3.  Jesus came to redeem, died to save, and lives to provide hope for all who trust in Him.

Does Salvation Come in Stages?
Is Salvation a Process?
What is the Doctrine of Salvation?
  • Regeneration (Born Again) – John 3.3-8; Ezekiel 36.26-27; 2 Corinthians 5.17
  • Conversion (Repentance & Faith) – Mark 1.15; John 1.12; 3.16; Matthew 11.28-30
  • Justification – (after faith) – Romans 3.26, 28; 5.1; 10.4,10; Galatians 2.16; 3.24 (Sins are forgiven AND Christ’s righteousness is imputed – Isaiah 61.10; Romans 3.21-22; 4.3; 5.19)
  • Adoption (into God’s family) – John 1.12; Gal 3.26; 1 John 3.1-2; (cf Matthew 6.9; Romans 8.15-16)
  • Sanctification – “set apart” (holy) but now growth

We Partner with God
  • God’s Part – Philippians 2.13; 1 Thessalonians 5.23; Hebrews 12.5-11; 13.20-21
  • Our Part – Romans 6.13; 12.1; Ephesians 4.1; Philippians 2.13; Romans 6.18 (free from sin so do not yield to it (12-13), but it is still present (1 John 1.8)
  • Grow to perfection – Matthew 5.48 & 2 Corinthians 7.11; Romans 8.29

  • Glorification – Romans 8.17, 30; 1 Corinthians 15.51-52

What is Required for Salvation?
What are the Steps to Salvation?
John 3.16; 20.30-31 (Believe=faith)

Is Water Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
No, consider the thief on the cross. But if Jesus commands it, why wouldn’t you want to

Does a Person Have to Confess Jesus to Be Saved?
Romans 10.9-10, not, but it is proof (1 John 4.2-3)

Is “Once-Saved, Always-Saved” Correct?
Can a Person Lose Their Salvation?
No, but many who think they are saved are not!

Back to idea of Justification – once the gavel falls, it has fallen

We can not earn our salvation, so we cannot lose it – salvation is dependent on God’s work, not ours
  • Jesus promise – John 3.36; John 10.28
  • No Condemnation – Romans 8.1
  • Sealed with the Spirit – Ephesians 1.13-14

How Can I Have Assurance of Salvation?
  • Perseverance – Matthew 10.22; Colossians 1.22-23; Hebrews 3.14; 1 John 2.19
  • Don’t believe false signs – 2 Corinthians 11.15 (e.g. Judas)
Challenging Passages:
Galatians 5.4: Fall from Grace – not about losing salvation but how it is secured – back to the false idea of earning it
Hebrews 6.4-6: If a person truly understands the gospel (but does not embrace it, and then turns away, it will not be possible for that person to return (Parable of Soils)

Does a Person Have to Get Saved More Than Once?
No, actually, it is impossible. You are either saved or not. You cannot get saved again, but you might get saved for the first time.
We often need to recommit to God, but that is for our growth – our sanctification.

Sin vs. Salvation
Does a Person Have to Be Sorry for the Sins to Be Saved?
Hebrews 12.17
Does a Person Have to Repent to Be Saved?
Acts 2.37-38; 20.21; Romans 2.4; 2 Corinthians 7.9-10

Succumb or Surrender
Does a Person Have to Forsake Their Sins to Be Saved?
Proverbs 28.13
  • Yes, we should. But, no we can’t (fully, at least not in our strength).
  • We can’t remember all past sins. We confess our sin (sinful nature) trusting God has covered that.
  • As we grow in Christ, we become more sensitive to our sin, so we should confess as we sin (or realize we have). This does not mean all of our past sins necessarily, but our present ones (1 John 1.9).

Does a Person Have to Surrender Their Life to Jesus to Be Saved?
To be saved?
No. BELIEVE – John 20.30-31
To know we are saved?
Yes. Another aspect we should want!
  • Paul did. Galatians 2.20; Colossians 1.27 (hope of glory)
  • Peter says to set apart Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3.15 (Isaiah 8.13)

The Issue of Faith And Works
Is Salvation by Faith Alone or by Faith Plus Works?
  • Paul – Ephesians 2.8-9 (grace through faith alone – to be saved)
  • James – James 2.14-26 (faith will have works – because we are saved)
  • Paul – Ephesians 2.10  The regenerated will work for Jesus!

I Will Go to Heaven Because...
of Jesus, not because of anything I do.

Misconceptions of Salvation
The Prayer of Salvation / Praying For Salvation
  • Jesus says, “Follow Me.” Matthew 4.17 (Mark 1.17)
  • The prayer is not a magic formula. Not even the Lord’s Prayer is a magic formula. It is a template given because in that day no one prayed spontaneous prayers. But that must wait for another time.
  • Our prayer is simply admitting that we agree with God about our need for a Savior. That is, we cannot do it on our own.

Asking Jesus into Your Heart
  • Ephesians 3.17 (cf. John 14.17)
  • We do not have to ask Him into our hearts. If we are saved, He dwells within us.

The Unpardonable Sin
  • Matthew 12.22-32 (Mark 3.28-30)
  • Speaking against the ministry of the Holy Spirit
  • I believe in the ultimate sense – we cannot commit this sin – it was for a particular people at a particular time. BUT, in essence, when we reject the Holy Spirit, we commit a sin that does lead to destruction.

Questions from Congregation
What is Predestination?
  • Election – God chose some for salvation (reprobation for others).
  • Happened before He created the world – so this is not about what we do (or might do).
  • Scriptures: Acts 13.48; Romans 8.28-30; 9.11-13; Ephesians 1.12; 1 Thessalonians 1.4-5; 2 Thessalonians 2.13; Revelation 13.7-8; 1 Timothy 5.21 (angels)

Fatalism – our choices do not matter
  • Contrast – we must believe (John 3.16, 17, 18)
  • Those who do not believe made their own choices (John 8.43-44; Romans 1.20)

Mechanism – fixed order of events so God is impersonal
  • Contrast Ezekiel 33.11 (no pleasure in death of wicked); Matthew 11.28-30 – Come to me (personal invitation); Ephesians 1.5 – “in love” we are “his sons”

Our Response
  • If chosen by God, we should want to please Him in all we do.
  • We must proclaim the Word – Romans 10.14, 17 (we do not know who the elect are or are not)

Can a Christian experience depression?
Depression is, in part, when one organ of our body is not functioning optimally. No one questions the salvation of someone with heart issues (for instance), so why do many feel that depression, or anxiety, or other mental aspects means someone must not be saved.

Possible Examples from the Bible

  • Job – 3.11, 26; 10.1
  • David – Psalm 42.11; 2 Samuel 18.33
  • Elijah – 1 Kings 19.4
  • Jeremiah – Jeremiah 20.14, 18
  • Paul – 2 Corinthians 1.8 (God comforted – 2 Corinthians 1.3-7, 10)
  • Jesus? – Mark 14.34-36 (Isaiah 53 – man of sorrows)

BUT GOD – Psalm 34.18
God never abandons His children (Deuteronomy 31.6; Hebrews 13.5)

So What?
Now What?  Discipleship!!!  And that will be the focus of our upcoming series.

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