Theology (part seven): Soteriology, the Study of Salvation; Substitution; Redemption; Propitiation; Justification
Soteriology - The Study of Salvation
Soteriology, the study of salvation, is a topic from the councils of God in eternity past that embrace all of time with ultimate fulfillment in all of our eternal futures. Like theology, soteriology, is related to every person with consequences in every part of creation including the angels. Salvation involves people, nations and the entire cosmos. All of history, which is the means by which salvation is worked out, revolves around the one true and unique celebrity, Jesus Christ.
“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Revelation 7:10
“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” First Corinthians 15:3
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God, for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16
“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ.” Revelation 12:10
Salvation is a theme in both the Old and New Testament. The Hebrew words for salvation come from the root yasa which portrays the meanings of width, spaciousness, freedom from constraint. These descriptions all reflect the underlying meaning of yasa which is deliverance. Salvation in the Old Testament refers to:
- Deliverance from danger, distress, enemies, Egyptian slavery (Exodus 14:13; 15:2)
- Deliverance from Babylonian exile (Isaiah 46:13; 52:10-11)
- Deliverance from adversaries (Psalms 106:10)
- Deliverance from defeat (Deuteronomy 20:4)
- Deliverance from oppression (Judges 3:31)
- Deliverance from social decay (Hosea 1:7)
- Deliverance to personal welfare (Job 30:15)
- Messianic deliverance (Luke 1:69, 71, 77)
“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Exodus 15:2
“The Lord is my light and my salvation.” Psalm 27:1
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:2-3
Faith or trust in the true God (Numbers 14:11; 2 Kings 17:14; Psalms 78:22; Jonah 3:5) was always necessary for an individual or society to receive yasa, deliverance or salvation from God.
“Abraham believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:6
“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” Isaiah 7:9
This inner faith or trust in God would result in external actions such as feats of confidence, acts of obedience or a general lifestyle that reflected the character of God, which is holiness.
David – “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’ ”
1 Samuels 17:45
Abraham – The angel of the Lord said, “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:12
Joseph – “My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9
The Septuagint (LXX) used the Greek word soteria soteria to translate the Hebrew word yasa. It also means deliverance and preservation from any danger (Acts 7:25; 27:31; Hebrews 11:7). The Greek word swzw sozo, the root word of soteria soteria, adds the idea of wholeness, soundness and health to the biblical concept of salvation coming from the Hebrew word yasa.This word, swzw sozo, is translated as “save” and also means rescue, deliverance and cure. Salvation in the New Testament takes on and identifies the medical concept of salvation which includes being saved from:
- Disease (Matthew 9:22; James 5:15)
- Physical affliction (Hebrews 11:7)
- Demon possession (Matthew 15:22; Mark 7:26, 29)
- Death (Hebrews 5:7; Acts 27:20, 31)
- Spiritual threats (Romans 8:38, 39)
- Sin (Romans 5:9; Hebrews 7:25)
Alternatives to salvation are:
- Destruction (Philippians 1:28)
- Death (1 Corinthians 7:10)
- Wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
The Death of Jesus
In the Old Testament God could deliver people from their enemies and rescue them from situations. In the gospels Jesus could save people from demons and restore the bodies back to life. These are examples and demonstrations of God’s ability, desire and past acts of salvation. But, the greatest act of salvation had not yet been performed. God had the power and the desire but God had not yet done the work of this great salvation which was the deliverance of people from sin and death. This work would be accomplished by God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Man’s sin problem could not be remedied any other way than by the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. The Lord could deliver Noah and his family from the flood but they and their families would return to build the city of Babel. The angel of the Lord could strike down the armies of Egypt and Assyria but Israel still returned to live in rebellion towards God. Jesus could drive demons away from people but with out going to the cross he could not remove sin from people. Jesus could raise a man back to life but with out Jesus going to the cross that man would only live to be taken by death another day. Jesus could teach by the power of the Spirit but with out going to the cross those words of life only fell on spiritually dead hearts. God had delivered people from the Flood, from Egypt, from the Assyrians, from demons, from death but mankind still remained under the wrath of God because of the sin they were responsible for:
- Inherited sin – man’s sin nature which all men have since they came from the seed of Adam
- Imputed sin – man’s position in sin since all men were charged with Adam’s sin
- Personal sin – man’s committed sins in thought, deed and word which comes from their sin nature
God could forgive sin but this merely held of ultimate judgment. God’s forgiveness does not remove inherited, imputed or personal sins; it merely refrains from calling man to account for his sin. God could only provide salvation from sin through Jesus’ work on the cross. Since the wages of sin is death, man could not be delivered from ultimate death until sin had been removed.
Though God had performed many feats of salvation in the past, he had never provided salvation from sin and death until Jesus went to the cross to pay for inherited, imputed and personal sin and in so doing destroy the power of death. To achieve this great salvation only the Son of God could do the work. The work included paying a very great price that only the Son of God could pay. With out this great deliverance of man’s nature from sin all the other acts of salvation and deliverances would fade away as momentary events in a quickly fading world. As Jesus said:
“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Matthew 16:26
What Was Jesus’ Death on the Cross?
Jesus death on the cross means these four major things occurred:
- Substitution – in relation to the sinner Jesus suffered in place of the sinner in judgment. If man were asked to pay the price for his personal sin before God he could only pay that price by suffering eternally. Even then, there is the issue of unresolved inherited sin and imputed sin. Jesus was the unique person in the universe that could both receive man’s sin (because he was man) and pay the eternal price (because he was God). Jesus death paid for our personal sin, our sin nature and humanities position in sin (personal, inherited, imputed). This principle was portrayed in the Levitical sacrifices when an animal was substituted for a man.
- Redemption – in relation to sin Jesus paid the price of the penalty or price of man’s sin. The Greek word translated “redemption” is agorazw agorazo. It was used 24 times in the New Testament to refer to making a purchase in a commercial transaction (Matthew 13:44; Luke 9:13). The prefix ex- ex- which means “out of” can be placed in front of agorazw agorazo to give it the meaning of purchasing an item out of some condition or place. This word, exagorazw exagorazo was used to refer to buying a slave out from the slave auction. Paul uses this word in Galatians 3:13 and 4:5 to refer to man being redeemed from under the law and its curse. Redemption in soteriology communicates these ideas:
- Jesus paid the purchase price for mankind (2 Peter 2:1)
- The price paid was the blood of Christ (Revelation 5:9-10)
- Since we are his purchase we are to serve him (1 Corinthians 6:19; 7:22-23)
- Reconciliation – refers to man’s relationship with God which has gone from one of hostility and conflict to one of harmony and peace. This is what the angels sang about on the night of Jesus’ birth: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14). Two verses that teach this truth are:
- Romans 5:10 – “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 – “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ . . .he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
- Propitiation – in relation to God Jesus’ death satisfied the demands of his justice and holiness. The wrath of God or the anger of God against sin was demonstrated through out the Old Testament (Exodus 22:20; Numbers 11:33; Isaiah 60:10; Hosea 5:10, etc.) and referred to many times in the New Testament (John 3:36; Romans 1:18; Ephesians 2:3). Jesus death has appeased God’s wrath and anger against sin. The word for propitiation is used in Romans 3:25: “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.” The phrase “sacrifice of atonement” means “the one who would turn aside his wrath” or simply the word propitiation. Other verses that teach propitiation are:
- 1 John 4:10 – “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice (propitiation or one who would turn aside God’s wrath) for our sins.”
- 1 John 2:2 – “He is the atoning sacrifice (propitiation) for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
- Hebrews 2:17 – “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, inorder that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and that he might make atonement (propitiation or turn aside God’s wrath) for the sins of the people.”
Justification, the Result of Christ’s Death
Justification can best be explained to the Christian by contrasting it with forgiveness. Forgiveness is something a person receives when they have done something wrong. The offended person can rise above vengeance and retaliation and forgive the person who has done the wrong. In this case one person has done is guilty but forgiveness is offered based on the other person’s mercy and grace. This is forgiveness but not justification. In the above situation justification is not possible because justification means to declare innocent or righteous. Someone of great mercy can forgive you but only a just judge can declare justification. Justify or justification comes from the Greek word dikaiow dikaioo. This term is a legal term used when the verdict in courtroom is returned. If after all the evidence is heard and examined the person being charged with a crime is proven to be innocent the judge does not forgive the individual but instead declares the individual innocent. They have been justified in the court of law. Justification means that God has examined us in the courts of heaven and found us not guilty, innocent and righteous. We have been justified by Christ’s death, not forgiven.
Forgiveness is a key concept in salvation, also, but it communicates a different aspect of salvation.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7
“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations.” Colossians 2:13
Forty Things That Occur at the Point of Salvation
The list may record similar concepts but they are not synonymous. Each item on the list identifies a separate aspect of our salvation in Christ. These events and doctrines are intertwined and overlapping but they are each individual features of salvation’s enrollment package provided to each believer in Jesus Christ. A list of thirty-three “stupendous works of God which together comprise the salvation of a soul” was presented by Lewis Sperry Chafer in volume three, Soteriology, of his eight volume set entitled Systematic Theology in 1948. The following list is an adaptation of Chafer’s work:
- Imputed righteousness – The righteousness of God is imputed to us (1 Cor. 1:30; 6;11; Heb. 10:14; Eph. 1:6; Col. 1:12).
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
- Justification – Because of our possessing the righteousness of God we are declared righteous and are justified before God.
“For all . . . are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23, 24
- Children of God (regeneration) – We are regenerated or born again through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-12; Titus 3:5; Rom. 8:16; 1 Cor. 2:14).
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12, 13
- Communication with the Holy Spirit – With our new life our spirit has communication with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14).
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16
- Imputed everlasting life – We receive the everlasting life of God (1 Cor. 15:22)
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does no have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12
- Baptism into Christ by the Holy Spirit – We are placed into Christ or into union with Jesus Christ by being baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:4; Gal.3:27)
“For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:13
- Propitiation – God has been satisfied or appeased because his holiness has pacified with the death of Jesus paying the penalty for sin (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 4:10; 1 John 2:2; Hebrews 2:17).
“God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.” Romans 3:25
- Reconciliation – God no longer has enmity against the believer. The believer has access to God and is considered by God to be a friend and an ally (2 Cor.5:18-19).
“For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:10
- Redemption – God has purchased the believer from the slave market of sin (Rom. 3:24; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Gal. 5:1).
“With your blood you purchased men for God.” Revelation 5:9
- Forgiveness – We are totally forgiven of our past sins by God the Father. Forgiveness stands ready and available to the believer for present and future sins by returning to God with confession of those sins (Is. 43:25; Is. 44:22; Ep. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 John 1:9).
“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code.” Colossians 2:13
- Removal of condemnation – At the moment of salvation, the sentence of condemnation is removed. The believer is free form the condemnation and wrath of God’s justice. The believer will no longer share in Satan’s final destiny, the Lake of Fire (Rom. 8:1-3)
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever dies not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18
- Removal of the dominion of the sin nature – The sin nature does not leave the believer but its authority is replaced with the indwelling Holy Spirit who now has jurisdiction (Romans 6:6-12).
“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” Romans 6:11, 12
- Removal of Satan’s power – The believer is freed from the Satan’s kingdom of evil (1 John 5:19; Eph. 6:11-12; Eph. 2:1; Gal. 5:1).
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” Colossians 1:12-13
- Freedom from the penalty of the Mosaic Law – The believer is delivered from the curse of the Law of Moses that is guaranteed to all who attempt salvation by works (Rom. 6:4; 7:4, 6; 8:2; 13:8).
“All who rely on observing the law are under a curse . . . Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Galatians 3:10-13
- Identification with Jesus Christ – The believer is permanently and forever identified with Christ in his death, burial, resurrection and ascension (Rom. 6:3-12).
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
- Indwelling of God the Father – The believer is indwelt by God the Father (John 14:23).
“One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:6
- Indwelling of God the Son – The believer is indwelt by Jesus Christ (Romans 8:10).
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
- Indwelling of God the Holy Spirit – The believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; John 14:17; Rom. 5:5; 8:9; Gal. 3:2).
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- Salvation is sealed – God has sealed your salvation making it permanent and guaranteed by providing his stamp of ownership which is the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 2 Tim. 2:19).
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30
- Soul is circumcised – The believer is separated from his past and unhindered ready to respond to God. His soul is ready to receive from God the new instruction and the new plan for his new life. (Jer. 4:4; Deut. 10:16-17).
“No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” Romans 2:29
- Angelic protection and service – Angels were created to serve God. Our position in Christ places us inline to receive angelic assistance in life (Heb.2:7; 1 Co. 6:3).
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14
- Sins judged – Our sins received the full penalty of judgment on the cross. Christ was not punished for his sins, but ours. Our sins were judged and the penalty was given to Christ to pay. (Lev. 5:6, 7; Job 8:4; Heb.9:26, 28).
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.” 1 Peter 2:24
- Adopted – We were adopted into the family of God and given full rights and privileges as Sons of God (Romans 8:15; 23; 1 John 3:1-3).
“He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:5
- Eternal relationship with God – Because of Jesus presence at the right hand of God we have eternal access and eternal relationship with God the Father (James 4:8).
“Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13; John 17:24-26)
- Placed on the rock of Jesus Christ – Our salvation is based on Jesus who is the eternal rock that can never be shaken or moved. Unless that rock, Jesus Christ, is shaken our salvation is not going to move, let alone, go anywhere. (2 Corinthians 1:21; Ephesians 2:20)
“No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3:11
- A gift to Christ – The believer is a gift given to Jesus Christ by God the Father. This is not a gift that will be taken away (John 17:5; 17:20).
“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:29)
- Member of the royal priesthood – Each believer becomes a priest before God. Since each of these priests is also a member of the family of God they are called a royal priesthood. Each believer represents themselves before God. (1 Peter 2:5; Rev. 1:6)
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. “ 1 Peter 2:9
- A chosen Generation – The word generation can speak of a literal forty year generation or it can refer to a people, a stock, a species or a kind. Believers are a special species or stock of people. Believers are a unique species of people because they are “chosen” which means they are chosen for privilege and opportunity. (1 Peter 2:9; 2 Cor. 5:17)
“Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:14
- Gain access to God – Believers have gained access to God because our eternal high priest, Jesus, is at his right hand (Heb. 4:14, 16; 10:19-20; Rom. 5:2)
“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” Ephesians 2:18
- Placed in the “much more” care of God – Believers are objects of his love (Ep.2:4; 5:2), objects of his grace for keeping (Rom. 5:2,3), objects of his grace for service (Eph. 4:7), and objects of his grace for instruction (Titus 2:12-13). We are the recipients of God’s constant and special care (Ep. 1:9; Phil. 1:6; 2:13; Heb. 13:5)
“Since we have been justified by his blood how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath.” Romans 5:9
- Partners with Christ – The believers association in partnership with Christ occurs in several areas:
- In life – Colossians 1:27
- In position – Colossians 3:1
- In service – 1 Corinthians 1:9
- In suffering – 2 Timothy 2:12
- In prayer – John 14:12-14
- In marriage – 2 Cor. 11:2; Ep. 5;25-27
- In anticipating his return – Titus 2:13; Heb. 10:13
- We inherit Christ’s eternal future – Instead of participating in Satan’s future we inherit Christ’s future (1 Peter 1:4; Col. 3:24).
“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:15
- Citizens of the heavenly city – Believers are citizens (politeuma) of heaven and our names are listed with full rights and recognized legal standing in this eternal city even while we live on earth (Ep. 2:19)
“Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there.” Philippians 3:20
- Members of the royal family of God – Jesus is titled “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev.19:16). Believers make up that coalition of “kings” and “lords” that Jesus has assembled as his family members. The family of God is a family of royalty.
“The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses nd dressed infine linen, white and clean . . . On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords.’ ” Revelation 19:14, 16
- Fellowship with believers – Believers are placed in a state of union with every other believer in time through the family ties associated with being in the family of God and with being in the body of Christ (John 17:11, 21-23).
“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.” 1 John 1:7
- Light in the Lord – The verse “God is light” means he is transparently holy with no moral darkness. The believer is this same light by their position in Christ. In life the believer is to let this light shine in how they live their lives in this dark world. (Matt. 5:14-16; 1 John 1:7)
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8
- United to the Trinity – Believers are intimately united with the Trinity:
- Believers are in God the Father (1 Thess. 1:1)
- God the Father is in believers (Ep. 4:6)
- Believers are in God the Son (Ep. 1:4; Jn. 15:5)
- God the Son is in believers (Col. 1:27; Jn. 15:5)
- Believers are in the Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:8; Lk. 3:16; maybe-1 Co.12:13)
- God the Holy Spirit is in believers (1 Cor. 2:12; Ep. 2:2; Rom. 8:9; 1 John 4:13)
- Glorified – At the point of salvation God sees us as glorified in heaven and already in the final state of complete salvation. This will become an experiential reality when Jesus Christ returns.
“Those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:30
“We know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
- Fullness – Each believer is full and complete in Christ even to the state of being in a position above every spiritual power and authority.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:9, 10
- Spiritual blessings – At the moment of salvation every spiritual blessing in Christ is bestowed on us. Many of them are listed here but there are surely more. Understanding and accessing these blessings comes through understanding the word of God and maturing in our lives as believers.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
Three Phases of Salvation
A man’s spirit is saved at the point of faith in Jesus Christ. A man’s soul is saved during his lifetime on earth as he renews his mind to the word of God. A man’s body is saved at the resurrection when he enters into the state of complete sanctification or glorification. A believer today is saved spiritually, is being saved daily in his soul, and will be saved physically in the future (1 Cor. 15:20-26; 50-57). These three phases of salvation allign with the Lord’s teaching at the Last Supper: The bread and the cup spoke of the work of salvation that is in our past that happened on the cross and that we accepted. The foot washing spoke of the daily confession of sin and the cleansing that result in our lives. The meal was a foreshadowing of the marriage supper of the Lamb that occurs when we are taken into his presence when our bodies are finally redeemed (Rev. 19:9).
Salvation: Spirit, Soul and Body
At the Point of Salvation
In Time Throughout Our Life
An Eschatological Event
Your Spirit is Saved
Your Mind is being Renewed
You Body will be Resurrected
You Are Saved
Your Are Being Saved
You Will Be Saved
Work of God
God the Son at the Cross
God the Holy Spirit in Time
God the Father in the End
Bread and Cup
The Meal – Marriage Supper
of the Lamb
Glorification, Complete Sanctification
“He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
“Who has saved us and called us to a holy life.”
2 Tim. 1:9
“He saved us, not because
of righteous things we had done.” Titus 3:5, 8
“For it is by grace you have been saved.” Eph. 2:8
“For in this hope we were saved.” Romans 8:24
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Phil. 2:12
“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken
hold of it.” Phil. 3:13
“To us who are being saved it is the power of God” 1 Cor. 1:18
“For you are receiving the
goal of your faith,
the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:9
“. . . among those who are being saved.” 2 Cor. 2:15
“We wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
“Will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Phil. 3:21
“Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed”
“Shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Pt.1:5
“He himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” 1 Cor. 3:15
“we may also share in his glory” Rom. 8:17
“(Christ) will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
Positional and Temporal Truth in Christ
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”
- Unsaved Condition - “You were once darkness” - before the cross all men are dead in their sins (Ep.2:1), objects of God’s wrath (Ep.2:3), without hope (Eph.2:12) and without God (Eph.2:12). They spend their entire lives
existing in the cosmos, the world system (Eph.2:12).
- Position in Heaven - “Now you are light in the Lord” - at the point of salvation when a man places faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, accepting the work of the cross, they enter into an eternal relationship with God. (Ep.1:13) This new position is in Christ (Col.2:10; 3:3; Ep.1:3; 2:10). The believer can never be taken out of this position in Christ or lose possession of this positional truth. The believer remains in this circle forever. In this position the believer is an eternal partaker of Christ in these area:
- They have Christ’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- They have Eternal Life (1 John 5:11-12)
- They have Sonship (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26)
- They are heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17; 1 Peter 1:4)
- They are in the royal family of God (Colossians 1:13; 2 Timothy 2:11-12)
- They are priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9)
- They are sanctified (1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; Ephesians 1:4)
- Condition on Earth - “Live as children of light” - although they “are light in the Lord” by their position in Christ Paul gives the a command to “live as children of light” in their lives. The Greek word translated “live” is peripateite which is the present tense, indicative mood, active voice of the word peripatew which means "to walk, to conduct ones life". The indicative mood makes this a command, the present tense is saying this should be your continuous behavior or habit, the active voice says the subject “you” will do it. Since this is a command and it is based on you fulfilling the command, it is possible that you could fail in keeping this command. This describes the believer’s life on earth after they have accepted Christ. They are commanded to live as Christ, without sin or in fellowship with God (1 John 1:7). If the believer does not walk in the light, or, if they commit a sin, they break fellowship with God and leave the temporary circle of fellowship. The committing of personal sins does not affect the top circle which represents the believer’s position in Christ.
- Condition in Sin - “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” (1 John 1:6) – To recover from this state of darkness you can not go back to the cross and get saved again (Hebrews 6:4-6). This has already been done and can not be repeated because the work of the cross is complete. The believer is eternally a child of God. The believer who has broken fellowship by committing personal sin has two options:
- Remain in the state of darkness and eventually face the discipline of God (Hebrews 12:5-13; 1 Cor. 5:1-5)
- Confess the sin and receive forgiveness and restoration into the circle of fellowship – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
KEY POINTS (back to the top)
OTHER SITES (back to the top)
BOOKS from Galyn's Shelf: (back to the top)
QUESTIONS (back to the top)