TEXT: Doctrinal, Ephesians 2:1-10, Multiple Texts
INTRO: The doctrine we examine today is called “Soteriology,” dealing with the issue of salvation. The question before is: “Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned.”
Understanding salvation is to answer three questions: From what am I saved? To what am I saved? And, finally, how am I saved?
I. CHRISTIAN SALVATION: FROM WHAT ARE WE SAVED?
A. A common definition of salvation , “preservation from destruction or failure; deliverance from danger or difficulty.” Terms of completion, something fully accomplished.
Saved from a circumstance, or from a perpetual condition.
B. We are saved from the power of sin. The Christian definition: “deliverance from the power and effects of sin.” “sin= “harmatia” = “miss the mark.”
1 Jn. 3:4, “Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of the law.”
Rom. 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Sin = to live in disobedience to God and to fail to live up to God intentions for His Creation.
What is the “power of sin?” Is. 59: 2, “your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you.”
2 Cor. 19, “in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.”Sin separates us from God.
C. We are also saved from the effects of sin. Gen. 2, God places Adam, “on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
Rom 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.” Sin brings death to people.
Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The death produced by sin is contrasted with “eternal life.”
Lk. 18:30, “[The one who gives up all for the sake of the kingdom] will receive many times more at this time, and eternal life in the age to come.”
Jn. 5:24, “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life, and will not come under judgment but has passed form death to life.”
Salvation means to be saved from the power of sin to mislead us and kill us!
II. CHRISTIAN SALVATION: TO WHAT ARE WE SAVED?
A. We are saved to have a personal relationship with God. 1.) Jn. 8:31, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Saved to know the difference between what is true and what is false,
2.) Jn. 14:7, “If you know Me, you will also know My Father.”
3.) Rom. 8:14, 16, “All those led by Gods Spirit are God’s [children] . . . . the Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” We are saved to be God’s children and heirs.
B. Salvation is to be delivered from death and given eternal life.
Greek =“soteria,”= “the present possession of the soul’s security and the concluding possession of the soul’s security.” (now, ongoing, and conclusive) ; “born again”( regenerated, redeemed ) (sanctification, molded into the image of Christ), and glorification, (with God eternally).
C. From separation from God and death to personal relationship with God and eternal life.
III. WHAT ARE POSSIBLE OPTIONS TO RECEIVE SALVATION?
A. Nonbiblical options: All major religions, except Christianity, are works-based.
B. Christian options: 1.) 52% of all American Christians believe Christ is not the only way
2.) Three (3) views:
a.) Liberation Theology: has a focus on “gaining freedom” and change society. Work based.
b.) Sacramentalism: salvation is “transmitted and received through the sacraments of the Church.” “What all this amounts to is that salvation is dependent on the church.” Combines faith with works to please church.
c.) Evangelical view: The Bible teaches the need for salvation; the means of salvation by grace through faith; the purpose and process of sanctification, and the ultimate goal of glorification.
2.Tim. 1:9, “[Christ]has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
1 Cor. 1:13, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved.”
Rom. 5:9, “But God proves His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
C. Evangelicals – Eph. 2:1-10, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world according to the ruler who exercises over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.
We, too, all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath, as the others were also. But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Jesus, He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens so that, in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves- it is God’s gift – not from works so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
A Christian worldview = would hold that salvation is a gift from God, unable to be earned in any way, because we, as sinners, were dead in their sin and trespasses. Thus, only God’s grace can save anyone and grace, being a gift, cannot be paid for, but can only be received through faith.