Project: Your Statement of Faith - Lesson 7

Article Six: Soteriology (doctrine of salvation)

In this lesson, you will gain an understanding of the doctrine of salvation, also known as soteriology. You will examine the need for salvation, the nature of salvation, the characteristics of salvation, the extent of salvation, the source of salvation, and the meaning of salvation. You will learn about the role of humanity, the role of Christ, and the role of the Holy Spirit in the salvation process. You will also learn about the implications of salvation for this life and the afterlife.

Bill Mounce
Project: Your Statement of Faith
Lesson 7
Watching Now
Article Six: Soteriology (doctrine of salvation)

I. Introduction

A. Definition of Soteriology

B. Overview of Doctrine of Salvation

II. The Nature of Salvation

A. The Need for Salvation

B. The Nature of Salvation

C. The Characteristics of Salvation

III. The Extent of Salvation

A. Universalism

B. Particularism

C. Inclusivism

IV. The Source of Salvation

A. The Role of Humanity

B. The Role of Christ

C. The Role of the Holy Spirit

V. The Meaning of Salvation

A. The Implications for This Life

B. The Implications for the Afterlife

  • You will learn the definition, purpose, and components of a statement of faith, as well as how to create one by considering a set of questions and following a process.
  • You will gain an understanding of the Bible, its authority, interpretation, and its relationship with science, as well as an exploration of contradictions in the Bible and how to resolve them.
  • This lesson teaches you about God's nature, character, and activity, including his oneness, triune nature, attributes, holiness, love, sovereignty, and his activity in creation, providence, and redemption.
  • This lesson explores the person and work of Jesus Christ, providing a comprehensive understanding of His divine and human natures, humiliation, exaltation, redemption, and resurrection.
  • You will gain knowledge about the nature, work, and experience of the Holy Spirit from this lesson, including its definition and names, its relationship to the Father and the Son, and its baptism, filling, and gifts.
  • Gain insight into the doctrine of man and its implications, including the Biblical anthropology, the image of God, and the consequences of sin, and how it affects our daily lives and understanding of the human condition.
  • You will gain an understanding of the doctrine of salvation and its implications in this life and afterlife.
  • You will gain a better understanding of the doctrine of sanctification and its importance in the life of a believer. You will learn the definition of sanctification, the distinctions and degrees of sanctification, and the progressive nature of sanctification. You will also learn the means of sanctification and the goal of sanctification, which is transformation, holiness, and glorification. Finally, you will understand the significance of sanctification, which is to live a life of obedience, experience joy and abundance, and represent Christ in the world.
  • This lesson examines the doctrine of the church, exploring its definition, purpose, and mission. It also examines the relationship between the church, the Kingdom of God, and the Bible.
  • This lesson explores the Doctrine of Last Things, helping you to understand the theological implications, events, and applications of Eschatology.

Now that you have listened to the lectures it is time for you decide on the three things enumerated above: What you believe; What your church needs to believe; What is primary and secondary.

The best way to for this is to write out and then explain your own statement of faith. In this class you will see how Bill Mounce, the President of BiblicalTraining, does this for himself and his church. After listening to what he has to say, then your project is to do the same for yourself.

Dr. Bill Mounce
Project: Your Statement of Faith
Article Six: Soteriology (doctrine of salvation)
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:01] Our next article in the Statement of Faith is Our doctrine of Salvation. And the technical term for that is our solitary ology. Here we write Salvation from sin and access to God is available only through the work of Christ on the cross. We're not pluralist. We've already talked about that. It's been given by God's grace, mercy and love. In other words, there's nothing that we do to deserve. It will be coming to that. It's received solely by faith. Good reformation doctrine, of course, by faith alone. Received solely by faith in Jesus Christ. In other words, the object of our faith is important in this pluralistic spiritual age that we live in. Some people think that if they just have sincerity, if they just have faith in something, I just got to believe that that's all that God requires, which of course it isn't. You have to have faith in Jesus Christ. In conversion. And then what follows here is simply just a whole lot of different ways to describe our conversion experience. And I'll talk about in a second. In conversion. The believer is drawn by God to himself. He repents and turns from his sins, is redeemed, is declared wholly righteous. He's born again. She hears all these wonderful metaphors made alive in Christ as a new creature. He's reconciled to God. He's no longer an enemy of God. He becomes a child of God and is filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit through whom meaning the Holy Spirit, through whom this new believer is empowered for a life of obedience. And then I add the cross is sufficient to cover the sins of all who believe. Okay. These are all biblical idioms and metaphors, and you have the verses there and you can look at them and see them for yourself.

[00:02:00] But. Let me describe it this way, and I'm going to start with something I said earlier. How do you describe something that has no analogy? See, I can describe Pink because I can say, well, it's like it's like red, but weaker. I mean I mean, you can describe pink because we have something that's somewhat analogous to it. There's nothing analogous to salvation. There's nothing analogous to the work that God does in our hearts and conversions. And so when I look at all these different metaphors, I know that some people are drawn to one over another. So, for example, justification by faith. We are made right with God. We are justified by God because of our faith and faith alone, not because of our works. I believe that completely and totally and wholly. But it's like you have a flower and the flower has a lot of different petals. And justification by faith is one of those critical petals. But the flower has other petals. And what Scripture tries to do as it describes a non analogous event, they say, Well, it is like this. It's like this is like this. Well, this is part of it and this is part of it. And what I'm trying to say is that no one of these things is complete. In his description of salvation and salvation, the description of salvation and our understanding of salvation would be incomplete without all the petals. But you have to look at all the petals. And so I would urge you, as you think about salvation, it's not just one little thing here or one little thing there, but Scripture gives us this whole flower, this many pedaled flower, if you will, and it's in its total it describes as glorious and wondrous and non analogous of that.

[00:03:52] So, yes, justification by faith is critical to an understanding of what it is to be a Christian, But so is the doctrine that God draws us to Himself in the clear teaching of Scripture that He is at work through His Holy Spirit, drawing us to himself. And so we need to look at all of these to have an accurate picture of what salvation really is. Now you'll notice, or maybe you didn't, but there is no statement of election in the statement of faith. Now you need to know that I believe in election. I think it's one of the most clearly taught doctrines in Scripture. I may not fully understand it. I may not partially understand it, but I have to believe it. It bothers me when I hear people say, I don't believe in election. Because the verses are so clear and they're all over the place. The doctrine of election is that before the foundation of the world, before the creation of time, God chose Bill months to be his child. And the conflict is that. One minute when I was sitting on my bed when I was ten and my mom asked me if I want to be a Christian, I said yes. I made a choice. And to that I would say, absolutely, I made a choice. This is one of those Davey situations which election is taught, and the fact that I chose God is taught Scripture is always presented as a choice within the context of conversion. Salvation is always presented as a choice, you know, an ax to. The people heard Peter's Great Pentecost sermon. They didn't. When they ran up to him, they said, What must we do to be saved? Peter did not. Peter did not say sorry.

[00:05:36] Well, it doesn't matter. You're a lecturer. You're damned. It doesn't really matter. So do whatever you want and you'll find out when you get to the judgment seat. I mean, he doesn't do that. He says repent and be baptized and you'll be saved. And I am reformed in my theology. I like to think of myself as warmly reformed as opposed to coldly reformed, but I am reformed in my theology. I think that Luther and Calvin's understanding of Scripture is in fact Paul's and Jesus's understanding of things. But. As I argue with my reform friends, Scripture always presents salvation as a choice. You come to someone, say, What must I do to be saved? Peter tells the flippin jailer, You repent and you believe. So. That's some of the dichotomy. That's some of the tension that we have in this whole issue. So let me explain it to you a couple of different ways. Here's least. Here's what I believe, and this is what the statement of faith says. Well, here's what I believe. I believe that before the foundation of time, God chose to be his child. Okay, we don't have that in our statement of faith. I believe that at an early time in my life, the spirit was at work with my spirit. He was convicting. He was reproving. He was showing me my sin. He was convincing me that there was nothing that I could do. To do anything about my sin and hence be forgiven by God and gain access to heaven. And this is when John, when Jesus talks about God, the Father drawing people to himself. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, of convicting and reproving and and helping us see that we need Him. No amount of preaching, no amount of yelling and screaming or anything can convince someone that they're a sinner going to hell.

[00:07:35] It's just not possible. It is only the work of God, the Father through God, the Son where he draws people to himself. He makes them aware of their sin. And that the only solution is to be forgiven by his work. But here's the problem. While the spirit is convicting and reproving, I'm dead and my trespasses and sin the language from Ephesians two we looked at earlier. There's nothing that I can do about it. So one of the functions of the spirit is to make me able to respond. Now, when I was ten years old and sitting on my bed in my flowered pajamas and my mom reading me Bible stories and saying, Billy, would you like to become a Christian? I said, Sure. Did I know all this was going on? No, I didn't have a clue. I was ten years old. How could I know all that stuff? I just knew. That my parents faith was real. I knew that I had done things I shouldn't do, and I simply had the face of a child that believed that Jesus would forgive me my sins and bring me someday into his presence. You know, I didn't know all this stuff, but you know what theology does? It gives us the ability to look back at an event and say there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. There's a lot more going on than ten year old Billy Mounts. Understood. So God was working in me. I was dead in my trespasses and sin. He was showing me that. He was showing me there was a better way. And then when my mom said, Bill, would you like to become a Christian? God enabled me to say yes. Now I said, Yes, I made a choice, but I believe it was God who gave me the faith to enable me to respond.

[00:09:23] Four by grace you been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, is the gift of God, Paul tells the Ephesians in Chapter two. So God enables me to respond. And when I respond because he's enabled me to do that, all these wonderful things happened. I was made into a totally new creature. I didn't as I look back on my conversion, I didn't especially feel new because I had been a pretty good kid and I was raised in a Christian family and all that kind of stuff. But he made me new from the inside out. I was born again. He redeemed me. His son paid the price and secured my freedom. I was reconciled to God. I was no longer at war with God, but rather I was now a friend of God, and I had all the peace that comes with being justified, made right with God. Not because I've gone out and done a bunch of things supposedly to earn his favor, but because God chooses to look on his son and to treat me as his son deserves. Now, that's my understanding of what happens in conversion. And I should add that when I was change, God expects changed people to live in a changed a changed way. I was empowered for a new life, obedience and all that happened. Did I understand all of that? Of course not. I was a kid. But unless you are the father of a child, you can enter the Kingdom of God. And it is that complete trust that Jesus has taken care of you and will take care of you. Of repentance for sins that enables us to become Christians and to be his children. So where I know we're getting into a little more controversial topics, but when it comes to a doctrine of material doctrine, salvation, I think it's very important to have a full understanding of what's going on, of of God's work in my life, of the power, of the Spirit, bringing me to the point of conversion.

[00:11:22] I respond because God has enabled me to respond and he changes me from the inside out and he expects me to go out and day by day and year by year, through the power of his spirit, start to live a different life. Understand. We believe that salvation is by faith and faith alone. No amount of knocking on doorknobs or doing good deeds or coming to church or whatever is going to make you right with God. It is simply faith. It is me believing that Jesus did on the cross for me what I was not able to do for myself, and that is pay the penalty of my sins. We believe that faith is transforming, that it changes who we are, that we become changed people. There's a verse in Titus that says that we were we were saved for good works. It's a wonderful passage as one in Titus two, there's one in Titus three. But we were saved. We were changed so that we could live a different kind of life, all for the glory of God. And that's our statement of faith and theology.


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