The Bible Concerning Salvation (Part 4)By Pastor Boffey on Saturday, October 23, 2010.
The Bible Concerning Salvation I. Man is presented in three states in Scripture. A. Man in a state of innocency but capable of falling. GEN 1:26-28, 31; 2:15-17. B. Man in a state of sin and incapable of recovery. 1. GEN 2:17. Man died the day he partook of the forbidden fruit. EPH 2:1-3. 2. The total posterity of Adam is affected. GEN 5:1-3; ROM 5:12, 17-19. 3. Men are sinners by NATURE (EPH 2:3). All are sinners from: a. youth. GEN 8:21; PRO 22:15. b. birth. PSA 58:3. c. conception. PSA 51:5. 4. Consider the Biblical description of fallen man. a. Jew and Gentile are alike corrupt and condemned. ROM 3:9-19, 23 c/w ROM 1:18-32; 2:1, 17-24. b. Time will not improve him. 2TI 3:1-5; 13. c. Man is worthless: (1) religiously. ISA 64:6. (2) morally. PSA 39:5. (3) collectively. ISA 40:17. 5. Consider the inability of fallen man to recover himself. a. JOB 14:4. Man's filthiness prevents him from producing cleanliness. b. JER 13:23. Man lacks the ability to alter his nature to do good. c. JER 17:9. Appeals to the heart are futile because of its corruption. The heart is the apparatus for: (1) thought. HEB 4:12. (2) resolve. HEB 4:12; 2CO 9:7. (3) will. EXO 35:29. (4) emotion. LEV 26:16 (sorrow); DEU 28:47 (gladness). d. ROM 6:20; 8:6-8. Under sin, man is totally freed FROM righteousness. e. JOH 6:44; 3:19-20; PSA 10:4. Even though God commands men to repent (ACT 17:30), they will not genuinely do so without a change of nature, which change they do not desire. f. 1CO 2:14; JOH 8:43-47. Under the dominion of sin, fallen man has no capacity for spiritual things. g. MAT 12:33-35. Actions, systems or conditions avail nothing until the nature is changed. 6. The sinful will of man will not accept the true Jesus Christ on His terms even when Christ is offered to him. MAR 15:11-14; LUK 23:25. 7. Fallen man will not change under the best of circumstances (ISA 26:10) or under intense judgments. GEN 8:21; REV 16:8-9. 8. If Adam, a perfect man, did not comply with conditions for life, then what is the fallen sinner going to do? C. Man in a state of grace incapable of falling. 1. There are three potential ways of recovery. a. God purposes to save all mankind with the fulfillment of that purpose conditioned upon man's response. This cannot be because of fallen man's inability. b. God purposes to save all mankind unconditionally. This cannot be because The Bible Concerning Salvation Page 1 the Bible teaches that not all mankind will be saved. REV 20:15. God purposes to save some of mankind with the fulfillment of that purpose not being conditioned upon man's response. This is the way. God does not wait for sinners to improve themselves before He will save them. ROM 5:8, 10; EPH 2:4-5. The salvation of sinners is founded on God's gracious purpose in election. a. MAR 13:20. Election means choosing. b. 2TI 1:9. This elective purpose was established before the worlds began. c. 1TH 1:4. God is the elector, not man. d. EPH 1:4-6. The elect are predestinated to the adoption of children. e. 2TH 2:13. Election deals with salvation. f. 1PE 1:2. Election is based on God's foreknowledge. (1) This is not foreknowledge of creature obedience. PSA 14:2. (2) This foreknowledge is of an intimate, discriminating nature. MAT 7:23 ct/w JOH 10:14, 27; 2TI 2:19. g. ROM 9:10-18; 11:5-6. Election is not based on the will or work of the one elected. Objections to election. a. “World” of JOH 3:16. (1) This world must be reconciled with ROM 9:13; PSA 5:5. (2) There are several worlds in Scripture. HEB 1:2; LUK 2:1; JOH 15:19; 17:9; ROM 11:12, 15. (3) World: “The inhabitants of the earth, or a section of them.” (4) Compare JOH 6:33, 39 w/ 17:2. The world to whom Christ gives eternal life is all the Father gave to Him. God's love is IN Jesus Christ for A world chosen in Him out of THE world before the foundation of THIS world. ROM 8:39; JOH 13:1; 2TI 1:9. b. “All men” of 1TI 2:4-6. (1) Many times in Scripture, words like “all” are meant to be understood in a restricted or qualified sense. GEN 7:21; JOS 6:21; 1CO 9:22; 15:27. (2) The “all” that God will have to be saved are of necessity the “all” that were given to Christ. The elect, called to be sons of God, are the only ones for whom He acts as mediator. HEB 9:15. c. “Every man” of HEB 2:9. (1) Again, general terms in Scripture are often meant to be understood in a restricted or qualified sense. LUK 16:16; GEN 7:21; 2:16-17. (2) If the “every man” of HEB 2:9 is unqualified, then either: AA. Nobody is going to the lake of fire, since Christ's mission was to save all of those the Father had given Him (JOH 6:37- 39), or BB. Jesus Christ did not do the works that His Father sent Him to do. Such a Christ is not to be believed. JOH 10:37. (3) Christ did not give His life for every man w/o exception. JOH 10:11, 26. (4) The context of HEB 2:9 qualifies the “every man” for whom Christ tasted death as being His brethren, the children that God had given Him. vs.10-13. c. 2. 3. 4. The Bible Concerning Salvation Page 2 “Whosoever” of JOH 3:16 and REV 22:17. (1) Whosoever believes IS in possession of eternal life. JOH 5:24; 6:47; 1JO 5:1. (2) Whosoever believes IS justified (set free from the guilt and penalty of sin). ACT 13:39. (3) But only the elect, those given to Christ, believe (put their trust in God). ACT 13:48; TIT 1:1; HEB 2:13. (4) “That” in JOH 3:16 introduces a clause expressing purpose, end, aim or desire. AA. The verse is teaching that the giving of the only begotten Son is for the purpose that believers might be in possession of eternal life. BB. It is not their belief that puts them in possession of this, but the giving of the Son. (5) Only the elect will to come and take of the water of life freely. PSA 10:4; JOH 5:40 c/w PSA 110:3; PHIL 2:13. e. “Does election mean that only a very few will be in heaven?” No! REV 7:9; GAL 3:29 c/w GEN 15:5. f. “What if one wants to be saved but is not elect?” Those who genuinely desire salvation, not just from damnation, but from sin itself ARE elect!! (1) LUK 18:7. It is the elect who cry unto God. (2) MAT 5:4. The man who mourns over his sin IS blessed. (3) MAT 5:6. If a man hungers and thirsts after righteousness, he IS blessed. (4) ROM 10:12. God IS rich unto all that call upon Him. (5) 1CO 12:3. The man who sincerely calls Jesus Christ “Lord” already IS in possession of God's Spirit. (6) ROM 8:14. The man who is led by the Spirit to call upon God and repent IS a son of God. Justification by Jesus Christ. a. Justify: “To absolve, acquit, exculpate; spec. in Theol., to declare free from the penalty of sin on the ground of Christ's righteousness, or to make inherently righteous by the infusion of grace.” b. The nature of God demands that the penalty of sin be satisfied. (1) God is holy. DEU 32:4; LEV 11:44. (2) God hates sin and sinners (HAB 1:13; PSA 5:4-5). He loves the elect only in Christ. ROM 8:39. (3) God must punish sin. EXO 34:7; PSA 11:5-7. c. ROM 3:19-26; GAL 2:16. Men are justified by Jesus Christ's faith, not by their works. (1) God, the Word, became flesh to represent the elect before His law. HEB 2:14; GAL 4:4-5. (2) Christ assumed the sin of the elect and bore the curse of the law for them. GAL 3:13; 2CO 5:21. (3) This substitutionary work brings the elect into favor with God. 1PE 3:18; HEB 2:10. (4) God's wrath against sin is satisfied by Christ. ROM 8:3-4. (5) Having destroyed sin and sin's wage (ROM 6:23) through His own d. 5. The Bible Concerning Salvation Page 3 death, Christ's righteousness is then applied to the account of the elect. HEB 9:12; ROM 4:25; 5:18. (6) The blood of Christ, offered for His people, justifies them (ROM 5:6-9), reconciles them (COL 1:21-22) and redeems them. EPH 1:7; ROM 3:24-25. (7) This justification is for the elect only. MAT 1:21; JOH 10:11, 26-28; 17:2; ROM 8:28-30. (8) Faith: “Belief, trust, confidence.” (9) “Faith of Jesus Christ” is usually explained as being the faith the sinner exercises towards Christ when he hears the gospel per ROM 10:14. (10) Christ Himself possesses and exercises faith. HEB 2:13; JOH 8:29 c/w HEB 11:6. (11) This justification cannot be by the sinner's faith. AA. When a sinner believes, he is already justified in the sense of being freed from the penalty of sin. ACT 13:39. BB. It is a just person who exercises faith. GAL 3:11. CC. Believing in Jesus Christ is obedience to a commandment of the gospel (ROM 10:16; 1JO 3:23). This justification, however, is by the obedience of ONE. The sinner's obedience can have no part in this. ROM 5:19. DD. Cornelius was cleared of the guilt and penalty of sin BEFORE he believed the gospel. ACT 15:7; 10:15, 35; 1JO 3:7. The inward change of the elect. a. 1TH 5:23. The soul is within (JOB 14:22; PSA 42:4) and the spirit is within. ZEC 12:1; 1CO 2:11. b. God promises to make a change in the inward parts. JER 31:33; EZE 11:19-20; ROM 7:22. c. This inward change is called: (1) a birth. JOH 3:3; 1JO 3:9. (2) a begetting. 1JO 5:1. (3) a quickening. EPH 2:1. (4) a calling. 1PE 5:10. (5) a creation. EPH 4:24. d. This inward change is effectually wrought by the VOICE of Jesus Christ calling the dead to life. JOH 5:25; 10:27-28; ROM 8:30. e. It is the will of God that makes this change and not the will of the sinner. JOH 1:12-13; 5:21; ROM 8:28; 9:11, 16; 2TI 1:9. The resurrection of the body. JOH 5:28-29; 6:39; ROM 8:23; PHIL 3:20-21. Man in a state of grace is eternally secure. JOH 6:37-39; 10:27-29; ROM 8:30-39; PSA 37:28. 6. 7. 8. II. The purpose of the gospel. A. Only the regenerate elect can hear and believe the gospel. 1CO 1:18; 2:14; JOH 5:24; 8:43, 47. B. By means of the gospel the elect can hear and believe on Christ, Who has saved them with a successful, completed salvation. ROM 10:13-17; HEB 1:3; 9:12, 10:14. The Bible Concerning Salvation Page 4 Faith evidences that one is justified by the faith of Jesus Christ. ACT 13:39; ROM 4:3 c/w GEN 15:5-6 c/w HEB 11:8 c/w HEB 10:38; ROM 4:23-24. 2. This faith is confirmed as genuine by works. JAM 2:14-24. 3. The sinner's obedient faith justifies him in the sense of showing him to be already righteous before God through Jesus Christ. a. It does not free him from the guilt and penalty of sin but shows that he has already been freed. b. See this sense of justify (to show to be righteous) in LUK 7:29; PSA 51:4. 4. The gospel calls one to obedience (ROM 15:18; 16:25-26). This obedience evidences that one is righteous before God and born again. 1JO 3:7; 2:29. 5. In the new birth, God gives a person the ABILITY to obey His commandments, the first of which are to repent and believe the gospel. EZE 11:19-20; MAR 1:15. a. The gospel calls that person to the exercise of that ability. Hence, through exercising the ability of the regenerate man one comes to know he IS regenerated and in possession of eternal life. b. It is a reasoning from the effect back to the cause. Thus, the gospel brings life and immortality to light! 2TI 1:10; 1JO 5:13; 1TH 1:4-6. 6. The gospel will save a child of God FROM ignorance, chastening and error if it is believed and obeyed. LUK 12:48; EPH 4:11-15; 1CO 9:22. a. The word save (and its forms and synonyms) can refer to other than the new birth and deliverance from eternal damnation. PSA 44:4; 116:8; 2TI 3:11. b. Belief of the gospel can save a child of God from an untoward generation. ACT 2:40. c. Belief of the gospel can save a child of God from fear of death. HEB 2:15. 7. The gospel will save a child of God TO fellowship with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ if it is believed and obeyed. ACT 2:38-42 c/w 1JO 1:1-4, 7, 9; ACT 3:19; 10:43. 8. The gospel is essentially designed to LOCATE, EDUCATE, STIMULATE, SEPARATE and CONGREGATE the REGENERATE!! It is a sheep finder, feeder and gatherer, not a sheep maker. ACT 13:48; JOH 21:15-17. Texts which seem to favor the idea that the gospel quickens the dead sinner. 1. 1PE 1:23. a. The Scriptures cannot regenerate. b. Jesus is incorruptible. ACT 13:35. c. Scripture is corruptible. 2CO 2:17. d. Jesus lives forever. REV 1:18. e. Jesus abides forever. JOH 12:34. f. Jesus is God's seed. GAL 3:16; 1JO 3:9. g. The phrase “word of God” cannot be confined to the gospel. HEB 11:3; 2PE 3:5. h. Jesus is the Word of God. REV 19:13. i. The word preached by the gospel is different by virtue of “this” (v. 25). j. Jesus Christ, not Scripture, quickens by His personal utterance. JOH 5:21, 25. 2. JAM 1:18. a. It is God's will that regenerates here. b. Begetting requires much more than Scripture. 1. C. The Bible Concerning Salvation Page 5 Regeneration here is God's creative act. Creation is accomplished by the personal utterance of God. GEN 1:3; HEB 11:3. e. Jesus is the Word. JOH 1:14. f. Jesus is the Truth. JOH 14:6. g. John calls Him the Word of Life. 1JO 1:1. EPH 5:26. a. Jesus Christ is the active Person here. JOH 5:25. b. Washing is the Spirit's action. TIT 3:5. c. Water is the Spirit's symbol. JOH 7:39. d. Jesus Christ directs the Spirit by His voice, as seen elsewhere. JOB 26:13 c/w PSA 33:6; JOH 20:22. e. Jesus cleanses by His voice. JOH 15:3; MAR 1:41-42. 1CO 4:15. a. Paul did not regenerate them. JOH 1:13; MAT 23:9. b. In context, Paul is speaking analogically. v. 14. c. He is comparing their gospel teachers. d. Paul was their first gospel teacher, responsible for their initial conversion. They were his work, not others. 1CO 9:1. e. Reference is here being made to the Corinthians being begotten to Paul's ways which were in Christ. vs. 16-17. ROM 1:16. a. Jesus Christ is the power of God in salvation. 1CO 1:24; JOH 17:2. b. Gospel means glad tidings or good news. LUK 4:18 c/w ISA 61:1. c. The good news is the announcement that Jesus Christ has power to save. d. The gospel or glad tidings does not bring life and immortality. It declares Jesus Christ, Who “...ONLY hath immortality...” (1TI 6:16), and has power to give it to all that the Father gave Him. JOH 17:2. e. The gospel brings life and immortality TO LIGHT. 2TI 1:10. c. d. 3. 4. 5. III. The Unconverted Elect. A. Convert: “To turn in position or direction.” B. Conversion requires Scripture and teaching. PSA 19:7; 51:13. C. Conversion involves seeing, hearing and understanding, which things require regeneration. MAT 13:15; JOH 5:24; 8:43, 47. 1. Scripture distinguishes between regeneration and conversion. 2. Regenerate: “In religious use; to cause to be born again in a spiritual sense; to invest with a new and higher spiritual nature.” 3. The inward change of man (regeneration) is effectually wrought by the VOICE of the Son of God calling the dead to life. JOH 5:25; 10:27-28; ROM 8:30. a. It is HIS voice, not that of the gospel preacher. b. It is the same power that resurrected the Savior's dead body. EPH 1:19-20. c. No preacher had a hand in that. 4. Regeneration is a conversion in the sense that God's Spirit turns the inward parts from corruption to grace, from hell to heaven. But conversion is not synonymous with regeneration. D. Examples of the conversion of born-again persons. LUK 22:32 c/w MAT 16:16 c/w 1JO 5:1; JAM 5:19-20. The Bible Concerning Salvation Page 6 E. The unconverted elect may be categorized thus: 1. The elect, not yet regenerated, and therefore unable to be converted. 2. The elect, regenerated, but not knowing Scripture, the means of conversion. a. Of these, some may eventually be converted. b. Of these, some may die in an unconverted state, yet still have eternal life. 3. The elect, regenerated, but who do not believe or obey Scripture when taught. a. Of these, some may eventually be converted. b. Of these, some may die in an unconverted state, yet still have eternal life. 4. The elect, regenerated, converted by the Scripture, but later fall into apostasy. Perhaps a better term for these would be “reverted elect.” a. Of these, some may be reconverted and recovered to obedience and fellowship. b. Of these, some may die in apostasy, yet still have eternal life. Examples of unconverted elect. 1. Cornelius. ACT 10 & 11. a. He heard the gospel, believed and was baptized by the ministry of Peter. b. He feared God, gave alms and prayed to God before hearing the gospel. ACT 10:1. c. His prayers and alms-giving were accepted by God before he heard the gospel. ACT 10:4; 1PE 3:12; PRO 15:8. d. He worked righteousness before he heard the gospel, demonstrating that he was already righteous, was born of God, and was accepted with God. ACT 10:35; 1JO 2:29; 3:7. e. God regenerated Cornelius without Peter and the gospel. f. God converted Cornelius with Peter and the gospel. g. His works proved his regeneration before the gospel. h. His faith was the firstfruits of his conversion to the gospel. i. His conversion brought more works. j. Therefore, Cornelius was obviously one of God's elect who was regenerated but unconverted before Peter preached Christ to him. 2. Solomon. a. Solomon was pointedly an elect, chosen son of God. 1CH 28:6. b. Solomon was a prophet who wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. c. The prophets were holy men of God. 2PE 1:21. d. Solomon embraced heathen religion and no evidence of his recovery is ever recorded. Solomon died in a bitter, reverted state. 1KI 11:1-43. e. The O.T. prophets and N.T. saints are perfected together. HEB 11:32, 40. f. All of the prophets will be seen in the kingdom of God. LUK 13:28. g. Though Solomon was not faithful to God's word, God was faithful to His own word. PSA 89:33; 2TI 2:13. 3. Israel in the wilderness. 1CO 10:1-6. a. Contrast vs. 3-4 with HEB 9:1-10; 8:5 w/ JOH 6:32. (1) They were all partakers of spiritual meat and drink, i.e. Jesus Christ. (2) The elements of tabernacle service and the daily manna were physical, carnal and worldly, not spiritual. b. JOH 6:54-56. Such as these have eternal life. They are secure. JOH 10:28-29. F. The Bible Concerning Salvation Page 7 HEB 3:7-11, 15-4:2. These were children of God who died because of unbelief of the gospel! d. Some would say that the fact that these people did not make it into the promised land is proof that they were never children of God to start with. (1) DEU 14:1. God called them His children. (2) What about Moses and Aaron? They died in the wilderness also because of unbelief (NUM 20:10-12) and we know Moses is in glory. LUK 9:30-31. e. If those Israelites who died in the wilderness because of unbelief of the gospel were not children of God, what would be the relevancy of this story to N.T. church members at Corinth who were children of God? 1CO 10:11. f. Those Israelites of 1CO 10:1-6 were God's children who lost their lives as a result of unbelief and disobedience. g. Remember this before condemning Ananias and Sapphira to hell. ACT 5:1-11. 4. Certain godly Gentiles who have not the law. ROM 2:13-15. a. Justify: “To show (a person or action) to be just or right; to prove or maintain the righteousness or innocence of.” 1JO 3:7. b. v. 14. These Gentiles have not the law, which in context is the Scripture, which the Jews did have. ROM 3:1-2. c. These Gentiles thus lack the very thing required for conversion. PSA 19:7. d. vs. 14-15. Yet, these Gentiles do the things contained in the law. They have not the law written in stone or on paper, but in their hearts. They obey from a lively inward nature. e. They are obviously beneficiaries of the New Covenant. HEB 8:10-13. f. Cornelius would have been amongst these before his conversion. 5. An elect, disobedient portion of natural Israel. ROM 11:25-27. a. In context, two groups are under consideration in Israel: the nation as a whole and the elect portion within the nation. ROM 11:1-7. b. The non-elect, natural Israelites are blinded ALWAYS. vs. 7-10. c. Of the elect portion of the nation, there are two groups: (1) Some, like the apostles and early church members were believing converts. ACT 21:20. (2) Others of elect Israel are under a TEMPORARY judicial blindness “...UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (v. 25). (3) The times of the Gentiles are the LAST times. 1CO 10:11; HEB 1:1-2; 1JO 2:18. (4) The blindness of the unbelieving, judicially blinded elect portion of Israel will terminate at the coming of Christ. (5) This is how “...all Israel shall be saved” (ROM 11:26): understanding that only the elect portion of the sons of Abraham (like Isaac and Jacob) are of the true Israel, and that OF THEM, only a portion will be converted to Christ before He returns. d. The unbelieving portion of elect Israel are not only not converted to the gospel, but OPPOSE it. Yet, God still has a covenant of redemption with them that He will honor. He will not repent of His work of grace. EPH 1:7; ROM 11:27-29; 2TI 2:13. The people in the above examples are known to be God's elect by the testimony of F. c. The Bible Concerning Salvation Page 8 Scripture. Our names are not included. We cannot use these examples of disobedience in spite of grace to justify our disobedience. Grace teaches otherwise. TIT 2:11-14; EPH 2:10. 1. MAT 13:28-29; 2TI 2:19. We may not know tares from wheat but God does. 2. JUDE 1:4; ROM 3:8. These texts apply to any who would use the fact of unconverted elect to justify their own sin. 3. 2TH 1:8-9; JOH 3:36; ROM 2:6-9. How does one know these texts don't apply to him if he is an unbeliever? 4. Assurance comes in obedience! 1JO 5:13; 2:3-5, 29; 5:1; 2PE 1:5-10. IV. All of the aforementioned doctrine gives ALL the glory to Jesus Christ in eternal salvation. This is the TRUE grace wherein men stand. 1PE 5:12. A. There is a false grace of eternal salvation that is taught as a reward reckoned by God obliging Himself to the sinner's effort. ROM 4:4. B. The kind of faith that is counted for righteousness is NOT faith in what the sinner does but in what God has done through Jesus Christ. ROM 4:5. V. This study has essentially contrasted two Christs. A. Jesus said that there would be false Christs. MAT 24:23-24. B. The popular Christ is one whose death and blood actually saved no one. 1. His will went no further than to make salvation a possibility for sinners. 2. He sits in heaven hoping that sinners will not make his sacrifice a vain thing. 3. The vast majority of those for whom he died end up in hell. 4. The reason that some sinners end up saved and in heaven is not what this Christ did for them since he did the same thing for the ones that end up in hell. 5. The real savior here is the sinner's will. 6. This Christ is a hamstrung, powerless, hand-wringing, failing Christ who even may lose some of those who have willed themselves into his benefits. C. The Bible Christ is one Who came to save His people from their sins. MAT 1:21. 1. His will was that of His Father's: to lose none of those that the Father had given Him to save. JOH 6:38-39. 2. He was given power to give eternal life to all the Father had given Him. JOH 17:2. 3. He finished that work. JOH 4:34; 17:4; 19:30. 4. He by Himself purged sins. HEB 1:3. 5. He entered into heaven having obtained eternal redemption for us. HEB 9:12. 6. He has perfected forever the sanctified according to God's will. HEB 10:9-10, 14. 7. He has saved us according to His own purpose and grace. 2TI 1:9. 8. He has reconciled us to God. HEB 2:17 c/w COL 1:21-22. 9. He has justified and glorified us. ROM 8:30. 10. He has guaranteed the eternal security of all the redeemed. JOH 10:27-29. 11. He is very satisfied with the results of His suffering. ISA 53:11. D. Which Christ do you believe in?