I. This study highlights the distinction between eternal salvation which delivers from the penalty of sin and establishes life and relationship with God; and temporal salvation which delivers from the power of sin and establishes active fellowship with God by hearing, belief and obedience of the gospel.
A. “Word of God” refers not only to the written/preached Scripture. It may also refer to:
1. the Divine Person of Jesus Christ. 1JO 5:7; REV 19:13.
2. Christ’s effectual voice which has power to create (HEB 11:3) and to quicken/make
alive. JOH 5:25, 28-29; 11:43-44.
B. Christ’s VOICE creates and makes alive (effectually regenerates and resurrects)
C. Christ’s GOSPEL declares and manifests life in His new creatures which believe it.
II. temporal: Lasting or existing only for a time; passing, temporary. Of or pertaining to time as the sphere of human life; terrestrial as opposed to heavenly; of man's present life as distinguished from a future existence; concerning or involving merely the material interests of this world; worldly, earthly. (Opp. to eternal or spiritual). See 2CO 4:18.
III. The question is often asked, “Are you saved?”
A. A legitimate answer to the question is “From what?” Salvation must be qualified.
B. The word “saved” is synonymous with “delivered.”
JOE 2:32 c/w ACT 2:21.
IV. A proper understanding of salvation is based upon a fundamental rule of Bible study: there are no contradictions in the Bible. 2PE 1:20; PRO 8:8.
A. There are verses in Scripture which speak of salvation as conditional.
B. There are verses in Scripture which speak of salvation as unconditional.
C. God is not double-minded; there is reconciliation of these verses.
V. Scripture affirms that the eternal salvation (election unto justification, regeneration, deliverance from death in sin and from sin's penalty, and final resurrection) of sinners is entirely by the will of God through the covenant-work of Christ and it is unconditional in nature.
A. Election (God's choice, MAR 13:20) of sinners unto the justifying power of Christ's blood
is not based upon man's work or will. 1PE 1:2 c/w ROM 8:28-30; ROM 9:11-16.
B. Regeneration or being born again as a child of God also is not based upon man's work or
will. JOH 1:12-13; 3:8; 6:63; 2TI 1:9; TIT 3:5.
C. The acquisition of Christ's righteousness is not based upon man's work or will.
ROM 4:6; 5:19; 2CO 5:21.
VI. Because of verses like ACT 16:31, many contend that the acquisition of eternal life is conditioned upon the sinner’s belief.
A. It is said that belief is not a work, and therefore does not fall under the exclusion of human works which many verses declare.
1. work: Something that is or was done; what a person does or did.
2. ACT 16:30-31 makes it clear that our belief is something that WE DO and is
therefore a work. c/w MAT 23:23; HEB 4:1-3, 9-11.
B. If “saved” always means eternal salvation and belief is a condition which men must fulfil
to acquire it, then what about:
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1. confessing? ROM 10:9-10.
a. Some contend that believing and confessing are the same thing.
b. See JOH 12:42.
2. baptism? MAR 16:16.
3. calling on the name of the Lord? ACT 2:21.
4. marine travel? ACT 27:31.
5. hope? ROM 8:24.
6. good memory? 1CO 15:2.
7. pregnant? 1TI 2:15.
8. a doctrinally stedfast preacher? 1TI 4:16.
9. works? JAM 2:14, 17.
10. never folding or backsliding? MAT 24:13.
C. There are diverse salvations / deliverances. PSA 44:4; 18:17, 43, 48; 107:6; 116:8.
VII. Given that eternal salvation is unconditional, and given that there is obviously salvation that is conditioned upon faith and obedience, it stands to reason that there is a salvation OTHER THAN eternal salvation that is for believers.
A. The possession of eternal life must precede believing.
JOH 5:24; 1JO 5:1.
1. It is a just (justified) man who shall live by faith. HEB 10:38.
2. The confession of belief that Jesus is Lord and Christ is PROOF of God's Spirit
within. MAT 16:16-17; 1CO 12:3.
3. (1JO 4:15) Whosoever SHALL confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God
DWELLETH in him, and he in God.
B. Paul labored, not to make men elect, but so that the elect might obtain another salvation.
C. Belief and obedience saves a child of God from:
1. ignorance of the truth. JOH 7:17.
2. bondage. JOH 8:30-32.
3. working his way into God's righteousness. ROM 10:1-3.
4. chastening. LUK 12:47-48; PHIL 2:14-15.
5. deception. EPH 4:11-14.
6. an untoward generation. ACT 2:40.
D. Belief and obedience saves a child of God to:
1. assurance of eternal life. 1TH 1:4-6; 1JO 5:13; JOH 6:47.
2. fellowship with like believers and with God. ACT 2:41-42 c/w 1JO 1:3.
3. fullness of joy. 1JO 1:4.
4. the comforting ministry of the Spirit in the church. ACT 2:38-39.
5. the abundant Christian life. JOH 10:10.
6. the victorious Christian life. 1JO 5:4.
VIII. Recognizing the difference between conditional and unconditional salvation is “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2TI 2:15).
A. There is a salvation which God has wrought freely for all of the elect that establishes RELATIONSHIP with God in eternity. This is eternal salvation.
1. This salvation is of God's work and will.
2. This salvation is unconditional.
3. This salvation cannot be lost. JOH 10:27-29.
4. The gospel DECLARES this completed salvation. 2TI 1:9-10; HEB 1:3.
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B. There is a supplemental salvation which comes by believing and obeying the gospel that establishes FELLOWSHIP with God in time. This is temporal salvation.
1. The elect, regenerate man's will and work is very active in obtaining this salvation.
2. This salvation is obviously conditional.
3. This salvation can be lost through unbelief and sin. HEB 4:11; 10:26-31.
4. The gospel is the MEANS of this current salvation. 1CO 15:1-2, 58.
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