2004-05-08 - Doctrine of
One of the most important doctrines of scripture is the Doctrine of Salvation.
And as well as being vital, it is one that is frequently a major area of
contention between believers. The disagreement is not tied to the issue of
God's grace, but in understanding God's sovereignty versus man's free will.
I don't intend to resolve that battle here.
The other point I need to make is that volumes have been written on the Doctrine
of Salvation. I could spend weeks, or is that years?, on the subject.
Consequently, this study is intended to serve only as an introduction and
survey of the subject. I hope it stimulates you to a further exploration
of the topic. And of course, if you consistently read the Word, you will
be doing an ongoing study of the subject.
As in the previous doctrinal studies, the material is drawn primarily from
Through The Bible in One Year 1 , and supplemented from
Willmington's Guide to the Bible 2 .
The most fundamental doctrine of scripture is the Doctrine of Salvation.
This is the entire focus of the Bible, from God's planning for it, the need
of it, the bringing it about, and its three tenses. Stringfellow introduces
the study this way.
"Salvation of lost souls is the reason Jesus died, the
reason He established the church, the reason He gave to the church His gifts
of "apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers' (Ephesians 4:11).
These gifts were given to the church for the winning of
the lost, then for growth of the new person in Christ and "for the maturing
(perfecting) of the saints (saved ones) for the work of ministry, for the
edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:12).
"Salvation may be gained by one way, and one way only. The way is God's way
and is the subject of is study." 3
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and
this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no
one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The Great Truth
The most important truth of salvation is what it says about God and not what
it says about us. God's desire to even save a fallen humanity tells us of
His love and mercy. The message of salvation is the message of God's grace.
Salvation was conceived in the Mind of God: Because God knew even before
the work of creation that man would fall, He planned for the work of Salvation.
"For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world
to be holy and blameless in His sight" (Ephesians 1:4).
All that followed Adam and Eve's sin and the fall of humanity (see the doctrinal
studies on man and sin) was in place to restore fallen humans to a relationship
with their Creator. And as we can see from Paul's words here, not only was
the work of salvation planned before creation, so was our individual calling
to that salvation. This speaks to God's foreknowledge (omniscience).
"He (Jesus) was chosen before the creation of the world,
but was revealed in these last times for your sake"
(1 Peter 1:20).
"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed
to the likeness of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers"
(Romans 8:29). (also see Titus 1:2.)
We are assured and confident of our salvation because it is in God's hands
and it has been his purpose since before the beginning of time. Praise the
To be continued
Comments or Questions,
1 Stringfellow, Alan B., ed., Through the
Bible in One Year, Vol. 3, Great Truths of the Bible, Copyright © 1981
by Virgil W. Hensley, Inc., Publisher, Tulas, OK, p. 105-110.
2 Willmington, H. L., Willmington's Guide to the Bible,
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL., 1981, pp. 727-755.
3 Stringfellow, p. 105.