The Bible is God’s written word that affirms that He is creator and that He acts with a purpose. God made mankind in His image. What was His purpose in creating us? Redemption. His purpose was to make us holy and righteous. Even though man sinned, God accomplished His purpose through Jesus Christ.
Salvation is the theme of the Bible. The New Testament builds the doctrine of salvation and redemption on God’s creation of all mankind from one man and one woman. All come from Adam, and all are saved through Christ. Acts 17:26-27 tell us that all of mankind are one people and that all are worth saving.
Sin is the supreme choice of self over God. Every human with a moral conscience will and does sin. 1 Kings 8:46-52 reminds us that people have always sinned and will always need salvation. Psalms 143 is one of David’s reminders that no one is righteous and it is from God that we seek salvation. Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3, and 1 John 1:8-10 are other places in scripture that God teaches this fact.
God has accomplished salvation for us in Jesus Christ. He has redeemed us. He has done it for us. We do not, and cannot, do it on our own. The famous verse John 3:16 tells us that God has done the work for us. We only have to trust and believe. He has paid the penalty and offered His life on our behalf. In John 12:44-50, Jesus tells us that he came to save the world. When he came the first time, He did not come to judge and determine who would be condemned. This will be what happens when He comes again. Jesus first came to save, and it is only by His name that we are saved (Acts 4:11-12).
Salvation is not a work that we do, but is something that God has accomplished for us. Ephesians 2:8-9 teach that salvation is a gift of God’s grace that is given through faith. Even faith is a gift and not conjured up any time we want it. Our willingness to believe is a gift so that the redemption we receive through the blood of Christ is given out of the riches of His grace. God provided His own sacrifice and His own resurrection.
Jesus went to each of His disciples and called them. They did not come to Jesus on their own. Jesus taught this himself. Jesus confronted them, and all they did was respond. In John 6:63-65, Jesus teaches that no one can come to him unless the Father first calls them.
Our salvation is not our holding onto God, but instead is God holding onto us. Because no one is greater than God, John 10:28-30 assures us that no one is able to take us away from God. If you accept God’s gift then no one and no thing can separate you from Him. He chooses us, so our salvation doesn’t rely on anyone but Him.
God has promised us salvation through His gift of grace, and if God has promised it, it will happen. The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. God does not call you and change His mind. Philippians 1:6 tells us that God will complete the good work He starts in us. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 and 2 Timothy 1:12 both emphasize God’s faithfulness to those who believe in Him. God is able to carry out His promises to us. It is not on our shoulders to accomplish our salvation. The perseverance of the saints is not our effort holding onto God, but God’s effort holding us until the end.
We are told that we are to persevere through struggles and to do good works and not stop these things. But this is not to build a case for our salvation. It is for our sanctification and relationship with God. The gift of salvation is God’s gift that is promised. Revelation 3:10 may have varying interpretations, but all are consistent in teaching that God will protect us and keep us. All those whom God calls and truly respond by accepting the gift of grace are kept by God’s power. Jesus will not lose those who come to him.
Who is this Jesus? He is God the Redeemer. He is God Himself in the flesh. He is God who became man without losing any of His deity. This is where all people stumble. They do not believe in the infallibility and deity of Jesus.
What do you think of Jesus? Was He just a good man? Then the Gospels are unbelievable. Is He God? Then what should surprise us about stories of a virgin birth and miracles?
Jesus is the word of God become flesh. The baby born in Bethlehem was God becoming a man. He humbled Himself and took the form of a servant. He does not lose deity, but gains incarnation. God made man and experienced life as a man. He came not as a ruling king, but as a servant and taught that the greatest among men would be a servant. He was obedient unto death, even death on a cross. This God did not put in His time and then retire peacefully, but gave Himself up to crucifixion. Therefore He is exalted above all others. Jesus is Lord.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
This is part 2 of the third lesson in a twelve part series on Basic Theology. Each part is broken into two half-hour sections. These recordings are part of a series called Theologoumenon. They were recorded by Dr. Bush in 1979 so that people in the churches, not just in seminary classrooms, could have easy access to lessons in basic theology.
1. The Word of God (part 1 – part 2)
2. God the Creator (part 1 – part 2)
3. God the Redeemer (part 1 – part 2)
4. Redemption (part 1 – part 2)
5. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts (part 1 – part 2)
6. The Trinity (part 1 – part 2)
7. The Doctrine of Sin Part 1 (part 1 – part 2)
8. The Doctrine of Sin Part 2 (part 1 – part 2)
9. Salvation (part 1 – part 2)
10. Doctrine of the Church (part 1 – part 2)
11. Last Things (part 1 – part 2)
12. How to Recognize Heresy (part 1 – part 2)