Soteriology: An Introduction by Matthew Howden

Matthew Howden

Introduction

In this article we will be taking an introductory look at soteriology, or the study of salvation, including key Bible passages, issues, my personal statement and a warrant for position.

Bible Passages

Romans 8: This chapter teaches the way that salvation works in the life of the believer. God the Father foreknows and predestines a group of people for himself.

God does this by his own loving will, there is nothing we have done to make him call us.“God calls us to himself, through what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and through the Spirit working in ourselves to open up our minds and hearts to what God is doing.”

We see justification (Rom. 8:1-3, Rom. 8:33-34), adoption (Rom. 8:14-17), sanctification (Rom. 8:4-10), perseverance (Rom. 8:28-29), resurrection (Rom. 8:11, Rom. 8:23-25), and the new heavens and the new earth (Rom. 8:18-22).[1]

Ephesians 1:3-14: This chapter teaches us that the Trinity is involved in bringing about our salvation.

We see that the Father chooses us in Christ, resulting in our holiness and adoption (Eph. 1:4-5)[2] and the Son redeems us through his work on the cross and brings us forgiveness (Eph. 1:7).[3]

Also, the Spirit seals and he comes to guarantee our final salvation (Eph. 1:13-14).[4]

Key Issues

For years there has been this debate on the understanding of salvation. However, it seems clear from the Biblical text that God calls us to himself, through what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and through the Spirit working in ourselves to open up our minds and hearts to what God is doing.“No amount of good works was ever going to save me from my sins. I needed Jesus to come and bring about my salvation from my sins.”

God was the one that initiated the relationship with us to save us from our sins and he is the one that continues to do the work of saving us until the end.

No amount of good works was ever going to save me from my sins. I needed Jesus to come and bring about my salvation from my sins.

Moreover, God will preserve those he calls until the end. Paul makes it clear…

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.Romans 8:29-30 (KJV)

When we answer the gospel call in our lives we are made into the image of Christ.

After this we are justified and we look with anticipation to the day when we will be glorified. That is the full story of our salvation.

Personal Statement

I believe that the Scriptures are clear on matters regarding our salvation. We can understand the way that God calls us, how he justifies us, how he adopts us into his family, and as we continue to live this life we see how he sanctifies us and makes us more into the person who he wants us to be.

We also see how he preserves us when we are in times of trials and testing; as we look forward to the resurrection when we are going to experience the new heavens and the new earth where we will live with God forever.

Warrant for Position

The Bible is clear that God is the one that does the initiating to bring about our salvation.

“I am thankful to be a part of God’s family.”

If it was not for the work of the Holy Spirit opening up my mind and heart to the good news of the gospel I would not have looked for God.

As such, God continues to be the one initiating the relationship that will bring about my final salvation.

I am thankful to be a part of God’s family.

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Image Credit

Gesprek met Nikodemus, Jacques de Bie, after Maerten de Vos, 1598-1618. The Rijksmuseum. RP-P-1885-A-9638.

Sources

[1] Morgan, Christopher W. & Peterson, Robert A. Christian Theology: The Biblical Story and Our Faith. p. 330
[2] Ibid., 332
[3] Ibid., 332
[4] Ibid., 332

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