During my first Sunday at a new church while living in Hershey, Pennsylvania the pastor kept saying, “You need saved.” Although I later found out this is standard sentence structure in Pennsylvania, my first response was, “What does he mean?” You may be thinking the same thing with respect to salvation, “what does it mean?” Typically “salvation” refers to the entire process that results in our complete restoration to right relationship with God through Christ. “Salvation” is broken down into various components, each critical to the life of the Christian.Understanding salvation matters for two reasons. Without it the Bible declares that we are lost. By understanding the process of salvation we know the amazing thing God has done for us and we can better help others receive this same gift.
- *Gospel call: A proclamation of the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the possibility of divine forgiveness through the acceptance of this message.
- *Regeneration: The action of the Holy Spirit upon the person to enable him or her to place faith in the Gospel message.
- *Conversion: The outward expression of repentance (turning from sin) and belief in the Gospel message.
- *Justification: The declaration by God that one’s sins are entirely forgiven and one is now morally perfect in the eyes of God (happens at conversion).
- *Adoption: The receiving of one who has believed into the family of God for all eternity (with all the entailed benefits).
- *Sanctification: The process of growing into the moral perfection already given at the time of conversion. The process begins at conversion, continues throughout a person’s life (sometimes with seeming fits and starts) and ends at death when God sanctifies whatever is left.
Gospel Call: 2 Peter 1:3
Regeneration: John 1:13, 3:8
Conversion: Acts 20:21
Justification: Romans 3:21-26
Adoption: John 1:12
Sanctification: Romans 6:19
Pick one of these Gospel explanations and share it with someone this week.
Two Ways to Live
Do vs. Done
Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem (chapters 31-43)
The Cross of Christ, John Stott