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Essential Christian Doctrines - Lesson 9

by Dr. Ray Self



Click Play in the video player window and follow along on the class notes below.


What is salvation and what are its benefits? Sometimes words are tossed around with the assumption that everyone fully understands them. However, this is not always the case. Salvation, bears defining for the sake of a deeper understanding of this doctrine and its incredible benefits.

Greek translations indicate that it is a noun, based from the word soteria meaning the physical or moral rescue of someone. It concerns the health and safety of the individual. It is combined with a basis from the term sozo, a verb, indicating healing, saving, preservation or to be made whole. The meanings are both literal and figurative. With these definitions in mind, consider the following scripture: Psalms 68:19, "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation." Now apply the literal words from the definitions of soteria and sozo, while remembering what we are told God does for us in Psalms 68:10. We are rescued from sinfulness. We are redeemed. We are healed from disease. We are delivered from captivity and saved from destruction. We are preserved from danger. We are made whole.

How do we receive this salvation for ourselves? Our salvation begins with faith. The object and rewarder of our faith is Jesus Christ. John 3:36 asserts that, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." Romans 10:9, calls for action on the part of the believer and God. IF THE BELIEVER confesses, and IF THE BELIEVER believes (actions by believer); THEN THE BELIEVER WILL BE saved (action by God). This grace from God is a free gift. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift from God" (Ephesians 2:8).

While our salvation begins with faith, it offers us an intimate relationship with God, and ends with the promise of eternal life. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and His life is in the Son" (I John 5:10-11). I John 3:24 explains, "And thereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He has given us." Jesus, Himself, says, in John 10:28, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." Notice the strong words of Christ again – "neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." In simple terms, once we are saved through Jesus Christ, He will never let us go. This truth should give every believer peace.

Jesus came to save the lost and He calls us to partner with Him in His plan of salvation. One of the directives that Jesus gives to mankind is the responsibility to share the good news of the gospel. Matthew 28:19 reads, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

Faith needed for salvation, comes by hearing the word of God (see Romans 10:17). Therefore, we are instructed to know the word of God and to teach His word; making it plain. Join in and be a part of God’s plan. The nations need to hear the word of God. We are the ones commissioned to tell them!

Study Questions:

  1. Give a complete definition of salvation.
  2. How is salvation received?
  3. Discuss the meaning of this scripture - “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift from God” (Ephesians 2:8).
  4. Once a person is truly saved can he or she lose their salvation? Please give scriptures to support your answer. Be aware that there are two theological views that are often debated on this subject. Argue for your view.

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