The courtroom, therefore, is the stage for the concept of justification. When the judge justifies the person standing before him, he announces that the person is not guilty of whatever the charge was. In the courtroom of God, He announces not only that the sinner who has believed in Jesus is not guilty, but that he is perfectly righteous before Him. Justification includes more than bare acquittal. The judge is not only saying that the one standing before him may go without penalty, but he also declares that as far as the law is concerned, the person is blameless and righteous.
Archives For Soteriology
Because of God’s grace we go from being people whose “throats are like open graves” (Ps. 5:9) to being participants of God’s glory. We were washed up and put out; now we are called up and put in.
Faith must have some content. There must be confidence about something or in someone. To believe in Christ for salvation means to have confidence that He can remove the guilt of sin and give eternal life. It means to believe that He can solve the problem of sin, which is what keeps a person out of heaven.
The cost of your sins is more than you can pay. The gift of your God is more than you can imagine.
Ponder the achievement of God. He doesn’t condone our sin; nor does he compromise his standard. He doesn’t ignore our rebellion; nor does he relax his demands. Rather than dismiss our sin he assumes our sin and, incredibly, sentences himself. God’s holiness is honored. Our sin is punished. And we are redeemed. God is still God. The wages of sin is still death. And we are made perfect.
Salvation is God’s business.
Keep the key issue in the Gospel clear: We are sinners and Christ died to provide forgiveness of our sins.
The fact that something was taught in the first century does not make it right (unless taught in the canonical Scriptures), and the fact that something was not taught until the nineteenth or twentieth century does not make it wrong, unless, of course, such teaching is clearly unscriptural.
A guy was wrestling with a question that had troubled him for years.
“Can a person lose his salvation?”
The question came up when I was recently visiting his men’s Bible study. He explained a scenario to me:
“Christopher, right now you are saved and you are a Christian. You serve the Lord faithfully and are a man of God. However, let’s say that something drastic happens in your life and you walk away from God and your faith. Furthermore, you not only walk away from God but you become an active worshipper of Satan. If you start to worship Satan and have walked away from God, are you still saved?“
The men’s group shared that they often struggle with that same question. If I am saved can I lose my salvation? How do I know I’m saved?
And to be honest, as a pastor I also struggle with this question.
In this post I want to explain two main topics: eternal security and assurance. First, let’s define those terms briefly and then, second look at what Scripture says.
Photo Credit: Finn Terman
The Assurance of Eternal Security
I. DEFINITIONS OF “ETERNAL SECURITY” AND “ASSURANCE”
Eternal security is the biblical fact that once you are saved you cannot lose your salvation. Assurance is the feeling of comfort you experience because you are certain you cannot lose your salvation.
II. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT ETERNAL SECURITY
As a Small Groups Pastor of a local church there are three topics that I encounter most when interacting with Christians: grace, faith, and justification. They are essential topics that every Christian learns about, wrestles with, and tries to live out. Growing as a Christian leads to improved understanding of these three topics and should result in living them out better and better. As I continue my series of soteriology blog posts, I hope to give you a biblical description of each of these topics and point you to some ways you can live out grace, faith, and justification in your life.
Grace, Faith, and Justification
Photo Credit: Rembrandt, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”
We have been given a gift we don’t deserve.
A. In Grace, God Punishes Jesus, Not Us
In Paul’s letter to the Romans he talks about grace in the third chapter saying,
Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight [literally “declares us righteous”]. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past. (Romans 3:24–25, NLT) 1
Let’s take each part of this verse and examine grace.
1. God Takes Initiative
Paul tells us that God “in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight” (v. 24) and “God presented Jesus” (v. 25). It’s clear that God takes the initiative to provide grace to us. This is something he does for us, and it is not something we have caused. Continue Reading…
- Unless otherwise noted, all translations are from the New Living Translation, 2015 revision ↩