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56. Soteriology: The Doctrine of Salvation

Purpose: The purpose of this session is to introduce the disciple to the biblical doctrine of salvation.


1. The disciple will understand more clearly how Christ has made provision for all mankind to be saved.

2. The disciple will understand more clearly the nature of regeneration.

3. The disciple will understand more clearly the nature of adoption.

4. The place of repentance will be understood more clearly.

Scripture Memory

He saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Titus 3:5-6


1. Sharing and mutual prayer .

2. Share memory verses.

3. Discuss questions.

4. Review new terms.

The Doctrine of Salvation

This is a study of various aspects of the doctrine of salvation. It is not intended to be a complete study, but rather a general overview of the broader doctrines related to our salvation in Christ our Lord.

The study will be built around significant doctrines related to the overall subject of salvation. Salvation as spoken of here is salvation from the effects of sin. The basic meaning of the word salvation is deliverance. Please keep this in mind. There are many things we need to be __________________ from. In relation to sin, there is the penalty, the power and the presence of sin. In this sense, salvation can be conceived of as past, present and future if we see it in its total context. P____________ relates to the past, P_________ relates to the present, and P_____________ relates to the future. There are basic doctrines we have considered that have to do with each of these aspects of salvation. See if you can relate each of the basic doctrines already considered to these three aspects of salvation.

1. Justification relates to _________________________ of sin.

2. Sanctification relates to _________________________ of sin.

3. Glorification relates to _________________________ of sin.

In reality, salvation can only be understood clearly when it is understood in terms of its global aspects, including all that the Gospel and Calvary have provided for us.

The first aspect of salvation we will consider is basic to the entire doctrine. It is the doctrine of regeneration.


This doctrine has to do with the main aspect of our entry into the family of God. Without it, there is no admission into that favored place or position we have come to know in relation to God.

The basic meaning of regeneration is found in John 3:3. Jesus said that it is necessary for a man to be _________ __________ if he is to enter into the kingdom of God. This is spoken of as the ___________ birth. When regeneration takes place, one experiences new _____________. Regeneration is the door of entry into eternal life. One who does not experience regeneration does not experience life. Regeneration is new _________ , Ephesians 2:1.

I. The Nature of Regeneration

It is important to understand the nature of this birth or regeneration. Consider for a moment the following things which are not regeneration.

A. Baptism is not regeneration. Jesus did not baptize, yet He came to seek and to ___________, Luke 19:10. The references to water in various places in the Gospels often refers to the Word of God. In Ephesians 5:26 we see that the washing of water is through the ____________. James 1:18 tells us that He gave us birth through the ____________ of _____________.

B. Reformation is not regeneration. The new birth is not taking a new step forward or reforming one’s behavior. It is not a psychological experience. Such a position sees the death of Christ as having no value in helping man deal effectively with his problem of sin. Regeneration by reformation is nothing more than "salvation by works."

II. The Means of Regeneration

The following verses of Scripture carry aspects of truth related to the means of regeneration. See if you can identify these varied aspects from your understanding of the passages of Scripture.

A. In John 1:13 we are told that regeneration comes about in what way?

With whom did it begin?

See also Titus 3:5, 6 and John 3:5. Now see if you can think through the part each Person of the Godhead played in our salvation.

1. The Father

2. The Son

3. The Holy Spirit

B. What is man's part in the entire picture? John 1:12.

Where do good works fit into the picture? Ephesians 2:10


Repentance is a doctrine that relates to salvation. It is a doctrine that is often misunderstood and confused with sorrow and feeling contrite. It is good to look at the basic meaning of the word as far as its original meaning in the mother language is concerned. The word repentance (metanoia) has the meaning "change of mind". Simple sorrow or contrition does not constitute repentance.

I. The Emphasis on Repentance

Look up the following verses that concern the central message of repentance. What do they say?

Luke 24:47

Mark 1:15

Acts 2:38

2 Peter 3:9

Looking at these verses and realizing the basic meaning, what do these verses teach us about the desires of the Father for mankind?

II. How is Repentance Demonstrated?

We have seen that repentance begins with a change of ______________ about one's behavior. This is basic because how I think has a great deal to do with how I _____________ , and actions are usually the result of my thinking. Some of the behaviors that will follow true repentance are seen in the following verses: see if you can determine what they are.

Psalm 38:18

Isaiah 55:7

Acts 26:18 and 1 Thessalonians 1:9 tell us that it is not enough to turn away from sin, but that repentance includes what?

And the results will include what? Luke 15:7,10 and Acts 3:19.

It is not easy to separate all of the aspects of salvation. Perhaps repentance and belief are so closely knit that they are inseparable for most of us. But if belief is true belief, it will include repentance.


We do not, as a rule, separate faith from everything else that is involved in salvation.. Yet it is good to look at the nature of this means of salvation and the method of living a life of rest once we have entered into eternal life.

Throughout these studies we have emphasized the necessity of faith in Christ and His work for us as the means of salvation. Let's look carefully at the meaning and usage of the word “faith.”

I. In Relation to Salvation

Ephesians 2:8,9 tell us that _________________ comes by faith. And where does faith come from______________________________________ The word faith and gift are tied together in the original language. Faith is a gift from__________. The great doctrine of _____________________________ is related to faith, Romans 5:1. Galatians 3:26 associates faith with__________________, and Acts 26:18 says that our ____________________ is through faith.

Finally, faith _______________ us by God's power until the full revelation of salvation is made known at His return, 1 Peter 1:5.

II. In Relation to His Promises

Our Father has given us promises to claim throughout His Word. The method of relating to them is through faith. Hebrews 11:1 has an interesting truth possibly related to this subject. It says, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." The Greek word "hupostasis" occurs in this context and has been translated in various ways. A recent discovery in archeology found a box in an ancient tomb containing title deeds. Across the top of the box was written the word "hupostasis". Could it be that faith is the title deed to what we hope for? Now look at the following verses in relation to faith, promises, and prayer.

What does 1 John 5:14,15 teach us?

What will be the result of wavering in one's faith? See James 1:6.

Finally, we should note that it is not just faith that is significant. In fact faith by itself is useless. It is absurd! One can have great faith and be nowhere. The object of our faith must be considered absolutely paramount. One has said that faith may be weak and full of defects. But when the object is God, it has no defects. Let's remember, therefore, that it is not the quality of the faith, but the object of the faith that is most important.


The final aspect of salvation that we will consider is that pertaining to our adoption as sons. John 1:12 tells us that when we receive Jesus, we become _____________ of God. Through adoption, the believer who is already a child becomes a son with full standing. Galatians 4:1-7 tells us that while we were children, we were no different from____________. For this reason, God has brought about our adoption which makes us _________________with full standing. Certainly our sonship and all that it entails should elevate us above the standing of a slave. The term adoption is Pauline rather than from John. It is a Roman word that has the meaning of "the placing of a son". It is a legal term.

I. The Timing of Adoption

Ephesians 1:4,5 tells us that our adoption as sons actually took place at what distant point?

It was conceived in the mind of God as were all other aspects of our salvation.

What do John 1:12,13; 1 John 3:2 and Romans 8:15 tell us about our new relationship?

Romans 8:23 tells us that we are “waiting ______________________________ ______________________,” when the full benefits of adoption will take place.

II. Benefits of the Adoption of Sons

In the following verses, some of the benefits of adoption are given. See if you can find them and list them.

Luke 12:27-33

1 John 3:1

Romans 8:29

Hebrews 12:5

2 Corinthians 1:4

1 Peter 1:3-5

Justification and sanctification have been dealt with in previous sessions and will be omitted from the doctrine of salvation and its considerations.

Questions for Review and Discussion

1. A seminary professor shocks his Christian audience when he stands and prays, "Lord, help us all to be saved this coming week." What, if anything, is wrong with this statement included in this prayer?

Be sure you can justify your answer!

2. Which is correct and why? Which are incorrect, and why?

a. Regeneration is being "reborn". One experiences "rebirth".

b. Regeneration is "reformation". God helps a person rejuvenate his life and clean up the mess.

c. Regeneration is getting a new chance. The past is wiped out and God is willing to evaluate our behavior only from this point onward.

d. Regeneration is the "new birth", and being born again is an experience in which God puts within us a totally new creation.

e. "God helps those who help themselves."

3. What place does sorrow have in repentance?

There is a difference between sorrow and "godly" sorrow, as used in the Bible in relation to repentance. Sorrow may be for any number of reasons. Perhaps I am sorry because my sin was exposed...because of the things that have happened to me...because others have discovered my sin. Or because of natural reaping that has taken place in relation to the sowing. "Godly" sorrow, on the other hand, is sorrow that relates to disobedience to the Father and a breaking of my commitment as a servant of Him. It is "godly" sorrow that leads to repentance.

Suggested reading: Psalm 51

Life Application

Write a short paper that illustrates each of the parts of God’s salvation as it relates to your experience. This should included things related to your standing as well as your continuing state.

Related Topics: Discipleship

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