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Defined: Soteriology

Definition:


Soteriology can be simply defined as the study of the doctrine of salvation. Salvation is the process of being saved from sin and eternity in hell as a result of placing your faith in Jesus Christ. This act of justification is achieved only through God's grace by which sinners are legally reconciled to Him, one that cannot be accomplished through good works or merit.


Components:


Election: The Bible teaches that God chose, before the foundation of the world, those whom He would save (Eph. 1: 4). This election is not based on anything in the individual, but solely on God's grace and mercy. Those who are elected will come to faith in Christ and be saved.


Regeneration: Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit (John. 6: 63), whereby He brings new life to the sinner who is dead in their sins. This new life results in faith and repentance, which lead to salvation.


Justification: Justification is the legal declaration by God that the sinner is righteous based on the imputed righteousness of Christ. This righteousness is credited to the believer through faith alone (Rom. 5: 1).


Sanctification: Sanctification is the ongoing process by which the believer is made holy. It is a work of the Holy Spirit, who uses the means of grace (such as the Word of God) to conform the believer to the image of Christ (1 Thes. 4: 1-8).


Purpose:


The primary purpose of studying soteriology is to gain a biblical understanding of salvation. A proper understanding of scriptural teachings on soteriology enables the believer to discern the differences between true and false gospel messages. This doctrine is the foundation of the good news of the Gospel, and the primary doctrine that distinguishes Christianity from other religions. The Bible emphasizes the essential role of God's sovereignty in salvation, the importance of faith and repentance, the imputed righteousness of Christ, adoption as children of God, and sanctification as a lifelong process.


This doctrine holds immense theological significance for shaping our understanding of the sovereignty of God, free will, evangelism, and numerous other theological concepts. It is crucial that we diligently strive to comprehend this doctrine as presented in the scriptural text, to foster a profound reverence for God, and recognize the inescapable reality that we are incapable of saving ourselves, apart from the redemptive grace that is extended to us solely through the mediation of His Son, Jesus Christ.


Additional Resources:


Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul

Justification by Faith Alone by Jonathan Edwards

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