FoF Lesson 6

Salvation

Audio message: Exchanging Living Death for Dying Life
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[Lesson 6: Session 11] [Lessons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]


Notes on Session 11, Sunday, December 6th:

  1. First Session on Lesson 6
  2. Welcome to new members of the class
  3. Personal highlights from MacArthur’s message?
  4. Challenges in filling in Answers in Lesson 6?
  5. Questions to be addressed?
  6. Objectives for Lesson 6:
    1. To explain that a person’s salvation is a sovereign work of God
    2. To understand conversion and its evidences
    3. To challenge the student as to their own salvation.
  7. References:
    1. The Sovereignty of God in Salvation, Dr. John MacArthur of Grace Community Church.
    2. Divine Sovereignty and Evangelism, J.I. Packer.
    3. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, John 6:35-40, Alistair Begg.
    4. God’s Sovereignty in Salvation and the Unity of the Trinity. Steven Lawson.
    5. How does God’s sovereignty and man’s free will work together in salvation? Found at www.GotQuestions.org.
    6.  Calvinism vs. Arminianism – which view is correct? See GotQuestions.org.

Common Questions for Lesson 6:

  • If God is sovereign in salvation, then why is man still responsible?
  • How do I know if I am a Christian?

Class Plan for Lesson 6:

  1. Review the Depravity of Man
  2. Discuss the Sovereignty of God in Salvation
  3. Discuss Man’s Responsibility in Salvation
  4. Review the Conversion Process
  5. Review the Evidence of Genuine Salvation
  6. Application of What We Have Learned

1. The Depravity of Man [Review of Section 1 of Lesson 5]

  • God’s indictment of man, Rom. 3:10-12, as it is written:
    “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands;
    no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

    • None righteous
    • None who understands
    • None who seeks God
    • All have turned aside
    • Useless
    • None who does good
  • Fallen nature of unsaved men
    • Alienated from God, Col. 1:21-22, And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
    • Spiritually dead, Eph. 2:1-5, And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
    • Helpless to save themselves, Rom. 5:6, For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
  • Man on his own cannot find God
  • God must seek man out
  • Salvation is totally a work of God
  • Believers respond with thankfulness

2. God’s Sovereignty In Salvation [Section I of Lesson 6]

  • The progression of how God brings a person to salvation
  • God’s foreknowledge and purposes
  • Man’s responsibility
The Process of Salvation
  • Rom. 8:29-30, For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
  • Stresses God’s sovereignty and direction
  • Five links: foreknew -> predestined -> called -> justified -> glorified

Questions:

  • What phrase is repeated four times? ___ _____
  • What is important about this phrase? __________
  • What is the tense of  these four actions? ______
  • Who is carrying out each of these four actions? ____
  • Why is this important?  _____ __ ____. 
  • Our first step in response to God calling us is repentant faith.
  • Our faith is a gift from God, 2 Pet. 1:1, Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
The Foreknowledge of God
  • 1 Pet. 1:1-2, Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
  • The Greek word for foreknowledge means more than “Knowing something beforehand.” It implies an intimate knowledge of the details of our lives – God is sovereign over our lives. He planned it before we were born.
  • God did not simply look ahead to see who would believe, and then chose those particular individuals for salvation.
The Purpose of God in Choosing Some For Salvation
  • Eph. 1:4-6, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
  • He chose so He may receive praise and glory for His grace.
  • He chose according to His purposes.
  • 2 Tim. 1:9, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began
  • Can we argue that His choice is unfair?
  • Rom. 9:14-23, What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” …
Man’s Responsibility in Salvation
  • God is sovereign in choosing those who are to be saved.
  • Man is still responsible for his sin and rejection of Christ.
  • These two truths create tension in us.
  • God offers an open call, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
  • Rom. 10:11-13, For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
  • Man is responsible for his unbelief, John 3:18, Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
  • Man is responsible for not obeying, 2 Th. 1:8-9, in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
  • Man is not saved because he is unwilling to come, John 5:39-40, You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

Question:

  • How does Luke 22:22 [For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”] demonstrate the tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility?
God Implementing His Plan of Salvation
  • God reveals His plan, Rom. 16:25-26, Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages.
  • God initiates each of these steps:
    • God calls one to salvation, Rom. 8:29-30
    • God draws one to Himself, John 6:44, No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
    • The Holy Spirit convicts one of sin, John 16:8-9, And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
    • God grants repentance, 2 Tim. 2:25, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
    • God gives one the faith to believe, 2 Pet. 1:1, Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
    • God justifies the believer, Rom. 4:25-5:1, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    • The Holy Spirit washes and regenerates, Tit. 3:5, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
    • God promises to glorify, Rom. 8:30
  • Every aspect of a person’s salvation is a work of God

3. Man’s Part in Salvation

  • Man only needs to respond to the calling of God
  • Faith is supplied by God’s grace as a gift
  • We bear the responsibility if we do not, John 5:40, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
  • Salvation comes with a brokenness over sin, Luke 18:13, But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
  • Also comes with a a confession of Christ as Lord, Rom. 10:9-10, because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

4. Conversion [See Section II]

  • Begins when God initiates the calling, John 6:44, No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
  • God draws men to Himself according to His good pleasure through:
    • Preaching of the gospel
    • Reading of His Word
    • Conviction of sin through the Holy Spirit

Question:

  • What is the difference between the outward call of the gospel, which many might hear, and the inward call of the gospel, which the Lord uses to convert people?
    • Many hear the gospel message; few respond to the conviction
    • True conversion involves conviction over sin, desire to repent, turn from one’s sin, follow Christ
  • We have the Son of God on a cross, not a serpent on a pole
    • Conviction of sin, Rom. 3:20, For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
    • Acts 2:36-37, Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
    • Repentance from sin, tax collector, Luke 18:13, But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
    • Repentance – turning away from sin and turning to God
    • Turning to Christ, Rom. 10:13, For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
  •  The nature of true conviction of sin and repentance [Section II, A-C]
    • A change of mind, regret for sin, turning from sin to God, turning to Christ and confessing Him as Lord
  • The nature of true saving faith [Section II, C]
    • Faith means trusting in Christ, the object of our faith
    • True faith is marked by good works, James 2:19-20, You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?
  • The results of true conversion [Section II, D]
    • No longer a slave of sin, John 8:34, Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
    • Becoming a slave of righteousness, Rom. 6:18, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

Questions:

  • Does this mean that Christians will not sin? Rom. 7:15-25, For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  …
  • What distinguishes the Christian from the unbeliever?

5. Evidence of Salvation [See Section III]

  • True salvation is never without true faith, love and hope
    • True faith, marked by good works, tested by trials
    • True love is seen in good deeds to others
    • True hope endures to the end

Question:

  • What three things did Paul notice about the Colossians? Col. 1:4-5, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,

6. Application of What We Learned [See Section IV]

The security of salvation
  • Salvation is a sovereign work of God, Rom. 8:29-30
  • Your salvation is secure
    • Protected by the power of God, 1 Pet. 1:3-5, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
    • God will finish what He began, Phil. 1:6, And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
    • You can know you have eternal life, 1 John 5:13, I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
    • Nothing can separate you from God, Rom. 8:38-39, For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Your salvation is not yours to lose:
    • God predestined you to be saved
    • God has called and drawn you to Himself
    • God has convicted you of your sin
    • God has given you the faith to believe
    • God has granted you repentance
    • God has justified you
    • God was sealed you with the Holy Spirit
    • God has made you a new creation
    • God promises to glorify you

Question: Can a true believer in Christ lose their salvation?

What is our response?
  • Ps. 116:16-17, O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.

Question: Can we understand God’s choosing us for salvation?

  • We can only thank Him, Eph. 1:6, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
  • Rom. 11:29, For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
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