PDF copy of the doctrinal statement: THE6120 Doctrinal Summary – Soteriology
FAL2011: DOCTRINAL SUMMARY
Leonard O Goenaga
I. On the Nature of Salvation
Salvation is necessitated as based upon man’s fallen condition. Given the Fall and its consequences, as well as the individual rebellion of every human person, man stands in judgment and rebellion against a sovereign God. He is both guilty of his sin (Rm 5:6-10), and inable to save himself and his fellow man from its consequences (Lk 19:10). Nor does he normally desire to do so, or recognize such. Sin is irrational, destructive, and chaotic. Given his need and condition, a divine intervention is necessary in order for salvation to come about, and this is centered on the person of Christ Jesus.
Salvation is the God’s work at saving sinners from the death-producing consequences of sin and restoring them to a life-giving relationship with God (1 Jn 5:11; Ep 1:3-13). Central to Salvation is the life, work, and result grounded within union to Christ. Christ is both the center and the source of salvation (Jn 15:5; Gal 2:20; 2 Co 5;17). Salvation is positionally and experientially accomplished in and through Christ.
Positionally, believers are in Christ. God views Christ’s work and righteousness when He looks upon individuals. The believer is righteous and holy because they are in Christ, who Himself is Holy and Righteous. Through His obedience, the church is made righteous (Rm 5:19). The believer is dead, buried, and resurrected in Christ. Christ pays the penalty of sin, and secures the victory over death on the believer’s behalf.
Experientially, Christ is in believers. The positional work secures for believers the experiential promises and practices. Through the positional work of Christ on the Cross, the experiential work of the Spirit progressively sanctifies the believer in the image of Christ. Positionally, they are ‘in Christ’, and experientially, Christ is in them in the Spirit making them like Christ (Ep 1:13–14; Rom 8:9–11; 1 Co 6:17, 19; 12:13).
II. On the Conditions and Components of Salvation
God is sovereign over all the universe, and providentially cares for His creation. God wills the salvation of all, and creates man with a degree of self-determinism (1 Tm 2:4; 2 Pt 3:9). The elect of God are appointed for salvation by the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of God the Spirit, and for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Pt 1:2; Rm 8:29).
Salvation is foremost a work of God (Rm 8:35). As such, it is impossible for true believers to override God’s work and commit apostasy (Rm 8:28, 35). God saves through the conversion of individuals evident within repentance and faith. Salvation is through the sole work of God on the condition of repentance and faith. Repentance is the conviction of one’s sinfulness and a total mind/body turning away from the former lifestyle of rebellion (Lk 15:17; 2 Co 7:9-10; Lk 15:18). Faith is the laying hold of the promises found within the person and work of Christ (Eph 2:8-9). Faith rests upon right knowledge (Rm 10:8, 17), right assent (Mt 9:28), and right appropriation (Jn 1:11-12). Upon the evidence of true repentance and right faith (Jn 1:12; Eph 2:8; Hb 11:6), the believer is instantly regenerated before God and the Spirit imparts eternal life (Eph 2:5; Jn 6:63; 2 Co 3:6). Upon being united with God, believers experience justification and sanctification. Believers are positionally declared ‘not guilty’, and also then progressively sanctified to conformity of their newly rendered verdict (Rm 8:1; Rm 3:19-4:9; Mt 1:21). Sanctification is both positional and experiential. Positionally, the believer is seen as sanctified and washed in Christ (1 Cor 6:11). Experientially, the believer is conformed progressively into Christ-likeness through the work of the Spirit in and through the Body of Christ (Ep 5:26).