Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.
B. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.
C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.
D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
God is on a mission to remove evil from His good world, along with all of its corrosive effects. However, He wants to do it in a way that does not involve removing humans. In this video, we trace the theme of God’s “covering” over human evil through animal sacrifices that ultimately point to Jesus and his death and resurrection.Sacrifice and Atonement, The Bible Project
This doctrine describes what Jesus did in order to save us from sin and give us eternal life with God.
Jesus accomplished our salvation by becoming a man, by suffering and dying for us, and by raising us to new life in and with him. His work of salvation began in eternity when he purposed with his Father to accomplish our redemption. In his incarnation, he brought the promise of salvation into the world. The substance of his earthly ministry was to proclaim this salvation, both by his teaching and by his actions, including his many miracles. Those who recognized what he was doing and who worshiped him as Savior were told that they were “saved” (Mark 16:16), even before his death and resurrection, because they believed the promise that he brought with him.
The key moment in Jesus’ earthly life was his agony in the garden of Gethsemane on the night before he was crucified. There he repeated in human form what he had already done in heaven—he submitted to his Father’s will and accepted the suffering and death which that entailed.
After his death, Jesus descended to “hell,” the place of disobedient spirits and the home of Satan. By this act he invaded the kingdom of darkness and rebellion against God, destroying its power and setting those who had been captured by it free. He then returned to earth in a resurrected body, showed himself to his disciples and prepared them for his ascension into heaven. Once in heaven, he presented his sacrifice to the Father and sat down at the Father’s right hand, where he serves as an advocate for believers (1 John 2:1).
The theological heart of Christ’s saving work is his death on the cross, where he made “atonement” for our sins—the payment that reconciles us to the Father and puts us “at one” with him. On the cross, Jesus took our sins on himself, and paid the price for them by his death, so that those who believe in him and trust in his work on their behalf are saved through him rather than by anything we may achieve or perform.
The scope of Christ’s accomplishment of salvation is debated among theologians. Some emphasize that Christ accomplished salvation equally for all and that the extent is only limited by the application of salvation exclusively to believers. Others emphasize that salvation is entirely of God, and if Jesus fully intended to save someone, that person will in fact be saved. Part of this difference is a genuine divergence over how to interpret the biblical evidence and part of it is a matter of perspective and emphasis. If we say that Jesus died for sins, we must confess that his atonement was in some way universal, in the sense that there is no sin that is too great for his death to have covered it. Nobody can claim to be beyond the saving mercy of God because their evil is somehow greater than his grace. But if we say that Jesus died for sinners, then there is always some sense in which his atoning work is restricted, because (except for a small minority of universalists) Christians have taught that only those who believe the gospel will be saved (Mark 16:16; John 3:16).
Finally, whether (and to what extent) Jesus’ accomplishment of salvation applies to those who are not Christians or outside the church is a matter of controversy. Biblically, it can be said that whatever plan for non-Christians may be hidden in the mind of God, no one can come to the Father except in and through Christ the Son. Sooner or later, somehow or other, everyone who wishes to be saved must find their way to, and be found in union with, Jesus Christ, the only Savior and Mediator.
Gerald Bray, “Jesus’ Accomplishment of Salvation,” in Lexham Survey of Theology, ed. Mark Ward et al. (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018)