Soteriology 054
2 Corinthians 5:21 • Dr. Andy Woods • April 2, 2017 • Soteriology


Note: Soteriology #54 is a continuation of #53, so the same PowerPoint file was used for both sermons. Soteriology #54 picks up on slide #20 of the PowerPoint.

Andy Woods

Soteriology 54, 2 Corinthians 5:21

March 26, 2016

Father we thank You for this morning, we thank You for getting us up, getting us here, we’re thankful for the cool weather and we’re also thankful for this time of the year where next week we celebrate Palm Sunday and then the following week we celebrate the death of Jesus for our sins and then His resurrection.  So we thank You, Father, that we serve a living Savior and He is alive and active at the Father’s right hand and actively makes intercession for us so we praise You for that.  And we lift these things up in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said Amen.

All right, I guess if you’re looking for a verse to open up to you could do Philippians 3:9; you should have a handout and also the test which we’re kind of combing through.  But you’ll recall that what I have there on the screen are the different categories of soteriology that we’ve looked at over 52 weeks, which is a lot of information, isn’t it.  So the test that I gave you, and by the way, we have an active classroom outside this church.  How do I know that?  Because I got a bunch of e-mails this week, are you going to post the test?   So it’s posted, those of you that are watching via live streaming, it should be posted under soteriology number 54 I think it is, the PowerPoint that I’m using it’s posted there under Sermon Archives and then a copy of the multiple choice test is there too.   So the test really isn’t there to terrorize you; it’s just really there to get the cobwebs out and get you to think about some of the stuff that we’ve covered over 50 plus weeks.

So if you have the test we’re on page 3 and I think we did the first 20 questions last time, didn’t we?   This takes us to question number 21 and the PowerPoint that I used last time I didn’t have posted so you should have the whole thing; these are just review slides, I just went through past slides that I grabbed, relevant slides to the questions.  But we are around slide number 20, I’m not sure how your page numbers are set up, so right after the stuff on regeneration you should have a chart that looks something like that.  Are you guys able to locate that?  What page is that on?  Page 4.

So question 21, now going back to what we’re doing in this section is matching the concept with the appropriate scriptural address and the reason I asked about that is because a lot of people have theology but they don’t know where it comes from in the Bible.  So your theology is really only as good as the biblical text it’s found in.  If you don’t have a biblical support for your theology it’s time to readjust your theology, amen!  So we have this question number 21, imputation; anybody remember what imputation means?  It starts with a T—Transfer.  So there are three transfers in the Bible, we may have gone over this.  The first transfer is in hamartiology, the doctrine of sin.  So Adam’s sin has been transferred to us, so we are all born into the world guilty because of Adam’s sin.  Romans 5:12 teaches that.  [Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—“]

So that’s transfer 1.  And people say well, that’s not fair; well, nobody complains about transfer 2.  Transfer 2 is a pretty good deal, isn’t it?  Our sin is transferred to who?  Christ, that’s Christology.    2 Corinthians 5:21 is a good one on that.  [2 Corinthians 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to      be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”]  And finally at     the point of personal faith in Christ, Christ’s righteousness is transferred to who?  To me, and a wonderful verse on that, I may have shared this last time but if I only had one verse of the Bible they’d let me take onto a desert island (these are the weird things I think of) if they’re going to put   me on a desert island and they’re only going to let me take one verse which verse would you pick.

I would pick the verse that best explains Christianity and so I would pick Philippians 3:9, where Paul says, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own” so Paul was not into self-righteousness, earlier in his life he was into self-righteousness and he describes that earlier in this chapter, that he counted these things as but lost for the surpassing revelation of transferred righteousness.  So he says in verse 9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through” what? sorrow and a penitent heart… oh, it doesn’t say that, does it, “but that which is through” what? “faith,” faith is belief or confidence, “that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from” who? “God” so Paul says if the righteousness doesn’t come from me it’s got to come from somewhere so it “comes from God” and it’s accessed “on the basis of faith.”  That’s transfer three.  So the moment a person places their faith in Christ God looks at them as if they’re just as righteous as Jesus; that’s your standing before God.  That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it.

So for question number 21 what’s the correct answer?  It would be D, both A and C.  So A is describing the transfer of our sin to Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:21 and C is describing Christ’s righteousness transferred to me at the point of faith.

Question number 22, “Give the right scriptural address for the believer’s assurance.  Now the big tragedy of our day is there’s a lot of people out there that believe in eternal security but they don’t know if they have it or not.  So what we teach here is not only is eternal security a reality but we also teach the assurance of salvation, that you can have that assurance the moment you place your trust in Christ.  So that is your right as a child of God, to know that you’re saved.  And probably the two best verses on that would be John 6:47 and John 5:24.

I’ve read these verses many times in this class but let me just read you John 5:24, if I could.  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me,” might have eternal life if he bears enough fruit at the end of his life… it doesn’t say that, does it?  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has” is that present tense there? “eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death” now is the passing “out of” past, present or future?  Past, you’ve already “passed out of death into life,” the moment what happened?  You trusted in Christ.  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death unto life,” so this verse is giving you the assurance of your salvation because you fulfilled a condition which is what?  Belief in Christ.  John 6:47 says basically the same thing.  [John 6:47, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.”

And one of the problems, I’ll talk about Lordship salvation a little bit later, one of the problems with it is it destroys the assurance of salvation.  I have the seven problems here with Lordship salvation.  [1. Changes the gospel  [2] Places an impossible burden upon the unsaved [3] Confuses justification with sanctification [4] Confuses the result of with requirement for salvation [5] Fails to make basic dispensational distinctions [6] Ignores the reality of a carnal Christian  [7] Destroys the assurance of salvation]

Number 7, it destroys the assurance of salvation because you have to submit to Christ as Lord to be a Christian, they say, so how do I figure out if I’ve ever completely done that?  It’s never defined, is it?   So I’m always looking in my rear view mirror not knowing if I’ve submitted enough, see that?  So you go through your whole life, am I saved, am I not.  It’s like picking daisies, the petals off the rose, she loves me, she loves me not; today I feel saved, today I don’t feel saved kind of thing.  And when people live like that they’re living beneath their privileges.  So we teach the assurance of salvation and this is one of the problems with the Calvinistic system the way it’s being promoted today, is the “P” stands for what?  Perseverance of the saints which a lot of them will define as perseverance and good works.  So if you’re not persevering in good works, man, maybe you never had the gift of faith, maybe you’re not one of the elect.

And what does that really mean, the perseverance in good works?  How can that be specifically identified or defined?  It can’t be.  So  you go through your life with these question marks, maybe I’m saved, maybe I’m not, and we believe with Calvinists that salvation is eternal but we actually go a step beyond Calvinists and we teach that you can actually know you possess it.  And so that’s what we would call the assurance of salvation.  So the correct answer to number 22 would be what?  D.

And then there’s a question on election.  Election is what God does on His part so before I got saved God made some kind of first move to me.  I don’t know if I fully understand all of that because people say well, does that negate free will, and I don’t think it does because the Bible teaches both.  But it’s really hard to escape this idea that God doesn’t do something in eternity past in my direction and so if you look at that third bullet point down it gives you several verses that explain that.  Some of the strongest would be John 6:44, “No man can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him….”   Acts 13:48 is very strong on that, it says, “…as many as have been appointed to eternal life believed.”  And probably Grand Central Station on the doctrine of election is Romans 9, which is all about God making a first move in terms of the various patriarchs of the nation of Israel.  So if you’re looking for election in the Bible the correct answer would probably be all of the above.

And then we have question number 24 which is atonement; anybody remember what atonement is?  It starts with an S… substitution.  So Jesus actually stepped into the line of fire and absorbed the wrath of a holy God in our place.  In fact, that’s what we’re celebrating here this morning with the Lord’s Table.  So you have to have in your definition of the atonement the word “substitute” somewhere or you don’t really understand it.  And probably one of the strongest verses that brings this out is Isaiah 53:3-6 which is a Messianic prophecy about Jesus, written 700 years in advance and as you read through this the concept of substitution is very prominent.

It says, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  [4] Surely our griefs” see verse 4, “He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried;” see substitution there?  “Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  [5] But He was pierced through for” what?  “our transgressions,” so it should have been me being pierced, “He was crushed for” whose iniquities, “our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon” who? “upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  [6] All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on” who? “on Him.”

I’ll talk more about this when we get into the false views of the atonement but He didn’t die on the cross to be a good moral example for us to follow as we serve others.  That may be part of the reason He died but if you think that that’s not the complete reason.  You have to have in your understanding substitution or you miss the concept of atonement.  So therefore the correct answer  to number 24 is what?  C.

And then we get into question number 25 which is propitiation.  Now these are our salvation  words, redemption, reconciliation, expiation, propitiation and one we’ve already covered which is imputation.  And those are kind of fancy words, most of them come from the Greek text and what each word does is it brings out a facet of  your salvation that the other words don’t cover.  So each one brings out a special nuance and I’ll get more into salvation words a little bit later but this particular question is testing you on propitiation, hilasmós, propitiation is basically what that word means is the satisfaction of divine wrath.  So in the death of Jesus Christ the wrath of God, His holiness against sin, has been pacified, placated, appeased, satiated, satisfied.

A lot of people look at God the way they look at their earthly father who was mad at them all the time.  A lot of Christians are always trembling, is God mad at me, and the reality of the situation is they don’t understand propitiation.  If you understand propitiation, the satisfaction of divine wrath, we would all understand that God is not angry with any of us that are in Christ because His wrath has been satisfied.  And therefore the only attribute left for Him to express towards you is His attribute of love.  1 John 4:8, “God is love.”

So the key verse that talks about propitiation is 1 John 2:2 but I have on the test here Romans 3:25, which says, “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation” there’s that Greek word hilasmós, “in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;” so God is not mad at you as a Christian.

Now it’s true that “whom the Lord loves the Lord” what? “chastens” or “disciplines.”  But that’s an act of love; that’s not an exacting of His wrath on you.  And a lot of my friends in the free grace movement are getting kind of fuzzy on that; they’re believing that God executes wrath on the child of God.  The reality of the situation is Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Sometimes the chastening of God can feel very severe, like it is wrath, but it isn’t wrath, it’s the correction of a loving Father to prevent us from destroying ourselves in sin.  But as far as the wrath of God  for our sin that’s been taken care of.  That’s what the death of Christ is all about.  That’s Jesus’ final words on the cross were what? “It is finished!” meaning what?  The wrath of God has been pacified.  So the correct answer to 25 would be A.

And then we have 26, this question is getting at what is saving faith.  Saving faith has to have in it the concept of trust.  It’s a lot more than just intellectually assenting to a creed or something.  I know a lot about George Washington, I can give you all kinds of facts and figures but you see, that’s not saving faith at all, it’s just knowledge.  And there’s a lot of people out there, even atheists, that can rattle off data about the biography of Jesus.  That doesn’t save anybody.  What saves a person is when they’re actually trusting in Him for their salvation.

I like to use the example of Charles Blondin, which I’ve used many times before.  He was the guy that could push the wheel barrow across the tightrope suspended over Niagara Falls and crowds would gather to watch him do this and one day he yelled out to the crowd on the banks of the shores there, do you believe I can do this again?  And they all said yes, we believe.  And he said which one of you wants to get in the wheelbarrow?  So once you get in the wheelbarrow you’re no longer just assenting to a set of creeds, you’re actually trusting this guy as your destiny hinges on his ability to do this.  And a person has to come under the conviction of the Spirit and they have to actually trust in Christ for their eternity, for the safe keeping of their souls.  And if it’s just data in the mind but it never moves into trust then it’s not saving faith.

And probably the key verse on this would be James 2:19 which says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and” what?  they “tremble.”  Now when Jesus showed up on this planet and started His earthly ministry the demons themselves knew a lot about Jesus.  They say who are you, son of man, son of God, have you come to torment us before the appointed time?  So they believed in a future judgment, they believed in the deity of Jesus Christ, they believed who Christ was.  But the reality of the situation is the demons aren’t trusting in Jesus for anything, it’s just head knowledge.

So mere intellectual assent can’t save because God has put a condition in place which involves trust.  Other synonyms for trust would be reliance, dependence, confidence, and that’s what’s meant by saving faith so the correct answer to 26 would be what? B, that’s a good proof text to show that mere intellectual assent is not enough to save.

And then we come to question 27 which is this idea of believers un-yielded to Christ’s Lordship.  And that becomes an issue because in the doctrine of lordship salvation, which basically says to become a Christian you must not just believe in Jesus but submit every area of  your life to Christ as a condition for justification, which actually fundamentally changes the gospel, doesn’t it.  It’s no longer receiving a free gift from God, now it’s what I do for God.  And that is always how you recognize a false gospel,  you try to figure out where does it put the spotlight on? Is the spotlight on Jesus and what He has done and me receiving as a gift what He has done?  Or is the spotlight on me and what I do?  And as that spotlight moves from Him to you, you can immediately recognize it as a false gospel or a works oriented gospel.

So there are seven problems with lordship salvation.  The seventh we’ve already talked about—destroys the assurance of salvation.  One of its basic problems I have mentioned, number 1, it changes the gospel.  And then the second to the  last one that I have underlined is ignores the reality of a carnal Christian.  Now why is that?  Because it’s necessary to submit to Christ’s Lordship for justification, therefore in the church you can’t have backslidden Christians, carnal Christians, rebellious Christians, un-yielded Christians.  Do you see that?  The problem is the Bible presents three kinds of people in the body of Christ: you have the natural man (in the blue), those would be people that are unsaved.  And then that lighter green area is the different categories of people that have been saved.  And there are not one category of saved people, according to Paul, there’s three categories.  See that?  There’s the spiritual, there’s the infant and there’s the carnal.

And you say well, where are you getting this strange teaching?  It’s right there, I’m not making anything up, it’s right there in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 if you want to look at that for a second.  Paul says, “And I” what? “brethren,” are these people saved or unsaved?  Saved!  “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people,” that’s category one, “but as to carnal,” that’s category two, “as to babes in Christ,” that’s category three.  See how there in verse 1 when he talks to the “brethren” he doesn’t just use on word to describe the “brethren,” he uses three.

Now in Lordship salvation, in Reformed theology you only have two kinds of people on planet earth, saved or unsaved.  If you’re unsaved you’re the natural man and you’re on your way to hell; if you’re saved then you have to be producing fruit and experiencing great maturity.  So you have a very reductionist, simplistic view of the Christian through Reformed theology.  Notice that Paul is a lot more nuance than that; Paul doesn’t just deal with people as saved and unsaved.  Obviously the distinction between saved and unsaved is probably the most important because that determines whether you go to heaven or not but Paul, in his thinking of saved people says within the ranks of the saved you’ve got three kinds of people: the spiritual man is the person that’s growing in Christ, so these are the people that, you know, bless your socks off in the church.

The carnal… now from the word “carnal” we get the word meat, or flesh, right, as in chili con carne, meat, chili with meat, so carnal is the Christian who is still living for the sin nature, they’ve never really learned to live beyond the desires of the sin nature and they keep going back to it over and over again.  And then you have the babes in Christ who are kind of cute because they just got saved and they’re saying silly things and it’s age appropriate.  The problem, when a little baby is sucking their thumb it’s cute, right?  Now when the child is 16 and still in a crib sucking its thumb we have a little developmental problem.  And it’s the carnal that really put the gray hairs on your head as a pastor because it’s like you’re upset about this?  You’re mad about this?  You’re making an issue out of this?  It’s like how long have you been in the faith?  You should have grown way beyond this a long time ago.

The carnal Christian can look a lot like the unbeliever.  You say well, does the Bible say that?  Look at what he says?  [1 Corinthians 3:1] “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. [2] I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, [3] for you are still carnal.  For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not carnal, are you not behaving like” what?  “mere men.”  Who’s the “mere” man?  It’s the unbeliever, the natural man that has no idea that the Spirit is in him, he doesn’t have any relationship to the Spirit.

And this is why Paul in chapter 5, to this same group, when incest is happening he says the pagans don’t even act like this.  So a carnal Christian sometimes can even outdo an unbeliever in terms of sin.  You know, an unbeliever can be moral, I know a lot of very moral unbelievers.  But the carnal Christian has the capacity to even exceed that of the unbeliever.  And how do you know if a person is carnal?  Verse 2, “I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you are not able to receive it and you’re still not able.”  The carnal Christian, any more than an infant can digest a steak, can consume and digest a steak, a carnal Christian can handle a sermon that goes no more than 20 minutes, give me my three points and a poem, give me my warm fuzzy of the day and I’m out of here, and don’t violate the cardinal rule of allow the worship service to go beyond the noon hour.  So here’s what a carnal Christian is always doing, always looking at their watch, always looking at Facebook, social media, we have the issue of the contracting bladder where the carnal Christian is always getting up, three or four times during the service and using the bathroom, not that doesn’t have its place.

But you see, these are basically excuses because they don’t really have… the reality of the situation is they don’t have an ability to concentrate on something deeper in God and so they thrive on milk but they reject the meat.  So assuming they can even stay through an entire sermon they can grab one little part of it but they really miss the whole picture on what the thing is about and it’s really a digestive issue.  So that’s how you can distinguish very fast who’s carnal and who’s not.

And the carnal Christian is all about, if you look at verse 3, envy, strife and divisions.  So there are people, and it doesn’t matter what environment you put them in, there is some interpersonal conflict no matter where they go.  You’re put on this committee, there’s a interpersonal conflict; you take them off that committee, put them on another one, there’s an interpersonal conflict.  You take them out of church A and put them in church B there’s an interpersonal conflict.  You look at their marriage, there’s interpersonal conflict.  You look at their relationship with their children, there’s inter­personal conflict.  You look at their workplace and it’s usually a very spotty record where they can’t get along with anybody.  And so strife and envy just follows them wherever they go and that’s basically how you recognize carnality.

And Paul, what he’s saying is Christians, if they stay in that state can be in that state and they should have grown up a long time ago.  He says from “until now,” in other words, they had been in this state for a long time.  So if you’re an evangelist the goal of your ministry is to convert the people in the dark blue to the green.  Right.  So if you’re a missionary, evangelist, you’re trying to convert unbelievers to being believers.  And as my friend, Randy Price says the hard part is not catching the fish it’s cleaning the fish.  So who does God call to clean up the fish?  It’s a different gift entirely, it’s called the gift of pastor-teacher; Paul explains it in Ephesians 4:11-16.  And it’s to help the carnal or the infant to grow out of that condition and become spiritual Christians.

So in the natural world you’ve got obstetricians that help the birthing process.  And then in the natural world you have pediatricians that help the child grow.  So an evangelist is an obstetrician, a pastor is basically a pediatrician and very rarely in my experience does God give the same gifts to both people.  I’ve seen it happen where you have evangelists that are also pastors, and that’s a wonderful thing to see, that’s an awesome gift mix, but generally the way it works is… in the natural world I’ve never met an obstetrician that’s also a pediatrician, or vice versa, because those are two totally different disciplines.

So it’s the same in the spiritual world, there’s an evangelist but there’s also pastors.  And this is sort of important to understand because a lot of time people that are evangelists want to control the pastor and they want to turn every church service into an evangelistic rally.  When you ask a pastor to turn every church service into an evangelistic rally you’re not respecting the gift that God gave that pastor; the pastor is not there primarily to get folks saved.  The pastor is there to help saved folks grow.   So my sermons are not aimed at unbelievers.  We do give the gospel at the end because when Paul was giving instructions concerning pastors he also says do the work of an evangelist, 2 Timothy.  But my primary gifting is not evangelism; I always wished I had the gift of evangelism but God didn’t give me the gift of evangelism.  I feel it’s important to at least present the gospel in case some unsaved person hears it and my thinking is if I present the gospel every Sunday then you guys will know how to do it on your own, right?  So if nothing else it’s a role model for you on how to actually present it.  But the bottom line is although we give the gospel every week that’s not my primary focus because God didn’t give me the gift of evangelism, He gave me the gift of pastor-teacher.  How did we get off on all that?

What question are we on anyway?  Question four.  So you see in lordship salvation you don’t have category… you maybe have an infant but you can’t have a carnal Christian.  So that’s why I asked this question, believers un-yielded to Christ, I mean is that true or not, because if it’s biblically true lordship salvation is wrong.  And I give here multiple Scriptures which indicate that a believer can be un-yielded to the Lordship of Christ.  And when I talk like this people say well, you’re against holy living.  What are you talking about?  I’m completely in favor of holy living.  Just acknowledg­ing the possibility of unholy living amongst God’s people doesn’t mean  you’re against holy living.  I’m just saying this is a category and I didn’t invent the category.  Paul explains the category, and all these verses we’ve gone through these in the class so I won’t go through all these again, show you that you have a person that’s saved and going to heaven that’s un-yielded to the Lordship of Christ.

In fact, in Acts 10:14 remember Peter saw the vision of the animals and the sheep and he heard the voice, arise and eat.  Remember what Peter said?  “Not so Lord,” now isn’t that sort of a contradiction, if He’s your Lord you can’t tell Him no; that’s like a self-refuting idea, isn’t it?  It’s like saying jumbo shrimp, Microsoft works, postal service, government efficiency, reasonable attorney’s fees, I mean, these are ideas that don’t go together.

So Peter says “Not so Lord,” now was Peter saved?  I sure hope so, he just preached to 3,000 people on the day of Pentecost and they all got saved; it looks like the man is saved to me, and he’s telling the Lord no.  So is it possible that a Christian can tell the Lord no?  Is it possible that a Christian can keep telling the Lord no?  It is possible that a Christian can go through his whole life or her whole live saying to the Lord, no, no, no, no, no, no, and die in that state?  Yes, it’s possible.  Is it good?  No!  Is it possible?  Yes!  And of course Calvinism rejects this entirely because if  you’re one of the elect  you have to be persevering in the faith.  And what I’m saying is the Bible is a lot more nuanced than the superimposed Calvinistic system over the Bible or the superimposed Lordship salvation idea overt the Bible.

So the answer to number 28 would be what?  D, all of the above. All of those verses show that you can have a believer that’s unyielded to the Lordship of Christ.

Number 28, eternal security, what is probably the strongest verse in the Bible that reveals eternal security?  It would be John 10:27-29 which indicates that if you’re in faith you’re in the Father’s hand and what can take you out?  Nothing!  And as we were going through that I showed you that the Greek text, there’s a double negation there and what that means in Greek is you’re not coming out, no way Hosea (that’s the Spanish translation).  It’s the strongest negation you could possibly have.  So the fact of the matter is you got saved by grace and  you’re kept by God’s grace.  The devil can’t take you out of His hand; Christ can’t take you out of the Father’s hand.  The Father can’t take you out of the Father’s hand and you know what?  You can’t even take yourself out of the Father’s hand.

So therefore the grace that saved me is the grace that what?  Keeps me.  This is a grace operation from beginning to end.  So the correct answer to number 28 would be A, that’s probably the strongest verse on eternal security that you can have.

And then we go to 29 which is what is the one condition of salvation.  It’s belief!  Now how many times is this taught in the Bible?  There’s a question coming up on that.  Almost 200 times and people say well, can you produce a list that gives me those 200 examples?  I can’t because I haven’t done the work but if you go to the website by J. B. Hixson, who by the way is going to be speaking here towards the end of April, and you go to his website Not by Works, he has a list where he’s listed every single verse that teaches you’re saved by faith, period.  I just have some highlights here, some of the more well-known verses are John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever” what, commits to church attendance, lives a holy life, shows true contrition, bears fruit….  It doesn’t say that, right?  One condition, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish….”

John 6:28-29 is very strong, [John 6:28-29, “Therefore they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?’ [29] Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”’]  They come to Jesus in John 6, like religionists do, and they say what must we do to do the works of God?  What do I gotta do to be made right with You?  And the problem is they’re thinking what do I had to DO, and Christianity is not what you have to do, it’s what He has DONE and you receive that as a gift.  So Jesus says well, if you want to do something this is the work of God, “believe in Him who He has sent.”  I mean, that’s it?  It can’t be that easy, can it?  And that’s where pride kicks in.  I mean, God, You bought lunch, let me at least leave the tip.  It’s harder to receive a gift than to receive a gift, isn’t it?  So people are stunned at how easy this is and the human temptation is always to add something.  But once something else is added you’re no longer dealing with gospel of grace any more.

And then in Acts 16 the Philippian jailor asks life’s most important question, “What must I do to be saved?”  And Paul and Silas say, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and  you will be saved.”  And then it also says, “you and your household” presumably because he would share the gospel with his family. But I like the way Pastor Jim shared the gospel at the women’s fellowship.  If you want to know how to share the gospel watch Jim McGowan and how he did it at the end of the women’s luncheon.  He basically used three verses, John 3:16, John 1:12 and Acts 16:30-31 and he asked the ladies a question, what do these verses not say?  [John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” Acts 16:30-31, “and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”]

That’s a pretty good pedagogical tool, not what they say, what they don’t say.  And what they don’t say is everything you have to do beyond belief because there’s nothing you can do beyond simple faith to be made right with God.  And this is the teaching of the Scripture found 200 times.  And what is happening is a very strange peculiarity where people build their gospel presentations, not off the 200 clear verses but they find some obscure verse and they gravitate towards that and they want to build their gospel presentation on some verse that has nothing to do with how an unbeliever gets saved.  And I think people gravitate towards those other verses because it’s an issue of pride; it couldn’t be as easy as just receiving a gift, let’s find some other verse that makes it more complicated.

So whenever people try to muddy the gospel you have to understand that it’s a  pride issue.  They masquerade it a great theological point but what’s lurking behind the surface is pride, it can’t be that easy, it can’t be that simple, let me do something, let me contribute, let me raise my hand.  Well  what do you do if a person is in a wheel chair and can’t move their hand?   Well, let me confess something, what do you do with a person who doesn’t have any vocal cords?  Well, let me walk an aisle.  What  do you do with a person that’s in a wheel chair?  See, when you start thinking about this practically you see very fast God couldn’t have added other conditions, He just added the one condition that everybody could do, which is to believe.  So Number 29, the correct answer would be D.

Then we come to number 30, we’re back to our salvation words and this is salvation word number 3, expiation.  What is expiation?  It’s a little bit different than the other words; basically what it means is God has removed from us the eternal consequences of our sin.  The eternal consequences of sin is damnation in the lake of fire forever, and that eternal consequence has been removed the moment I trust Christ.  Now notice this definition very carefully; we defined it as a removal of sin’s eternal penalty.  There is no guarantee in expiation that the temporary conse­quences of our sin are removed.  Right?  So if I come in here at 85 miles and hour and the policeman pulls me over I can’t say well gee, officer, you’ve never read Romans 8:1, it says there’s “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

So as a Christian the law of sowing and reaping is still very much in effect.  I can do all kinds of things to mess up my life through sin and expiation does not guarantee that those consequences are removed.  What it guarantees is the eternal consequences of our sin are removed.  Now sometimes God, in His grace, allows the temporary consequences to be removed.

A case in point would be my cousin, who had a very similar background to Rachael’s that we heard about at the women’s luncheon, who was such a mess that his parents didn’t even know what to do with him and they dropped him off at a ministry, it wasn’t Jubilee Homes, it was a ministry called Team Challenge, and he was in so much problems with the law, with drug abuse, all kinds of different things, and he got saved in that and because of drug abuse he believed that he was going to give up drugs and he was going to go through heavy withdrawals, which is what happens when a person leaves chemical dependency.  And to his own testimony,  I mean, he told me this years ago, that as the withdrawal process was beginning the Lord did a work whereby he just had some mild headaches, which is very minimal compared to what you normally go through when you work through withdrawals. I don’t know what you believe about that, I believe it’s a case where God gave so much grace to him that He didn’t just remove the eternal consequences of his choices, He removed in that instance a temporary consequence.

So God sometimes will grace you out but the reality of the situation is that is not guaranteed; that is not guaranteed!  The only thing guaranteed in expiation is the removal of sins eternal penalty and the key verse that talks about it is Psalm 102:12, which says, “As far as the east is from the west,” how far is the east from the west?  It’s infinite, isn’t it?   You notice he doesn’t say as far as the north is from the south, because the distance between the north and the south is not an infinite line, there’s a north pole and there’s a south pole.   You get the idea that whoever wrote this understood the geography of the earth; maybe they even understood the earth was a globe; what do you think about that?  Psalm 102:13 says, “As far as the east is from the west,” which is an infinite line, “So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

So expiation is a beautiful teaching and it is signified on the day of atonement, Leviticus 16, through two animals.  On the day of atonement the priest would take the blood of goat A and apply it to the mercy seat, and that postponed the nation’s indebtedness for one year, of those salvation words, which one does that represent, that first goat?  Hint, it’s one we’ve already talked about, starting with a “p,” propitiation.  So the moment he applied the blood of the lamb to the mercy seat it signified propitiation.  Then what happened to the second goat?  It runs off into the wilderness.  What did that second goat signify?  Expiation.   So the sin debt is attached to that second goat and he runs off into the wilderness and God is showing that your eternal consequences of your sins are removed and propitiation is applied to the mercy seat and that’s propitiation, the satisfaction of divine wrath.  Isn’t that cool, looking at these salvation words, and how each one is saying something the others aren’t saying.

You know, Lewis Sperry Chafer would give Bible conferences on salvation words, so he would do a whole session on expiation and then a whole different session on propitiation, and a whole different session on redemption, and a whole different session on reconciliation, because each word brings out something the others don’t.

So redemption is payment of a purchase price in order to be released from bondage.  You want to think of Passover lamb, because the Passover lamb, his blood was spilled and it released the nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage.  Reconciliation, a different Greek word, is a change of relationship from one of hostility to one of peace; you want to think there of Jacob and Esau who were at enmity with each other because Jacob stole the birthright but then around Genesis 33 the two are restored into fellowship.  Expiation we talked about; propitiation we talked about, imputation we’ve talked about.  So the correct answer to number 31, satisfaction of divine wrath is what?  D.  The correct answer to number 2, removal of sin’s penalty is what?  C, expiation.  33, change of relationship from one of hostility to one of peace, what’s the right word for that?  Reconciliation.

Did you know that before you got saved God is your enemy?  Did you know that?  Romans 5:10 says that, but now I’m His friend, His child.  [Romans 5:10, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”]  So the hostility has been called off.  When you think about being in conflict with somebody and all of a sudden the relationship is healed, that’s a wonderful thing when that happens and that’s what God has done with us through reconciliation.

And then the correct answer to number 4, payment of a purchase price in order to release from bondage, what would the correct answer be.  A. All right, time flies when you’re having fun so I think we’ll stop here, we’ll pick it up with question 35 next time.