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Soteriology - The Doctrine of Salvation
(The Doctrine of Salvation)
OUTLINE FOR CHAPTER VI
Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation.
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness
of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand
(Matt. 3:1, 2). Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 4: 17). Paul testified
both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God,
and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). As
many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent
(Rev. 3:19). See also Mark 6:12; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 11:18; 26:20;
II Peter 3:9.
To those who say that repentance is not to be preached today, and that
it is not essential for salvation, we point out that repentance was
preached by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Apostle
Paul. Repentance was proclaimed before Pentecost, at Pentecost, and
after Pentecost. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish
1. It Is Not Reformation. Repentance is wholly an inward act of the
mind. To many people it means to turn away from their sins, but if that
were so, this would be reformation. Repentance is not doing something,
as an act, for no man is saved because he gives up something. A man
can turn away from his sins and still not be a Christian.
2. It Is Not Contrition. By this we mean that repentance is not agony
of the soul for sin. Many folk in jail are sorry. Are they sorry for
their crime? No. They are sorry because they were caught. We believe,
however, that in a genuine case of repentance, the sinner will be sorry
for his sin. Just being sorry for sin is not repentance, but it can
lead to repentance. Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation
not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death
(II Cor. 7:10).
3. It Is Not Penance. Penance is an expression of sorrow (by some act)
that is done to pay for sin; it is something like a punishment.
4. It Is a Change of Mind. The literal meaning of repentance is after-thought
or reconsideration. By change of mind we do
not mean a change of opinion; a change of mind
is the substitution of a new mind for the old. It is new in character.
True repentance is a change of mind which will lead to a change of action,
but let us be warned that it is possible to have a change of action
without a change of mind. A good example of repentance is found in Mathew
But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to
the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. He answered
and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
Before anyone can be saved there must be repentance. There must be a
change of mind about many things: sin, self, God and Jesus Christ. The
servant of the Lord must instruct in meekness . . . those
that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give repentance to
the acknowledging of the truth (II Tim. 2:25).
Making it a little stronger, repentance means not only a change of mind;
it is the taking of ones stand against himself and the placing
of himself on the side of God. Thus, repentance is self-judgment.
1. Change in the Intellect.
2. Change of Feeling.
3. Change of Will.
4. Change of Action.
1. Through the Goodness of God. Despisest thou the riches of
his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the
goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Rom. 2:4). See also
II Peter 3:9.
2. Through the Gospel of God. Now when they heard this, they
were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of
the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto
them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
for [because of] the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift
of the Holy Ghost. . . . Then they that gladly received his word were
baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand
souls (Acts 2:37, 38, 41).
3. Through the Scriptural Teaching. The servant of the Lord
must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure
will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth (II
Tim. 2:24, 25).
4. Through the Chastisements of God. Repent; or else I will come
unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth
(Rev. 2:16). See also Revelation 2:5; 3:3; Hebrews 12:6-11.
Repentance is the work of God which results in a change of mind in
respect to mans relationship to God. It is neither sorrow nor
penance, though penitent sorrow may lead to a change of mind. Repentance
is always an element of saving faith.
The gospel of Christ ... is the power of God unto salvation to
every one that believeth. . . . For therein is the righteousness of
God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live
by faith (Rom. 1:17). We conclude that a man is justified
by faith without the deeds of the law (Rom. 3:28). See also Matthew
9:22; Acts 26:18; Romans 4:5; II Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews
11:6; James 5:15; I Peter 1:5.
A good definition of faith is: confidence in others; reliance upon
testimony. True faith is composed of the following:
1. Knowledge. One must be informed before he can have faith. This
is true in the things of man, as it is in Christ. It is impossible to
have faith in Christ without the Word. Faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Sometimes we may
ask for more faith, but this is out of order. To increase ones
faith, one has only to read more of the Word of God. Before a person
can have faith, he must know it exists.
2. Belief. The second element of faith is belief. Everyone knows what
belief means, that is, to accept it as the truth. People can know that
there is a Saviour by the name of Jesus, and believe that He can save.
Yet, this is not saving faith. To have faith in a chair, one must know
that it exists, and believe that it can hold him up. Still this is not
complete faith in the chair, until the third element is involved, and
3. Trust. Trust is essential to faith in anything. It is most essential
in saving faith. It is one thing to know that Christ died, and believe
it; it is quite another thing to trust Him, the dying and resurrected
Saviour, for salvation. Let us take the chair again for example: One
can know that a chair exists, and believe that it can hold him up, but
faith in that chair is not exercised until he sits in it. Are you completely
trusting Christ for your salvation?
4. Recumbency. This means to wholly rely upon Christ. When one lies
upon the bed, he fully relaxes upon it and rests. When we put our trust
in Him, we should rely upon Him and rest.
1. By God the Father. I say, through the grace given unto me,
to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly
than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath
dealt to every man the measure of faith (Rom. 12:3).
2. By God the Son. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising
the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God
3. By God the Holy Spirit. To one is given by the Spirit the word
of wisdom . . . to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the
gifts of healing by the same Spirit (I Cor. 12:8, 9).
The object of faith is Christ, and He alone.
The end of faith is salvation. By grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works,
lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8, 9).
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
. . . Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man
be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom
of God (John 3:3, 5). We are born again, not of corruptible
seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth
forever (I Peter 1:23). Whosoever is born of God doth not
commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because
he is born of God (I John 3:9). See also I John 2:29; 5:4, 18.
1. It Is Not Reformation. Some people think that by turning over a
new leaf one becomes a child of God. Some men quit drinking because
of a bad heart, not because they know it is sin against God. One could
cease from all sin; yet this is not regeneration.
2. It Is Not Conversion. Many times we speak of regeneration as conversion,
but, in reality, conversion means to turn around. Saved
people can be converted (turned around) even after they are saved, as
was Peter. He was saved long before the Lord Jesus had declared: Simon,
Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you
as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when
thou art converted [turned around], strengthen thy brethren (Luke
3. It Is Not Confirmation. Some churches, as they administer a certain
ritual of the church, claim that the participants (usually children
of twelve or thirteen years of age) receive the Holy Spirit with the
anointing of oil. This is a false doctrine. One does not receive the
Holy Spirit by any act of man, but upon receiving Christ as Saviour.
4. It Is Not Water Baptism. There is no saving faith in all the water
of the world. Someone may ask, then, Why are we commanded to be
baptized? It is the answer of a good conscience toward God (I
Peter 3:21b). It is an ordinance depicting the death, burial and resurrection
of Christ, and nothing more.
5. It Is Not Church Membership. We are told in Hebrews10:25 not to forsake
the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is.
However, this does not bring about change in a sinners heart.
Remember, the word church means a called-out company,
or assembly. Joining a human assembly cannot bring about
salvation. Some people believe that the Church saves. Now translate
this statement correctly: The assembly saves. Is there an
assembly on earth which can give salvation? Is there a called-out company
which can make a person a child of God? No! There is no assembly that
we would trust with the saving of our soul.
6. It Is Not the Taking of the Lords Supper. There is no saving
efficacy, or cleansing of sin, in partaking of the elements of the Lords
Supper. The Lords Supper is taken only in remembrance of Christ
and His work upon Calvary. We shall do this in remembrance of Him until
7. It Is the New Birth. If any man is in Christ, there is a
new creation: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become
new (II Cor. 5:17, R.V.). If ye know that he is righteous,
ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him
(I John 2:29).
Ye must be born again. It is a necessity declared by the Lord Himself.
1. As Seen in the Depravity of Man. That which is born of the
flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit
(John 3:6). The words, Ye must be born again, are better
translated, Ye must be born from above. Man must have a
birth from above if he is to live some day in the heavens above.
2. As Seen in the Universality of Man. There is not a man anywhere
but who has to be born again. All have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
3. As Seen in the Holiness of God. If one is to be received and made
a child of God by a righteous and holy God, a great change must take
place to make him holy. It is written, Ye shall be holy; for I
am holy (I Peter 1:16, R.V.).
1. The Divine Work. The process of becoming a child of God is not
by natural generation. Man cannot regenerate himself. It is not a matter
of the human will, but of God. As many as received him, to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on
his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12, 13). Practically
speaking, we had nothing to do with our first birth, and we can have
nothing to do with the second birth.
2. The Human Element. While it is God who regenerates the believing
sinner, yet there is one part that man plays; he must believe! By
grace are ye saved; yes, but through faith. No
man cometh unto the Father but by me. Yes, Jesus is the way, but
the sinner must come! The sinner must receive Christ by his own faith.
This is the human part. God does the rest.
We are justified by his grace through the redemption that is
in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24). The righteousness of Christ
shall be imputed to us, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our
Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised
again for our justification (Rom. 4:24,25). Being justified
by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
(Rom. 5:1). Such [thieves, covetous, drunkards, and the like]
were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are
justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God
(I Cor. 6:11). See also Romans 3:26; 5:9; Galatians 2:16, 17; Titus
To justify is to reckon, to declare, or to show righteous.
To justify does not mean to make righteous. God declares the believer
to be righteous; He does not make him righteous. Justification is a
legal term: a good standing.
In the human law courts, the law is over the judge. If the judge is
an honest and just judge, he can show no mercy. He must declare the
defendant guilty, or not guilty, according to the law. In Gods
law court, the believer, a guilty man, is brought before the judgment
bar of God and is declared not guilty. God is over His law.
In a human law court, a guilty person may be pardoned, the crime forgiven
but not paid. In Gods law court this is not so. All sins must
be paid for, and the sinner punished. Three things are incorporated
in Gods justification.
1. Forgiveness. He, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
Be it known you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man
is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe
are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified
by the law of Moses (Acts 13:37-39).
A Christian is not a pardoned criminal; he is a righteous man. God
declares him so. He is one who has paid for his sins by another, his
substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ. God never pardons apart from Christ.
2. Imputation. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth
not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile (Ps. 32:2).
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin
(Rom. 4:8). Until the law sin was in the world: but sin is no
imputed when there is no law (Rom. 5:13).
Imputation means to put something against. Therefore, the
righteousness of Christ is put to the sinners account. All of
the believers sins were put to Christs account He
paid them in full. In turn, His righteousness was put to the believers
account, and he stands there, declared to be righteous.
3. Fellowship. One God and Father of all, who is above all,
and through all, and in you all (Eph. 4:6). This is the fellowship
of God and the believer as Father and Son. Remember, God is Father only
of His children, not of unbelievers.
a. Not By Works. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned
of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on
him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness
(Rom. 4:4, 5). See also Romans 11:6.
b. Not By the Deeds of the Law. That no man is justified by the
law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by
faith (Gal. 3:11). See also Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16.
a. By God. God set forth Christ Jesus to declare... his righteousness:
that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus
(Rom. 3:26). See also Romans 8:33.
b. By Grace. Being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs
according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7). See also Romans
c. By Blood. Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved
from wrath through him (Rom. 5:9). See also Romans 3:24, 25.
d. By Faith. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1).
e. By Resurrection. Faith shall be imputed to us for righteousness if
we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was
delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification
(Rom. 4:24, 25).
1. Abraham (Rom. 4:1-5).
2. David (Rom. 4:6-8).
3. Noah (Heb. 11:7).
1. In Works. Was not Abraham our father justified by works,
when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith
wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the
scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was
imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of
God (Jas. 2:21-23). The evidence of salvation is gratitude, which
is good works. Many times the good works are very, very weak, but God
accepts the will that is behind them.
2. In Experience. Being justified by faith, we have peace with
God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of
God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also: knowing that
tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience,
hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad
in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Rom. 5:1-5).
This is one phase of salvation which is very much confused today. The
Bible student will be surprised at what God has to say about sanctification.
Much is said about experience, and we believe in experience; but let
us be cautious and let the Word of God interpret our experience, rather
than our experience interpret the Word of God.
This is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should
abstain from fornication. . . . For God hath not called us unto uncleanness,
but unto holiness (I Thess. 4:3, 7). Unto the church of
God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,
called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name
of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you and
peace (I Cor. 1:2). Both he that sanctifieth and they that
are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to
call them brethren (Heb. 2:11). Follow peace with all men,
and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).
See also I Peter 1:2; John 17:17; Exodus 13:2; Jeremiah 2:3; Ephesians
1:1. The words sanctification, holiness, and saints all
come from the same root.
1. It Is Not a Betterment of the Flesh. Never does it say in Scripture
that the work of the Holy Spirit is to improve the old nature. The natural
man cannot understand the Holy Spirit. How could the natural man be
improved by the Spirit? This is hard to say, but nevertheless, it is
true, that the flesh of the believer is no better than the flesh of
the sinner. The Scriptures say, Mortify the deeds of the flesh.
2. It Is Not the Eradication of the Sinful Nature. There are those who
contend that a believer may have a purifying experience that will burn
out all carnality, thus rendering him sinless, incapable of committing
sin. We do not deny such an experience, but we caution the believer
to prove his experience by the Word, rather than trying to prove the
Word by his experience. Even though the Old Testament is written in
the Hebrew, and the New Testament is written in the Greek, the words
sanctification, holy, and saint
all have the same root meaning.
To those who hold that sanctification is an experience by which the
sinful nature is eradicated, let us turn to the Word and see how sanctification
is used: Thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt-offering, and
all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most
holy (Ex. 40:10). Where is the eradication here? Did the altar
have a sinful nature? Here is another example: Moses said unto
the LORD, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai: for thou chargedst
us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it (Ex. 19:23).
Did Mount Sinai have a sinful nature? Let the priests also, which
come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth
upon them (Ex. 19:22). How could priests eradicate their own sinful
natures? Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent
unto the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God
(John 10:36). Here Christ Himself is spoken of as being sanctified.
There is no sinful nature here! For their sakes I sanctify myself,
that they also might be sanctified through the truth (John 17:19).
Does this mean eradication of the sinful nature? Of course not. The
unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife
is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now
are they holy (I Cor. 7:14). Is it possible that believing wives
can eradicate the sinful nature from their unbelieving husbands? If
sanctification means eradication from the sinful nature, explain the
following: Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready
always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the
hope that is in you with meekness and fear (I Peter 3:15). Carnal
Christians are sanctified; this does not speak of the eradication of
the sinful nature (I Cor. 1:1, 2 with 3:1, 3).
3. It Is Not Sanctimoniousness. Sanctification is not an affected, or
hypocritical devoutness; neither is it false saintliness. Sanctification
is not marked by the wearing of a beard, or black stockings, and the
like. You can tell whether saintliness is real or false.
4. It Is Not a Second Blessing. In II Corinthians 1:15 Paul speaks
of wanting to give the Church a second benefit, not a second blessing.
This epistle was written to people who were already sanctified (I Cor.
1:2 and 6:11).
5. It Is To Be Set Apart. The root idea always means to
be set apart, or separation. To sanctify always means
to set apart for a purpose, whether in respect to saint or sinner. Unsaved
men can separate, or sanctify themselves unto sin. They that sanctify
themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind the tree in
the midst, eating swines flesh and the abomination, and the mouse,
shall be consumed together, saith the LORD (Is. 66:17). Jesus
sanctified Himself; to say He made Himself sinless is blasphemous. The
Sabbath was sanctified, and we know that the Sabbath had no sinful nature.
Again we emphasize that the words holiness, sanctification,
and saint all come from the same word meaning set
apart, separation. The word sanctify in
Exodus 13:2, and the word holiness in Psalm 29:2, and the
word saints of Psalm 34:9 are the same word. The word sanctify
of John 17:17, and the word saint of Philippians 1:1, and
the word holiness of Hebrews 12:10 are all from the same
Sanctification, being set apart, is spoken of in three ways:
a. Positional. Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye
are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus,
and by the Spirit of our God (I Cor. 6:11). We are sanctified
the very moment we believe. The above Scripture declares that we are
sanctified before we are justified, thus ruling out the second and third
works of grace. We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you,
brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen
you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of
the truth (II Thess. 2:13). Sanctification is first in order,
absolutely. See also I Peter 1:2. God never allows us to work up to
a position; He first places us in a position set apart to Him, and tells
us to be true to that position. A saint truly is Gods man.
b. Practical. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved,
let us cleanse ourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,
perfecting holiness in the fear of God (II Cor. 7:1). Grow
in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever. Amen (II Peter 3:18).
This is our present state of sanctification. A saint never grows up
to sanctification, but grows in sanctification. Every believer is a
saint; however, some believers do not act like saints. The living Christian
still has the flesh in him and obeys it at times. Then God, by Jesus
Christ, through the Holy Spirit, metes out chastisement. See John 17:17;
I Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 12:10; II Corinthians 3:18.
c. Final. Perfect sanctification will occur in the future at Christs
second coming. The Lord make you to increase and abound in love
one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to
the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God,
even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his
saints (I Thess. 3:12, 13).
1. The Divine Side.
a. Through God the Father. Sanctify unto me all the firstborn,
whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man
and of beast: it is mine (Ex. 13:2).
b. Through Jesus Christ the Son. Jesus also, that he might sanctify
the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate (Heb.
c. Through the Holy Spirit. We are bound to give thanks alway
to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from
the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the
Spirit and belief of the truth (II Thess. 2:13).
2. The Human Side.
a. Faith in the Redemptive Work of Christ. Of him [God] are ye
in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness,
and sanctification, and redemption (I Cor. 1:30).
b. Study of and Obedience to the Word of God. Now ye are clean
through the word which I have spoken unto you (John 15:3).
c. Through Yieldedness. I speak after the manner of men because
of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members
servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield
your members servants to righteousness unto holiness (Rom. 6:19).
d. Through Chastening. Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and
scourgeth every son whom he receiveth...Now no chastening for the present
seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth
the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby
(Heb. 12:6, 11).
1. Sanctification is the work of Christ for the believer, which sets
him apart for God.
2. Sanctification is that work of God in the believer, through the
Spirit and the Word, which changes him into the image of Christ progressively.
3. Sanctification is the work of God which perfects the believer in
the likeness of Christ by His appearing in glory.
Not only they [the whole creation], but ourselves also, which
have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:23).
There are four other places in the New Testament where the word adoption
is mentioned: Romans 8:15; 9:4; Galatians 4:4, 5; Ephesians 1:5.
The English word adoption has an entirely different meaning
than the Greek word or the Oriental custom. The English word means to
take a person from another family and make him legally ones own
son or daughter. The Greek word, however, means placing as a son.
In New Testament times, when the boy or girl was a minor, he or she
differed little from a slave (Gal. 4:1). Upon the day appointed by the
father, at the age from twelve to fourteen, a celebration was held declaring
the child of age. Thus the boy or girl was made a son or daughter. A
boy or girl was born into the family as a child; upon reaching majority,
the boy or girl was declared a son or daughter. The same is true in
the case of the believer. He is not adopted into the family of God;
he is born into the family of God. By birth, he is a child of God; by
adoption he shall be a son of God.
He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having
predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,
according to the good pleasure of his will (Eph. 1:4, 5).
We are now only the children of God. Ye are all sons of God,
through faith, in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26, R. V.). We will become
sons of God at the day appointed by the Father. At that time He will
openly present us as the sons of God. We do not look like sons of God
now, but some day the world will be able to recognize us as the sons
of God. This will take place at the second coming of Christ. Not
only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption to
wit, the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:23).
1. Delivered From a Slavish Fear of God. Ye have not received
the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit
of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Rom. 8:15).
2. Made Possessors of Sonship.
3. Made Subject to Both Privileges and Responsibility of Adult Sonship.
The Bible is full of redemption. It is Gods character to save.
He can destroy, but He loves to save. The theme of the Bible is Jesus
Christ. The message of the Word is redemption.
If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his
possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem
that which his brother sold...And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich
by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself
unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the strangers
family: after that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren
may redeem him (Lev. 25:25, 47, 48). Zion shall be redeemed
with judgment, and her converts with righteousness (Is. 1:27).
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness
of sin, according to the riches of his grace (Eph. 1:7). See also
Nehemiah 5:8; Colossians 1:4; Galatians 3:13; I Corinthians 1:30; Romans
There are four Hebrew words in the Old Testament that pertain to redemption,
and all mean to set free. The word goel is used
two ways: first, the One who redeems; second, the act of redeeming.
The goel was always a near kinsman. While the word redemption
means to set free, it incorporates the meaning to
buy back, to purchase.
The redemption of the child of God is by his Near Kinsman, the Lord
Jesus Christ, who alone has the redemptive price His own precious
1. Redemption Declared.
a. Is Wholly of God (John 3:16).
b. Is Through a Person Christ (I Peter 1:18, 19).
c. Is By Blood (Heb. 9:12).
d. Is By Power (I Cor. 1:30).
2. Redemption Perfected. The use of the word redemption
is presented in the following three ways:
a. To Buy or Purchase in a Slave Market. The Lord Jesus Christ came
down into this slave market of sin and bought us, who were upon the
b. To Purchase Out of the Market. After one purchased a slave, the master
took him out of the market. We are looking for our Master to come and
take us out of this slave market.
c. To Loose or Set Free. The Lord Jesus is not a slave trader; neither
is He a slave holder. One day the Lord Jesus shall set us free from
the bondage of corruption and sin, and we shall know the perfect liberty
of being the sons of God.
In Israel a man could not be a slave forever against his will. After
becoming a slave, he could be set free by redemption through a near
kinsman, or by waiting for the Sabbatical year or the year of Jubilee,
when all slaves were set free. Should he love his master, however, and
not care to be set free under any circumstances, he could go to his
master, who in turn would bore a hole in his ear and make him a bondslave
for life (Ex. 21:6). Paul said that he was a bondslave of Jesus Christ
- a bondslave for life. He was bought by blood, bound by love. The Christian
should have his ear bored, figuratively speaking, yea, his hands, his
all. He should recognize that he is crucified with Christ.
Prayer is the essential element of Christian character which is lacking
in most believers today. One reason for this is that prayer is misunderstood.
Prayer is mostly thought of as asking and receiving. It is that; however,
it is much more. We fail to see the value of prayer as communion with
our God (Is. 43:21, 22; 64:6,7 R.V.; Zeph. 1:46; Dan. 9:13,14 with Hos.7:13,
14; 8:13, 14).
1. It Is Sin to Neglect Prayer. As for me, God forbid that I
should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach
you the good and the right way (I Sam. 12:23).
2. It Is Appointed by God. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,
and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone
that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that
knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his
son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he
give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven
give good things to them that ask him? (Matt. 7:7-11).
3. It Is Commanded by God. Pray without ceasing (I Thess.
5:17). Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving
(Col. 4:2, R.V. ).
4. It Is Necessary to Ask. Ye have not, because ye ask not
1. Abraham Prays for Sodom (Gen. 18).
2. Jacob Prays the First Personal Prayer (Gen. 32:9-12). See other personal
prayers (Deut. 26:1-16; Ex. 5:22).
3. Joshua and Judges Cry Unto the Lord (Josh. 7:6-9; Judg. 10:14).
4. Samuel Prays As an Intercessor (I Sam 7:5, 12).
5. David Prays With Thanksgiving (II Sam. 7).
6. Believers Pour Out Their Hearts to God (Ps. 42:4; 62:8).
1. Presbyterian Catechism. Prayer is the offering up of our
desires to God, for things agreeable to His will in the name of Christ
with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of his mercy.
2. Scriptural Definition.
a. As a Child Going to the Father. Ye have not received the spirit
of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,
whereby we cry Abba, Father (Rom. 8:15).
b. As a Child Crying to the Father. Lord. what wilt thou have
me to do? (Acts 9:6).
c. As a Child Desiring to Be With the Father. Jabez called on
the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and
enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou
wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted
him that which he requested (I Chron. 4:10).
d. As a Child Petitioning the Father. When heaven is shut up,
and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they
should pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their
sin, when thou afflictest them: then hear thou in heaven (I Kings
e. As a Child Asking Intercession of the Father. When he had taken
the book, the beast and four and twenty elders fell down before the
Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours,
which are the prayers of the saints (Rev. 5:8). See also Revelation
f. As a Child Waiting in Silence Before God. LORD, thou hast heard
the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause
thine ear to hear (Ps. 10:17).
3. Human Experience. By this we mean that the saints of God have found
these truths through prayer.
a. It Is a Fervent Mind Settled On God.
b. It Is Laborious in Its Task (Col. 4:12).
c. It Is a Business.
1. Abundant Testimony of Christians Proves That God Answers Prayer.
2. Universality of Phrases in Scripture: Whosoever, Whatsoever, Whensoever.
3. The Wealth of the Promises by God to Praying Believers.
4. The Confidence of Access Through Jesus Christ. Having therefore,
brethren, boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way through the
veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having a great priest over the
house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in fulness of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience: and having our
bodies washed with pure water (Heb. 10:19-22, R.V.).
5. The Assurance of Help by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit helpeth
our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:
but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which
cannot be uttered (Rom. 8:26).
6. The Revelation of God by Christ. No man hath seen God at any
time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he
hath declared him (John 1:18).
7. The Limitless Supply of Grace in Christ. My God shall supply
all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus
8. The Unlimited Possibility of Faith. Jesus said unto him, If
thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth
9. The Abundant Ability of God. Now unto him that is able to
do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to
the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory (Eph. 3:20).
1. Abraham Interceding for Sodom (Gen. 18:22, 23; 19:29).
2. Prayer of Abrahams Servant (Gen. 24:12).
3. Personal Prayer of Jacob (Gen. 32:9-12).
4. Moses Intercession for Israel (Ex. 32:11-14, 30-34; Num. 14:11-21).
5. Samuel Interceding for King and People (I Sam. 12:6-25).
6. Elijah Praying for Fire and Water (I Kings 18:25-41; James 5:17,
7. Nehemiahs Prayer for Jerusalem (Neh. 2:4).
8. Joshuas Prayer for Discernment (Josh. 7:7-9).
9. Samsons Prayer for Renewed Strength (Judg. 16:28).
10. Hannahs Prayer for a Child (I Sam. 1:10, 11).
11. Davids Prayer of Penitence (Ps. 51).
12. Solomons Prayer for Wisdom (I Kings 3:5-9).
13. Solomons Prayer of Dedication (I Kings 8:25-53).
14, Jonahs Prayer for Deliverance (Jonah 2).
15. Habakkuks Prayer of Praise (Hab. 3).
16. Pauls Intercession for the Saints (Eph. 1:15-23; 3:14-21;
17. The Malefactors Prayer for Forgiveness (Luke 23: 42, 43).
18. Stephens Prayer of Submission (Acts 7:59, 60).
19. The Lord Jesus Prayer for Strength (Matt. 26:27-46).
20. The Bibles Last Prayer (Rev. 22:20).
1. As to the Posture of the Body. There is much supposition concerning
the posture of the body while in prayer. Some contend that prayer is
not prayer unless one is on his knees, believing it to be blasphemous
to pray while walking, and the like. According to the following Scriptures
there is no set rule as to the position of the body in prayer:
a. Christ on His Face. He went a little farther, and fell on his
face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup
pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt (Matt.
b. Solomon on His Knees. It was so, that when Solomon had made
an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he
arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees
with his hands spread up to heaven (I Kings 8:54).
c. Peter on the Water. Lord, save me (Matt. 14:30c).
d. Thief on the Cross. Lord, remember me when thou comest into
thy kingdom (Luke 23:42).
e. Elijah With Face Between His Knees. So Ahab went up to eat
and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself
down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees (I Kings
f. David on His Bed. I am weary with my groaning; all the night
make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears (Ps. 6:6).
2. As to Time. Many poems have been written suggesting the time to pray.
We do know that the Christian should select a time when it is the most
convenient for him to be alone with the Lord. Here again there is no
regulation stipulated. Notice the following examples:
a. Daniel: Three Times a Day. Now when Daniel knew that the writing
was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his
chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day,
and prayed, and gave thanks before his God as he did aforetime
b. Christ: Early in the Morning. In the morning, rising up a great
while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and
there prayed (Mark 1:35).
c. Peter and John: Hour of Prayer (3 P.M.). Now Peter and John
went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth
hour (Acts 3:1).
3. As to Place. Where is the place God meets man today? The Lord Jesus
said, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither
in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. . . . But
the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship
the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship
him (John 4:21, 23). Here, too, we see that no definite place
a. Christ in the Garden: Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place
called Gethsemane, and said unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I
go and pray yonder (Matt. 26:36).
b. Christ on the Grass. He commanded the multitude to sit down
on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking
up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples,
and the disciples to the multitude (Matt. 14:19).
c. Christ on a Mountain. It came to pass in those days, that he
went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer
to God (Luke 6:12).
d. Paul in a Storm on Board Ship (Acts 27). Where is the place the Christian
should pray? Christ said, Thou, when thou prayest, enter into
thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, which
is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee
openly (Matt. 6:6). Where is the closet, and how may one close
the door? The closet is any place where the believer may closet himself
from the outside world. It may be on a bus, walking on the street, or
it may be in a closed room. It is a place where he and God are alone
What will it take to get our prayers answered? The Christian is one
who asks to receive. The following truths guarantee answers to prayer.
1. Confidence. Without faith it is impossible to please him: for
he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder
of them that diligently seek him (Heb.11:6).
2. Earnestness. I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you
(Luke 11:9). Ask: Matthew 7:7; seek: James 5:17; knock: Acts 12:5.
3. Definiteness. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good
gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in
heaven give good gifts to them that ask him (Matt. 7:11).
4. Persistence. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with
thanksgiving (Col. 4:2). See also Luke 18:1-8.
5. Faith. I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when
ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them
6. Submission. This is the confidence that we have in him, that,
if we ask anything according to his will he heareth us: and if we know
that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions
that we desire of him (I John 5:14, 15). When we ask according
to His will, then two have agreed, thus assuring that prayer will be
answered. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree
on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done
for them of my Father which is in heaven (Matt. 18:19).
1. Through Spiritual Profanation. This is well illustrated in the life
of Esau. Paul bids us to look diligently lest there be any fornicator,
or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing,
he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance though he sought
it carefully with tears (Heb. 12:16, 17). Esau gave away the blessings
that went with the birthright. That which he sold was gone forever.
In the Christian life lost days and lost opportunities are gone. Yesterday
is gone forever.
2. Through Judicial Penalties. Speak unto them, and say unto them,
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth
up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity
before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him
that cometh according to the multitude of his idols (Ezek. 14:4).
See also Deuteronomy 3:25-27; Jeremiah 15:1.
3. Through Lack of Action. The LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore
criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go
forward (Ex. 14:15). To be sure there is a time to stand
still and see the salvation of the LORD, but there is also the
time to go forward.
4. Through Insincerity. When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as
the hypocrites are, for they love to pray standing in the synagogue
and in the corner of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily
I say unto you, They have their reward (Matt. 6:5).
5. Through Carnal Motives. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye
ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lust (Jas. 4:3).
6. Through Unbelief. Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.
For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind
and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything
of the Lord (Jas. 1:6, 7).
7. Through Cherished Sin. If I regard iniquity in my heart,
the Lord will not hear me (Ps. 66:18).
8. Through Failure to Ask. Ye have not, because ye ask not
(Jas. 4:2c). Some find a conflict with the above verse and Matthew 6:8:
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what
things ye have need of, before ye ask him. They reason that if
the Father knows what we have need of, why then should they pray? This
has hurt the prayer life of many Christians. It should not. It is true
that our Father knows everything we have need of; if He didnt
He would not be God. His knowledge, however, is not a guarantee that
we shall have the needed things: Ye have not, because ye ask not.
Yes, the Father knows what we need, but we have to pray for it. We are
warned, nevertheless, that we cannot fool God and ask for things we
do not need.
There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man
Christ Jesus (I Tim. 2:5). In whom we have boldness and
access with confidence by the faith of him (Eph. 3:12). See also
John 16:24-26, Through him we both have access by one Spirit unto
the Father (Eph. 2:18). This is the Scriptural formula for the
presentation of prayers: To the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit.
Prayers should contain the following: