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Jesus: The Fulfillment of the Law

This entry is part 11 of 13 in the series Pastoral Soteriology

Understanding the substitutionary nature of Old Testament atonement is perhaps the single most important revelation concerning the work Christ accomplished on the cross on our behalf.  While such knowledge of the Old Testament system is certainly not a prerequisite for one’s salvation, it is the very foundation by which one may truly comprehend the work of the cross.  Jesus took great care to present the manner of his work as something which built upon that which God had already revealed.  He continually quoted the Law and the Prophets.  He made examples of the men of faith who had forged the work of the Kingdom in the Old Testament.  Salvation by grace through faith is not something new, but rather something which utterly permeated the scriptures prior to the time of Christ.  What became new was that the substance of such faith was finally revealed and fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus explained, Continue reading

The Elements of the Gospel: Grace

This entry is part 12 of 13 in the series Pastoral Soteriology

(This post is a continuation of the Pastoral Soteriology Series)

Grace:  The Overriding Condition of Salvation

Understanding the nature of the atonement expressed thus far – that Christ fulfilled the substitutionary blood atonement system of the Old Testament – leads one to next evaluate the elements of the gospel which bring one along the path into fellowship with Christ.  The mere knowledge of such glorious principles alone does not transform one automatically into conversion (James 2:19).  Rather, a transformational process which far supersedes intellect takes place to usher one into regeneration.  The next several posts will examine the “elements” which come into play during one’s conversion process.  These elements are each taught by scripture to be a part of the conversion experience. Continue reading

The Elements of the Gospel: Faith

This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Pastoral Soteriology

(This post is a continuation of the Pastoral Soteriology Series.  It assumes pre-requisite reading of earlier posts, and will be followed by additional posts.)

While grace is the overriding precondition of the gospel, scripture unyieldingly asserts that faith is the necessary component by which salvation is applied to the sinner’s account.  Ephesians 2:8 notes both elements quite clearly, asserting, “it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith.”  Likewise, Hebrews 11:6 notes that “without faith it is impossible to please God,” demanding that God’s acceptance of man in some way hinges on the existence of essential faith.  While faith in no way trumps grace – nor can it exist outside of grace – it is nonetheless a required component of the gospel which cannot be subverted.  One simply cannot be saved without faith. Continue reading

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