Definition of Key Terms, Part 2 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #60)

The Bible says in Matthew 19:25-26: “When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from John MacArthur. He said: “Saving faith is not just believing that Jesus lived and died. Faith that saves is the confident, continuous confession of total dependence on, and trust in Jesus Christ to meet the requirements on your behalf to give you entrance into God’s Eternal Kingdom. It’s the surrender of your life in complete trust to Him to do what you cannot do.”

Our topic today is Definition of Key Terms (Part 2) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

Christians sometimes use words and phrases that are foreign to those who are not saved. As we close out the Understanding God’s Great Salvation podcast, we are going to look at what some of these words and phrases mean. If you are a new believer or thinking about becoming a believer, this will be very beneficial to you.

Grace. The unmerited favor of God in giving His Son and all the benefits that result from receiving Him.

Impute. To reckon or ascribe something to someone; e.g., God’s ascribing the righteousness of Christ to the believer.

Justification. To declare a person righteous. God does this for the believer because He has imputed the righteousness of Christ to that person. People justify others when they see their good works.

Lord. A superior. In the New Testament, it means sir, sovereign, master, God, owner, and husband.

Lordship salvation. The teaching that to be saved a person must not only trust Jesus as Savior but also as the Lord of his life, submitting (or at least being willing to submit) his life to His sovereign authority.

Perseverance. The belief that a believer cannot fall away from grace but will continue in good works to the end of life.

Predestination. God’s planning before time the destiny of His children to be conformed to the image of Christ.

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LISTEN: Bringing Many Sons to Glory, Part 5 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #58 with Daniel Whyte III)


The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from Henry Drummond. He said: “Salvation is a definite process. If a man refuse to submit himself to that process, clearly he cannot have the benefits of it. ‘As many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God.’ He does not avail himself of this power. It may be mere carelessness or apathy. Nevertheless the neglect is fatal. He cannot escape because he will not.”

Our topic today is titled Bringing Many Sons to Glory (Part 5) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

MEANS FOR PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION

Who and what are the agencies involved in progressive sanctification? Our Father is one. Our Lord Jesus is another. The Holy Spirit is another. The believer’s efforts are not optional. God’s part in sanctification must never lead to a quietism that fails to involve the believer’s activity. Indeed, every command to the believer implies the necessity of his involvement as part of the process. Some verses combine the believer’s part and God’s part in the process of sanctification.

In addition, certain means or things can be used both by God and by the believer to help this growth in holiness. Surely the Word of God stands in the first rank of importance. Certainly prayer will aid the process, if praying is done truly in the name of Christ. That simply means praying so that the Lord could endorse those prayers, or praying in His will. It means underscoring all our prayers with, as Jesus’ own model prayer instructs us, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Bringing Many Sons to Glory, Part 4 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #57)


The Bible says in Hebrews 12:5-8: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from F.F. Bruce. He said: “Those who have been justified are now being sanctified; those who have no experience of present sanctification have no reason to suppose they have been justified.”

Our topic today is titled Bringing Many Sons to Glory (Part 4) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

JUSTIFICATION AND SANCTIFICATION

What is the relationship between justification and sanctification? Both Reformed and dispensational theologians believe that both positional sanctification and justification occur simultaneously at the time of salvation. John Murray, a Reformed theologian, states clearly that “the virtue accruing from the death and resurrection of Christ affects no phase of salvation more directly than that of insuring definitive sanctification.”‘ He also clearly distinguishes positional (or definitive) sanctification and progressive sanctification. “It might appear that the emphasis placed upon definitive sanctification leaves no place for what is progressive. Any such inference would contradict an equally important aspect of biblical teaching.”

THE PEOPLE DISCIPLINED

In His Grand Plan to bring many sons to glory written in Hebrews 12, the Father will discipline His children. Four reasons are stated by the writer of Hebrews that tell why God does this:

1. Discipline is a part of the total educational process by which a believer is fitted to share God’s holiness.

2. Discipline is a proof of a genuine love relationship between our heavenly Father and us.

3. Discipline helps train us to be obedient.

4. Discipline produces the fruit of righteousness in our lives.

Bringing Many Sons to Glory, Part 3 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #56)


The Bible says in Romans 8:29-30: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from Tom Wells. He said: “It is not right to credit salvation to good works. It is right and necessary, however, to expect good works to follow salvation. Salvation is not the result of good works, but good works are the result of salvation.”

Our topic today is titled Bringing Many Sons to Glory (Part 3) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

— THE FACETS OF SANCTIFICATION

But what of sanctification? Nowhere does it appear in Paul’s list in Romans 8:29-30. Only predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. Why is sanctification not included? Could it be that Paul did not want to base our guarantee of ultimate glorification on our personal sanctification Assuredly it does not rest on that, for the many sons who will be glorified will have exhibited varying degrees of personal holiness during their lifetimes. Yet all, from the carnal to the most mature, will be glorified.

Some of the confusion may arise from a failure to distinguish the facets of sanctification. The word sanctify basically means “to set apart.” It has the same root as the words holy and saint. Every believer has been sanctified, for all have been set apart to God and adopted into His family. That is why all believers are saints. Even of the carnal Christians at Corinth, Paul dared to say that they were washed, they were sanctified, and they were justified. The same tense (indicating an accomplished fact, not something to be attained) is used for all three verbs. This aspect of sanctification separates all believers to their new position as belonging to God. Paul had already addressed these Corinthians as those who had been sanctified. Positional sanctification is an actual position that is not dependent on the state of one’s spiritual growth and maturity. The one-time offering of our Lord Jesus has sanctified us and perfected us in perpetuity—forever.

Secure and Sure of It, Part 5 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #53)

The Bible says in Hebrews 7:25: “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from Charles Spurgeon. He said: “From the Word of God I gather that damnation is all of man, from top to bottom, and salvation is all of grace, from first to last. He that perishes chooses to perish; but he that is saved is saved because God has chosen to save him.”

Our topic today is titled Secure and Sure of It (Part 5) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

THE MEANING OF ASSURANCE

Assurance is the confident realization that one has eternal life. Security is a biblical truth whether or not one has assurance, and even if one did not believe in security he could have assurance (that at that time, at least, he belonged to the family of God). But if one does not believe in security he will undoubtedly lack assurance more than once in his lifetime.

SOME REASONS PEOPLE LACK ASSURANCE

People lack assurance of their salvation for several reasons:

1. They cannot pinpoint a specific time when they received Christ. Conversion does occur at a specific time, yet a person may not know when that time was in his or her life. No one grows into conversion, but we do grow in our comprehension of conversion.

2. They question the correctness of the procedure they went through when they expressed faith in Christ. “Should I have ‘gone forward’?” “Did I pray the right prayer?” “I did it privately. Is that all right?”

3. Certain sins have come into their lives. They think that they surely were not saved in the first place or they would not have committed such sins. Security never gives a license to sin, but at the same time sin does not cause us to lose our salvation. The normal Christian experience never includes sinlessness, for “we all stumble in many ways”. This fact never excuses sin, but neither does sin cause us to forfeit our salvation.

How can I have assurance? The Bible offers two grounds for assurance. The objective ground is that God’s Word declares that I am saved through faith. Therefore, I believe Him and His Word and am assured that what He says is true.

The subjective ground relates to my experiences. Certain changes do accompany salvation, and when I see some of those changes, then I can be assured that I have received new life. Some of those changes are keeping His commandments; loving other believers; and doing right things. It goes without saying that I will never keep all His commandments, nor will I love all other believers, nor will I always do right things. But the fact that these experiences have come into my life, whereas they were absent before, gives assurance that the new life is present.

If we have believed, we are secure forever; and we can be assured of that if we take God at His Word and take heart from the changes which He brings into our lives.

What grace it is that can give us not only forgiveness and eternal life through faith alone but also guarantee that the Giver will never renege on His gift! Nor can we ever give it back even if we try! Be assured, fellow Christian, this is true, for God says so in His unbreakable Word.

Secure and Sure of It, Part 4 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #52)

The Bible says in John 4:39-42: “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from C.S. Lewis. He said: “When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him.”

Our topic today is titled Secure and Sure of It (Part 4) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

Could being “faithless” include unbelief? Could a true believer disbelieve and still be saved? Charles J. Ellicott, Greek scholar of the last century, while acknowledging the possibility of the translation “faithless,” said that the word means… “‘If we exhibit unbelief,’ whether as regards His attributes, His promises, or His Gospel … nor here is there sufficient reason for departing from the regular meaning of the word [to disbelieve], which, like [unbelief], seems always in the New Testament to imply not ‘un-trueness’ or ‘unfaithfulness,’ but definitely ‘unbelief.'”

Normally one who has believed can be described as a believer; that is, one who continues to believe. But according to Ellicott, apparently a believer may come to the place of not believing, and yet God will not disown him, since He cannot disown Himself. Some years ago a book by Robert Shank, entitled “Life in the Son,” argued against eternal security on the basis that the uses of “believe” in the present tense in the New Testament show that if a believer did not continue to believe he could and would lose his salvation.

Today proponents of lordship/discipleship/mastery salvation use the same argument to conclude that if someone does not continue to believe, then he or she was never a believer in the first place. However, notice that when Abraham’s faith is described in the New Testament, an aorist, not a present, tense is used consistently. Many Samaritans believed the harlot’s testimony and were saved. Others believed. And in response to the Philippian jailer’s question, Paul said, “Believe”.

As Lenski wrote in his commentary on Acts: “The word [believe] is properly the aorist, for the moment one believes, salvation is his. ‘To believe’ always means to put all trust and confidence in the Lord Jesus, in other words, by such trust of the heart, to throw the personality entirely into his arms for deliverance from sin, death, and hell. This trust is to rest on Jesus…. To trust him is to let him give us that salvation…. To believe is to accept the divine gift of salvation and at once to have it.”

Secure and Sure of It, Part 3 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #51)

The Bible says in John 7:37-39: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from D.L. Moody. He said: “Salvation is worth working for. It is worth a man’s going round the world on his hands and knees, climbing its mountains, crossing its valleys, swimming its rivers, going through all manner of hardship in order to attain it. But we do not get it in that way. It is to him who believes.”

Our topic today is titled Secure and Sure of It (Part 3) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

Dr. Ryrie continues as follows…

REASONS FOR BELIEVING IN ETERNAL SECURITY: THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The work of the Holy Spirit gives us additional reasons to believe in the eternal security of our salvation. Consider these three works of the Spirit and their implications for our eternal security.

First, the abiding presence and residence of the Holy Spirit in the believer is also a gift from God. If salvation can be lost, then God would have to take back His gift of the Spirit.

Second, at conversion the believer is joined to the body of Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If salvation can be lost, then one would have to be severed from the body, and the body of Christ would then be dismembered.

Third, when we believed, the Holy Spirit sealed us until the day of redemption. If we are not secure, then the seal has to be broken or the promise would be that we are sealed not until the day of redemption but only until the day we sin (or at least commit some very serious or grievous sin). And remember, God seals all believers, not just those who are, or who are willing to be, committed believers.