Lesson 3 The Nature of Salvation
Reading: Isaiah 12
answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be
born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
36:25–26. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you,
and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I
cleanse you. 26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit
will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
and I will give you an heart of flesh.
1:11–13. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But
as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even
to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
3:7. Marvel not that I said unto thee,
Ye must be born again.
Corinthians 5:17. Therefore if any man be
in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
3:24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in
5:31. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel,
and forgiveness of sins.
13:38. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the
forgiveness of sins.
1:14. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
2:1. And you hath he quickened,
who were dead in trespasses and sins.
3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his
mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy
Peter 1:23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by
the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
ON THE LESSON TEXT
36:25–26. The prophet describes the
moral change in salvation as a cleansing and a change of heart.
1:11–13. Those who receive Christ become children of God. This state is
entered into by a change called a birth. This change is effected by an act of
3:7. Jesus here states the absolute necessity of this change.
Corinthians 5:17. The change is actual, effecting a new life.
3:24. Redemption likewise includes our justification.
3:31; 13:28. Our justification is accomplished through the forgiveness of
1:14. It is through the atonement that forgiveness and redemption are made
2:1. The change in salvation is represented as a resurrection from death to
3:5. This change is called regeneration.
Peter 1:23. Peter preaches the new birth and makes it effective through the
word of God.
TOPIC: THE NATURE OF SALVATION
WHAT SALVATION IS NOT
A change of person.
By imparting a new personality. The “new creature” is not a new person but
“he”—the same person—is made anew. B) By destroying humanity. Human
nature is not destroyed or materially altered. C) By imparting new faculties. No
faculties are added to the soul. It is a change wrought within man.
A change of the nature of sin.
By making sin less abhorrent. God still hates sin. It is not sin but the sinner
that is cleansed. B) By licensing sin. Sin in a believer is as much a crime as
if committed by an unbeliever.
Change in the physical man.
as such changes are effects of the change in the soul. The final redemption of
our bodies is reserved for the resurrection.
is the first work of grace, regeneration, change.
It is acquittal.
sinner stands justified before God as though he had never sinned.
Not failure to convict. Every sinner is guilty, and his guilt is thoroughly
established. This fact can never be changed. B) It is forgiveness. The sinner
pleads guilty, but God, for Christ’s sake, forgives him.
It is remission of the penalty.
In forgiveness God’s feeling toward the sinner is changed: he is no longer
displeased with him. This leads to remission. B) The sentence is suspended. The
execution of the penalty is postponed indefinitely, or rather made inoperative.
Thus the penitent sinner is made free from the wrath of God, and from the
penalty of sin. He is justified.
It is based in the atonement.
Not in the doing of penance. Sufferings for sin exclude the idea of forgiveness.
The guild of sin cannot be removed this way. B) Not in the transfer of
Christ’s righteousness to us. To count us righteous because he is righteous
would not make us righteous. This idea of transfer is, like the transfer of
Adam’s guilt, a wrong interpretation of Scripture. His righteousness made
possible a perfect atonement thus securing our forgiveness.
It is full and final.
We are justified from “all things” (Acts 13:39). B) We shall never again be
condemned for these sins but may become guilty through future sins (Ezekiel
The need of regeneration.
Man’s nature is sinful. Left to himself man cannot overcome sin. B) Pardon
does not change nature. Forgiveness of sin is not guarantee that the sinner will
sin no more. C) That man may keep justified. Without it there is no way to avoid
sin and consequent guilt. D) To make us children of God. This is effected
through the new birth.
It is a present experience.
We have passed from death to life (1 John 3:14). B) We are new creatures (2
Corinthians 5:17). C) We are children of God (1 John 3:2). This sufficiently
refutes the notion that we are not to be regenerated and becomes sons of God
until the resurrection.
The nature of regeneration.
It is a new life from God. Thus it is a miraculous force and not the power of
man’s will. B) It is an inner change. An outward reform may affect the fruits,
but regeneration touches the source of life. It is a change of heart. C) It is
victory over depraved nature. Depravity is not removed until entire
sanctification, but the regenerated man has power over depraved nature so that
sin does not have dominion over him. D) It is a strengthening of the will with
power to overcome evil and to do the will of God. E) It is a change of desires
whereby sin becomes distasteful and the will of God becomes pleasant.
RECEIVING THE SPIRIT
We are born of the Spirit (John 3:6).
is through the operation of the Holy Spirit that we are regenerated. This is not
the baptism of the Holy Ghost but the same Spirit operating in a different
The Spirit is called:
“The Spirit of adoption” (Romans 8:15). We are given a place as sons and
made heirs of God. B) “The Spirit of his sons” (Galatians 4:6). The figure
of a new birth shows that we are sons through regeneration.
fruits of the Spirit will immediately appear in the life of one who is saved.
This is A good evidence that one has received the Spirit.
IT IS ONE OPERATION
and regeneration are so related that they must be received simultaneously. The
grace of God cannot abound when one continues in sin, hence one cannot stand
justified while sinning. Regeneration is needed that one may cease sinning. It
is through the operation of the Spirit that we are both justified and
regenerated. These are but different phases of one work performed by the same
Spirit at the same time.