Before we can understand the doctrine of salvation, we must first understand what we have been saved from. We have been saved from sin.
Most, if not all, people recognize the conflict between conscience and conduct. Man has a natural tendency to go astray, to think and act in a debasing way. There is the endless struggle to do good, but evil is always present to distort, to lead astray. The conflict is real within the heart and soul.
Why the conflict between conscience and conduct? Something happened to the nature of man. It happened in the “fall of man” in Genesis 3. Since then, sin has been inherited. To inherit means “to receive from progenitors.” We are born with a sin nature. If you doubt this, then answer the question: “Do you have to teach a child to do wrong?” It’s quite the opposite. You have to teach the child to do right.
Were this not true, then the sacrifice for sin, paid by Christ on the cross, was unnecessary. Jesus came and died to impart a “new nature” to all who will believe.
People who do not understand the nature of sin are offended when someone speaks of them as sinners. Their defense is usually something like, “I’m a good person. I pay my debts. I attend church occasionally. I attend church occasionally. I’m good to my family and friends. I’m a good moral person,” and so on and so forth. The question is not “Have you been good?” The question is, “Have you been washed in the blood of the Lamb?” He gives a new nature, making all who come to Him realize that there is no goodness in man. He becomes the source of spiritual awareness, and the good things done for Him and His glory.
This lesson is not about the goodness of good people, but rather it is about the sin of all humanity.
A. The Origin of Sin
1. With whom did sin originate, and what was he created? (Isa. 14:12; Ez. 28:14)
2. Sin entered the world through who? (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
3. How did this one man affect the whole human race? (Romans 5:12)
B. Bible Definitions of Sin
1. What does 1 John 3:4 say that sin means? _______________________________
2. 1 John 5:17 _______________________________________________________
3. James 4:17 _______________________________________________________
4. Romans 14:23 ____________________________________________________
C. Sin and the Human Heart
1. What does Jeremiah 17:8 say about the heart of man? _____________________
2. What does sin do to the heart? (Ephesians 4:18) _________________________
3. There are three forms of sin found in Mark 21:2-23.
- Human nature – those out of the heart
- Human mind – evil thoughts
- Human action – deeds of the body
Where do all these sins proceed from? (verses 21, 23)____________________
D. Sin and the Law
1. How is a person able to know that he is guilty of sin? (Romans 3:20) _________
2. How did Paul know he was guilty of coveting? (Romans 7:7) _______________
3. What happens when there is no law or no knowledge of God’s laws? (Rom. 4:15)
The purpose of the Law (Ten Commandments and all of God’s commandments) was to show man his inadequacy, his distance from God, and his need for a Savior.
E. Being Born in Sin
What do the following scriptures say about our sin nature at conception and
1. Psalm 51:5 ______________________________________________________
2. Psalm 58:3 _____________________________________________________
A penalty must be paid for our sins. People are not sinners because of the things we do, but because of how we were born. We are born with sin nature. We are born with our spirits not being joined or in contact with God. We have the nature of Satan when we are born. That’s why we sin.
3. When a person is unsaved, who is his spiritual father? (John 8:44)
Therefore, because we are born this way, we have earned some wages, meaning that we work for an end result. We sin because of our sin nature.
4. What are the wages of sin? (Romans 6:23) _____________________________
5. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 reveals that what kind of death comes as a result of sin:
physical death, spiritual death, or eternal death?
6. Is there anyone in the world who is not guilty of sin? (Romans 3:10, 23)
7. What keeps us from being condemned to an eternal punishment? (John 3:18)
F. The Christian and His Sins
1. What happens to us as Christians when we sin? (Hebrews 12:6)
2. When we as Christians sin, what does 1 Corinthians 11:31 say we are to do?
Eternal punishment is for the unbeliever. God deals with His own as a Father. A natural father only chastens his own children.
3. When we as Christians sin, what do we have to do in order to restore our
fellowship with the Lord (1 John 1:9)?
Confessing or acknowledging our sin is how we judge ourselves.
4. According to Colossians 2:13, only part of our sins were forgiven by Jesus on
the cross. Circle True or False.
Salvation is the work of God by which He saves man from the eternal doom of sin. In salvation He gives to man the riches of His grace, which means eternal life now and forever. Salvation is the work of God, not a work of man for God.
Salvation is “the new birth.” Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:3-7). The New Birth is a spiritual birth and is as much a birth as the natural birth. The only way to become a Christian is to be “born again.”
The meaning of salvation in the Hebrew and Greek implies the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness. Until a person receives Christ as Savior, that person is lost and has no assurance of deliverance, safety, etc. Good works will never bring salvation to a soul. Being a good person is not salvation. The Bible declares that we are not saved by works. First is salvation – followed by works (Ephesians 2:10).
A. When God Planned Man’s Salvation
1. When did God’s plan to save man enter into his mind? (Eph. 1:4; 1 Peter 1:19-20)
Salvation was a result of God’s foreknowledge. The plan of salvation was not an afterthought of God. God (being omniscient, foreknew that man would sin and would need a plan to redeem him.
2. When did God promise us a hope for eternal life? (Titus 1:2)________________
3. How is a man saved? (Ephesians 2:8) ___________________________________
4. Can we work for our salvation or do good deeds to merit God’s salvation?
B. Why God Saves Man
1. Who did Christ die for? Why did God allow His Son to die? (Romans 5:8)
2. Salvation is for how many men? (Titus 2:11) ____________________________
3. What demonstrated that God loves us? (1 John 4:9) ______________________
C. The Three Phases of Salvation
1. We’ve Been Saved from the Penalty of Sin (Sins of the Past)
As stated earlier, before ever doing wrong, we come into this world with a debt we owe God for our sin nature. As we grow up, live, and become accountable for our actions and for knowing right from wrong, we become aware of our sins and feel guilt for the things we did wrong in the past.
When we accept Christ as Savior, the guilt for sins from the past is removed. The penalty for past sins has been paid because Christ became sin for all who will believe.
a. Was Jesus a sinner at birth, or was He made a sinner by God on the cross?
(2 Corinthians 5:21)
b. What does God do with our past sins? (Hebrews 10:17) __________________
This is known as the doctrine of justification.