The Facets of Salvation

  1. Introduction:
    1. Salvation means deliverance or rescue from peril or hurt, but we can profit by other words the Spirit used.
    2. Bible salvation is the gift of eternal life from God to the elect, which is their deliverance from sin, death, Satan, and hell through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ for them (Rom 6:23; I Thess 1:10; I Tim 1:15).
    3. To learn the truth about salvation, we first prove unconditional eternal life by the seven categories of proof.
    4. We then learn the five phases of salvation in general before applying them to the components of salvation.
    5. The components of salvation are the different terms used in the Bible to describe the facets of salvation.
    6. God chose various terms to describe our deliverance from sin, death, and hell to magnify His gracious work: these words and concepts, taken from different aspects of life, fill out the glorious revelation of salvation.
    7. Facet. One of the sides of a body that has numerous faces; orig. one of the small cut and polished faces of a diamond or other gem, but subsequently extended to a similar face in any natural or artificial body. [OED].
    8. For the sake of this study, we will focus our attention on the facets of our legal salvation by Christ's death, therefore we will leave calling, conversion, election, foreknowledge, quickening, predestination, regeneration, resurrection, glorification, and other related terms for a different study.
    9. These components, or facets, can be more perfectly known in their entirety by considering their five phases.
    10. Our goal is to fully appreciate the love and accomplishments of Jesus Christ for us by His sacrificial death.
    11. The cross of Christ should be of great importance, especially at communion (I Cor 2:2; 11:26; Gal 6:14).
    12. If you do not delight in salvation through Jesus Christ, then you have a serious spiritual problem to correct.
    13. The Bible was not written for or delivered to the world at large, but rather to the children of God (Col 4:16), for it is the elect that need to hear and understand the message of God's gracious salvation (II Tim 2:10).
    14. Much more can be said than the short explanations below, but they should be enough to cause thanksgiving.
    15. We can start by turning to Romans 5:6-19, where we can find five facets either stated or strongly implied.
  1. Justification
    1. The legal or forensic work of adjudicating and declaring a person righteous, who had correctly and previously been condemned as guilty for offences.
      1. Justify. To absolve, acquit, exculpate; spec. in Theol. To declare free from the penalty of sin on the ground of Christ's righteousness. [OED].
      2. Justify can also mean "to show (a person or action) to be just or in the right; to prove or maintain the righteousness or innocent of; to vindicate. [OED]. But we are dealing with legal salvation in Christ, so we shall limit this great Bible concept and facet to the legal phase only.
    2. Justification is a forensic term describing our legal standing before God as Judge.
      1. Romans 5:9 introduced the facet to us as a finished fact based on the blood of Jesus Christ.
      2. We are justified by Christ's perfect righteousness being positively applied to our account, and our sins being negatively paid for by His death, before God as Judge.
      3. Therefore, legally God does not see our sins, and instead He sees us in Christ's righteousness.
      4. It is more than saying, "Just as if I'd never sinned," for it also includes His perfect obedience.
      5. God is perfectly just, and He cannot acquit or clear wicked men (Ex 34:7; Job 10:14; Nah 1:3).
      6. He punished a Substitute to justify the elect (Isaiah 53:11; Rom 3:24-26; 8:33-34; II Cor 5:21).
      7. Of course, there is much more than has been said and could be said about this wonderful facet.
    3. Compare these related facets: acceptation, imputation, mediation, pardon, and propitiation.
  1. Reconciliation
    1. The relational work of bringing two antagonistic and warring parties to a peaceful and final settlement of differences, so that they are agreeable and united with each other again.
      1. Reconcile. To bring (a person) again into friendly relations to or with (oneself or another) after an enstrangement. [OED].
      2. The Law of Moses forbad the eating of any sacrifice whose blood had been taken into the holy place to reconcile … to make atonement for sin, as on the Day of Atonement (Lev 6:30).
      3. Philistines feared David would reconcile himself to Saul by cutting off their heads (I Sa 29:4)!
      4. A Christian wife divorcing her husband must remain single or be reconciled to him (I Co 7:11).
      5. We do accounting or bank reconciliations to make sure that amounts or numbers totally agree.
    2. Reconciliation is a relational term describing restored friendship with God as our former Enemy.
      1. God reconciled the elect to Himself by pouring out His wrath on Jesus Christ in their place and satisfying His anger and enmity, for we were made acceptable to Him in the Beloved.
      2. Once we were God's enemies, but the death of His Son reconciled us to God; and with that reconciliation in place, we shall be saved by his intercessory life for us (Romans 5:9-10).
      3. God reconciled the world of His elect to Himself in Jesus Christ by not imputing their trespasses to them, and the gospel is only the word of that event for our minds (II Cor 5:18-20).
      4. Jesus Christ by His bloody death made peace with God and reconciled all the elect to God, who had been and are before regeneration both aliens and enemies of God (Col 1:20-22).
      5. The death of Christ reconciled both Jews and Gentiles to God by bringing peace (Eph 2:14-18).
      6. Those who are not reconciled remain under their sins and God's wrath, for God is angry with the wicked every day (Ps 7:11; Matt 7:21-23; John 3:36; Rom 9:22; Eph 2:1-3).
      7. The Desire of all Nations made peace while the second temple was yet standing (Haggai 2:6-9).
    3. Compare these related facets: acceptation, atonement, mediation, pardon, peace, and propitiation.
  1. Atonement
    1. The relational work of making two offended parties united in one peaceful relationship again.
      1. Consider a combination of simple words that give a short and concise definition – at one again.
      2. The Day of Atonement was a special annual event of making peace with God for another year.
    2. God has made Jesus Christ the atonement for us, because He put God and us back to full peace.
      1. The Holy Spirit chose to include this word in Romans 5:11 for our consideration of its sense.
      2. Consider how Paul reasons up from death to justification to reconciliation to intercession and then includes atonement as well, which has relational value and would be understood by Jews.
    3. Compare these related facets: propitiation, reconciliation.
  1. Intercession
    1. The priestly and mediatorial work of pleading the case of a party by an advocate or mediator on behalf of a criminal to the Judge responsible for hearing the case.
      1. Consider how Jesus made intercession for those murdering Him (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34).
      2. Consider how the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us according to God's will (Rom 8:26-27).
    2. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and He makes intercession for us before God with His precious blood and perpetual life.
      1. He paid an infinite price for our justification and redemption by His death (Ro 5:9; Heb 9:12).
      2. Yet, He still pleads our case as our High Priest before God (Rom 5:10; 8:34; Heb 7:25; 9:24).
      3. The Spirit uses "much more" and "yea rather" to indicate the superiority of His life! Glory!
      4. There is only one way to heaven and only one name under heaven for it (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
    3. Compare these related facets: mediation, propitiation.
  1. Representation
    1. The forensic or legal work of a substitute who performs in the assigned stead and place of another.
      1. We see good or evil consequences of fathers on families, rulers on nations, pastors on churches.
      2. But there is more than this here, because God actually made a covenant with Adam for us.
    2. Jesus Christ was our Substitute in His righteous life and horrible death to deliver us from the legal consequences of Adam's sinful rebellion in Eden, which damned our entire race to death and hell.
      1. Jesus Christ obeyed in life and death on our behalf, which made us righteous (Rom 5:12-19).
      2. We should view His life and death – one step at a time – as our Representative chosen by God.
      3. Every one chosen in Christ, proven by running to Christ, will surely be saved (I Cor 15:22).
      4. God put our sins on Jesus Christ, and He obeyed God fully for us (Isaiah 53:4-6; I Peter 2:24).
    3. Compare these related facets: none.
  1. Sanctification
    1. The religious or priestly work of consecrating or dedicating some thing or some one to be holy and suitable for divine use or service.
      1. Israel was constantly taking steps to sanctify themselves as holy for God (Ex 13:2; 19:10,22).
      2. This consecrated and holy condition makes persons saints and buildings sanctuaries.
    2. Sanctification is a religious term meaning consecration and separation in holiness for God as Deity.
      1. The holy demands of our Holy God cannot be overstated (Numbers 15:37-41; Joshua 24:19).
      2. He is praised as Holy, holy, holy; His Spirit is the Holy Spirit; His Bible the Holy Scriptures.
      3. Jesus perfected us forever in holiness by washing away our sins and making us pure for God's presence. See I Cor 1:30; Eph 1:4; 5:26-27; Heb 10:10-14.
    3. Compare these related facets: none.
  1. Redemption
    1. The economic or financial work of buying some thing or some one back from another that has a legitimate and binding claim against it.
      1. The firstborns were the Lord's, but substituting a lamb could redeem them (Ex 13:13; 34:20).
      2. The Law defined how men could redeem assets or persons that had been sold (Lev 25:25; etc.).
      3. God redeemed Israel out of Egypt for the price of Egypt (Ex 15:16; I Chr 17:21; II Pet 2:1).
    2. Redemption is an economic term describing our purchase from the claims of God as Creditor.
      1. Jesus redeemed us from the claims of God's law by the payment of His own precious blood.
      2. See Psalm 49:15; Romans 3:24; I Corinthians 1:30; Galatians 3:13; 4:5; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:12-15; I Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 5:9.
      3. Jesus entered in once into God's presence and obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb 9:12)!
      4. Compare redemption by Christ's blood to evangelistic efforts to save by money contributed!
    3. Compare these related facets: purchased.
  1. Propitiation
    1. The mediatorial or relational work of appeasing an offended party to bring about reconciliation.
      1. Propitiate. To render propitious or favourable inclined; to appease, conciliate (one offended).
      2. Jacob sent a present to Esau before his arrival as a propitiation to appease him (Genesis 32:20).
    2. Propitiation is a mediatorial term describing a purchase of peace for us with God as Antagonist.
      1. Jesus Christ was sacrificed on Calvary's tree to make peace with God on behalf of the elect.
      2. He is the propitiation for all the sins of all the elect throughout the whole world (I John 2:2).
      3. The greatest definition of love is God's love of us and His Son as our propitiation (I John 4:10).
      4. God the Father had faith, confidence or trust, in the blood of His Son Jesus Christ (Rom 3:25).
    3. Compare these related facets: reconciliation, atonement.
  1. Ransom
    1. The economic or financial work of paying a price to obtain the release and freedom of a captive or prisoner.
      1. The most wonderful news, if you were captive as a condemned prisoner, would be of a ransom.
      2. We often think of a ransom as the money paid by a parent to a kidnapper for release of a child.
      3. Moses' Law allowed paying a ransom in certain cases to redeem your life (Exodus 21:30).
    2. Jesus Christ was the ransom to deliver us from God's justice and the charges Satan had against us.
      1. When God is angry with a sinner, there is no ransom that can deliver him (Job 36:18; Ps 49:7).
      2. The devil held us captive in several ways, but the Stronger Man rescued us by paying a ransom.
      3. The wonderful news of the gospel to convicted sinners is, "I have found a ransom" (Job 33:24).
      4. You are doomed to die … but God through Jesus ransomed you from the grave (Hosea 13:14).
      5. The Lord Christ came to give His life a ransom for many – all the elect (Matt 20:28; I Tim 2:6).
    3. Compare these related facets: purchased, redemption.
  1. Forgiveness
    1. The forensic or legal or economic or religious work of acquitting or clearing a guilty party by pardoning their offence.
      1. Crimes can be forgiven in various settings; and debts may also be forgiven.
      2. When you have wronged another, you love and rejoice to be told that they have forgiven you.
    2. God has forgiven the elect through the planned payment by Jesus Christ's death for their sins.
      1. David described the blessed man God forgives and does not impute sin (Ps 32:1-2; Rom 4:6-7).
      2. It is the blood and death of Christ that put away our sins (Eph 1:7; Col 2:13; Heb 10:17-18).
      3. Those who have been forgiven much, if they have a conscience, love much (Luke 7:36-50).
    3. Compare these related facets: imputation, justification, pardon, redemption.
  1. Satisfaction
    1. The forensic and legal work of providing a sufficient payment to an offended party or judge to make appeasement or restitution for wrongs done and bring to a state of contentment.
      1. Satisfaction was not to be accepted for a murderer or for a manslayer (Number 35:31-32).
      2. Consider how far God's law goes to make restitution for damaged or stolen goods (Pr 6:30-31).
    2. God the Father saw the travail of His Son Jesus on the cross, and He was satisfied (Isaiah 53:11).
      1. Think how holy, just, and terrible God is … and how profane, rebellious, and wicked we are.
      2. How could we ever satisfy such a debt? Our debit is infinite, and we have nothing at all to pay.
      3. Only an infinite sacrifice by His dearest Son could possibly satisfy divine justice and wrath.
    3. Compare these related facets: acceptation, justification.
  1. Pardon
    1. The forensic and legal work of declaring a guilty party free from their crimes and innocent before the law by an executive decree or order.
      1. Presidential or gubernatorial pardons are decrees that free convicted criminals from all charges.
      2. In spite of failed court attempts or serious legal charges, a pardon can erase any or all crimes.
    2. God comforted Israel with news of a pardon through the coming of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 40:1-11).
      1. Consider dear brothers and sisters! God cannot acquit or clear the wicked (Ex 34:7; Nah 1:3).
      2. But the comforting message is that Jesus Christ allows God to be just and justifier (Rom 3:26)!
    3. Compare these related facets: justification, purchased, ransom.
  1. Mediation
    1. The forensic and legal work of a go-between who negotiates a settlement and makes peace between two antagonistic and offended parties.
      1. When a conflict is put to arbitration, a third party resolves the conflict by choosing a settlement.
      2. But true mediation is working out a settlement that is fully accepted by the offended party.
    2. God is infinitely higher than man, and we have a serious problem with God, our rebellious sins!
      1. Job wanted a daysman, an intermediary to put a hand on both God and himself (Job 9:32-35).
      2. We have no need of a pope or priest, for we already have a great high priest Who is in heaven!
      3. The man Christ Jesus is the one and all-sufficient mediator between God and men (I Timothy 2:5).
    3. Compare these related facets: intercession, propitiation, reconciliation.
  1. Acceptation
    1. The forensic or legal work of making sufficient amends for wrongdoing that an offended party will accept and approve the offending party.
    2. God has made us acceptable to Himself in the Beloved, which is Jesus Christ our Saviour (Ep 1:6).
      1. This transaction is by the good pleasure of God's will and for the praise of His glorious grace.
      2. He predestinated sinners chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be His children.
      3. This is the very opposite of a popular doctrine of sinners accepting Jesus to be God's children.
    3. Compare these related facets: justification, mediation, reconciliation, satisfaction.
  1. Imputation
    1. The legal work of charging or not charging a person with crimes. Also account, count, or reckon.
      1. The word impute has synonyms like account, count, or reckon charges against a person.
      2. If you impute an offence against a person, then you hold them accountable and responsible.
    2. Because of Christ's death, God does not impute sin and does impute righteousness to the elect.
      1. David and Paul described the blessedness of a man in such a condition (Ps 32:1-2; Rom 4:6,8).
      2. The elect are not charged for their sins, but they are credited with Jesus Christ's righteousness.
    3. Compare these related facets: justification.
  1. Bought, or Purchased
    1. The economic or financial work of paying a price for the rights of ownership of a person or thing.
    2. God bought and purchased His elect to be His own from their debts and liabilities through Christ.
      1. The death of Jesus Christ is viewed as the price God paid to buy the church (I Cor 6:20; 7:23).
      2. This purchase was for their salvation and inheritance by Christ's blood (Acts 20:28; Eph 1:14).
    3. Compare these related facets: redemption.
  1. Adoption
    1. The familial work of establishing a parent-child relationship with a person not yours by nature.
    2. Adoption is a familial term describing the affectionate intervention for us of God as a dear Father.
      1. Men adopt by all sorts of criteria, but only God adopts condemned criminals that hate Him!
      2. And He did this by electing grace only and planned all the phases to their eternal inheritance.
      3. Adoption describes positive aspects of salvation far beyond bare forgiveness or justification.
      4. The price necessary for our adoption was the death of the Creator God's Only Begotten Son.
      5. This is no light aspect, component, or facet of salvation (I John 3:1-3). It is greatly glorious!
      6. Ordinary love will do all kinds of things, but what manner of love will adopt enemies as sons?
      7. It is one thing for God to pay for our sins to save us from hell, but another to make us His sons!
      8. Jesus Christ paid the legal fee for our adoption (Gal 4:4-5; John 11:49-52; Ep 1:5; Heb 2:9-17).
      9. The five precious phases of adoption, from predestination to inheritance, are glorious indeed!
  1. Conclusion:
    1. Those who have been forgiven much will love much (Luke 7:36-50). What about you?
    2. The love of Christ constrained the apostle Paul (II Cor 5:14-17). What about you?
    3. The adoption of sons should purify our lives (I John 3:3). What about you?
  1. For Further Study:
    1. The sermon, Unconditional Salvation.
    2. The document, Five Phases of Salvation.
    3. The sermon outline, What Did Jesus Finish?.
    4. The sermon outline, Before the World Began.
    5. The sermon outline, Eternal Life Is a Gift.
    6. The sermon outline, I Have Found a Ransom.
    7. The sermon outline, Sanctification.
    8. The sermon outline, The Sons of God.
    9. The sermon outline, The Two Adams.
    10. The sermon, God Commendeth His Love.
    11. The sermon, His Righteousness.
    12. The sermon, The Glory of the Cross.
    13. The sermon, Christ's Love Constrains.
    14. The sermon, World's Greatest Lover.
    15. The sermon outline, There Is One Mediator, which is not in e-format.
    16. The seminar manual, The Doctrine of Salvation, which is not in e-format.