Soteriology – Doctrine of Salvation 2019-09-21T12:04:37+00:00

THE DOCTRINE OF SOTERIOLOGY employs a term that combines the Greek sōtēria (salvation) with logos (word of reasoning). The doctrine of salvation studies the saving action of God.

Chafer’s doctrine of salvation divides into the following categories; Christ, divine election, the saving work of the triune God, the eternal security of the believer, and the terms of salvation.[1]

Christ is the preincarnate, eternal, second Person of the Trinity who took on the incarnate form so that He could die for our sin, paying the penalty of death due to us. He is risen and therefore we will be resurrected.[2] Christ suffered for us in life and in death.[3] He is our Prophet, Priest and King[4] who exists in the hypostatic union.[5]  In His death He was our substitution, redeeming us from sin. As our propitiation He reconciled us to God.[6] The testimony of the Scriptures is that Christ’s death was for the whole world, all-inclusively, therefore the Gospel is offered universally to all men.[7] In 2 Peter 2:1 where we find the ungodly false teachers bringing swift destruction on themselves in the last days, they are said to “deny the Lord that bought them.” Even those who deny Christ, and will face destruction, are said to have been ransomed by Christ.[8]

When Jesus died, He paid the ransom to the one holding us in slavery. For this reason, when Christ descended into Hades, He had a right to take the keys of Death and Hades. His preaching to the disobedient spirits (not people) of Noah’s day, when He descended into Hades,[9] was to tell them that they were still defeated, and that God’s plan was not derailed.[10] It could not have been a preaching of the gospel since the parable of Abrahams Bosom in the Gospel of Luke, and other Scripture,  teaches that eternal destiny is decided in this present life without second probation.[11] When Jesus took the keys He set the captives free who could not leave Abrahams Bosom (which, for the early Church Fathers, was a region in the upper area of Hades)[12] until the price had been paid for their ransom. The result was that when Jesus ascended and presented Himself to the Father in heaven, angels and authorities and powers were made subject to Him. He is seated at the right hand of God, making intercession for us because the Accuser of the Brethren still has access to heaven until the fulfilment of Revelation 12. Jesus will return to rule and reign.[13]

The saving work of Christ is finished. The convicting work of the Spirit continues here on earth.[14] Regarding the eternal security of the believer Chafer explains the Arminian view,[15] and the Calvinistic view,[16] and then he discusses the consummating Scriptures, our deliverance from the reigning power of sin, and the fact that the believer is presented faultless in heaven.[17]

The call is to all, as we see in the Traditional view of soteriology:

“The promise of our sovereignly free Potter is inclusive, not exclusive… He is a Potter who weeps over His hardened clay while longing to reconcile them from their rebellious ways (Lk. 19:42, Matt. 23:37, Rom. 10:21, 2 Cor. 5:20).[18]

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Abrahams Bosom teaches us, by implication, that Scripture is the guide to repentance and salvation, and if we will not heed the warnings of God’s Word, nothing can reach us. Thus, Christ ended the parable with the words ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead’[19]

[1] Chafer, Lewis Sperry. 1983. “Angelology.” Systematic Theology, Volume 3. 3 – 394

[2] Ibid, 11-16

[3] Ibid, 35-54

[4] Ibid, 17-30

[5] Ibid, 33

[6] Ibid, 55-95

[7] Ibid, 201-204

[8] Ibid, 204

[9] www.bibletools.org “Bible Tools Topical Studies” https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Bible.show/sVerseID/30444/eVerseID/30444/

[10] Heiser, Michael S.. The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (p. 338). Lexham Press. Kindle Edition.

[11] Regalado, Ferdinand O. 2002. “The Jewish Background of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.” Asia Journal of Theology 16 (2): 346 http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=8878973&site=ehost-live

[12] O’Kane, Martin. 2007. “‘The Bosom of Abraham’ (Luke 16:22): Father Abraham in the Visual Imagination.” Biblical Interpretation 15 (4–5): 495. doi:10.1163/156851507X194242.

[13] Chafer, Lewis Sperry. 1983. Systematic Theology, Volume 3. 16

[14] Ibid, 206-225

[15] Ibid, 273-312

[16] Ibid, 313-339

[17] Chafer, Lewis Sperry. 1983. Systematic Theology, Volume 3. 267 – 369

[18] Flowers, Leighton. The Potter’s Promise: A Biblical Defence of Traditional Soteriology (p. 154). Trinity Academic Press. Kindle Edition.

[19] Regalado, Ferdinand O. 2002. “The Jewish Background of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.” Asia Journal of Theology 16 (2): 346 http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=8878973&site=ehost-live

BIBLIOLOGY

Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology, Volume 3 & 4. Michigan: Zondervan, 1993.

Heiser, Michael S. The Unseen Realm. Bellingham: Lexham Press, 2015.

O’Kane, Martin. “The Bosom of Abraham (Luke 16:22): Father Abraham in the Visual Imagination.” Biblical Interpretations 15, no. 4-5 , 2007: 485-518 doi:10.1163/156851507X194242.

Regalado, Ferdinand O. “The Jewish Background of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.” Asia Journal of Theology 16, no.2, October 2002: 341-348.

Tools, Bible. Topical Studies. n.d. https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/16722/Jesus-Christ-as-Firstfruit.htm (accessed September 7, 2019).