The Ten Facets of Our Salvation (Part 1)
Recently we discussed the condition of salvation and today we are discussing the ten facets of our salvation. It is important to know this to get a better appreciation for the Word of God, to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and to know what God has done for us when He provided salvation for us.
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The first facet of our salvation, regeneration, can be defined as follows: “Regeneration is the act of God by which the principle of the new life is implanted in a human being and the governing disposition of the soul is made holy”. Titus 3:5b refers to this meaning of salvation and connects it with a ministry of the Holy Spirit: “…according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” The term regeneration also appears in Matthew 19:28 where the emphasis is eschatological (not so much soteriological) when the heavens and earth will be renewed in preparation for the Messianic kingdom at Christ’s second coming to the earth.
Regeneration has to do with being born again (John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:3, 23), being begotten of God (John 1:13; 1 John 2:29), becoming children of God (1 John 3:1-2) and becoming a new creation that is made alive (John 6:63; Romans 8:1-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17). The means of regeneration is the will of God the Father (John 1:13), through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, by the Word of God which provides the content of faith (Titus 3:5; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23) and also the faith of the human being (John 1:12a; Galatians 3:26). The basis of regeneration — the reason why God chooses to regenerate a person — is the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:17-19). Regeneration manifests the power of God who imparts eternal life instantly to the new believer (1 Peter 1:3). Faith and regeneration occur simultaneously. Note that just as a person’s physical birth cannot be undone, so too can a believer’s regeneration not be reversed (cf. Philippians 1:6).
The second facet of the believer’s salvation is conversion. The believer turns from sin (emphasising repentance) and towards God (emphasising faith). Conversion is an understanding of and mental assent to certain basic facts concerning the Person and work of Jesus Christ: that He died for our sins, He was buried and that He rose again (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Three elements of conversion is important — and all three are necessary, namely knowledge, assent and trust. One must know what you are turning from and what you are turning towards. One must assent to these facts being true (of the gospel). Importantly, one must also trust, believe and exercise faith in Jesus Christ.
The Biblical meaning of repentance is to “change one’s mind”. The source of repentance has both a divine and a human side. God gives us repentance as a gift (Acts 5:31; 11:18), but humans must receive this gift. The Word of God gives one the knowledge of why and how one should repent (Luke 16:30-31). The gospel calls human beings to change their minds about Jesus Christ and to believe the gospel (Matthew 12:41; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:37-38).
Faith is not only a conviction of truth founded on testimony, but also trusting that truth for one’s salvation. The faith that secures eternal life is a positive conviction wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit as to the truth of the gospel; it is a heart reliance on the promise of God that He will save us in Christ. The faith that saves is therefore based on knowledge (one must know and understand the facts of the gospel), assent to the gospel being true and also trust in Jesus Christ for one’s salvation. Whereas conversion is a turning away from sin, faith is the turning to God.
The fifth facet of salvation is confession. Confession is part of believing. Concepts are understood by means of words and one understands the content of the gospel by means of words. When those words about the gospel of Christ is believed, this is confession. The content of faith must somehow be verbalised — whether vocally or silently — namely that the Messiah died for the believer’s sins, was buried and He rose again according to the Scriptures. Confession is part of believing.
In Part 2, which follows shortly, we will discuss the next five facets of our salvation.
If you would like to read more about this important topic, we suggest you read the original article and source of this summary, The Ten Facets Of Our Salvation, written by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum.
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