Clarence E. Mason's "Soteriology"
BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
- THE WORDS TRANSLATED SALVATION
- A. The Old Testament words
- Yasha - the root meaning
is to be broad, ample, spacious. To the Hebrews broad space, wide
room is the emblem of liberty, deliverance from dangers and constricted
places (Zech. 9:9).
- Yeshuah - meaning something
saved. Abstract meaning is deliverance; hence, aid, victory (Fs. 68:19,
"even the God of our salvation").
- Teshuah - meaning deliverance,
help, salvation. Often used of help and deliverance, salvation from
God (Jer. 3:23).
- Moshaoth - meaning deliverances
- The New Testament words
- Soter - meaning Saviour,
Deliverer, Preserver (Lk. 2:11).
(The name was given to Jesus Christ as the Messiah, through whom God
- Soteria - deliverance,
preservation, safety, salvation (Phil. 1:19).
- Sotenous - meaning saving,
bringing salvation (Tit. 2:11).
- Sozo - root meaning to
save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger and destruction
(Mt. 1:21; Lk. 7:50; Mt. 8:25).
- "Salvation is the great
inclusive word of the gospel, gathering into itself justification, sanctification,
and glorification." Dr. C.I. Scofield (summary)
- "Salvation is that work
of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, whereby the believer on the Lord
Jesus Christ is redeemed from the curse of the law, justified, set free
from the dominion of sin, sanctified, and finally perfected in the image
of his Lord. " Scofield (full definition)
- "Salvation is wholly
of God, and is received as a gift through faith alone without works."
All the work of Christ, on the cross, at the right hand of the Father,
within the believer, and in His second coming, is essential to the believer's
salvation. This is also true of the work of the Holy Spirit.
- SALVATION IS IN THREE TENSES
It has its roots in the past, its application in the present, and its expectation
in the future.
- The believer has been saved
from the penalty of sin.
(The past tense of salvation)
Acts 16:30-31; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15; Eph. 2:5,8 (ASV); 2 Tim. 1:9
- Who has been saved? The
1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 10:1-3; Lk. 19:10; Jn. 3:18; 1 Jn. 5:11-12; Eph.
2:1-2; Mk. 7:21-23; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:9-21; 1:29-32
- What God does for the
Lk. 19:10; Jn. 10:9-10; 1 Jn. 5:11-12; Eph. 2:1-2, cp. 1 Jn. 3:1-3;
Heb. 10:17; Mic. 7:19; Ps. 103:12; 40:1-3
Scofield remarks that the word "safe" might be a little
more accurate to describe what the past tense of salvation has done
- The believer is being delivered
from the power of sin. (The present tense of salvation) 1 Jn. 2:1-2; 2
Pet. 1:4; 1 Jn. 3:9; Rom. 7:18; 1 Jn. 1:8,10
- How may we have deliverance
from the power of sin?
False theories concerning this all-important question.
- It is claimed that
the Christian will be competent to live to the glory of God if
he observes sufficient rules. This law-principle is doomed to
fail because it depends upon the very flesh from which deliverance
is sought (Rom. 6:14).
- Others set forth
that the Christian may obtain the eradication or purgation of
the old nature, being thus permanently free from the power of
Objections to this false theory may be stated:
- There is no Scripture
upon which the theory of eradication may be based. Scripture
improperly interpreted by those who hold the view might be:
1 Jn. 3:9; Heb. 10:14.
- The old nature
is a part of the flesh (Rom. 6:6) and will naturally be dealt
with as God deals with the flesh. The flesh is one of the
Christian's mighty foes (cp. the world, the flesh, the devil).
God does not do away with either the devil or the world. The
presumption, therefore, would logically be that He does not
do away with the flesh. However, He does provide victory over
them by His Spirit (1 Jr.. 5:4; 4:4; Gal. 5:16). He provides
victory over the old nature by the Spirit (Rom. 6:14; 8:2).
- No actual human
experience confirms the theory of eradication and, were that
theory true, parents of this class would give birth to unfallen
- The acceptance
of this theory allows no place for the ministry of the indwelling
Spirit. On the contrary, the most spiritual Christians are
warned concerning the necessity of walking by the Spirit,
reckoning, yielding, not letting sin reign, putting off, putting
to death, and abiding (Rom. 6:1-14; 13:14; Col. 3:1-17).
- Sometimes Christians
suppose that, apart from the Spirit and simply because they are
saved, they can live to the glory of God. In Romans 7:15-8:4,
the apostle Paul records his own experience with this theory.
He knew what was good, but did not know how to perform what he
knew (Rom. 7:18).
- Paul painfully
recorded that at his best he was always defeated, because
of an ever-present law of sin in his members warring against
the mind (Rom. 7:23).
- That he was wretched
in such a condition (Rom. 7:24).
- That, because
he was saved, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
made him free and not his own works (Rom. 8:2).
- That the whole
will of God is fulfilled IN the believer, but not BY the believer
The deliverance from
the power of sin is THROUGH Jesus Christ, but not BY Him. It is
by the Holy Spirit. Because of this deliverance through Christ (Rom.
6:1-4), the Holy Spirit, indwelling the believer, can give victory.
This life of victory is possible by dependence upon the Holy Spirit
and the reckoning of self "dead unto sin" (Gal. 5:16;
Phil. 1:19; Gal. 2:19-20 ASV; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Thes. 4:1).
- Reasons for a life of
dependence on the indwelling Spirit.
- Under the teaching
of grace, a believer faces an impossible heavenly standard of
life (Phil. 3:20; Eph. 5:30; 2:19; Jn. 13:34; Eph. 4:30-32; 2
Cor. 10:5; Eph. 4:1-3; 5:20; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 Thes. 5:16-17; Rom.
- The Christian possesses
the old nature which he is powerless to control.
- The Christian faces
Satan, the world-ruling foe (Eph. 6:1-12; 1 Jn. 4:4; Jude 9).
- The believer is to be saved
from the presence of sin.
(The future tense of salvation)
Rom. 8:18-25,29-30; Heb. 2:9; 13:11; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; Jonah 2:9; Phil. 1:6
- GENERAL OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING
- Salvation is of the Lord
(Jonah 2:9; Isa. 43:11; 45:17, 21-22; 59:16).
- By salvation we are made:
meet - Col. 1:12
accepted - Eph. 1:6
righteous - 2 Cor. 5:21
nigh - Eph. 2:13
sons of God - Jn. 1:12
a new creature - 2 Cor. 5:17
complete in Him - Col. 2:10
- Salvation rests upon the
finished work of Christ (Jn. 19:30; Heb. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:6; 2 Cor. 5:19;
1 Jn. 2:2).
- Salvation is made ours by
faith (Jn. 1:12; 3:36; 5:24).
The unbeliever, or rather the sinner, is saved when he believes, and
not by praying
not by confession to men (Rom. 10:9-10; this is commanded after we are
saved but not in order to be saved; the confession of Rom. 10:9-10 is
to the Father — cp, vv. 12-13)
not by seeking the Lord, but by believing (Lk. 19:10)
not by confessing his sin
Men are lost because they do not believe (Jn. 3:18).
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