Soteriology -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 103:409 (Jan 1946)
Article: Soteriology
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Continued from the October-December Number, 1945)

The Savior

A. The Person of the Savior

V. The Sufferings of Christ

2. Sufferings in Death.

g. Two Major Features of Soteriology.

And finally, as to words of introduction, there are two major features of Soteriology—(a) the finished work of the Savior on the cross, and (b) the application of the work to those who believe. Each of these factors is declared to have been divinely determined from a dateless past. Of the Savior’s work it is written that He was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). Of the saved one it is said that he was “chosen in him from the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:4). To this will be added under Ecclesiology a third aspect of the eternal purpose, namely, that the good works of the saved one are foreordained that he should walk in them (Eph 2:10). These three—a foreordained Savior, a foreordained salvation, and a foreordained service—constitute the essential elements in the eternal counsels of God respecting the Church which is His body. Confusion too often characterizes the treatment men give to the first two of these eternal purposes. The Savior has finished the work and it only remains for the sinner to believe and be saved. What Christ has done on the cross and what He will do now for the one who believes are widely different aspects of truth. On the one hand, there are those who teach that

it is equivalent to the salvation of a soul if Christ dies for that soul. On the other hand, there are those who direct the unsaved to plead with God for their salvation. Certainly the unsaved are not called upon to ask Christ to die for them; and as certainly they are not called upon to urge the Savior to apply His salvation. The promise is not to those who ask, but to those who believe. Since, through the death of Christ, God is propitious, saints may be restored and sinners saved without reproof or punishment from God—no blow is struck and no condemnation is uttered. The Savior has died. That may be believed, and such belief leads to the salvation of the soul; but what He did for the sinner two millenniums ago should not be confused with that salvation which is wrought now when the sinner believes. Hypothetically considered, the Savior might have died, thus providing every ground for a perfect salvation, and no one have believed; for the cross compels no one to believe. It is the sovereign election of God, that which made choice of men for salvation before the foundation of the world...

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