Soteriology Picture

Soteriology is the study of salvation. The word soteriology is derived from the Greek words soter, which means savior, and logos, which means a word about, or the study of something. The word salvation is used throughout the Bible of physical deliverance as well as spiritual deliverance. It means one is saved from a real harm or danger, and rescued to a safe place. Salvation in all forms is necessary because of our weakness and inability to help ourselves in a dangerous situation.

The most notable act of salvation in the OT was Yahweh’s deliverance of Israel from the Egyptian army that was marching against them. Moses told his people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today” (Ex 14:13). The salvation was entirely of the Lord, as Moses said, “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent” (Ex 14:14). This was a physical deliverance from a military attack. In the NT, we observe Peter being delivered from a physical drowning when he cried out to Jesus, saying, “Lord, save me!” (Matt 14:30). As Peter was sinking into the water, he was not asking for forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. He was asking to be delivered from physical drowning. We’re told “Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him” (Matt 14:31) and brought him safely into the boat. Thus, Peter was physically saved from harm.

As Christians, when we think of salvation, it most often pertains to our spiritual deliverance from the lake of fire in which we are eternally separated from God, to which all humanity is destined unless we turn to Christ and are rescued. John tells us, “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15). Spiritual salvation is the most important kind of salvation mentioned in the Bible, for it matters little if one is rescued a thousand times from physical danger, but ultimately fails to receive deliverance from the danger of hell. God loves everyone and is “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). And He has made a way for lost sinners to be saved from hell and brought to heaven, and this through His Son, Jesus, for “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Soteriology Lesson 1 – Introduction

Soteriology Lesson 2 – Introduction