Bible Boot Camp: Lesson 1: Salvation

Bible Boot Camp: Lesson 1: Salvation

We start Bible Bootcamp with the topic of salvation for a reason. Salvation is the first and most basic aspect of Christianity. None of the rest of the material in this series has any meaning for an unsaved person. Just like in the military, boot camp doesn’t apply to civilians.

It’s critical that we understand what salvation is all about. Some people think that doing good, going to church, or following certain religious rituals will eventually result in salvation. What does it mean to be saved?


Salvation is not:

  • based on works Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5 Can’t earn it or work for it. Not baptism, communion, etc.

  • based on nationality Romans 10:12-13 Doesn’t matter what your family background is.

Salvation is:

  • a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23)

  • based on God’s grace (same verses)

What is grace? Undeserved, unmerited favor. I.e., kindness, a good disposition toward someone even tho they don’t deserve it.

  • based on God’s prior choice (John 15:16; Romans 9:15; Ephesians 1:4)

  • by faith/belief (John 3:16, 36; Acts 16:31)

  • eternal (John 3:36, 5:24) Note that life starts at salvation.

God’s Purpose in Salvation

  1. God’s original purpose in creation was that mankind should honor and serve Him. God desires to enter into a relationship of loving rule over mankind.

Jeremiah 32:38 They will be my people, and I will be their God.

Ezekiel 36:28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

2 Corinthians 6:18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Revelation 21:7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

The overall theme of the Bible is how God enters into this relationship with man, whereby God rules over mankind and mankind recognizes God as his God. If this was God’s original purpose, why doesn’t it work that way? What happened?

Mankind chose to sin against his Creator rather than honor and serve Him.

Romans 3:23 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

We sin by either doing what God has prohibited (sins of commission) or not doing what God has commanded (sins of omission).

Sin is a problem because it causes separation from God. God is holy and man is sinful. God cannot fellowship with sinful creatures.

Isaiah 59:2 Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

God responds negatively to sin. Sin always demands punishment. Sin causes mankind to be dead spiritually, under God’s wrath, and condemned.

Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death.

  1. People cannot earn, work for, or merit God’s forgiveness. There’s nothing anyone can do to turn aside God’s wrath against his or her sin. Good works, religion, morality and generosity are all ways that people attempt to appease God. But God is not pleased by any works that man can do.

Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

  1. What mankind could not do, God did by sending His only Son to be a substitutionary sacrifice. When Jesus died on the cross, he endured the wrath of God against sin. He suffered in the place of sinners. Jesus paid the penalty for man’s sin by dying on the cross in their place. He rose again three days later.

Romans 5:8 God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; . . . was buried, and . . . rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  1. Sinners may receive forgiveness of sin by turning from sin and trusting in Christ. The right response to the Gospel is to repent of sin and believe in Christ.

  • Turn from sin — repent. Admit your sin to God. Ask Him to forgive you.

True repentance is a change of heart and purpose affecting the whole man—intellect, emotion and will. The literal meaning of “repentance” is “a change of mind.” Repentance is best described as a turning away from sin and toward God. It’s a total about-face. It’s an inner response of the whole person away from sin and toward God.

  • Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Ask Jesus to save you.

Saving faith is the knowledge of, assent to, and unreserved trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Faith is knowing the facts about Christ, acknowledging that those facts are true, and personally believing and trusting in Christ as your savior from sin.

Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

Acts 20:21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

At the point of salvation, God forgives the believer’s sin and gives him a positive standing. All sin—past, present, and future—is blotted out and taken away. The believer is also given a positive standing before God. There is no more separation between God and the sinner. In fact, the believer is adopted into God’s family.

Note: There are certain costs associated with trusting in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Jesus demands first place in the believer’s life. The NT presents Jesus as both Savior and Lord. Those who desire salvation from sin must also recognize Christ’s authority over their lives. It is costly to be a disciple of Christ, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.

1 John 2:3-6 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. . . . Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

The Great Change

A familiar chorus sung in many churches has the lyrics, “The things I used to do, I don’t do them any more. There’s been a great change since I’ve been born again.” A major change takes place in the life of the believer at the moment he repents of his sin and puts his faith in Christ.

  1. Ephesians 2:1-5 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world. . . Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.

  • What was our spiritual condition before salvation? Dead, objects of wrath

  • Describe our behavior before salvation. followed the ways of this world

  • What does the author mean by “the ways of the world”? The opposite of the ways of God—sinful behavior patterns, unconcerned about what God wants.

  • What is our spiritual condition after salvation? Alive in Christ

  • How should this changed spiritual condition change our behavior? Rather than following the ways of the world, we ought to follow the ways of Christ.

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

  • What does “in Christ” mean? To be saved. Paul uses that expression frequently to refer to saved people.

  • What is true about those who are “in Christ”? they are new creations

  • What is true of one who is a new creation? The old has gone, the new has come. I.e., there has been a great change.

  1. Romans 6:17-18 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

  • What does Paul say we were before being saved? Slaves of sin

  • How does Paul describe what occurs at the point of salvation? wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted

  • What is the current standing of the believer? set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness

  • How should this spiritual truth be seen in our daily living? Instead of living in sin, we should strive to be righteous/holy

  1. Ephesians 4:22-24 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

  • How does Paul describe a person before salvation? The old man

  • How does he describe a person after salvation? The new man

  • Describe the difference between the two.

  • Old man: is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts

  • New man: is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Note: The great spiritual change that occurs at the point of salvation should be accompanied by a great change in one’s behavior patterns and attitudes. This is the most visible evidence that one is truly saved. If no outward change has taken place, it’s probably because no inward change has taken place.

Conclusion: The most basic element of Bible Bootcamp is salvation. Have you seen your need as a sinful person, turned from your sin, and put your faith in Jesus Christ? Those who have become disciples of Christ give evidence of that fact by a changed lifestyle.

Discussion:

  1. What was God’s original purpose in salvation? that mankind should honor and serve Him. God desires to enter into a relationship of loving rule over mankind.

  2. What is the correct response to the gospel? Repentance and faith

  3. Define repentance. Repentance is best described as a turning away from sin and toward God. It’s a total about-face. It’s an inner response of the whole person away from sin and toward God.

  4. Define saving faith. Saving faith is the knowledge of, assent to, and unreserved trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Faith is knowing the facts about Christ, acknowledging that those facts are true, and personally believing and trusting in Christ as your savior from sin.

  5. T F Salvation does not require any kind of commitment or loyalty to Christ.

  6. Why should there be a difference between an unsaved person and a saved one? Because there is a basic spiritual difference.

Comments

  1. Melanie Atwill says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! I am a SS teacher in a small rural Baptist church. We have recently grown enough that we have divided our youth/children into three groups. I will be teaching 8 yr olds -preteens. I have searched for lessons that teach them more than “Bible Stories.” This is perfect as the majority of the youth are not yet Christians. Thank you so much for sharing this information/scripture. Please pray that the Lord allows me to reach them. God bless you and your endeavors.

  2. Hello there. Thank you for posting this lesson. I have been a believer for many years and yet still have very many fundamental questions. Here is what I struggle with:

    He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
    VS
    People cannot earn, work for, or merit God’s forgiveness. There’s nothing anyone can do to turn aside God’s wrath against his or her sin. Good works, religion, morality and generosity are all ways that people attempt to appease God. But God is not pleased by any works that man can do.

    If anyone could provided some enlightenment, I would be thankful…..and a little more sane.

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