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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Systematic Theology Summary

The author, Stanford E. Murrell in his book ‘A Foundation for Faith An Introductory Study of Systematic Theology’ based on the foundation of the Bible being the authoritative source of the Christian faith presented the study under seven parts as follows:

In Part 1 – Theology Proper, Theology is defined as ‘the study of the knowledge of God and His relation to mankind’. To this end, several methods could be applied to develop a system of belief, these include

(i) the speculative method, where the previously assumed philosophical principles about existence of God, deism or pantheism amongst others will determine conclusions reached;

(ii) the mystical method applies internal and subjective impressions or convictions based on special revelations to individuals which are thought to be superior to the Bible;

(iii) the inductive approach combines information from a variety of sources into a ‘harmonious and consistent theological system’ concerning all aspects of God’s revelation to man including human history, the physical universe and the makeup of the human soul. This approach is acceptable to the Lord.

(iv) the deductive method involves inference of general principles through reasoning based on specific facts that have been obtained, for example, because God loves, His creation reflects His love.

 The author proceeds to discuss the source of theology, grouped into five parts, viz: natural theology which is an appeal to objective facts, revealed theology based on contents of scriptures, dogmatic theology concerning the core doctrinal beliefs of the church, practical theology on the effects of divine truths on the lives of Christians and theology proper which aims to ‘understand and know God as a person’ in order to recognize the ‘attributes and essence of God’. The author responds to the argument of the agnostics that God cannot be known and the struggle to define God by stating emphatically that ‘men can know God is without knowing all He is’.

The author then proceeds to examine the arguments for the existence of God, notably

(i) the ontological argument, based on the meaning of the term ‘God’ which implies that God eternally existed and created all non-eternal things.

(ii) the cosmological argument, which postulates that every effect must have a cause, since the universe is an effect and not the cause, the effects seen in creation and other life forms lends credence to the position of a first and adequate cause – God.

(iii) the teological argument, based on the ‘design and purpose of the universe, the intelligent nature and wisdom exhibited points to an intelligent designer.

(iv) the moral argument stemming from humanity’s innate recognition of good and evil, coupled with the expectation of related  consequences; as planted by God.

(v) the historical argument which states that the narrative of the world displays overwhelming evidence of God’s ruler ship over the spiritual, natural and indeed over all creation. The author examined opposing theories to the existence of God.

The anti-theistic theories examined include:

(i) Atheism, which states there is no God;

(ii) Polytheism, which opines there are many gods;

(iii) Materialism denies the realism of spirit and claims all is matter.

(iv) Pantheism asserts that “God is all and all is God”, God is impersonal and personality emerges from something impersonal.

Further, anti-Christian theories were examined including:

(a) Deism which argues that there is a personal God who created the world, established the natural laws governing it and then abdicated all responsibilities and relationship with the world He has created.

(b) Rationalism opines through natural theology that doctrines of religion can only be accepted as being true if they can be demonstrated by reasoning and human logic.

(c) Pessimism states that people should welcome death as the highest good, since to live is to suffer, the universe and life are essentially evil. (d) The doctrine of a finite God proposes that God is evolving and developing as a deity under similar laws that govern cosmic evolution. This view of God states He is helpless to prevent evil, and is therefore limited in goodness or power and could not be both good and omnipotent or may be subservient to some other higher powers. However, the author states under the section ‘your God is too small’ that God’s goodness or power is not limited, even when we do not understand reasons why evil is permitted.

In relation to the nature and oneness of God, the law of parsimony (economy) which would not assign more causes than is required to explain an item would assign God as the designer of the universe.  Some of the personalities of God include the fact that God creates, eliminates, provides what is needed to sustain life, lifts up, loves, is concerned, answers prayers, hates and repents. Some of the attributes of God include His omnipresence, infinitude, eternality, immutability, sovereignty, transcendence and immanence. The doctrine of Trinity of three persons in the Godhead is stated and defended. The nature and personality of the Holy Spirit was explained.

The sovereignty of God enables Him to establish divine decrees regarding events that will come to pass. This includes the course of history, particular events, the salvation of sinners, the evil that men will do, accidental/incidental events, the means and end of all things; since God’s decrees make foreknowledge possible. “The reason God knows all things is because He wrote the program”.

The author discusses the creative works of God, noting that God created the earth, Christian men gave the world science based on their understanding that God is a God of unity, law and order which makes the study of science possible. He debunks the case of materialistic evolution through consideration of the (i) necessary First Cause, (ii) Final Cause which speaks to design and purpose, (iii) impossibility of separating mind from matter, (iv) inability of producing life from non-life, (v) scientific improbability of an evolutionary process based on study or composition and propagation of cells and other self-propagating organisms, (vi) missing links required to connect plants to animals, which are still missing since they do not exist.

Through divine providence God upholds and sustains the entire material universe, angels, plants, animals and man, including the good and the bad. God governs the physical universe, animals, events in human history, lives of individuals, the smallest details of life, accidental or casual life events, the free actions of men and the sinful actions of men. However, God is not the author of sin and He disapproves sin.

God works miracles. Miracles are extra-ordinary acts of God in the world and include conversion, regeneration and sanctification.

 

In Part 2 – Bibliology: The Study of the Bible, Bibliology which means the study of the Old and New Testaments is important because the Bible is the foundation of the Christian faith and what an individual believes about the Bible is very important. Two points of view are that either the Bible is ordinary human literature or it is actually the Words of God, received by God’s people through divine revelation and are therefore inspired and authoritative. The author lists the books of the Bible, although Malachi is excluded from the Old Testament Books listing and Titus and Philemon are excluded from the New Testament Books list. Acceptance of divine revelation implies accepting that the collation of Biblical data was guided by God the Holy Spirit so it can be provided to man as God’s message devoid of error and change. The Bible is harmonious in story, despite being written by forty people over a timespan of over 1500 years. The Bible has Jesus as its central theme both in the Old and New Testaments, with the Old expressing the promises that Jesus will come as the promised Savior and the New Testament expressing the fulfillment of the promises in the Messiah who came and will still come, Jesus Christ. The Bible also has transforming power like no other literature, it has healed the sick, brought peace to homes, sanctified hearts, dried tears, taken away sorrows and pain, strengthened the weak, and comforted the dying, amongst others. As rightly stated by an unknown author: "Some books are for our inspiration; the Bible is for our transformation.". The author properly responds to the Liberal Rationalistic attacks on the authority of the Bible.

 

 

The author discussed the inspiration of scriptures, responded to arguments of critics and explained plenary and verbal inspiration. The Church accepts both plenary – complete inspiration in every aspect of the scriptures and verbal inspiration – which covers the exact words that were used and not only thoughts and concepts. Inspiration was described by C. Wilkinson as: “Inspiration is help from God to keep the report of divine revelation free from error”. When Jesus referred to the Word of God, the, law, psalms and prophets, He was referring to a canon that was undisputed and complete in His day. When He said ‘It is Written’ to Satan, He was appealing to the final authority of authoritative scriptures. Further, evidence of inspiration is still observable today and continues in the life of Christ because Jesus fulfilled every single scripture about Himself. The Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint also provides credence to the reliability of our Scriptures. Further the authority of the scripture was never doubted but stoutly defended by the early Church fathers including Irenaeus, Augustine, Luther, Calvin and John Wesley. The Scriptures are sufficiently clear to born again Christians and can be easily understood by people with little or no formal education. The evidence supporting the Old Testament canonicity abounds, apart from eye witness accounts of Peter, John, Luke, Paul etc., extra Biblical authors including Eusebius, Papias, Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Clement of Rome, Polycarp and Flavius Josephus the Jewish historian quoted extensively from the gospels and epistles, thereby supporting their factual and doctrinal contents. The author explored briefly the contention from Liberal Theologians that the Apostles were deceived and therefore what they wrote was false. The claim of falsehood could not be true as they had nothing to gain by furthering the work of a disgraced and discredited Messiah and men would not willingly die for a cause they knew was untrue if they could save their lives by telling the truth. Almost all the Apostles were martyrs and sealed their testimony with their blood by laying down their lives for what they believed to be true.

 

 

From Part 3 - Anthropology: The Study of Man, Anthropology is defined as the study of the origins of man. Man was created by God and the soul of man is neither eternally pre-existent nor was created in that pre-existent state. The soul of man is not a divine emanation as the substance of God cannot be disturbed or changed and man did not partake of God’s substance, otherwise, man would have had God’s attributes including omnipotence, omniscience, infinity etc. The soul was clarified as not being a form of God as man and God are separate and cannot be blended. The soul is not a product of spontaneous generation as this could not be scientifically proved, the soul did not also evolve from the evolutionary process as evolution is a process and cannot originate anything. Further, a process does not start or create life. The soul is explained as ‘the essence of man in the totality of his being’. The soul can thirst or be hungry, can be distressed, is distinct from the body, and is the life principle. The author responds to and explains the gaps and impossibility of the evolutionary process, considers the evidence from fossils and considers some questions raised by evolution.

 

 

The origin of the soul was considered. The Traducianism approach state that ‘man’s soul is derived from the parents and therefore mankind is a race or species in regard to soul as well as body. Hereditary traits in children’s mental and moral make up supports this as well as the sinful nature passed from Adam to all posterity. The Creationism approach on the other hand postulates that the soul is created for every individual who comes into the world, the soul is not inherited from the parents. Both approaches raises questions: creationism must account for the sinful nature in man and Traducianism must explain how individuals are different from parents.

 

Man is made up of only two substances, the body and the soul. The body consists of material substance while the soul is made of spiritual substance. Substance ‘has being, properties, and potency (power)’. Attributes are characteristics of and are inherently contained in the substance. The attributes or properties of material substance include weight, hardness, form and bulk while the attributes of the spirit include affections, conscience, choice and thought. Clearly, the substances of matter and spirit are different, their attributes are also different and yet they both jointly make up man. However, the soul is more vital to the man as it gives life to the body. A body without the soul is dead. The author clarifies that the soul and spirit mean the same thing.

 

 

Man in his original state was created from God’s hands fully developed and endowed with immortality, with a durable high quality bodily constitution as seen in the longevity of the patriarchs. The soul was made in the image of God in knowledge, holiness, rational nature, moral nature, free agency and dominion. Bodily, man was created male and female after God’s image in ‘knowledge, righteousness and holiness and was given dominion over other creatures. However, sin leads to both bodily and spiritual death.

A covenant of works was established with Adam whereby life will be granted to Adam and his descendants conditionally, based on his perfect and personal obedience as Adam was not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, otherwise, pain and death would be the consequence of violating the terms of the covenant.

The fall of man was explored. Adam and all men would have been confirmed in holiness if he passed the test after a period of probation. However, he disobeyed the clear commandment of God and fell from his exalted state to an inferior position and as a federal representative of all men, sin and death passed from Adam to all men.

In relation of Adam’s sin to posterity, sin is defined as “failure to conform to the will of the Lord; it is the transgression of the moral law of God”. It was further stated that men are naturally conscious of sin, it is observable by casual observation, the need for laws and proved in literature. The concept of original sin – Adam’s sin, universality of sin and the consequences and characterization of sin was discussed.

Under the doctrine of inability, fallen man cannot keep God’s laws and qualify for life through good works, cannot reinstate himself into God’s favor, cannot change his nature, regenerate himself or become holy and is unable to apply proper affection or leaning towards God. Notwithstanding, man can run to the Savior and ask to be saved.

 

From Part 4 - Soteriology, under the study of Salvation and the Sovereign, Soteriology is defined as ‘the doctrine concerning salvation’. This includes God’s purpose to save, the Person and work of the Redeemer and the application of redemption by the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and lives of men. The order of decrees of salvation was considered under the Infralapsarian view which states that all who come to faith were elected for salvation after the fall and the Supralapsarian view, which teaches that election to salvation took place before man was created and before he fell into sin. The covenant of redemption was instituted to deliver man out of sin; the covenant of grace was also instituted to freely offer life to sinners as a replacement to the covenant of works which man could not fulfill.

The author proceeds to explain the doctrine of election, pointing out that election is personal since God elects individuals to salvation and election is to faith and good works. The extent of the elective decree is reviewed. The author further states that the truth is that someone is making many choices on behalf of others as no one was opportune to choose if, when or where they should be born, their parents or if their parents should be Christians, moralistic or unbelievers. Divine foresight puts some people in favorable situations and some others into unfavorable situations. God’s decree not only regulates the external circumstances of an individual’s life but also his or her salvation.

From the historical background of redemption, a type is explained as ‘a pre-figuration of spiritual things in visible form’. The rites, rituals and examples in the Old Testament were types of Jesus and events in the New Testament, these include the First Adam as a type for the Last Adam, Jesus Christ; coats of skin a type of blood atonement for sins, Abel’s sacrifice a type for Jesus’ sacrifice as a sacrificial lamb offering. Prophecy was instrumental in preparing the world for the fulfilment of the covenant of redemption and the actualization of the type represented in the Old Testament. Based on prophecy, knowledge and awareness grew. For example, notable historians including Suetonius, Tacitus and Josephus stated that a ruler over the whole earth would emerge from Judaea.

Jesus came as the Redeemer, through the virgin birth, as Christ the Son of God, the Messiah, the mediator between God and man. Jesus, His apostles and others testified to His divinity. The best personal proof of the deity of Christ is seen in ‘the experience of Divine grace that regenerates the soul’.

Atonement satisfies the appropriate demands of God the Father and displays His attribute of love and justice. The two-fold works of atonement performed by Jesus are: (i) Christ fulfilled the work of atonement assigned to Him by the Father through obeying the Law and His suffering and death; (ii) Christ fulfilled the Law regarding the Covenant of Works through His obedience. Adam did not fulfil the requirement of this covenant. The atonement was sacrificial as Christ laid down His life and was expiatory (purging out, washing away, covering, making reparation or satisfaction by suffering a penalty and securing remission) as ‘He paid the penalty of sin, fulfilled the law, satisfied justice ‘ and obtained remission of sins for the fallen. The atonement was efficacious as it covered sin and vicarious as it was substitutionary.

 

In Part 5 – Pneumatology, the Study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, the author begins with explaining the role of the Holy Spirit in salvation as He convicts the sinner and draws the soul to the Savior. All people indiscriminately hear the external call to salvation, the terms of grace through which God is ready to save a sinner.  However, not all people who hear the gospel will accept the gospel message and be saved; notwithstanding, the universal indiscriminate call is consistent with personal election or non-election, as it achieves salvation for the elect and a ground of condemnation in the non-elect. The preaching of the gospel is still necessary as the Holy Spirit provides divine illumination on the scriptures to lead the sinner into the way of salvation

 The greatness of grace was explained as the favor of God whereby God has a kind disposition towards an individual that is against Him. Grace is therefore the work of a holy and divine effect on the stubborn heart changing the heart and life forever.

The personality of the Holy Spirit shows He is a person as much as the Father and the Son are persons. The Holy Spirit has a mind, a will, prohibits, guides, speaks, has emotions and can be grieved.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit is pleased to use the reading of the word as an avenue to convince and convict the sinner and build them up in holiness and comfort in faith that leads to salvation. Common grace, which could be resisted, also allows a genuine seeker of God to attain salvation.

Faith is defined as “belief in what is unseen or not apprehended by the senses”. Faith is also defined as the concurrence of the mind and agreement of the will, since true saving faith is a saving grace through which we rest on Jesus alone for salvation as presented to us in the gospel. Faith is linked to knowledge as it is important to know or hear something about God to fully trust and walk with Him. Faith is the connecting link between Christ and the believer and the means through which we are justified.

 Regeneration instills a life principle in the soul, imparting spiritual life which produces changes in morals, character, disposition and direction of the soul’s activities.

Justification is a legal term where an individual charged with a crime is declared to be not guilty before the courts. Spiritually, justification is God’s external act where He declares a sinner free and just of legal condemnation before the courts of Divine justice. It involves acquittal, pardon and acceptance.

 

Sanctification is derived from the greek word “‘hagois’ means ‘to purify, to consecrate or set apart”. God’s free grace works sanctification in the life of the believer, enabling the believer to be renewed wholly after the image of God, dying to sin and living unto righteousness. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are the primary agents through which sanctification works in the life of the believer, the believer is also responsible for some acts in the process. These include listening to and reading the word of God which makes sanctification effectual in the life of a Christian. The Christian has to cooperate with the Holy Spirit by abstaining from sin to grow in sanctification as no person can be more holy than he or she wants to be.


The doctrine of election supports the final security of the believer, such that no elect person will be lost. There is divine assurance that the elect will be justified and glorified, because the God who predestinates and calls to salvation will ensure that His children comes to glory. Therefore the perseverance of the saints from a human perspective is the preservation of the same from a divine point of view. The security of the believer is not a license to sin and produces humility knowing that we were adopted as children of God.

 

In Part 6 – Eschatology is defined as the study of the future in general and last things specifically. There is more to come beyond the grave as physical death is not the end of man. Heaven and hell exists and a new heaven and earth has been promised to us. Atheism, Materialism and Pantheism deny immortality of the soul based on positions that life starts and ends on earth. Old and New Testament teachings as well as our Lord Jesus Christ present clear views of immortality.

At death the soul of the believer goes to God, while their bodies return to dust until the redemption of their bodies. The soul of the wicked goes to hell.

There were many prophecies concerning the birth of Christ which have been fulfilled. Several prophecies have also been given concerning His future coming which will be fulfilled.

A day is coming when God will judge the world in righteousness by Christ Jesus. Disobedient angels and men will be judged as they would have to give account of their words, thoughts and actions, and then receive the consequences for what they have done. A day of future punishment is coming which leads to endless punishment for the wicked.

Heaven, our eternal home is a real place for real people. It is a place of eternal life, glory, rest, knowledge, holiness, service, worship, sweet society and communion with God. However, the wicked will not be allowed into heaven. Entrance to heaven is through the Door: Jesus Christ.

 

 

Interpretation

In Theology Proper, the author discussed several methods that could be used to develop a belief system to create awareness of various ways theology has been or could be developed to make his readers informed of these approaches. The speculative, mystical, inductive and deductive approaches were highlighted. Knowledge of these approaches, then compared against the true teaching of scripture can then be used and was used to determine appropriate approaches to studying Theology. In this wise, the inductive approach was selected as being acceptable to the Lord. In the same vein, the five sources of theology: natural, revealed, dogmatic, practical and theology proper was highlighted to confer knowledge of these approaches on the reader. Based on these, the author satisfactorily responded to the argument of the agnostics which state that God cannot be known, to provide assurance on the benefits of studying Theology, because God can be known.  Five arguments for God’s existence (ontological, cosmological, teological, moral, and historical arguments) were presented to assert that since God exists, He can be known. Four anti-theistic theories against God’s existence (atheism, polytheism, materialism and pantheism) were presented to state the case of opposing parties. Further, the positions of anti-Christian’s were stated, chiefly: deism, rationalism, pessimism and the doctrine of a finite or limited God were stated and later debunked to demonstrate that theological study clearly answers unequivocally the arguments and objections of opposing views. In this sense, the law of parsimony assigned God as the designer of the universe in consideration of His personality and attributes.  The reason why God knows all things, His foreknowledge was attributed to the fact that God decreed everything, which provides assurance to the believer that God is aware of everything. God was portrayed as the creator of the Universe, a God of unity, law and order, who gave science to man and made science possible; science did not produce God and so may not be able to explain God, on the other hand God produced the foundations of science.  The providence of God was used to provide further assurance of God’s support since God upholds and sustains the entire material universe, angels, animals, man; as well as governs the physical universe including lives of individuals, smallest details of life, accidental and casual life events. God is further explained to be a God who performs miracles pointing to the extra-ordinary and supernatural nature of God.

 

From Bibliology, the study of both the Old and New Testaments are presented as important because it is foundational to Christian faith. Accepting that the Bible was an outcome of divine revelation is instrumental in believing that the Bible is God’s message presented to man devoid of error and change both in the plenary and verbal inspirational aspects. The harmony of the Bible is pointed out, written over a space of over 1500 years by 40 different men from different strata of society, yet producing an harmonious message with a central theme pointing to God’s guidance in the writing and collation of the Scriptures. The transforming power of the Bible was stated to clarify that it is not like any other literature.  The references of Jesus to the Scriptures were highlighted to show that the Lord Jesus, who is God Himself, accepted the canonicity of the Scriptures. Historical evidence of modern day discoveries of the Dead Sea scrolls and Septuagint was stated to provide currency of support for Divine revelation and preservation. The support by the early Church Fathers and notable historians was stated to acknowledge clear acceptance of the Scriptures from the earliest of times. The willingness of the apostles and early saints to lay down their lives as martyrs to die for what they truly believed in was cited as support for the truth as several men will not willingly die at different times for what they knew to be false.

 

Anthropology clarifies the constituents of man as consisting of soul and body. The soul is spiritual and eternal while the body is material and not eternal, soul and spirit could be used interchangeably as they mean the same thing. The eternal nature of the soul is highlighted so that man can aim to live in a way as to spend eternity in a good place – heaven. The covenant of works and Adam’s fall were explored under the doctrine of inability to provide guidance that fallen man cannot qualify for life on his own, but can however, cry out to God to be saved.

 

From Soteriology, the study of salvation and the Sovereign, the author points out that election by God is personal and individualistic by nature, God has made and is making many choices on our behalf, and this understanding helps the reader and Christians to appreciate God’s mercy in Salvation. The study of types and anti-types emphasizes that God has been gracious to reveal the coming and sacrifice of Jesus through the ages. Even though Jesus is God, His atonement was sacrificial, expiatory, efficacious and vicarious to provide assurance that the believers’ sins have been washed away totally.

 

In Pneumatology, the Study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, the author explains the personality of the Holy Spirit and how He draws sinners to repentance, through the spoken word, in grace, and as the individual applies faith based on knowledge, he or she is saved and able to walk with God in trust. This is clarified to encourage believers yield themselves to the promptings and leading of the Spirit, as one could resist the Holy Spirit as some resist common grace.  Regeneration and sanctification through the Spirit is discussed, noting that individuals have a role to play in the sanctification process to abstain from sin and be holy as well as abiding in the election in holiness.

 

 In Eschatology, the study of the future and last things, the author points out that Life does not end here on earth, there is more to come. This provides believers with hope of a coming rest and glory, notwithstanding the pains and sorrows currently experienced here. The previous prophecies about the coming of Jesus Christ which have been fulfilled is presented to provide assurance that future prophecies which are yet to be fulfilled concerning the Messiah will be fulfilled. The day of judgement is highlighted to encourage believers to abide in holiness and not in sin to avoid being judged with the wicked.  Our eternal home in heaven is highlighted as a place to look forward to.

 

Conclusion

From Theology Proper, we learn that believers should be careful when developing their system of belief as several approached could be used. The inductive approach which combines information from a variety of sources into a ‘harmonious and consistent theological system’ concerning all aspects of God’s revelation to man including human history, the physical universe and the makeup of the human soul is recommended. In applying the source of our theology, it is recommended that Christians use theology proper which aims to ‘understand and know God as a person’ in order to recognize the ‘attributes and essence of God’ instead of erroneous dogmatic or natural approaches. As we study God we can know God, even if we do not know all that God is. We have been presented with anti- theistic and anti-Christian positions dutifully so that we will be informed and not be caught off guard by those postulations. Further, it has been demonstrated that those positions are not reliable, not realistic, not reasonable and lack sustainable foundations. We are happy to understand that God, the intelligent designer of the universe provides what is needed to sustain life, lifts up, loves, is concerned and answers prayers. Our God foreknows everything since He decreed everything. Since God wrote the program, believers can be sure that because God has their best interests at heart, and God is in control, in charge of all things, all will turn out well in the end.

 

From Bibliography, we understand that the Bible was provided to us through divine revelation, guided by the Holy Spirit so God’s message has been delivered to us devoid of error and change. The harmony of our transformational scriptures proves that God’s guidance was on the human writers. The scriptures are inspired in every aspect as well as in the exact words that were used. Jesus also referred to the Old Testament scriptures as God’s words, proving these were authoritative Scriptures. The testimony of the early Church fathers and more recent discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls and other historical records attest to the truth and accuracy of our Bible. The early church martyrs clearly believed our Scriptures are the rue words of God and were willing to die in affirmation of the truth. This gives us comfort on the authenticity of our Scriptures.

 

From Anthropology, we understand that man consists of soul and body, the soul is eternal in nature. Sin has led to bodily and spiritual death. Adam’s transgressions was passed onto all men, making man unable to keep God’s laws, change his nature or regenerate himself. However, man can run to the Savior and ask to be saved.

 

From Soteriology, we understand God’s purpose to save us, the Holy Spirit works a work of Redemption in our lives and God’s election. God elected to save each Christian, our election is to faith and good works and God’s decrees regulate our salvation. Jesus, our Redeemer, our God has satisfied the appropriate demands of God the Father to redeem us from our fallen state through His atoning, sacrificial, expiatory, efficacious and vicarious sacrifice for us.

 

From Pneumatology we appreciate that the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to convince and convict a sinner and build us up both the sinner and believer in holiness. Faith is also implanted in our hearts and is our connecting link through which we are justified. The Holy Spirit performs a work of regeneration, and sanctification in our lives as we yield to Him. We cannot be lost by virtue of the election by God, this is not, however, a license to commit sin.

 

We learn from eschatology that there is a glorious future waiting for us in heaven, a place of rest, glory, eternal life, knowledge, holiness, service worship, sweet society and communion. Entrance is through the Door: Jesus Christ.