[16]    Salvation: Conversion and Regeneration

53.    What is "salvation" or "redemption"?

a. Foundation of salvation: Salvation is based entirely on the work of Christ. He became a curse for us (Gal 3:13). His death and his bearing the sins of the world completed the atonement between God and man. Anyone who accepts Jesus as the Saviour is accepting Godís free gift of salvation.   b. Meaning of Redemption: the believer has been purchased with the sacrifice of Jesus and now belongs to God c. Meaning of Salvation: the complete salvation as planned by God involving: d. Salvation includes 6 steps: (1) Calling: the sinner is invited to accept salvation

(2) Conversion: the sinner turns to salvation through repentance and faith

(3) Regeneration: the spirit of the believer is born again

(4) Justification: the believer is pronounced righteous (or just) by God

(5) Sanctification: the believer is renewed after the image of God and becomes holy

(6) Final glorification: the believer receives the glorified body; the complete and final salvation of the whole person conformed to the image of God (Php 3:21)

54.    How does calling to salvation work?

55.    Does conversion (repentance and faith) only involve the mind?

a. Conversion means turning to salvation; it includes: (1) repentance: turning away from sin, a negative aspect and a backward look (Ac 2:38)

(2) faith: turning toward Christ, a positive aspect and a forward look (Jn 3:16).

b. In conversion, man is called upon to cooperate with Godís plan (Isa 55:7; Jer 18:11; Eze 33:11).   c. Conversion is an instantaneous change but it may or may not occur as a sharply marked crisis.
d. Repentance: e. Faith: f. Both repentance and faith involve more than just the mind. Both constitute 3 different elements. Both require total commitment of the whole person. Without all these elements, repentance and faith may only be temporary and will fail in days of difficulties, trial and persecution.
Elements (Dt 6:5)
Repentance (2Pe 3:9)
Faith (Heb 11:6)
Intellectual (cognitive) element [mind] change viewpoint about sin and righteousness, feel personal guilt and helplessness know the truth of salvation, recognize the truth of the gospel as revealed in the Bible
Emotional element [heart] grieve for committing sin against a holy and just God (2Co 7:9) give assent to reality of salvation in a determined heart (Mk 12:32)
Volitional (will) element [strength] change purpose of life, confess sin (Ps 38:18), forsake sin (Isa 55:7), turn to God (1Th 1:9) accept Jesus, trust Jesus as Saviour and Lord (Jn 1:12), rely on Jesus in daily living

56.    How does regeneration totally change the life of the believer?

a. Regeneration (born again): the new birth of the spirit of the believer. It is the impartation of new and divine life into the believer as the result of the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit or baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ro 6:4; 12:2; 2Co 4:16; Gal 6:15; Col 3:10). The Christian is now a new creation and lives a new life with a new spirit (2Co 5:17; Eph 2:1; 1Jn 4:7).   b. Like conversion, regeneration is also instantaneous (completed in a moment of time); through it we pass from death into life (1Jn 3:14). It is entirely the work of God (Eph 2:8-9);. It can be known by its results.   c. Necessary results of regeneration: d. According to the doctrine of predestination, regeneration occurs after effectual calling by the Holy Spirit but before conversion. It means that the Holy Spirit first imparts new life to the elected sinner before conversion. This then enables the person to repent and to have faith.