Ligon Duncan on “What is Salvation?”

Going through some old files this week, I came across this definition of salvation from one of Dr. Ligon Duncan’s “Pastor’s Perspectives, dated October 30, 2003. It’s a good one:

“Historic Christianity claims that salvation is the free gift and action of God, whereby any, all and only those who trust in His Son, Jesus, who is Lord and Messiah, are delivered out of their condition of sin and misery, and are brought into a condition of forgiveness, new life, membership in God’s family, increasing holiness, and eternal fellowship with God. In salvation, put provocatively, we are saved from God, by God and for God. That is, we are saved from God’s just judgment (against ourselves and our sins), by God’s gracious gift of His Son (who bore our deserved penalty in our place), for God’s own glory and eternal fellowship with Him (since He made and redeemed us for Himself). To elaborate, when we Christians say that we are saved we mean that we have been spared, rescued, reclaimed and re-enfolded – spared from the penalty of sin, rescued from its power and consequences, reclaimed by God’s gracious initiative and re-enfolded into his family. The good news of Christian salvation is that God loves us at the cost of His Son. The Bible describes the various aspects of salvation in many ways. Salvation means (1) being declared right with God, even though we are sinful; (2) being given a new heart, new desires, new priorities in life; (3) being made part of God’s family; (4) being made like Jesus Christ, morally speaking; and (5) being brought into friendship with God. God’s gracious salvation always entails our (1) turning from sin, and (2) trusting in Christ.”



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