For an introduction to the series, read this.
Happy Reformation Day! It is appropriate that we would be dealing with the doctrine of salvation today, since the doctrine of salvation was at the heart of the Protestant-Catholic divide in the Reformation.
Statement of Faith Article for the Week
Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.
Thoughts for Discussion with Children
Have you ever heard of a car getting “totaled”? Do you know what that means? It means that a car has been wrecked so badly that it cannot be repaired. It’s time to throw it in the scrap yard and get something new.
The Bible teaches that sin has left us “totaled” in a spiritual sense. There is no good left in us that we can stir up to get us back on the right track. Our hearts are so damaged by sin that we cannot love God or do anything pleasing to him on our own. And so what is the only thing that can save us from this?
The only thing that can save us is God’s grace, or his favor to us that we don’t deserve. Thankfully, in his grace, he sent his Son to die and be raised for us so that our sins could be put away and the blessing of the Holy Spirit could be poured out on us. In the pouring out of the Spirit, God gives us new life. He brings us back from the dead. We are “born again,” completely new from the heart. Though we were totaled by sin, God gives us a new start at life by making us completely new from the inside. There is no other hope for our salvation except what God, by his grace alone, does for us.
Recommended readings for the week: Ezekiel 36-37; John 3.