October 22, 2017 – Bible Doctrine # 8 – God’s Plan and Method for Man’s Salvation

Survey of Bible Doctrine, Week 8 – God’s Plan and Method for Man’s Salvation


  1. God’s Plan for Saving Humans
    • Man’s Natural State (before salvation)
      1. Dead in Sin – Ephesians 2:1, 5
      2. Controlled by the Devil – Ephesians 2:2
      3. Under God’s Wrath – Ephesians 2:3
      4. Cannot Save Himself – Matthew 19:25-26
    • God has Chosen to Save Some (the “elect”) – Ephesians 1:4-5, 11
    • All whom God has Chosen will be Saved – John 6:37; Acts 13:48
  1. God’s Method for Saving Humans
    • Salvation Cannot be Earned by Good Works – Ephesians 2:8-10
    • Salvation is Entirely the Work of God’s Grace upon a Person – Ephesians 2:4-10
    • Salvation is Based Upon the Death of Jesus Christ (atonement)
      1. The Great Exchange – 2 Corinthians 5:21
      2. Jesus Died as a Substitute (substitutionary atonement) – 1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:6
      3. Jesus Died to Satisfy Holy God – Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12 (also Isa. 53:11)

Lesson Date: October 22, 2017

Focal Scripture Passage: Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 19:25-26; John 6:37; Acts 13:48; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:4-5, 11; 2:1-10; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 2:24

AIM: To lead students to understand that salvation is only available through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, and to give any who desire to receive God’s gift of salvation an opportunity to do so.


Before class: Get enough copies of the lesson outline handout for your anticipated attendance. Write the following scripture references on index cards or small pieces of paper: Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 19:25-26; John 6:37; Acts 13:48; Ephesians 1:4-5, 7, 11; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 2:24-25. Ask some students who are comfortable reading aloud to look up the verses and to be prepared to read them when called upon. Write the following question on the marker board or chalkboard: “What Good Thing shall I do, that I may have Eternal Life?


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Read the question on the board and ask the class if they have ever known anyone who asked such a question. Ask: “How would you answer this question?” After allowing a moment for responses, remind the class that once a man came to Jesus with that very question. Read Matthew 19:16.

Tell the class there are many different religious groups on earth and they have very different beliefs about heaven and how to get there.

  • One group says if you do missionary work and knock on enough doors you’ll be saved.
  • Another group says you have to believe in Jesus, be baptized, and take communion regularly to go to heaven.
  • One of the world’s major religious groups teaches that you can’t know if you’ll go to heaven, so you need to work hard all your life, hoping to make it in.
  • Some religious groups think everyone is going to heaven.
  • Others don’t think there is any afterlife at all.

Tell the class all of these beliefs are merely the opinions of men. The important question for us to answer when confronted by such opinions is this: “What does the Bible say?” Today’s lesson will teach us about God’s plan and method for our salvation.


HEART OF THE LESSON (Central Truth):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that this quarter we are studying a “Survey of Bible Doctrine.”
    • Using the lesson titles found on page 3 of the Sunday School Member Quarterly, briefly review the first six lessons of the study.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (man and his problem with sin).
    • Last week’s lesson taught us that every person on earth is born under the condemnation of sin. That’s why everyone needs a Savior.
    • Today’s lesson will include God’s plan of salvation, as well as His method of saving men and women.
    • Give each student a copy of the lesson outline handout for today’s lesson.
  2. God’s Plan for Saving Humans.
    • Tell the students there are three sub-points under this heading.
    • Man’s Natural State Before Salvation.
      • In last week’s lesson we concluded that man is born under the curse of sin.
      • Read Ephesians 2:1-5.
      • Ask: “How is the natural (unsaved) man described in this passage?” (dead in sin, controlled by the devil and by his own lusts, and under God’s wrath).
      • Call for the previously enlisted volunteer to read Matthew 19:25-26.
      • Stress the fact that a lost person cannot save himself. Jesus said it is impossible.
      • We must remember that all men are lost without Jesus Christ and cannot save themselves.
    • God has Chosen to Save Some (the “elect”).
      • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Ephesians 1:4-5, 11.
      • Ask: When did God choose to save us?” (before the foundation of the world).
      • Ask: What did He choose to do for us?” (adopt us as His sons by Jesus Christ and give us an inheritance).
      • Ask: Why did He do this?” (according to the good pleasure of His will; in other words, simply because He wanted to).
      • Tell the class God has chosen to save some people because He is God and entitled to make that sovereign choice. (If a question of why God didn’t choose to save everybody comes up, you may want to refer to Rom. 9:12-24.)
    • All Whom God has Chosen Will be Saved.
      • Ask the two previously enlisted volunteers to read John 6:37 and Acts 13:48.
      • Stress the fact that those whom God has chosen to save will come to Him in His time.
      • This truth in no way releases the Christian from his responsibility to witness. God has chosen to use human beings as His instruments to spread the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Christians should witness as if every person they meet is one of the elect, realizing that God’s work, not their eloquence, will bring certain ones to salvation. Some will reject God’s offer of grace and never be saved. There is no way we can know whether an individual has been chosen for salvation until that person receives Christ and gives credible evidence of a changed life.
  3. God’s Method for Saving Humans.
    • Read Ephesians 2:4-10.
    • Ask: “According to verses 4-6, what did God do for us?” (made us alive and raised us up to live on a spiritual level).
    • Ask: “According to verse 7, why does God save people?” (to make them trophies of His grace throughout eternity).
    • Ask: “According to verses 8-9, what work can a person do to be saved?” (nothing).
    • Ask: “According to verses 8 and 10, whose work is required to save a person?” (God’s).
    • Tell the class this passage shows that salvation cannot be earned by good works and salvation is entirely the work of God’s grace upon a person.
  4. Salvation is Available to us Because of the Death of Jesus Christ.
    • Write the word “Atonement” on the board.
    • Tell the class that this word, while not used very often in our modern speech, represents one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith.
    • The doctrine of the atonement is what the Bible says about how man is reconciled (made right) with God.
    • Tell the class that salvation is based upon the death of Jesus Christ.
    • Explain that the death of Jesus made atonement for our sins. Without Christ’s death, there can be no atonement for sins. This is why Jesus could truthfully say “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me(John 14:6). There are three facts about Christ’s atonement for our sins:
      • The Great Exchange. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. The amazing truth of this verse is that Christ became sin for us, and in exchange He gave us His righteousness!
      • Jesus Died as a Substitute. Ask the previously enlisted volunteers to read 1 Peter 2:24-25 and Isaiah 53:6. Jesus Christ died on the cross as a substitutionary atonement. That means He took our penalty and died in our place. The substitutionary, blood atonement of Jesus Christ is a doctrine that is hated by liberals who call themselves “theologians.”
      • Jesus Died to Satisfy Holy God. Ask the previously enlisted volunteers to read Ephesians 1:7 and Hebrews 9:12. In his natural state, man is hopelessly distant from God. This is the result of our sins. The righteous heart of Holy God required a blood sacrifice. Ask: “What did Jesus obtain for us through His death on the cross?” (eternal redemption). Jesus Christ – the God-Man – was the only one who could shed His blood to pay the penalty of our sin.
    • Briefly summarize the lesson using the following outline.
      • Man needed a Savior.
      • God chose to save some people.
      • Man cannot DO anything to earn salvation.
      • God has provided salvation as a free gift (Rom. 6:23) paid for through the atoning death of Jesus Christ.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the class’ attention to the question written on the board. Ask students how they would answer that question, based on the truths they have learned today.

Tell the class that all human beings stand guilty before Holy God. Salvation is only possible through God’s grace and Jesus’ blood. Tell the students if any of them realize they have never been saved – but have a desire to receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ – they may do so today. The desire they have to be saved is the work of God’s Holy Spirit upon them.

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Tell them if any of them wants to be saved they should turn from their sin and cry out to God to save them. Lead a prayer of confession, repentance, and commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior.

After the prayer tell the students if any of them received Jesus this morning they should make it public right away. Tell them you will be happy to talk with them after class and go forward with them during the invitation at the end of this morning’s worship service.


CONCLUSION: Encourage everyone to memorize John 3:3. Tell the class next week’s study will focus on who we are in Jesus Christ. Encourage everyone to do the Daily Bible Readings each day and to read and answer all the questions in their Sunday School Member Quarterly.



Additional Scriptural Helps for the Teacher

  1. Natural Man is Opposed to God: Romans 3:10-23; 8:5-9
  2. God has Chosen to Save Some: Matthew 25:31-34; John 5:21; 6:34-44, 65; 15:16; 17:1-24; Romans 8:28-34; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:9; 2:9-10; 1 Peter 1:1-2; 5:10; Revelation 17:8, 14
  3. Salvation is by God’s Grace, not by Man’s Good Works: John 1:12-13; Romans 3:19-28; 4:15-16; 8:3; 11:5-6; 1 Corinthians 3:6-7; Galatians 2:16; 3:11, 19-25; Philippians 3:4-8; 1 Peter 5:10
  4. Jesus’ Substitutionary Death on the Cross: John 3:14-17; 10:9-18; Romans 4:24-25; 5:6-11; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4; Colossians 1:21-22; 1 Timothy 1:15; 2:5-6; Hebrews 2:9, 14-15; 7:26-27; 9:12-15; 10:1-10; 13:11-12; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 3:16; Revelation 5:6; 13:8


Common Objections to the Doctrine of Election

  1. “But I’ve always thought …” or “But I’ve always been taught that…” The Bible, not our reasoning or previous teaching, is the only true source of doctrinal authority. If the Bible says it, that settles it.
  2. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world…” This verse signifies that God’s love and grace is not limited to any particular race or nationality. Jesus was addressing Nicodemas, a Pharisee who could not imagine God extending His gracious love to the Gentiles. The word “world” in this verse does not mean every human being, just as it does not in John 7:4; 12:19; Romans 1:8; or Revelation 13:3.
  3. 1 Timothy 2:4: “Who will have all men to be saved…” Similar to John 3:16, the word “all” is used in a general sense, meaning all types, races, and nationalities.       The word “all” is used many times in the Bible to refer to all types of people, rather than every individual person. See Mark 1:5, for example.
  4. 2 Peter 3:9: “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” This verse must be read in its entirety and in its context. The book of 2 Peter is written to saved people, as was most of the New Testament. Second Peter 1:1 says: “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Second Peter 3:9 says that the Lord is not slack concerning His promise toward us. That verse, then, is a promise that God will certainly save all those He has chosen. None of the elect will perish without experiencing a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
  5. “What about man’s free will?” Man doesn’t actually have a free will; rather, he has a depraved will.       Man’s will is described in the Bible as being controlled by outside influences. Jesus said, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). Romans 6:16 echoes this thought. Romans 7 tells us there is a war in our members between the flesh and the Spirit.       Second Timothy 2:26 and 2 Peter 2:19 speak of humans as being in bondage to the Devil. Ephesians 2:1-3 tells us that before we were saved we obeyed the will of the Devil. Fallen man does not have a free will. His fallen, depraved nature moves him to sin, evil, and rebellion against God. That is man’s nature until it is transformed by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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