Intro to “Salvation” Word Studies Series


What do you think of a series focusing on salvation? More precise, a series of word studies from the Greek New Testament on salvation?

I thought you’d like the idea!

This post is an introduction to the upcoming series. Here I will discuss why I chose this subject,  how I plan to engage these studies, and when you can plan on seeing them.

Why did I choose this topic? There are multiple layers to this answer. One reason is I am working through this doctrine with my Middle School class at Citizens Christian Academy (and it’s awesome.) A second reason is recent conversations with other ministers.  However, the most significant reason is salvation is important. We must get this doctrine right!

Next, I want you to know I am not a New Testament Greek scholar, but  I am pastor-theologian. I have not mastered biblical Greek, but I am proficient with Greek language tools. I am still growing in grace and knowledge.

However, here are a few of the books and tools I have at my disposal.

  • Cowen, Gerald. Salvation: Word Studies from the Greek New Testament. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1990.
  • The WORDsearch Interlinear Bible–New Testament Austin, TX: WORDsearch, 2004. WORDsearch CROSS e-book.
  • Mounce, William D. Greek for the Rest of Us: Using Greek Tools without Mastering Biblical Languages. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003.

This is not to mention my personal library that comprises hundreds of digital and print articles, essays, and books.

Using Cowen’s book as an outline, I will offer commentary and reflection on the following subjects.

  • What is salvation?
  • Why is salvation needed?
  • What is the purpose of salvation?
  • What is the basis of salvation?
  • What is the applications of salvation?
  • What is the results from salvation?
  • What is the assurance of salvation?

I am in the throws of life as a husband, parent, pastor, and part-time teacher. My goal is to post bi-weekly on Tuesdays in this series. You can expect a new post on January 22,2019. I would love for you to take this journey with me. Will you grow with me?


God’s Promise of Salvation Brings Confidence

Do you lack confidence? Read how trusting God’s Word boosts confidence.

Daily Reading

41 Let your faithful love come to me, LORD, your salvation, as you promised. 42 Then I can answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word.43 Never take the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope in your judgments. 44 I will always obey your instruction, forever and ever. 45 I will walk freely in an open place because I study your precepts. 46 I will speak of your decrees before kings and not be ashamed. 47 I delight in your commands, which I love. 48 I will lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and will meditate on your statutes. Psalm 119:41-48 (CSB)

Daily Reflection

God’s promise of salvation brings confidence. 


God promises his people a faithful love, which is His salvation. This promise of salvation brings confidence. The Psalmist makes at least three statements that portray faith in this portion of Psalm 119. Let’s look at these verses closer. 

First, the author writes, “Then I can answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word” (v. 42). After a person receives the promise, they have the words to reply to those who mock them. God’s salvation brings the boldness to respond to those who ridicule them for their faith in His word. How can mockers accuse God of being unconcerned, when they witness His unfailing love in action? God’s promise of salvation brings confidence to refute the nay-sayers. 

Secondly, the writer declares, “I will walk freely in an open place because I study your precepts” (v.45). When a person knows what God has promised in the Scriptures, they do not need to cower and hide. Even if death came to them because of their allegiance to God, it would be the victory (see Philippians 1:21). God’s unfailing love increases confidence, so the person doesn’t have to hide. 

Finally, the Psalmist writes, “I will speak of your decrees before kings and not be ashamed” (v. 46). God covenant of faithfulness makes a person as bold as a lion. Earthly kings have the power to imprison and execute those who offend them. However, the Spirit-filled herald will deliver the King of kings message with boldness. God’s covenantal love brings assurance amidst the mighty. 

Do you lack confidence? Have you received the promised salvation? If so, are you feeding on the Word of God to know what God promises? 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for the confidence His salvation brings. Ask Him to fill you with the assurance, which only comes from knowing Him. 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

5 Feats of Christ’s Death

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.”

“Hosanna in the Highest!” echoed the crowd.

Some cast coats to pave the way for the miracle-worker. Others laid freshly cut palm branches to be tread on by the donkey that carried the healer named Jesus.

A “Who is this?” rippled through Jerusalem that day. Anticipation filled the air. What was happening? The entrance into Jerusalem was the beginning of the climax of the story of redemption. Jesus of Nazareth faced the Father’s will in obedience. His journey into the city would bring Him closer to fulfilling his destiny. He would give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

Holy Week serves a reminder of the pain in Christ’s passion. It is a reminder of the Gospel’s cost. It is a cue to consider the cross. We need reminders. For the enemy is a thief and will strive to make us forget the price of the Good News. We must remember the gospel and its price.

Have you ever considered the death of the Christ? Have you pondered the cross? Christ died. Christ died for us! The following is five feats Christ’s death accomplished for us.

  1. It removes our sin.

Christ’s death removed our sin. John the Evangelist writes, “The next day he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (NASB John 1:29). The removal of sin by Christ’s death is called expiation. Christ’s death removes our sin and guilt before God. The author of Hebrews writes, “…He [Jesus] has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (NASB Heb 9:26b).

In the Old Testament, the blood of sacrifices covered the sins of the people. Moses writes, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement” (NASB Lev 17:11). The Hebrew word for “atonement” is kaphar, which means to cover. The author of Hebrews says, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (NASB Heb 10:4). However, Christ’s blood removes our sin!

Think about that! If you receive Christ’s atoning work, your sin has been removed! Also, Christ’s righteousness has been imputed or transferred to you! (see 2 Cor 5:21)

  1. It removes God’s wrath from us.

God is holy. Therefore, sin incurs the wrath of  God. Jesus took this wrath on Himself. In Romans, Paul writes,

“24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (NASB Rom 3:24-26)

Propitiation is the removal of God’s wrath from us. Hebrews states, “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (NASB Heb 2:17). Propitiation also has an element of satisfaction. The wrath of God is satisfied with the death of Christ. Finally, John writes, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Can God’s wrath be on a world which He loves? Absolutely. For those who are parents, this idea is not too far from our imagination. We love our kids but sometimes they face our wrath, right?

  1. It removes our alienation from God.

Sinners are separated from God, but Christ’s death removes our alienation from God. Paul writes,

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (NASB Rom 5:10-11)

The death of Jesus reconciles is to God! We are no longer his enemy. We are his children. We call Him, Abba (Rom 8:15)!

  1. It removes the curse of the Law.

The Law held us hostage but we are free in Christ. Paul writes,

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (NASB Gal 3:13-14).

In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with Israel, which’s stipulations are codified in the Ten Commandments. In Deuteronomy 28, God rehearsed the blessings if Israel could keep His commands and the curses if they failed to obey. Israel failed, but Christ succeed in obedience. Those in Him, receive the blessings of redemption! It is the precious blood of Christ that ransoms us (1 Pet 1:18-19).

  1. It removed the powers of Hell

In death, Christ defeated Satan and the forces of hell. Paul writes,

13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. (NASB Col 2:13-15)

There is not a devil in hell that has a tooth left! He may roar but Satan is defanged and dethrone! (1 Pet 5:8). Christ openly defeated death, hell, and the grave.


When Christ died, these five feats were accomplished!

Christ died. He was buried. BUT, He didn’t stay there! This is the Gospel. We must remember the gospel is the all-important message by which God will judge all men. John writes, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (NASB John 3:36)

If you have not received this message, the bad news is that:

  1. You are still in your sins.
  2. The wrath of God abides on You.
  3. You’re alienated from God.
  4. You are under the curse of the Law.
  5. The devil still controls you.

However, the Good News is “for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (NASB Rom 10:13)

Have you considered Christ’s cross? Have you called on his name? If not, why are you waiting?







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The Tale of Two Debtors




By Kevin W. Bounds


  1. A Jewish man stepped in and watched a part of [Adolf] Eichmann’s trial and burst into tears. Some next to him said, “Your anger must be unbearable.” He said, “No, it isn’t anger. The longer I sit here, the more I realize I have a heart like his.”[1]
  2. We ALL need forgiveness for our depravity. Mark Twain quipped, “We are all like the moon. We have a dark side we don’t want anybody to see.”[2] How true it is! However, some refuse to see their own Charles Swindoll records,

Webster says depraved means, “marked by corruption or evil, perverted, crooked.” It’s important that you understand this is an internal disease; you can’t detect it from the outside. Most folks don’t look depraved. Most of us do a masterful job of covering it up. But never doubt that underneath, deep down inside, there is this disease that eats away at us and pollutes our thoughts and our words (intellect), our relationships (emotions), and our actions (will). [3] 

  1. In Luke 7:36-50, we are given a tale of two debtors which illustrates the need we ALL have for mercy and grace. This sermon will examine the debtors, the debt, and the dispensation in the parable spoken by Jesus. It is important that a parable lays alongside , in this case, it is the story that is unfolding at the banquet of the Pharisee.


  1. There has been much debate concerning how many times Jesus was anointed. There are four records in the Gospels (Mt 26:6-13; Mk 14:3-9; Lk 7:36-50; Jn 12:1-8). My opinion is Luke’s account is an earlier anointing of Jesus. There were three anointing events (Matthew and Mark being the same event). Warren Wiersbe writes, “Do not confuse this event with a similar one involving Mary of Bethany (John 12:1-8), and do not identify this woman with Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2) as many continue to do.”[4]


The Debtors [41]

“A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii and the other fifty.”

The Pharisee

  1. What can we know about this person from this text? The first thing is that his name was Simon (40).
  2. Although he was a Pharisee, it is possible he invited Jesus to his home because he was curious about Him. This would explain the internal turmoil he was having about Jesus allowing this woman to touch Him (39).
  3. He was blind to his sinfulness, the woman’s worth as a human, and who Jesus was!
    1. A perfect illustration of this man’s attitude can be seen in Luke 18:9-14. [CITE]
    2. Simon the Pharisee was the perfect example of what Jesus spoke of near the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:1-5). [TURN]
  4. Wiersbe writes, “The parable does not deal with the amount of sin in a person’s life but the awareness of that sin in his heart.”[5]
    1. How much does it take to be in debt? Or sinner?
    2. Simon had a sin of the spirit, and the woman had a sin of the flesh. The Apostle Paul writes, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (KJV 2 Cor 7:1).
  5. We ALL need forgiveness!


The Woman

  1. Although many have argued that this woman was a prostitute, it cannot be confirmed by this passage. However, it is a good speculation.
  2. Why did this woman approach Jesus? If you look at a harmony of the Gospels, right before this moment, Jesus declared

“[28]  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29]  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30]  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (KJV Matt 11:28-30).

  1. It is evident in this passage that whatever her past, she was convicted of it. However, it is a thought that if she were a “working woman,” her precious gift was more than likely purchased with her profits. Even her very best offering was tainted. All she could give Jesus was the best of her sinful past.


The Debt [42]

“When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both.

So which of them will love him more?”

  1. We ALL need to be graciously forgiven!
  2. It is noteworthy that forgiveness comes before the love. The writer of First John states, “We love, because He first loved us” (NASB 1 Jn 4:19).
  3. The Apostle Paul explains this in Ephesians 2:1-10. [TURN]


The Dispensation of Grace [48-50]

 “And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

  1. What right did Jesus have to declare her forgiven? This was not the first time Jesus has made such a statement (see Luke 5:21).
  2. What saved this woman; her faith or works? [READ VERSES 44-48] One Bible scholar writes, “We are not saved by faith plus works; we are saved by a faith that leads to works.”[6]
    1. Paul writes,

[4]  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, [5]  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, [6]  whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, [7]  so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (NASB Tit 3:4-7).

  1. How did this woman know her faith saved her? God told her! He tells us too!
    1. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. Isaiah 1:18 (NASB)
    2. [38] “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, [39]  and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. Acts 13:38-39 (NASB)



  1. We ALL need forgiveness!
  2. Richard Hoefler’s book Will Daylight Come? Includes a homey illustration of how sin enslaves and forgiveness frees.

A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target.

As he came back to Grandma’s backyard, he spied her pet duck. On impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead.

The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

            After lunch that day, Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.”

But Sally said, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “Remember the duck!” So Johnny did the dishes.

Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing Grandma said, “I’m sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper.” Sally smiled and said, “That’s all taken care of. Johnny wants to do it.” Again, she whispered, “Remember the duck.” Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, finally he couldn’t stand it. He confessed to Grandma that he’d killed the duck.

“I know, Johnny,” she said, giving a hug. “I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”



[1] Charles R. Swindoll, Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations and Quotes, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson,1998), 155.

[2] Ibid., 155.

[3] Ibid., 156.

[4] Warren Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2007), 160.

[5] Ibid., 160.

[6] Ibid.,160.



Swindoll, Charles R. Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Nashville, TN. 1998.


Wiersbe, Warren. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament. Colorado Springs, CO. David C. Cook. 2007.