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Soteriology: Divine strategy and human response

Friend, Alexander (1998) Soteriology: Divine strategy and human response. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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The central message of the New Testament is the message of salvation. The present work deals with three elements of salvation as presented in the New Testament: (1) the role of the Holy Spirit, (2) the nature of faith, and (3) the role of the proclamation of the Gospel. Regarding the first two elements, not only at the popular level but also at scholarly levels several basic assumptions are widely held, namely, (1) that the Holy Spirit is involved in preparing a person for conversion by bringing about personal conviction of sin, and (2) that saving faith is a gift of God. In the first two parts of this thesis these assumptions are critically examined. In the third part the third element, the role of the Word of God, is examined in a series of key scripture passages. They are treated in what is widely held to be their order of composition.

The three-fold organization of Word, faith, and Spirit reflects three of the main factors in the conversion experience. It will be shown from the select Scripture passages how each one interacts with the others in the salvation of an individual, following the plan set out in the divine strategy, including the intended human response.

It will be seen that the human involvement with the Word entails both preaching and hearing; faith, likewise, in this context, is essentially a matter of a person’s trust in Christ or God. The Word is the seed that is planted within the heart, producing faith (Rom 10:17) to which the Holy Spirit responds by the making of a new life ‘from above.’

The biblical evidence surveyed indicates that in the understanding of apostolic Christianity the normal way God intended the individual to come to faith and consequently be saved was through the hearing of the Word as proclaimed by witnesses and preachers anointed by the Holy Spirit.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Moore, Richard
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