From Scripture Alone

During the 2021-2022 school year, the Exploring the Faith Class at Oak Road has been looking at various teachings of Christianity to see where these teachings are revealed in Scripture (the Bible). It is our goal to believe, teach, and confess what is found in Scripture alone. Many of us simply believe Christian doctrine from what our church has taught us, but we cannot necessarily show from Scripture alone what we believe concerning these doctrines. Through this process, we might find that what we have believed isn’t always in alignment with God’s Word. It might also become clear that what others believe is not in agreement with Scripture. In these instances, we certainly want to pray and ensure that we are understanding Scripture correctly and seek to correct any error in our confession. As a class, what we have seen through this series is that one belief connects to another belief which connects to another belief. When we are in error with one teaching we will find ourselves in error with another teaching. We have also seen how the connection of these teachings ultimately impacts our understanding of salvation! Just as our understanding of who God is, what he expects of us, and what he has done for us should come from Scripture alone, as Scripture is the very Words of God to us, it is important that we look to the work of God alone for our salvation since that is what Scripture reveals to us – that God alone saves us from our sins!

How Has God Revealed Himself To Us?

God’s Word

Reading God’s Word

The Triune Lord




The Person of Jesus of Nazareth

The Work of Jesus of Nazareth

Law and Gospel

Justification and Sanctification

We are Saved by Grace Through Faith – Conversion


Baptism in the Holy Spirit


More teachings from Scripture to come… Bookmark and save this page.

We are Saved by Grace Through Faith in Christ – Conversion

We are saved by grace through faith.  

John 3:16 – ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Romans 4:4-5 – “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.”

Faith is not our work but the work of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:5 – “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 12:3 – “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.”

John 1:12-13 – “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 – ““For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Ephesians 2:4-5 – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”

Romans 9:16 – “For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”

John 6:28-29 – “Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

We are incapable of deciding to have faith.

1 Corinthians 12:3 – “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.”

Ephesians 2:1-5 – “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved

John 1:12-13 – “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 6:44 – “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

1 Corinthians 2:14 – “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

Any verse about being born again indicates this also, for what role do we play in our natural birth?  None.

Since faith is purely a gift of God and we play no role in our conversion, then it could be assumed that God then chooses who will be saved, and also chooses who will not be saved. 

This is what scripture teaches in this matter:

God elects/predestines to salvation!

Romans 8:29-30 – “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

2 Timothy 1:8-9 – “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”

Ephesians 1:3-13 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”

It is the will of God that no man should perish!

1 Timothy 2:3-4 – “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

2 Peter 3:8-9 – “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

It is never written anywhere in scripture that God predestines people to Hell!  If someone goes to Hell it is because of their sin and their rejection of God.  We do not have the ability to accept God, but we have the ability to reject Him! 

The Following is what we have read in Scripture:

  1. We are saved by grace through faith.
  2. Faith is not our work but the work of the Holy Spirit.
  3. We are incapable of deciding to have faith.
  4. God elects/predestines to salvation (not damnation)!
  5. It is the will of God that no man should perish!

This is a paradox – Single-Predestination (God only elects to salvation!  Damnation is all on us!)

This is monergism – God alone is the one who works conversion.

If we say that faith is not solely a work of the Spirit, but that we play an active role in our conversion we would ignore parts of scripture. 

If we say that faith in conversion is solely a work of the Holy Spirit and thus God predestines some to heaven and others to hell, we would ignore parts of scripture.

To teach that God predestines to both salvation and damnation is called Double-Predestination and it is taught by Calvinists. This teaching is also called monergism.

Five Points of Calvinism

T – otal Depravity
U – nconditional Election
L – imited Atonement
I – irresistible Grace
P – reservation of the Saints

Five Points of Arminianism

  1. Free-will, human-ability
  2. Conditional Election (Election is Foreknowledge)
  3. General Atonement (Objective Justification)
  4. The Holy Spirit can be resisted.
  5. Falling from Grace

Lutheranism Rejects

L, I, and P of Calvinism


Points 1 and 2 of Arminianism

Does this matter?

Arminianism – Our works are involved in salvation, which can cast uncertainty on our salvation.  Do I believe enough? Do I have too many doubts?  If one work is involved, the tendency is to insert more required works. 

Calvinism – Jesus didn’t die for everyone.  God doesn’t love everyone.  Apathy towards evangelism. 

Proper Application of Election

  1. For our comfort.
  2. God saves us unconditionally.

Improper Application of Election

  1. To judge others’ election.
  2. It’s foreknowledge – which makes salvation conditional.
  3. God elects some, but not others.  Puts blame on God. 
  4. Taken to the extreme, God authored sin. 

Justification and Sanctification – From Scripture

Justification and Sanctification

From The Book of Concord: The Lutheran Confessions, The Smalcald Articles Part 2, Article 1:

Article 1: The First and Chief Article

“That Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins, and was raised again for our justification, Rom. 4:25.

2 And He alone is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world, John 1:29; and God has laid upon Him the iniquities of us all, Is. 53:6.

3 Likewise: All have sinned and are justified without merit [freely, and without their own works or merits] by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood, Rom. 3:23f

4 Now, since it is necessary to believe this, and it cannot be otherwise acquired or apprehended by any work, law, or merit, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us as St. Paul says, Rom. 3:28: For we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the Law. Likewise 3:26: That He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Christ.

5 Of this article nothing can be yielded or surrendered [nor can anything be granted or permitted contrary to the same], even though heaven and earth, and whatever will not abide, should sink to ruin. For there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved, says Peter, Acts 4:12. And with His stripes we are healed, Is. 53:5. And upon this article all things depend which we teach and practice in opposition to the Pope, the devil, and the [whole] world. Therefore, we must be sure concerning this doctrine, and not doubt; for otherwise all is lost, and the Pope and devil and all things gain the victory and suit over us.”

Justification Definitions

Justification – God declares sinners to be just (righteous) for Christ’s sake.  He imputes (credits) our sins to Christ and credits Christ’s righteousness to us. 

Objective Justification (AKA Universal Atonement) – Christ’s work of reconciliation in which he justified the entire world by his death and resurrection.  Objective justification focuses on the extent of Christ’s saving work. 

Limited Atonement – John Calvin taught that Christ’s saving work on the cross only atoned for the sins of the Elect.  In short, Jesus didn’t die for everyone.  Lutherans reject this doctrine, because it is not what Scripture teaches. 

Subjective Justification – The application of Christ’s work of justification of the whole world to an individual person.  A person who is subjectively justified receives the benefits that Christ won in objective justification. 

The Essential Components of Justification

Ephesians 2:8-10 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith.  Ant this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” 

1. By Grace
2. Through Faith
3. The Object of this Saving Faith is Christ (Galatians 2:16)
4. Apart from Your Works


The word sanctification comes from two Latin words, sanctus (holy) and facere (to make). 

The work of the Holy Spirit of making people holy.  In its wide sense, sanctification includes everything God does for our salvation and preservation, including the work of justification and conversion.  In its proper sense, sanctification refers to the inward, spiritual transformation of a believer that is accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit. 

The Proper Distinction Between Justification and Sanctification

Justification is instantaneous at the moment of faith/conversion. 
Justification is a declaration that a sinner is holy. 

Sanctification is a process that starts at the moment of faith/conversion. 
Sanctification is a life-long process of being transformed into the image of Christ. 
Sanctification is never complete in this life. 

A person’s justification must not be judged by that person’s process in sanctification!!!

Examples of Christians (in error) mixing justification and sanctification.

From Catechism of the Catholic Church – Part 3, Chapter 3, Article 2 In Brief
2019 “Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man.”

2027 “No one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.”

Kevin DeYoung wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition entitled, “How Do I Know That I’m A Christian?”  He gave three signs that a person can use to have confidence that he or she is saved:

1. The first sign is theological. You should have confidence if you believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God. 2.  The second sign is moral. You should have confidence if you live a righteous life. 3.  The third sign is social. You should have confidence if you love other Christians.

The Work of Jesus of Nazareth – From Scripture

Christ’s State of Humiliation

In Christ’s earthly ministry, Jesus entered into his state of humiliation. 

Humiliation here is not referring to being reduced to a lower position against his will, or being embarrassed or shamed.  Humiliation is referring to Jesus’ willful lowering of status, power, and glory in order to serve humanity.  This lowering did not in anyway reduce or take away from his divine nature.  If it did, then he would cease to be true God.  Instead, he voluntarily chose not to make use of his divine attributes or to receive the glory that is rightfully his. 

The state of humiliation is expressed in Philippians 2:4-8:

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

When did Christ’s state of humiliation begin and when did it end? Or is he still in this state due to his human nature?                                                                                                                                                                                              

How is the state of humiliation necessary for our salvation? 

Christ’s State of Exaltation

In Christ’s state of exaltation, Jesus resumes his full and restricted use of his divine attributes and glory. 

The state of exaltation is expressed in Philippians 2:9-11:

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

When did Christ’s state of exaltation begin and when does it end?

In his state of exaltation began, did Jesus relinquish or lose his humanity? 

What is the significance of the state of exaltation? 

The Office of Christ

Office – “A position of authority or service, typically one of a public nature.”

What does Matthew 1:21 say about Jesus’ official work or service? 

Christ is Jesus’ official title.  Christ means “anointed one”.  Messiah also means “anointed one”.

How was Jesus anointed?  See Acts 10:38. 

In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed (oil was poured on their head). The anointing was a symbolic act to demonstrate that God had chosen them for their particular office of duty and authority.  

Jesus’ office of the Anointed One can be broken into all three of the offices of anointing found in the Old Testament: prophet, priest and king.  In all three offices, Jesus of Nazareth is above all others who have ever served.  He is the Prophet of Prophets, the Priest of Priests, and the King of Kings. 

Prophet of Prophets

A prophet brings the word of God to human beings as God’s representative.  This is not just limited to predicting the future.  

John 17:6-8 – What does Jesus bring to us? 

Hebrews 1:1-3 – How has God spoken to us?  In what way is Jesus the superior spokesman for God? 

John 1:18 – What makes Jesus’ message so unique from that of other prophets?

Isaiah 6:5 – In what way is Jesus’ words superior to that of other prophets? 

John 14:12 – How is Jesus’ proclamation different from that of other prophets when dropping Word of God truth bombs? 

Priest of Priests

A priest is one who makes intercession between God and man, usually through offering sacrifices or other religious rituals. 

How do the following verses reflect Jesus’ office of priest?

Hebrews 7:25Romans 3:25
Romans 8:3John 1:29

Hebrews 7:22-28 lists 10 reasons why Jesus is superior to all other priests:

  1. Jesus is the high priest who guarantees a better contract with God.  (vs. 22)

  2. Jesus is the high priest who cannot be stopped by death. (vs. 23-24)

  3. Jesus is the high priest who never leaves office. (vs. 24) 
  • Jesus is the high priest who saves to the uttermost those who trust in him.  (vs. 25)
  • Jesus is the high priest who always makes intercession for you.  (vs. 25)
  • Jesus is the high priest who is holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. (vs. 26)
  • Jesus is the high priest who does not need to offer sacrifices daily.  (vs. 27)
  • Jesus is the high priest who does not need to offer sacrifices for his own sins.  (vs. 27)
  • Jesus is the high priest who sacrifices himself once for all.  (vs. 27)
  1. Jesus is the high priest who is appointed by God’s promise as a Son, who has been made perfect forever.  (vs. 28) 

What sins did Jesus’ sacrifice absolve?  See John 1:29, John 3:16-17, 1 John 2:2, Hebrews 2:9, Romans 5:18, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, John 12:32, and 2 Peter 2:1. 

Priests were from the tribe of Levi!  But Jesus was from the tribe of Judah.  How could Jesus be a priest?

See the Melchizedek thread through Scripture: Genesis 14:18-20, Psalm 110:4, and Hebrews 5:4-10. 

King of Kings

Biblical prophesy says that the Christ would be a king from the royal line of David who would reign forever.  See 2 Samuel 7:12-13 and Isaiah 9:6-7.

When was Jesus’ kingship first recognized by people?  See Matthew 2:2. 

Others recognized his kingship later in his earthly ministry.  See Matthew 21:9. 

Who does Jesus say he is the king of? See Luke 23:3. 

Yet what does Jesus say about his kingdom?  See John 18:36. 

What else does Scripture say about Jesus’ kingship and kingdom?  See Revelation 17:14 and 2 Peter 1:11. 

Jesus’ reign has been recognized to a rule over three distinct kingdoms: the kingdom of power, the kingdom of grace, and the kingdom of glory. 

Kingdom of Power

This is Jesus’ rule over all of creation.  See Matthew 28:18 and Ephesians 1:22.   All governments have been established by God and are subject to Christ their maker and Jesus works through these systems of authority to limit and restrict sin and wickedness.  See Romans 13.

Christ provides for all through the natural order he has created in the universe.  See Matthew 5:45. 

Everyone is a member of this kingdom! 

Kingdom of Grace

Members of this kingdom is limited to those who belong to the Church. 

This kingdom is called the “Kingdom of Heaven” or the “Kingdom of God” in Scripture.  See Matthew 13:44-45 and Mark 10:15. 

Those who are members of this kingdom are now citizens of this kingdom!  See Ephesians 2:19. 

We enter into this kingdom through the grace of God received by faith in Christ, hence the name, Kingdom of Grace. 

Kingdom of Glory

The Kingdom of Glory refers to Jesus’ majestic and eternal reign in heaven.  Jesus has a heavenly kingdom and he will take us there.  See 2 Timothy 4:18. 

This kingdom will be manifest on earth when he returns to judge the nations.  See Matthew 25:31. 

Jesus is already reigning in the Kingdom of Glory.  Who is present in this kingdom now? 

All three of these offices: prophet, priest, and king, are expressed in Jesus work of salvation!

The Person of Jesus of Nazareth – From Scripture

The Person of Jesus of Nazareth

In this series, we have seen that God created all things in six days and at the end of those six days he called his creation “very good.”  We saw that mankind is the crown of his creation, being created in the image of God and being given the position of dominion and stewardship over God’s creation.  The first two humans, Adam and Eve, sinned, rebelled against God by breaking his command to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The entrance of sin into the world brought evil and physical death into God’s creation.  God’s creation was no longer “very good”.  God’s creation was now Fallen and with the Fall mankind lost (while still retaining aspects of) God’s image. 

God did not leave Adam and Eve without hope.  Read Genesis 3:14-15. 

Jesus of Nazareth is the promised offspring of Eve that did defeat sin, death, and the Devil (the Serpent).  The Old Testament traces the history of God’s people, following the lineage of Adam and Eve that would give birth to the Savior of mankind. 

What do the following verses reveal about Jesus of Nazareth? 

1 Tim 2:5 –

Rom 9:5 –

Luke 2:40, 52 –

Matt 4:2 –

John 19:28 –

John 4:6 –

Luke 8:23 –

John 19:34 –

What do the following verses reveal about Jesus of Nazareth? 

1 John 5:20

John 1:1

Colossians 2:9

Matt 26:63-64

John 14:9

John 10:30

Do these two sets of verses seem to reveal contradictory truths?  How can we make sense of these revelations concerning the person of Jesus of Nazareth? 

Scripture reveals that Jesus, from the instant of his incarnation, is both fully God and fully man.

The Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD produced the Chalcedonian Creed to counter the false explanations of the union of the two natures of Christ and the down-right heretical teachings concerning the incarnation of Christ.  Four key statements can be drawn from this creed:

1.     Christ is fully (perfectly) God.
2.     Christ is fully (perfectly) human.
3.     The divine nature and human nature are united in the person of Jesus Christ.
4.     Jesus Christ is one person.

These four statements can be placed along each side of a box.  This box is the Chalcedonian Box. As long as any teaching, anecdote, or analogy of the person and work of Christ maintains that Jesus is fully God, fully man, one person, with two natures, it lands within this box.  When one of these doctrines is distorted, or worse, erased, the teaching lands outside of the box is appropriately labeled a heresy.

Alan Shlemon, a speaker, teacher, and writer, for Stand to Reason, created a slide for a presentation he gave on the incarnation of Christ.  At the center of the slide is the Chalcedonian Box with a clipart image of Jesus in the middle of the box.  Outside of the box lies DC’s Batman and Superman and Marvel’s the Hulk and Spider-Man.

How are Batman, Superman, the Hulk, and Spider-Man not good analogies to use to explain how Jesus can be one person with two natures?  Why does it matter if we are missing the mark of Scripture with these comic book analogies?  Also, more importantly, what Christological heresies align with these modern-day comic book superhero analogies to let us know that people have actually taught Christ in these throughout history, and in some cases still do!

Do not confuse the Virgin Conception with the Immaculate Conception.  The Virgin Conception is taught in Scripture, whereas the Immaculate Conception is an invention of the Roman Catholic Church. 

The Sinlessness of Jesus of Nazareth

  1. Committed no sin – 1 Peter 2:22
  2. Endured Temptations, still no sin – Heb 4:15
  3. Yet what happened? 2 Cor 5:21

More verses for why Jesus is truly God

  1. Jesus existed before the world began = John 17:5
  1. Created all things = Colossians 1:16-17
  2. Jesus said “I Am” = John 18:58
  3. He is present forever = Matt 28:20
  4. Fills all things = Eph 1:23
  5. Forgives sins = Matt 9:2-8
  6. Raises people from the dead = John 11:17-44

What is the significance of Jesus’ humanity?

What is the significance of Jesus’ divinity?