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Why Foreign Missions? 23: Paul's Terms Describing Salvation (and Related Notions)

Why Foreign Missions? 23: Paul's Terms Describing Salvation (and Related Notions) 

This post offers an outline of terms for salvation in Paul's letters.  The outline format allows one to scan rather quickly what is otherwise a lengthy post.

This post continues an earlier study of the Gospel in New Testament authors--particularly Paul.  The Gospel is good news about God's salvation for sinful humanity.  The good news for all (Jews and Gentiles) is that God Himself has accomplished salvation through Jesus Christ for us.  Both the Old Testament and the New Testament teach that God is the author of salvation--we are recipients of His grace that comes to us not through our own works but through the Redeemer God sends.  This Redeemer, spoken of by Isaiah in particular (cf. Isaiah 59.20-21), is identified by Christians as Jesus Christ our Lord.

[The original title for those studies on the Gospel, 'Why Foreign Missions?', is somewhat problematic because it is not very clear.  Yet the point I intended to make is worth affirming: we have a story to tell to the nations (as the old hymn puts it).  Missions has become everything for so many churches today that the message of the Gospel is somewhat crowded out in the theologies and mission budgets of too many churches, particularly those in the West.  Understanding mission as first and foremost the proclamation of Good News to the nations helps us to understand Paul and the challenge facing missions in our day.]

A.     Paul uses several terms to describe salvation in Christ Jesus and all it entails.  In the following survey of terms, note the variety of images he uses to describe transfer from the sphere of God's wrath, sin, death, and the Law to the sphere of Christ's Lordship in which is peace with God, righteousness, life, and freedom in the Spirit.
B.     Note also the tenses (past, present, future) of the salvation words‑‑it is a work accomplished on the cross, it is an ongoing work in the proclamation of the Gospel and the obedience of faith, and it is a future work to be accomplished with Christ's coming.
C.     Further, consider ways in which this unwieldy list of salvation terms might be organised in accordance with a more basic structure.
1.      For example, E. P. Sanders manages to group many of Paul’s terms into simple categories of life outside of Christ, life in Christ, and the transfer terms (salvation terms) Paul uses to show movement from the first to the second sphere (Paul, The Law, and the Jewish People (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983), pp. 7‑9)).  In the list of terms which I give below, there is certainly overlap between ‘transfer’ terms of salvation and terms reflecting life in Christ.  But I have not included Paul’s favourite description of Christian life in this list (to be ‘in Christ’).
2.      Gerd Theissen organises the terms according to ‘physiomorphic transformation symbolism’ (physical transformation, death and life, and unification) and ‘sociomorphic interaction symbolism’ (liberation, justification, and reconciliation) (as presented in English by J. C. Beker, Paul the Apostle: the Triumph of God in Life and Thought (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980), pp. 256ff; Gerd Theissen, ‘Soteriologische Symbolik in den paulinischen Schriften’, Kerygma und Dogma 20 (1974): 282-304.).  More than a single word fits with each of these symbols, which function as a cluster for various other notions.  Thus with respect to the sociomorphic interaction symbolism, liberation involves images of social power such as the unredeemed state’s bondage and suppression, the enslaving powers of Satan, death, sin, and the law, redemption from these power structures, the preposition ‘under’ (hypo) predominates, and Jesus is represented as a redeemer who also became a slave (Phl. 2.7), was killed by the powers (1 Cor. 2.8), and subjected to the law (Gal. 4.4).  Justification symbolism has to do with guilt, people’s failure to obey the law, acquittal before the divine Judge (e.g., Rom. 14.10), but also this divine Judge’s setting things right through grace and covenant faithfulness (Rom. 3.24f).  The preposition ‘on behalf of’ (hyper) is used to show Christ’s work on our behalf, taking the law’s curse and expiating its punishment.  Reconciliation symbolism has to do with enmity, peace, hate, love, separation and reconciliation, and appeal.  Christ’s work in this symbolism is a manifestation of love, self-surrender, and his resurrection is important here as new life occurs after death.   The preposition ‘on behalf of’ (hyper) is also important for reconciliation symbolism.  Moreover, the symbols of liberation and transformation cohere in their dealing with the exalted position of the Redeemer and the redeemed; the symbols of justification and death and life cohere in dealing with condemnation and acquittal in Christ’s death; and reconciliation and unification symbolism cohere in their depiction of victory over separation.
D.     Consider the significance of considering salvation terms as metaphors.  Paul’s use of metaphors is to convey ideas, but metaphors separated from their context and these thoughts can be pressed beyond Paul’s intentions.  Developing the richness of a metaphor beyond Paul’s intent, or using certain metaphors apart from others, or altering the emphasis of some metaphors over others can actually alter Paul’s theology.

I. Salvation (soteria, sozo)
 A. Salvation is from God’s wrath due to sin
·         Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from
God's wrath through him! (Rom. 5.9)
·         For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus
Christ (1 Thes. 5.9)
 B. Time?
  1. Past:
   * For in this hope we were saved (Rom. 8.24‑‑shows future/past idea)
  2. Present:
·         For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1.18)
·         I tell you, now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6.2)
·         For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are
perishing (2 Cor. 2.15)
  3. Future
·      (See A 2, above)
·      [...the word of faith we are proclaiming:] That if you confess with your mouth, `Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Rom. 10.9f)
·         The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed (Rom. 13.11)

II. Justification/Righteousness (Dikaiosune, dikaioo, dikaios)
A.    Meaning:
1.      The same Greek word can refer to (a) justification, acquittal before God (a law court image) or (b) righteousness, right living before God (a moral idea).  Often, scholars see the noun more as a moral term (b) and the verb more as a forensic term (a).  Rather, the verb seems to be used in a variety of ways as ‘vindicate’ (prove righteous/in the right) (Ps.Sol. 8.23; Jer. 3.11; Is. 43.26; Mt. 11.19//Lk. 7.35 [lawcourt]), ‘declare righteous’ (Ps.Sol. 8.26), ‘shown to be righteous/justified’ (Is. 42.21; 43.9), ‘present as righteous’ (Ez. 16.51f), ‘acknowledge as righteous’ (Lk. 7.29), ‘made righteous’ (Is. 45.25 LXX; 1 Cor. 6.11).
2.      The phrase "righteousness of God" may refer to (a) God's own character (Possessive Genitive), to (b) God's righteous activity (Subjective Genitive), and/or to (c) the righteousness that comes from God to humanity (Ablative of Source).  This has resulted in various interpretations, but here's how I see it.

 B. "Righteousness of God"
  1. Refers to God's character:
·         But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say?  That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (Rom. 3.5)
·         [God] did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished‑‑he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just (Rom. 3.25f)
  2. Refers to God's gift to humanity (a righteousness from God; NIV):
·         But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known....This righteousness from God comes through faith in [or, "the faithfulness of"] Jesus Christ to all who believe (Rom. 3.21).
3. Refers to an apocalyptic inbreaking of God working righteousness in the present
(Kässemann).  Justification’ is an eschatological concept and is something that God works.
4. Refers to all the above, as in Is. 59.16-21: God dons his righteousness on behalf of sinful
Israel to offer a Redeemer and new covenant.  Is. 45.21-22 includes salvation for the ends of the earth from the righteous God and Saviour, as well as judgement that means ‘vindication’ for Israel (vv. 23-25).

 C. Justification/Righteousness
  1. As the judgement of acquittal ("justification"):
· the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness (Rom. 4.5) (but surely more is intended: God acquits the wicked not because he is unjust but because he has acted to save, and faith is a righteous response to this action)
·         For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.  Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men (Rom. 5.17f)
·         This view finds imputed righteousness in Paul: 1 Cor. 1.30; 2 Cor. 5.21; Rom. 4.5; Phl. 3.9.  Other scholars (e.g., N. T. Wright, Ben Witherington) find these passages to speak of our participating in God’s righteousness (avoiding imputation as a transaction in favour of a greater working of righteousness by God).
 2. As righteousness, morally right:
·         Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness (Rom. 6.13)
·         God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5.21)
 3. Verb and Noun
·         Many argue that the verb dikaiozō is forensic (‘declare just,’ ‘justify’) whereas the noun may be either forensic or moral.  This argument needs to be evaluated in terms of (1) the OT background and Hebrew and (2) the use of terms in their contexts.  Also, it is possible that both meanings are present at the same time in a passage.  Keener (Romans): God’s declaration of ‘just’ implies moral righteousness—do not separate the forensic and moral concepts.
·         Cf. NRS Romans 4:5 But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.
Does God ‘justify’ the ungodly by accounting faith as righteousness, or does God make the ungodly ‘righteous’ by a person’s faith in God’s work, not his/her own work?
 D. Time
a. Past:
·         But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were made righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6.11; my translation)
b. Future:
·         For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous (Rom. 2.13)
  4. Faith (righteousness of God from faith to faith: Rom. 1.17)
a.      "Faith" as

  • "belief that": acceptance of the truth/reliabilitiy of what has been sais (Rom. 4.3; 6.8; 10.9, 16; cf. 1 Cor. 11.18; Gal. 3.6; 1 Th. 4.14; 2. Th. 2.11‑12)
  • "trust in", "reliance upon" (Rom. 4.5, 25; 9.33; 10.11; Gal. 2.16; Phl. 1.29(
  • "faithfulness":
    • God's faithfulness (Rom. 3.3; Gal. 5.22; 2 Th. 1.4)
    • Rom. 1.17: "from faith to faith" possibly means from God's faithfulness (source of our faith) to our faith (result).  Or it means ‘from faith from start to finish.’
b. Hab. 2.4 (Rom. 1.17)
1.      MT reads: "the righteous one will live by his faith".  Traditional Judaism thus read
this verse as saying that the righteous person lives by faithfulness to the covenant, by observing the Law.  In Habakkuk 1-2, the righteous live by faith in God’s hand of salvation from Israel’s enemy.
    2. LXX reads: "the righteous one will live by my [God’s] faith/faithfulness"
    3. Paul: "the righteous one will live by faith/faithfulness."  Paul thus leaves the
meaning ambiguous: Faith as God's faithfulness or our trust?  Possibly both (so J. Dunn, Romans, I, pp. 48f).  Paul opposes Jewish understanding: faith is not faithfulness as observance of the Law.
c. Gen. 15.6
Abraham had faith in God—before Moses (Gal. 3.6, 17-18) and before circumcision (Rom. 4.3, 9-10), and therefore apart from works.  Like Hab. 2.4, Gen. 15.6 focuses salvation on God’s action, with faith as the response.

III. Redemption (in Paul: lutroō (Tit. 2.14), apolutrosis (7 times), antilutron (1 Tim. 2.6))
A.    This term comes from the slave‑market and captures the image of Israel's deliverance from
Egyptian bondage.  It refers to being set free through payment of the slave price.  Yet the key to understanding redemption comes from the notion of redemption of God’s people in the Old Testament.
 B. It refers to being set free by Christ Jesus from sin and God's judgement.  In Paul, that Christ ‘redeems’ is found only in Gal. 3.13; 4.5, and ‘redemption’ as the work of Christ is found only in Rom. 3.24; Eph. 1.7; Col. 1.14 (and 4 other times):
·         There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified/made righteous freely by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3.24, my translation)
·          ...Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God‑‑that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption (1 Cor. 1.30)
·         In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding (Eph. 1.7)
·         For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom [antilutroō, only here] or redemption] for all men‑‑the testimony given in its proper time (1 Tim. 2.6)

 C. Time: Past, Present, and Future
·         Past: ‘...who gave himself as a ransom for all men’ (1 Tim. 2.6)
·         Present: ‘For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins’ (Col. 1.14; cf. Eph. 1.7: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace)
·         Future: ‘And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption’ (Eph. 4.30)
D. Redeemer in the OT:
1. God is called ‘Redeemer’ in the Psalms (twice), and Job, Prov., and Jeremiah (once
each), but especially in Isaiah 41ff (13 verses): Is. 41.14; 43.14; 44.6, 24; 47.4; 48.17; 49.7, 26; 54.8; 59.20; 60.16; 63.13.
2. Possible connection between Rom. 3.21-26 and Isaiah 59.20 (and parallel texts):
a. The Septuagint has “ho hryomenos” for “Redeemer” in Isaiah 59:20. Paul uses
a synonym meaning “redemption,” dia tēs apolytrōseōs, in Rom 3:24, but the LXX of Isaiah also uses this synonym, “ho lytroumenos,” “the Redeemer” of God in Isaiah 44:14; 43:14: 44:24. The Hebrew for “Redeemer” in these texts and in Isaiah 59:20, though, is the same: “gō’ēl.”
b.   The term for “redeemer” (Isaiah 59:20) is found earlier in its verbal form in Isaiah 52:9, where God is similarly said to redeem exiled Jerusalem. The passages are linked through the same word and thought. In near proximity to Isaiah 52:9, the prophet speaks of the one who announces the “good news” (cf. “Gospel”) of salvation (Isaiah 52:7) and, a little later, that the suffering servant will provide a guilt offering (Isaiah 53:10). A feature of Jewish Scriptural interpretation was to interpret one text in light of another if they shared a term in common. On such an interpretation, Isaiah 59:20 and Isaiah 52:9 and its surrounding texts can be interpreted together.

IV. Reconciliation (katallasso, katallage)
A.    This presupposes the state of enmity with God now overcome in Christ.  It captures the
powerful idea of the present effect of Christ's work‑‑humanity's reconciliation to God.  Yet it can also have a present reference (an ongoing challenge to the believer to be reconciled) and refer to the whole cosmos being reconciled to God.  As all are reconciled to God, so Jews and Gentiles are now reconciled to each other (a social dimension of reconciliation in Ephesians).  This term does not seem to have an OT background.  It does, however, fit with other theological ideas such as ‘peace’, ‘forgiveness’, ‘oneness’.  The strongly eschatological and/or cosmic aspects of reconciliation (even if already being implemented for Christians) brings to mind the OT expectations of the gathering of all nations to God’s holy mountain.
·         For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Rom. 5.10; cf. v. 11)
·         All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5.18‑20)
·         His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two [Jews and Gentiles], thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility (Eph. 2.15f)
·         ...and through [Christ] to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Col. 1.20)

V. Cleansed/washed (from sins) (apolouomai or katharizo)
·         But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were made righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6.11, my translation)
·         This is also the work to which believers need to attend: Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7.1; cf. Rom. 12.1f)
·         Ephesians 5:26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word (Eph. 5.26)
·         He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds (Tit. 2.14)

VI. Atonement/Expiation/Propitiation (hilasterion)
The meaning of this once‑used term in Paul is debated.  Some argue that the term means expiation, making amends for wrongdoing.  Others argue that the term is more graphic and means propitiation, i.e., not only making amends but also and thereby appeasing God's wrath.  Also, the term was used for the mercy seat over the ark of the covenant in the Temple.  On this was sprinkled the blood on the Day of Atonement, which cancelled the sins of Israel against God's Law, the two tablets of which were contained in the ark.  The author of Hebrews uses the term this way (9.5), but how does Paul use it in Rom. 3.25?  Whichever way one goes, the term deals with remov­ing of sin, and it may capture the additional ideas of appeasing God's wrath and the imagery of the mercy seat.  (The argument has other aspects, but this note offers the possibilities in translation and interpretation).
·         [Christ Jesus], whom God presented a "hilasterion" through faith in his blood in order to show his righteousness on account of the overlooking of preceding sins in God's forbearance (Rom. 3.25f, my translation)

VII. Sanctification (hagiazo, hagios)
A.    This term means to make holy, to set apart for God.  "Saints," "sanctify," "holy" all have the
same underlying Greek word.  "Saints" refer to Christians and is never singular.
 B. Time
  1. Past:
·         But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were   made righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in   the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6.11)
  2. Ongoing process:
·         May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and  through (1 Thes. 5.23)
  3. Goal (present and future ideas):
·         But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life (Rom. 6.22)
 C. Who works sanctification?
  1. Jesus Christ, through His death:
·         To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy.... (1 Cor. 1.2)
  2. The Holy Spirit, active in the believer's life:
·         ...from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth (2 Thes. 2.13)
  3. Both Jesus and Spirit:
·         B 1, above
  4. God:
·         B 2, above
  5. Believers' responsibility
·         It is God's will that you should be holy; that you should avoid sexual immorality.... (1 Thes. 4.3)
· view of God's mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual worship (Rom. 12.1)

VIII. Transformation (metamorphoomai, etc.)
This word occurs twice in Paul, referring to the present change which the unbeliever is
undergoing.  Related Pauline terms and ideas are: summorphos, conformed (Rom. 8.29; Phl. 3.21) and summorphizesthai, to be conformed (Phl. 3.10); morphoun, to form (Gal. 4.19; allassein, to change (1 Cor. 15.51, 52).
·         Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12.2)
·         And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3.18)
·         For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Rom. 8.29)
·         ...for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.... (Gal. 4.19)

IX. New Creation (kaine ktisis)
           There are two instances of the phrase, both with reference to present time.  But passages
having to do with the next two categories (X and XI) are related.
·         Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation (Gal. 6.15)
·         Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor. 5.17)

X. New Life
A.    ‘Born (gennao) of the Spirit’:
1.      Outside Paul: (a) Especially a Johannine image ('born from above' (Jn. 3.3, 7); 'born of water and Spirit' (Jn. 3.5); Belief that Jesus is the Christ means one 'has been born of God' (1 Jn. 5.1)).  (b) It does relate to an understanding of Jesus’ incarnational birth (he is 'from the Holy Spirit' (Mt. 1.20; cf. Lk. 1.35)).  (c) Distinctions between life before and now in the Kingdom of God (Mt. 11.11; Lk. 7.28).
2.      Paul:
a.       ‘But just as at that time the child who was born according to the flesh persecuted the child who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also’ (Gal. 4:29).
b.      Perhaps related to the idea as expressed in (1), above: ‘For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit’ (1 Cor. 12.13)
 B.     Children of God
1.      ‘But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ
Jesus you are all children of God through faith’ (Gal. 3.25f)
2.        ‘Abba’:
a.       For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" (Rom. 8.15)
b.      And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" (Gal. 4.6)
3.        Children of God: (Rom. 8.14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21; 9.7, 8, 26; Gal. 3.26; Eph. 5.1?; Phl. 2.15
4.        Adoption as children: Rom. 8.15, 23 (cf. 9.4); Gal. 4.5f; Eph. 1.5

 C. Heirs (kleronomeo, kleronomos)

       1. This is a future idea, pointing to the goal and reward of our salvation.
·         Now if we are children, then we are heirs‑‑heirs of God and co‑heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Rom. 8.17)
·         I warn you...that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5.21)
2. The Holy Spirit is present proof to believers of their sealing of salvation, participating in
God’s new creation, and their inheritance:
a.       The Holy Spirit is given to believers as a seal (proof; sphragizo) of salvation: 2 Cor. 1.22; Eph. 1.13; 4.30)
          b. The Holy Spirit is the 'first fruit' (aparche) of God's new creation (Rom. 8.23)
          c. The Holy Spirit is the 'pledge' or 'first installment' (arrabon) of our inheritance (2 Cor. 1.22; 5.5; Eph. 1.14)

XI. Dying and Rising with Christ
This is related to the idea of being a new creation.  No parti­cular Greek word applies,
only the notion.  The idea has a past reference but with continuing results, since it involves parti­cipating in Christ's death and resurrection life.  Cf. also Rom. 8.10f; Col. 2.12, 20; 3.1‑4.
·         I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Gal. 2.20)
·         We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life (Rom. 6.4)

XII. Exalted with Christ
Colossians and Ephesians express salvation not only in terms of dying and rising with Christ but also in terms of being exalted with Him.  This is spoken of in terms of present time, but a futuristic idea is present.
·         For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (Col. 3.3f)
·         And God raised us up with Christ and seated us in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.... (Eph. 2.6)

XIII. Glorification (doxazo, doxa)
Salvation may also be described in terms of glorification in the past, present, and future
·         And those he predestined, he also called, those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified (Rom. 8.30)
·         And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever‑increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3.18)
·         I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Rom. 8.18; note v. 17)

XIV.    Predestination (proorizo)
The three relevant uses of this word appear here.  Of course, it is a past tense notion.  Is it a corporate notion as opposed to an individual notion?  Is the focus more on God’s plan of salvation than salvation itself?  (See the next term, ‘called’)
·         For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified (Rom. 8.28f)
·         In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will... (Eph. 1.5)
·         In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Eph. 1.11)

XV. Called (kletos, kaleo, eklektos)
A.    As a verb, this term appears only in the past tense and applies the Old Testament image of God's chosen, called, elect people to believers.  It is typically a corporate notion, not a term for personal salvation, and typically identifies God’s purpose (here it may be used of individuals) in his salvation plan:
·         And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ (Rom. 1.6)
·         And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom. 8.28)
· those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy... (1 Cor. 1.2; cf. Rom. 1.7)
·         ...but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1.24)
·         ...even us, whom he called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (Rom. 9.24)
·         God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful (1 Cor. 1.9)
·         …just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love (Eph. 1.4; note calling is corporate and ethical)
·         Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory (2 Tim. 2.10; note the distinction and relationship between elect and salvation)
 B. Romans 9-11:
This passage is often read as though it is about personal election—God electing some to be saved.  Rather, it is about God’s plan, and it is a narrative theology (how God has, is, and will work salvation through his plan, his election—exile—redemption of Israel for a salvation of both Israel and the Gentiles who put their faith in God’s salvation in Jesus Christ).  Nations and people play roles in God’s plan so that salvation may come (through Isaac, Jacob, Pharaoh, and Israel).  This is not the same as saying that these were saved (especially Pharaoh!) and others were not.  Rather, through these came God’s plan of salvation.  In this plan, only a remnant of Israel will be saved (9.27), and those not chosen (Gentiles) are included (9.25-26, quoting Hos.).  God’s plan of election serves the purpose of salvation without being equated with it, and it demonstrates his mercy and power.  Moreover (ch. 10), elect Israel did not attain righteousness because they pursued it through works, whereas the Gentiles—who were not elect--did attain it because they believed in God’s provision of it.  This does not mean (ch. 11) that God has rejected Israel in his plan of election.  God has by grace and not by works chosen a remnant of Israel (11.5f), and Israel’s stumbling is part of God’s plan to bring salvation to the Gentiles (11.11).  They have not stumbled so far as to fall (11.11), and their future acceptance will mean the resurrection (‘life from the dead,’ 11.15).  Election is like an olive tree, with branches broken off because of unbelief and branches grafted in through faith (11.20).  Those branches grafted in can still be cut off if they do not continue in God’s kindness (11.22), and those cut off can be regrafted into the tree through faith (11.23).  Once the full number of Gentiles has come in, all Israel will be saved (11.25-27, quoting Is. 59.20-21a and 27.9 (both speaking of Israel’s redemption/restoration from sin/captivity).

XVI. Freedom (eleutheria, eleutheros, eleutheroo)
All three time periods are used with the idea of being set free from sin and the Law and set free to Christ and righteousness.  ‘Freedom’ has to do with being set free from slavery to sin, the law, and death (including creation’s future liberation from subjection to decay).
 *You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness (Rom. 6.18)
*Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8.1‑2)
*’…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom…’ (2 Cor. 3.17)
*It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Gal. 5.1)
*For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God (Rom. 8.21)

XVII. Forgiveness of Sins, Mercy, Grace
A.    Forgiveness of Sins:
1.       Many would say ‘forgiveness of sins’ is a non-Pauline way of speaking about salvation.  The word ‘forgiveness’ (aphesis, aphiemi) is not frequent in Paul, even if we affirm pauline authorship for Ephesians and Colossians.  But related terms demonstrate that the notion of forgiveness is present in Paul.  Paul tends to dwell on the significance of forgiveness in his context (salvation by grace not works of Jewish law) more than on forgiveness per se.
2.       Ephesians and Colossians speak of the forgiveness of trespasses/sins (Eph. 1.7; Col. 1.14).  The term ‘aphiemi’ is not otherwise found in Paul. 
B.     ‘Grace’ (charis) and ‘mercy’ (eleos; and ‘gift’ (dorea) are key terms in Paul.
·         they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3.24)
·         But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man's trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many (Rom. 5.15)
·         But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more (Rom. 5.20)
·         he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3.5)
·         I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, … (Rom. 12.1)

C.     Forgiveness for trespasses and grace are two ways of speaking of the same thing.  The participle charisamenos is translated ‘forgave’ in Col. 2.13-14: And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.

D.    The idea of forgiveness coheres with justification (discussed above) of sinners.

E.     Cf. Rom. 5.8: ‘But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us’ (cf. 1 Tim. 1.15).

F.      The idea also coheres with Paul’s understanding of the human condition or plight from which we have been delivered.

·         He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds (Tit. 2.14).

G.    This notion also overlaps with ‘washed, ‘expiation/ propitiation,’ and ‘sanctified’ (above).

XVIII. Triumph over the Powers
A.    Broadly speaking, salvation is also thought of in terms of vanquishing the enemy, whether Egyptian slave masters (‘redemption’ is a fitting term in this instance), the nations, or the powers of the cosmos.  Two messianic psalms stand out in this regard: Ps. 2 and Ps. 110.  Originally royal psalms, the enemies in mind were the warring nations around Israel.  But in Christ’s fulfilment of these royal psalms, the enemy the Lord is to vanquish is understood as spiritual authorities.  This is a work that can be viewed as past (Col. 2.15), future (1 Cor. 15.24), or present (Col. 2.8) (quoted below).
B.     The spiritual overlords have a hold over humanity in that the latter has transgressed God’s cosmic law, but Christ has set humanity free from them:
1.      Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator (Gal. 3.19).  (The thought continues a little later:) …  3 So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits (stoicheion) of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. 8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods. 9 Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits (stoicheion)? How can you want to be enslaved to them again? (Gal. 4.3-9).
2.     Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power (1 Cor. 15.24).
3.      God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.  You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once lived, following the course of this world [or ‘in which you once walked in accordance with this world’s Aeon’], following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3 All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. (Eph. 1.20-2.3).
4.     He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it (Col. 2.15).  (The thought parallels the quotations from Gal., above.  It continues in Col., as follows:)   20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits (stoicheion) of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations-  21 "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch" (Col. 2.20-21).
5.      See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits (stoicheion) of the universe, and not according to Christ.