Election/Predestination – Election is God, uninfluenced and before creation, predetermining people to salvation. Predestination identifies the point prior to creation when God elected people. While the New Testament affirms the necessity of God’s sovereign choice in our salvation, it also clearly affirms the reality of each person’s free will. It is not ‘either or’ it is ‘both and.’
Justification means that we stand legally in the right before God by faith instead of on the basis of our works. Justification doesn’t mean to “make” righteous, but rather to “declare” righteous. Note that faith is not our righteousness; rather our faith unites us to Jesus Christ who is our Righteousness.
Adoption — Many Christians have never considered the rich implications of their adoption. In regeneration, God gives new spiritual life within. In justification, God gives a right legal standing before Him. In adoption, God makes us a part of His family! The results include assurance of salvation (Rom. 8:16), paternal discipline (Heb. 12:5-11), and access to our inheritance (Eph. 1:11) — all of which empower us to believe that God truly loves us (1 John 4:16).
Union with Christ is that intimate, vital, and spiritual union between Jesus Christ and His people, becoming their blessedness and salvation, as well as the source of their life and strength. Paul unfolds all of the blessings that believers receive with the repetition of the phrase: “in him …” or “in Christ…” It is the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation, used almost 140 times in the New Testament.
Soteriology is the study of the doctrine of salvation. It often includes such topics as the nature and extent of the atonement as well as the entire process of salvation, conceived as an eternal, divine plan designed to rescue lost and erring sinners and bring them back into eternal fellowship with God. Many regard it as the primary theme in Scripture with the glory of God as its goal. Eph. 2:11-ff how Christ called us to be His people, His church, and how we should work as one body using our gifts.
Ecclesiology is the study of the Church and comes from the Greek word ekklesia meaning “called out ones” or “assembly.” In general, ecclesiology addresses various issues, the most basic being a biblical definition of the “church” and its functions. Other issues include forms of church government, leadership offices, ordinances, worship, and the relationship between the New Testament church and Israel, the Old Testament people of God. Therefore, a clear and biblical understanding is important to both Christian belief and practice.
Spiritual Warfare is the Christian endeavor of taking a stand against supernatural evil forces. Ephesians 6:10-20 is the clearest description. It not only assures us that we are in a spiritual war, but it warns us that apart from utilizing the armor and weapons which God has provided for us, we are hopelessly underpowered. Ephesians informs us as to what our divine weapons are. Thus, we can learn a great deal about the nature of Satan’s opposition from simply considering each of the weapons at our disposal.