Doctrine of Salvation
Curated from a lecture series by Richard B. Gaffin

Course Introduction

About Dr. Richard B. Garrin, Jr.

Richard Gaffin – Wikipedia

  • IntroductionRuntime: 79 min

Scripture's Christocentricity

  • Scripture's ChristocentricityRuntime: 56 min

What/Who is at the center of the message of the Bible?

Though it may not appear to be the one main theme in parts of the Old Testament, the Bible is fundamentally a Christocentric book – that is to say it centers on Jesus. The New Testament is the Word and witness of Jesus, while the Old Testament is prophetically anticipating him.

Who/What is at the center of theology?

As should be expected, theology and dogmatics find their center in the same place as Scripture. This center is Jesus. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) once wrote, “The doctrine of Christ is not the starting point, but it is certainly the center of the whole of dogmatics. All other doctrines anticipate, prepare for, or flow from it.” Thus, it is fitting that a course on the doctrine of salvation should start with the doctrine of Christ.

What is the center of the center of the Scriptures?

The center or core of Jesus’ life was his death and resurrection. This was not only the center of his life, but is the center of the Scriptures. Dr. Gaffin describes the four Gospels as “Passion narratives with lengthy introductions.” Likewise, Paul told the Corinthians that he delivered to them “as of first importance” that Christ died and was risen according to the Scriptures.

Christ in the Old Testament

  • Part 1Runtime: 55 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 56 min

Does Dr. Gaffin view Luke 24:44-49 to be speaking of a single event or a summary of events that occurred after the resurrection?

Dr. Gaffin argues that it is a summary of the time when Jesus was teaching his disciples of himself from the Old Testament.

From what source did the Apostles preach the death and resurrection of Jesus?

Apostolic preaching of the death and resurrection was preached from the Scriptures.

Do the New Testament authors ever speak about the authorial intent of the Old Testament authors, in regard to the Messiah?

Yes, but we must be careful not to probe this question too strongly because we simply cannot have definitive answers. Dr. Gaffin does, however, point to 1 Peter 1:10-12 and John 12:41 to show signs of how the prophets understood what they were saying.

What are two dangers that we need to be careful to avoid in our interpretation of the Old Testament?
  1. Not honoring what we have seen if we restrict references to Christ to a number of clear prophecies of him, thus compartmentalizing the rest of the Old Testament.
  2. Viewing each Old Testament text as if it has a unique Christological message of its own. This mistake will lead to unwarranted allegory.
Is Jesus in every sentence of the Old Testament?

It depends on what we mean by this question. Jesus will always be found in the context of any given story, but that does not necessarily mean that we must find a unique significance to Christ in every single sentence that we read in the Old Testament.

Christ and Decrees

  • Christ and DecreesRuntime: 58 min

Is it Biblical to speak of decrees or decree in the eternal will of God?

It is better to speak of a single decree because it is found in the eternality of God.

Ought we read and interpret Revelation 13:8 as “The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world?”

No, this reading is misleading. It blurs the distinction between what God is doing in history and what God has done in his eternal counsel. Jesus was not slain before the foundations of the world. If we read it this way, then Christ’s passion in history becomes unnecessary. A more accurate reading would be, “…written in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world.”

Why was it necessary for Christ to die?

Some schools of thought see the death of Christ as a hypothetical necessity, while we would say that it is an absolute necessity. Below are the common views today.


  1. Hypothetical Necessity (Arminians, Roman Catholics, etc.)
  2. Absolute Necessity
    1. Antecedent Absolute Necessity – God has no other choice, but to send Christ. (Anselm)
    2. Consequent Absolute Necessity – God is not bound to save, but freely chooses to. (Reformed Tradition)
What is Supralapsarianism vs. Infralapsarianism?

The question is often rooted in the order of an eternal decision. Dr. Gaffin, however, argues that the distinction is found more in the priority of the aspects of the single decree in eternity.

What verse does Dr. Gaffin say helps to restrain over-probing into the lapsarian debate?

Deuteronomy 29:29. He says that these are the things of God that are not for us to know. If they were for us to know, we would know them.

Modern and Contemporary Christologies

  • Part 1Runtime: 56 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 57 min
  • Part 3Runtime: 52 min

Plan of Salvation

  • Part 1Runtime: 57 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 52 min


  • ElectionRuntime: 50 min

Christocentric Plan

  • Christocentric PlanRuntime: 55 min

Covenantal Context of Salvation

  • Part 1Runtime: 50 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 55 min
  • Part 3Runtime: 54 min
  • Part 4Runtime: 56 min
  • Part 5Runtime: 53 min
  • Part 6Runtime: 58 min
  • Part 7Runtime: 56 min
  • Part 8Runtime: 55 min
  • Part 9Runtime: 54 min
  • Part 10Runtime: 56 min
  • Part 11Runtime: 53 min

Redemptive Grace

  • Redemptive GraceRuntime: 57 min

Common Grace

  • Part 1Runtime: 57 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 53 min


  • FaithRuntime: 58 min

Unity & Diversity in the Covenant

  • Unity & Diversity in the CovenantRuntime: 56 min

The Law at Sinai

  • The Law at SinaiRuntime: 55 min

Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant

  • Part 1Runtime: 59 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 56 min

Ministry of Reconciliation

  • Ministry of ReconciliationRuntime: 57 min

Jesus as Mediator & Example

  • Part 1Runtime: 60 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 56 min
  • Part 3Runtime: 57 min
  • Part 4Runtime: 60 min