Pieper, Francis. Christian Dogmatics: Volume 2. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1968.
“The Application of Salvation (Soteriology).” Loc. 9026 “Preliminary Survey”
Pieper begins his survey of the application of salvation by observing there are many terms which may be used to describe it. All speak of an analysis of how salvation is brought to specific individuals. Pieper’s concern is that the Scripture be the basis for all understanding, especially what the Scripture says about Christ’s vicarious satisfaction. He has brought salvation by himself and can declare how it is applied (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9031). Pieper is clear that salvation must be understood as appropriated by faith alone, nothing else (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9036). As taught in 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 5:18 5:10; 4:25 God provided forgiveness and announced it clearly to mankind (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9062). This announcement comes to men “whether it be spoken or read or pondered in the heart” (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9077). The news of salvation must be believed to produce salvation in the individual (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9088). This belief, which applies salvation, ultimately results in the evidence of some sort of good works, the result, rather than the cause, of salvation (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9115). Pieper considers words such as illumination, awakening, regeneration, and calling to be used synonymously. Attempts to divide salvation and harmonize the terms generally are frustrating and confusing (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9125).
Pieper continues to discuss the importance of justification by grace through faith, explaining that faith is not seen as a good work and that the justification is not earned by faith but applied by faith (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9142).
Not only is this justification the heart of Christian doctrine, it gives many blessings. Pieper observes that justification gives us grace and peace (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9175). It also brings the presence of God into the life of the believer (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9216) in a way specific to Christians. Again, Pieper emphasizes that this new life leads to good works (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9239). Finally, Pieper observes the eternal aspect of salvation. It leads to a very positive promise of eternal bliss (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9310). This election of God to eternal life is done from the beginning of time, mysteriously assuring the salvation of all who believe (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9336). The “why” question is not answered in Scripture (Pieper 1968, Loc. 9361). Yet it is clear that all who believe are considered to be believers by the eternal mercy of God.