ch8     Pilgrim's Progress Chapter 8               
Updated: February 2, 2015

The Cross and the Robe

First Read p 101-107

The pilgrim finally arrived at the Cross. Three angels met him there, and the pilgrim lost his burden, received a mark of identification, was forgiven of his sin, was given a roll of assurance, and was dressed in a coat as he lost his rags.
Thus, the pilgrim became a Christian. He had been born again. He had received what the Bible calls “salvation.”


Watch Pilgrim's Progress Scene 6 The Cross and the Robe 7min video

      Q: What is salvation? (Discuss.) No other term is more widely used yet more misunderstood.


For the Teacher:

Note the pilgrim’s salvation experience as follows.
• His experience was definite. In a definite place the burden rolled away, and the three angels declared him forgiven. He never forgot this experience.
• His experience came at a definite point in time (right after the Interpreter’s house and before the hill Difficulty). He went through a long process to get to the Cross, but his burden rolled away in an instant. There was no long process during which the burden gradually dissolved or slid from his back.
• His experience transformed his life. He dressed differently after that experience. He talked differently. He no longer spoke of his burden, except in the past tense, because it was gone forever. He now understood things that before were hidden from his mind. His salvation experience made him a new person.
• His experience was wrought by God. He did nothing but stand before the Cross. The burden fell off automatically. God did everything; the pilgrim just accepted it.
With these points as our foundation, let’s now consider (1) what salvation is not, (2) what salvation is, (3) how it happens, and (4) what it accomplishes.

What Salvation Is Not (TCA 8A)
It Is Not a Psychological Experience.
Q: How do we know that salvation is not just some psychological experience? (Discuss.)
• If it is just psychological, why did Christ have to die? (Romans 5:6, 8 says that He died for us.)
• If salvation is purely psychological, would that explain the complete and instantaneous transformation of hundreds of peoples’ lives (such as Paul)? (Compare Acts 9:1 with 9:20.)
• If salvation is purely psychological, why do some men so fiercely believe in it that they are willing to die for it? (Martyrs were stoned, sawed in half, burned at the stake, etc. See Hebrews 11:37.)
It Is Not Joining a Church or Turning over a New Leaf
Joining a church does not transform a life. It does not cause one to be willing to lay down his life for its cause. Turning over a new leaf is a purely moral decision that millions of people make every year (note the many people who make—and then break!—New Year’s resolutions); it has nothing to do with spiritual truths.
What Salvation Is
It Is a Definite Experience
Men are not born saved. Psalm 51:5 says that we are born in sin. One must come to a point somewhere in life where he transfers from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (Col. 1:13). Just as birth, marriage, and death are definite experiences, so is salvation. The pilgrim had a definite experience when he was saved. Some people say, “I’ve always been saved.” But according to God’s Word, that can’t be so.
Q: Have you ever had a definite experience when you passed from death unto life?
It Is a Transforming Experience
Just as the pilgrim was not the same after his salvation experience, so those who are truly born again become “new creatures” (2 Cor. 5:17) in Christ. This transforming feature of salvation is what makes it unique. Salvation is more than a mental decision. When one gets saved, something happens inside that literally makes him or her a new creation. That’s why God calls it a “new birth.” Consider the following Bible illustrations of the transforming power of the salvation experience.
1. Paul (Acts 9:1–31)
Paul was transformed from a murderer to a preacher—instantly.
2. Peter (Matt. 4:18–19; Acts 2:14ff)
Peter was transformed from an uneducated, foul–mouthed fisherman to a mighty preacher of the gospel.

3. The Demoniac of Gadara (Mark 5:1–20)
The demoniac of Gadara was transformed from a wild, dangerous man to a sane, sober, zealous preacher of the gospel through one encounter with Christ.
History has recorded thousand of similar cases. Where all else has failed—clinics, hospitals, drugs, twelve–step programs, and medical and psychological help—the power of the gospel has succeeded in radically transforming lives.
When someone says, “I’m afraid to trust Christ because I don’t think I can live the Christian life,” the logical answer rests in the truth that Christ will transform his or her life and give the power and desire to do things that were impossible to do before salvation.
It Is a God–Wrought Experience
The pilgrim watched while the Lord worked. That’s how it is with salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9). Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9).
Man is said to be dead in his sins and totally incapable of doing anything to earn or merit his salvation. In fact, Romans 8:8 declares that man in the flesh cannot please God. Therefore, if man is to be saved, God must do it.
Q: What does God do in salvation? (Discuss student responses briefly before offering the following points.)
1. He Provides the Way of Salvation
He sent His Son to die on the Cross that we might be saved. Had He not done that, there would be no salvation.
2. He Sends the Spirit to Convict Men of Their Need of Christ (John 16:8)
3. He Gives Man the Faith to Exercise in Christ
Ephesians 2:8—the grace, the salvation, and even the faith are “not of yourselves” but of God.
4. God Gives Man a New Nature
When man exercises that faith by simply saying “yes” to Christ, God gives him a new nature (2 Peter 1:4). This new nature transforms his life because it is God’s own nature.
5. God Writes His Name in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 21:27)
6. God Remits the Man’s Sin, Declares Him as Righteous as Christ, Places Him in Christ, and Gives Him Eternal Life (Eph. 1:7; Rom. 3:25; Eph. 1:6, 10; John 10:28–29)
How Salvation Happens (TCA 8B)
Q: How is one saved, or what causes God to work His salvation in one person and not in another person?

No one can make God do anything. However, God has determined that He will work His salvation in those who (1) exercise faith in His finished work on the Cross and (2) repent of their sin.
Repentance means “turning from one’s sins to God.” True repentance is a work done by God, not man. It is not quitting one’s sin, but rather it is the work of the Spirit whereby one comes to hate his sin so much that he is ready to turn to God in reckless abandon, leaving his sin behind. At the same time, the Spirit gives him enough faith to believe Christ for salvation.
Some people think that repentance is something that man does, a determination on the part of man to quit his sin. But that would be a form of works. Repentance is the deep conviction and burden of sin that the pilgrim felt. It can be wrought only by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God worked so heavily on the pilgrim that he came to detest his sin and was glad to be rid of it. Professions of faith that are not accompanied by a spiritual consciousness and a hatred of sin are not real; such professions will not last.
What Salvation Accomplishes
The first thing that salvation accomplishes is called regeneration, which means the same as “born again” and refers to the fact that the person whom God has saved is literally a new person inside; he has a new nature.
Salvation also accomplishes redemption. This word means “to purchase,” or “to buy back,” and indicates that Christ has purchased the newborn person and now owns him. First Corinthians 6:19–20 shows the practical result of redemption. Because He owns us, we must live for Him rather than for ourselves. We become His possession and now exist for His glory alone.
The word remission means “to do away with” and indicates that our sins have been removed forever. The exciting thing about remission is that it covers all of our sins—past, present, and future. That is, when Christ died for our sins, He died for all of them, and when we accept His death as payment for our sin penalty, we accept payment for all of our sins. Thus, no sin that I can commit in the future can cause me to lose my salvation because those sins were totally removed by the Cross.
Justification means “declared innocent of sin and righteous before God.” As a result of the remission of our sins, God sees us as completely innocent. Therefore, He declares us as righteous as Christ. We are now fit for heaven and God’s holiness (which, we learned, demands perfection) is satisfied and lets us freely enter heaven.
Romans 8:30 tells us that the Christian is also glorified, that is, he has a new body waiting for him in heaven. In fact, in the mind of God, the Christian is already in heaven with the glorified body, for the word glorified in Romans 8 is in the past tense. Thus, God says that we are saved, justified, and—in His mind—already in our new, glorified bodies, worshipping Him around the throne!
The pilgrim is now sure of heaven. There is no way that he can miss the Celestial City. The only matters that remain in doubt are when he will get there and whether he will be a victorious or a defeated Christian when he arrives. All of the rest was settled at the Cross.
Challenge the students to examine themselves in light of the definition of salvation given in this lesson to ensure that they are indeed saved.
Application Activities

Refer to the last page of this chapter in the student textbook for a list of optional application activities that may be used in conjunction with this lesson.

student work

Leaving Interpreter’s house, the pilgrim is directed into the Way of Salvation and soon arrives at the Cross, where his burden immediately tumbles into the sepulchre.

• He is very glad about this and says, “He has given me _rest_ by His ___sorrow___ and ___life_ by His __death_.

• He then stares at the Cross and begins weeping for joy. Suddenly three _Shining Ones__ come to him.

What does the first one say? _“Your sins will be forgiven you.”.

What does the second one gives him? _change of clothes and takes off his rags.

What does the third one do?  puts a _mark on his forehead_ and gives him a _roll with a seal on it_.

• Next, the pilgrim comes upon three men who are sleeping. They have chains on their ankles. Their names are _Simple, Sloth, and Presumption_. Christian tries to wake them up and warn them of their danger, but they aren’t concerned and go back to sleep. (In part two of Bunyan’s story—not included in this study—the pilgrim’s wife, Christiana, comes to this spot and finds the three men “hanged up in irons.”)

• Soon, Christian spied two men, Formalist and Hypocrisy, climbing over the Wall of Salvation. Christian warns them that they must come in at the gate. He also quotes John 10:1 : “He that cometh not in by thedoor, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.


Why do they not go by the gate? _They think it’s too far; they prefer to take a shortcut.  They are used to shortcuts. When Christian tells them that their way won’t count with God, they argue that it has been their custom for more than a thousand years and will be acceptable to God. They argue that it doesn’t matter how you get in, just that you do get in. This is the same argument that many people give today when they say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.”Christian states that he knows that he will be accepted because of what he has:

• A __coat__

• A __mark on his forehead__

• A __roll with a seal_

Christian parts ways with Formalist and Hypocrisy when they come to the hill Difficulty. Whereas he continues on the straight and narrow path right up the hill, the other two men go by other ways around the hill. One road is called Danger and leads into a great forest, and the other road is called Destruction and leads into dark mountains, where the man stumbles and falls, never to rise again.

• Christian falls asleep in the Arbor and loses his roll. A dream awakens him, and he hurries on his way. He meets two men named _Timourous and mistrust__. running back down the hill because they are afraid of two lions that they saw lying beside the path.

• Christian discovers that he’s lost his roll and goes back to the Arbor to get it, but meanwhile nightfall overtakes him. He asks God to _forgive him for falling asleep_.

He fears that the lions will be roaming after their prey in the dark, but he continues on his journey. At the end of this section of reading, he sees a very stately palace called _beautiful_.


Watch Protestant Reformation h 5 min video


A Closer LookSalvation

The cross and the sepulchre represent the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and mark the spot where the pilgrim

• Loses his burden

• Is forgiven of his sin

• Receives a mark in his forehead

• Is given the roll of assurance

• Is dressed in new clothes, his rags being removed from him

From this point, the pilgrim is no longer Graceless but rather has the new name of Christian.

1. The Place of Salvation

I Corinthians 15:1–4 defines the gospel. It is first that Christ _died_ for our sins, according to the Scriptures; second, that He was _buried_; and third, that He _rose_ again on the third day, according to the Scriptures.

2. The Price of Salvation

• According to Romans 3:24 , how much does salvation cost man? nothing it's a free gift

• According to 1 Peter 1:18,19 , what did our salvation cost God’s Son?   It cost His precious blood

3. The Procurement of Salvation

What, according to Ephesians 2:8 , must man do to obtain this salvation?_Man must exercise the faith that God has given him.

Therefore, God gives us salvation without any works or merit on our part (that is, by grace). He even gives us the faith to trust His Word and accept His gift of salvation. And that salvation comes the moment we exercise our faith in His shed blood on the cross.


1. What Righteousness Is

• A Christian is not only saved at the cross but also is given a robe of _Righteousness_ (Isa. 61:10 ). Righteousness is being all that God demands and meeting all of God’s most exacting standards.

2. How Righteousness Is Obtained

• No man is righteous because no man can meet God’s demanding stan-dards. But Christ came to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God declares to be righteous
(Rom. 3:26 ) all of those who _believe with the heart
(Rom. 10:10 ) and are found to be __in Christ
(Phil. 3:9 ).

Christ has four kinds of righteousness, three kinds of which He keeps for Himself, but He gives us one kind. His four kinds of righteousness are as follows:

1. A righteousness of His Godhead. As God, He is righteous.

2. A righteousness of His manhood. He was the perfect man.

3. A righteousness of the union of His two natures. This was a righteousness that qualified Him as both God and man so that He could die for us.

4. A righteousness of obedience. He earned this by His perfect life.

If Christ gave us the righteousness of His Godhead, He would cease to be God.

If He gave us the righteousness of His manhood, He would cease to be pure man.

If He gave us the righteousness of the union of His natures, He would lose the perfections that qualified Him to die for us. He cannot give up any of those types of righteousness.

• But He can give us the fourth kind of righteousness because He does not need it; He is still God and perfect man without it.
Romans 5:19 says, “So by the _obedience of one shall many be made righteous

• This “obedient righteousness” He gives away.
Romans 5:17
tells us of “abundance of _grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”

Furthermore, Christ must give us this righteousness because if He is to obey the Law, He must “if he hath two coats give one to him that hath none” because Christ has two coats—one for Himself and one to spare. He gives it freely to those who believe.

When one receives this robe, it means that God sees him as being just as obedient and as perfect as Christ was on earth. We enter heaven because of His obedi-ence—not because of ours.notes from the teacher’s lesson


Quiz—Lesson 8
The Cross and the Robe
Name____________________________________________ Date ______________ Score_________

Short Answer
1–3. What were the names of the three men who were asleep at the bottom of the hill Difficulty?

4–5. What were the names of the two men who came into the way of salvation over a wall rather than through the wicket–gate?

6–7. What were the names of the two men who warned Christian of two lions that were in the way ahead?

This lesson has been primarily about the salvation experience; therefore, answer the following questions about that experience.
8. Explain what salvation is not



Lesson Objectives:
1. To define what salvation is not

2. To define what salvation is

3. To explain how salvation happens

4. To explain and illustrate what salvation accomplishes

5. To challenge the students to examine themselves to ensure that they have truly been saved according to the biblical definition of the term

1. read p 101-107

2. watch scene 6 video

3. go over student work p 108-113



Student Book PDF
World view study guide

Text PDF

Video whole movie:

1st Part
2nd Part