Salvation 1: God and Saviour
Mankind’s greatest need is to be reconciled to God - there is nothing more important. God longs to draw each one to Him that He might save them:
Eze 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Accordingly, scripture is replete with God’s love and saving grace. This study traces in scripture what God has done to save mankind.
Note. The Scriptures given in this study are not exhaustive, but are representative of the topic.
2. Our need of salvation
Salvation with respect to mankind is addressed in study: ‘Salvation 2 - mankind’s response’ However, to set the scene we need at this point to understand our need of salvation.
2.1 We are unclean
Is 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
2.2 We have no righteousness
Ps 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
2.3 We inherit sin and death from Adam
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Ro 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Ro 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Adam made a conscious decision to sin, thus separating himself from God, Who is the source of all life. Death followed as a natural consequence.
It is true that we have not made a conscious decision, as did Adam, to fall into sin. However, we are Adam’s offspring, and we can inherit from Adam only what he was able to pass on to us: his fallen sinful nature. Consequently, like Adam, we suffer death.
Because of inherent sin, mankind remains separated from God, and is helpless in a state of sin (see study: ‘Sin’).
Now that we have set the scene, we are better positioned to understand how much God has done to save mankind.
3. Why God has saved mankind
Because of mankind’s helplessness in sin, God’s heart was touched with infinite love and great pity.
3.1 He loves mankind
Je 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
God’s heart of infinite love could not abandon mankind to sin and death.
3.2 He understands and pities mankind
Ps 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
Is 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
Joe 2:18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.
Ja 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
3.3 He loves to be merciful
La 3:22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
Ps 98:3 He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Ps 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
Mi 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
4. How salvation works
4.1 The plan of salvation
As soon as sin entered the world, salvation was promised:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The plan was laid that Christ, the Lamb of God, would give His life to redeem mankind:
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
God’s promises never fail:
Jos 21:45 There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
4.2 God sent Christ to save the world
Mt 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Jn 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Jn 6:38,39 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Christ takes away sin
Jn 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
1Jn 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
Christ's purpose: to save sinners
Lk 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Jn 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
4.3 Christ sacrificed Himself for us
Being the Sacrifice for sin was not imposed upon Christ - He willingly gave Himself for us.
Of His life Christ said:
Jn 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Christ gave Himself
Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Ga 1:3,4 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Christ laid down His life
Jn 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Jn 10:17,18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
1Jn 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
4.4 Christ bore our sin
Is 53:5,6 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Is 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
He 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Christ died in our place
Ro 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
Ga 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
The greatest measure of love
Jn 15:13,14 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Christ our friend (Mt 11:19; Lk 7:34) died for us - those who love and obey Him are His friends.
Ro 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ died for unrepentant sinners - those that hate Him. There can be no greater measure of love.
4.5 THE CRUX: Christ was made what we are, so we can be made what He is
2Co 5:20,21 … we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
This was demonstrated clearly when Christ, at the point of death, in His anguish uttered:
Mt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (also Mk 15:34)
On the Cross Christ was paying the price of sin for all mankind. Separation from God is the consequence of sin (Is 59:2). Thus Christ had, at the point of death, to be separated from the Heavenly Father.
Christ's purpose was to bear for us everything that we ourselves would have to bear. Thus He had to be made what we are, sin itself.
However, because Christ had no sin of His own, He could be restored to God. Thus, because in Christ we are made what Christ is, we also can be restored.
All mankind are under the curse of the law (Ga 3:10) - it demands the sinner’s death. Christ Himself was made the curse, so that the repentant sinner may be free of the curse of death:
Ga 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
4.6 Grace: the free gift
Apart from true Christianity the world’s religions require their adherents to earn salvation in some way. This prompts a question: how do those of non-Christian religions know when they have done enough to appease their God(s)?
True Christians do not have that problem - salvation in Christ is the free gift of a loving God.
Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2Co 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
Ep 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
4.7 Christ intercedes for us
Now that Christ has borne our sin and set us free He intercedes for us in the Heavenly Sanctuary (See study: ‘The Sanctuary in Heaven).
Ro 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
He 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost- [Strong's G3838, entire, complete] that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
God has given all of Himself to save fallen mankind. He loves us with an everlasting love. He has left nothing undone that mankind may live with Him in joy throughout eternity.
The free gift of saving Grace is available to all, without exception. Thus we may have absolute confidence that we may be saved, if we so desire.