“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Matthew 18:11 (KJV). To put back in position that which is mis-positioned. God gave us a priceless gift through His Son Jesus Christ! Today we will start with “The Gift of Salvation.”
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John 10:10 (KJV), “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
John 3:16,17 (NIV), “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3 is so important for the foundation of your faith to show you “salvation.” You find:
- The requirement,
- The method, and
- The results of salvation.
We see these 3 points coming right out of the passage. The requirement is stated in verse 3, “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”,
We see the method of salvation in verse 14-15, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
And we see the results of salvation in verse 16, “shall not perish,” and in verse 17, “Is not condemned.”
Both of those statements are summed up in the words “eternal life.” And in the purpose of God, “but to save the world through him.”
Salvation would come by the means of the “Cross.” When you say“the cross,” it is simply a symbol for many people, perhaps a piece of jewelry worn around the neck of someone… However, when I say “the cross”, it is not just symbolic!
The Cross refers to Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross and all that His death accomplished for us.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
On the Cross:
- Jesus was the LAST Adam.
- He was NOT the last in the sense of time; BUT in the sense that the EVIL INHERITANCE of the WHOLE ADAMIC RACE came on HIM in it’s entirety.
- The total evil-inheritance of our sin-cursed race came on Him & WHEN He was BURIED: IT was BURIED with Him…
When Jesus AROSE from the dead:
- He arose as THE SECOND MAN, a new kind of man…
- The firstfruits of the “God-man” race.
- The message of Mercy is that sin was dealt with IN Jesus on the cross…
- The wages of sin is death, but Jesus paid the penalty for us through His Atonement at Calvary.
The entire Bible has one consistent message: there is only one remedy for sin, a sacrifice! Every sacrifice of the OT looks forward prophetically to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It is important to understand the epistle to the Hebrews in this context…
In Hebrews 10:3-4 it says, “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”
In the OT, when the sacrifices were made every year, it was a reminder of the sins that had been committed. Furthermore, those sacrifices could not take away sins. By way of example, the chief sacrifice of Israel was—
The sacrifice of the Day of Atonement:
- Yet it was only valid for 1 year…
- it could not take away sin!
- It merely covered it.
- The atonement covered sin for the year until the sacrifice was due again…
- In that sense, it was a reminder of sin!
Hebrews says of Jesus, “But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself:” (Hebrews 9:26). Consequently, no more sacrifice is needed for sin.
The RESULT: Romans 5:1,2, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made Him who knew no sin [that is Jesus], to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him…”
Paul had in mind the OT sacrifices! The animal sacrificed was identified with the sin of the person who sacrificed it. Therefore, when Jesus was sacrificed on the cross, He was identified with our sin.
This is a very profound exchange.
God made Jesus to be sin with our sinfulness so that, in return, we might be made righteous with His righteousness. What a gift.
We will never attain RIGHTEOUSNESS by trying to be good! There is only one way for us to apprehend the righteousness of God: BY FAITH!