SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST

SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST

Mankind was created by God and is accountable to Him. God created men and women for fellowship and blessing. They were His highest creation. He created a perfect earth on which they were to rule and serve Him. There was no pain, sickness, or death and a perfect environment. But mankind rebelled against his Creator and fell from his high position and became a sinner and alienated Himself from his God and pain, sickness and death came into the world.

This is why Scripture says “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). And

“For there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom.3: 22-23).

The problem is not only the outward sins that we commit, but the inward source of these sins: mankind’s heart is sinful and by nature are alienated from God.

God is holy and righteous and cannot excuse sin. Mankind takes a light view of sin and refers to it as mere human weakness, but God declares that it is an abomination. We excuse our sins but God condemns them to an eternal hell. All the sorrow, tragedy, heartache and shame of human history are summed up in that one little word—- “SIN!”.

Some tell us that God is too good to judge sinners, but the truth is God is too good NOT to judge sin. It is His very goodness that condemns mankind. While God loves us He cannot deny His own holiness.

There was a judge during the civil war whose son was brought before him for treason. The judge came down from the bench and hugged and kissed his son, he wept and told him he loved him, and then returned to his judges bench and sentenced him to death.

A judge who allows criminals to go free is not a good man. His actions would not be commendable but an outrage. It is not corrupt judges that criminals fear but honest judges. It is justice that they fear, getting what they deserve and all mankind are declared criminals by a holy and just God.

While God’s holiness demands judgment for sin, His love longs for the sinner to return to Him, and without this judgment cannot be averted.

Like that judge during the civil war, God says He loves us, and then goes back to the judges bench and pronounces judgment upon all mankind. He has no choice as a Holy God but to condemn sin.

But unlike that civil war judge, after passing sentence God stepped down from His Judges Bench and He Himself took this punishment upon Himself in the sinner’s place. He did this in the person of His Son Jesus Christ.

In order to do this God had to take upon Himself humanity. This is the message of the Gospel. In John 1:1-3 we read:

“In the beginning was the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made”.

The “Word” here refers to Jesus Christ. Here the veil is pulled back to show His true identity. Then in John 1:14 we are told how He took upon Himself humanity in order to represent mankind:

“The Word was made flesh and lived for a while among us”.

Then Hebrews 2:14-17 goes on to tell us:

“Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who were all their lives held in slavery by their fear of death.

For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people”.

I Peter 2:24 tells how He made atonement for sin: “He Himself bore our sins in His body”.

Romans 4:25 says: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification”.

Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

I John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down His own life for us”.

And I John 4:9-10: “this is how god showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”.

And Jesus last words from the cross were: “It is finished” (John 19:30). His mission to redeem mankind was finished. The price for mankind’s sin was paid in full, and now God could receive sinners freely and give them eternal life through Jesus Christ.

 

Salvation can never be earned but is simply accepted freely by the sinner who turns from His sins and trusts in Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. The way to heaven is through Christ alone: He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

We receive Christ through faith by trusting Him for salvation.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph.2:8-9).

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Jesus did everything for us and all we have to do is receive Him. Salvation is a free gift and is ours for the taking by simply trusting in Jesus. It is now up to you. Jesus said: “You refuse come to Me to have life” (John 5:40).

Do you feel your need for Christ but are not sure how to receive Him? WANTING to receive Him is the main thing. Receiving Him is turning from you sins and simply choosing Him. How can you know that He will receive you? Because He says so:

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away”.

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IS GOD THE AUTHOR OF SIN?

No, God is not the Author of sin, yes God is sovereign, and yes man has free will.

God is sovereign while granting mankind free will. While God could dictate all human events that will take place, He chooses not to. The reason for this should be obvious. God did not create mankind as robots, but as free individuals. God’s sovereignty means that God can do whatever He wants to. He is all powerful, and all knowing and His purposes cannot be overcome.

However, God is also love and His purpose is that mankind has free will to love Him or reject Him. To say that God’s sovereignty means that whatever happens is God’s will makes God partaker of our sins, and this is impossible! Why? Because God’s holiness prevents this! God cannot go against His own nature.

God’s nature is love and the love He wants in return is genuine not like a action figure who string He pulls and the dolls says “I love you daddy”. Of course mankind’s freedom is necessary for the real love that God wants. And while giving us genuine freedom to love Him He must allow us NOT to love Him. To truly be able to respond to His love we must be able to NOT respond to His love.

Love that is forced is not truly love. Love can only be voluntary not forced. God does not break our stubborn will by sheer raw power, but by love! Mankind has free choice and God has not surrendered His sovereignty. His sovereign plan takes into account our fee will.

Some teach that if mankind has to so much as believe (rather than being                                                                                         sovereignly forced to believe) then he is contributing to his salvation. But that’s like saying that if a man gives a beggar money and the beggar holds out his hand to receive the free gift, that the beggar earned the money!

But there is no merit in believing in Christ. Believing in Christ is simply the hand that receives to free gift from God. Christ went to the cross to purchase our salvation, for which He gets all the glory, but which we are responsible to receive.

QUESTION: IS IT WRONG TO HAVE TATOOS?

That would, of course, depend on the tattoo. A well placed tattoo saying “mom” or “Jesus” or “America” ETC. would be appropriate. Of course if you are a Christian then the rule of thumb would be I Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body”.

And I Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.

If we make these two verses rules for our lives we will not go wrong.

“HOW DID NOAH FIT THE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF SPECIES ON THIS PLANET INTO HIS ARK”?

First of all, experts in this area say there are no more than 18,000 species. How big was the ark? The dimensions given are 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. To calculate this we must know the length of a cubit. The cubit was of varying lengths in the ancient world. But to be safe we will take the shortest cubit, which was 17.5 inches. In which case the ark would have been 438 feet long and 72.9 feet wide and 43.8 feet high.

It had three platforms or decks, 10 cubits high that were to be divided into rooms or stalls (“nests” in the Hebrew,) meaning each stall was to be the appropriate size for each animal to inhabit.

The holding capacity of the ark was about 1, 400, 000 cubit feet, which is equal to the holding capacity of 522 standard boxcars for livestock as used on modern American railroads. The average animal is about the size of a sheep. Large animals such as dinosaurs and elephants and other very large animals would have been young and much smaller. 240 sheep can be transported comfortably in one stock car; 125, 000 sheep could have been carried on the ark.

It was to be made waterproof by covering it with pitch inside and outside.

The window or opening was to be one cubit from the roof running all around the circumference of the ark for light and ventilation and for gathering rainwater for drinking and washing.

As the flood neared, God sent the animals to the ark: “Noah was six hundred years old when the flood waters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his son’s wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah”.

At the proper time God brought the animals to Noah and Noah placed them in the ark in their proper places. And as a built in protection against extreme weather and other severe climate changes God gave animals the ability to hibernate, thereby suspending all bodily functions, and pass winter in confined areas.