God’s Plan of Salvation
The entire Bible, from cover to cover, is about God’s salvation for mankind. Among the history given is a demonstration of God’s love for those who follow Him. However, there are two basic conditions we must clarify to move further in a discussion on salvation. This salvation first requires that there is a God who eternally exists and is the creator of all else. The alternative, however ridiculous it may seem, is that there is an eternal object or energy force that decided to create mankind and the infinitely complex world around us. The Bible, of course, states the first possibility and makes your own personal creation clear in the book of Psalms.
“…you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13
The second requirement is that mankind has something from which he must be saved. The Bible defines this enslavement as sin.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23
Though a world view of sin focuses more on the big sins: murder, adultery and theft, the Bible describes the problem as a sin nature that all mankind is born into. It’s not just staying away from the big sins that will please God, it is accepting the only provided punishment for the sin nature that brings on these wrong thoughts, words and actions both big and small.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
All the world inherits sin from the first sin of Adam and Eve. We don’t become sinners by making wrong choices, we’re born that way.
“…just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
Go ahead, try to think of one person you know who has never done anything wrong, even by their own standards, in anything they have said, thought or done. Not just big wrongs, any wrong. All mankind is guilty, even from the wrongs nobody else knows about.
God has had a solution for this sin problem from clear back to that first sin in the Garden of Eden. The solution was a sacrifice of life in our place. Throughout the Old Testament the sacrifices were of animals–ones without a defect of any kind. They were a cover over man’s sin, not a removal of it. This requirement of God throughout the Old Testament was a picture only of the sacrifice that Jesus, the one perfect Lamb of God, would make on behalf of His people. Upon seeing Jesus, John the Baptist declared,
“…Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
There is one of Scripture’s great pictures in Num 21:8. God’s people are rebelling against God and Moses for taking them out of Egypt and through the barren desert. God sends a punishment of poisonous snakes among the people. But, with the snakes, He also provides salvation.
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.'” Numbers 21:8
This picture is repeated in the Gospel of John in the New Testament. A solution is given to everyone “bitten” by the curse of the sin nature.
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man [Jesus] must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him .” John 3:14,15
The word “believe” here is much more than an intellectual acknowledgement. It is entrusting your spiritual well-being–your eternal destiny–to Jesus Christ. In the account of Moses and the rebellious people in the desert, if you were bitten by the snakes and didn’t look to the bronze snake, you didn’t live. And today, if you don’t place your trust in Jesus’ punishment and payment for your sin on that cross, then you alone will be taking on the punishment for your sin for all eternity. But…
“…he [God] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
If you have not yet placed your trust in the death of Jesus on that Roman cross as payment for your sin, now is the time to make that decision.
“…I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
Confession is by its nature a difficult step. But God’s call to the one who has not yet taken it is to confess their sins–to tell God what He already knows.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them…” Psalm 32:2
Imagine leaving this earth and entering all eternity with all sin erased from your record. A slate cleared of sin is the only entrance into God’s kingdom.
“ Nothing impure will ever enter it [heaven], nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27
Your name can be written in that book today through faith in Jesus. The punishment for your sin will be transfered from you to Jesus. His death on the cross two thousand years ago will have been for you.
Jesus’ call: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20
If the prompting in your heart right now is to place your trust in Jesus for your salvation, then you can pray a prayer like this as an expression of faith in what Jesus has done for you.
Lord Jesus, Thank you for loving me and giving me the life you have given me. I admit that I am a sinner and that sin must be punished. Thank you for taking the punishment that I deserved for my sin. Please forgive my sin, come into my life, and be my Savior. Help me to be the kind of person You want me to be.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer as the desire of your heart, then you have begun the great adventure of the Christian life. Learn more about the work of God in your life at the moment of your salvation. A most important step for you to take now is finding a good Bible teaching church. God has created His church so that one member will help another member grow in their Christian life–have a ministry to one another. Learning about Jesus is the foundation of the life He has given you. Begin Lesson One today—Who is Jesus Christ? You won’t even need a Bible to do the lesson.