Update– February 2nd, 2021 – Added some edits, paragraphs, and scripture.
Previously written July 6th, 2017
Most Christians have a vague, basic idea of what salvation is. People who are curious about the Bible may as well. But I want you, as a reader, and possible believer, to fully understand the depth of what salvation means, why it is crucial not only for us, but why it was needed in the first place. And also, the requirements are steeper in both mind and heart, than what many may originally believe.
The Beginning – Why Salvation Is Needed
God created the Heavens and the Earth, plants, animals, and later mankind. All was good. However, God wasn’t like other gods. In all of His glory in making mankind, He allowed one option, most creators, rulers, and even basic authority would not allow.
The freedom of self-will.
The ability to be able to turn our back on the One who wants nothing more but good things for us.
The choice to sin.
It didn’t have to be an apple, I don’t think. Humanity simply needed something to represent a door to darkness. Without that door, the option to choose wouldn’t exist.
Sin was not something Satan created. Sin existed when Lucifer fell.
Sin is anything that goes against the will of God. Sin rejects God’s authority and His will.
With Eve and Adam, they were tempted with becoming wise, knowing good and evil. The fruit appealed to the sight, and the tree itself looked desirable. These are all parts of the lust of the flesh, the eyes, the stomach, and the mind. Temptation is not a sin, but temptation can lead to us falling in sin. Before sin, Adam and Eve felt no shame. They knew no evil. (Genesis Ch.3)
Now, after partaking of the fruit, they experienced shame for the first time. Sin opened their eyes to their nakedness. Sin leads to death. Sin, though pleasurable, always results in pain. The fruit was pleasing, but it was short-lived. Now, shame and fear filled the hearts of Adam and Eve. They hid when God entered the garden.
Now, evil would forever place itself within the core of the Earth and God’s people.
Sin Requires Sacrifice
The first consequence of sin was the death of humanity. Not immediately, but humans, at one time, were not destined to die (this is why our soul is immortal). But the choice of sin is death, and humans became mortals because of that choice.
This is where the term original sin comes from. Adam’s sin falls on every single human because the human race started with Adam and Eve. Therefore, everyone born after would be corrupted in the flesh (no one can live for eternity in this body) and condemned in sin. (Romans 5:12, John 3:18)
Another consequence was that mankind would toil and have hardship in life. Women would have labor pains in childbirth. Life, in general, would not be made easy. Such is the consequence of darkness. Anxiety, depression, self-judgment, and more brokenness floods humanity because our unity with the Lord was broken.
Sin breaks trust in God. It makes us want to focus on ourselves and our own wants. We desire to do what we think is best, such was the temptation of Adam and Eve. To, essentially, be like God.
Sin is addicting, debilitating, and chains us to where we feel we cannot break free.
If not fixed, our soul will be sacrificed to the consuming fire of sin, and eventually, we will never be free.
This isn’t meant to scare you or convict you, but our selfish heart needs to be aware. There is a cost, consequence, and penalty that needs to be paid for the choice of sin in our life. We are already condemned in sin. We are blemished. How do we cleanse what is tainted?
Sacrifice was needed.
After Adam and Eve, animals that were considered pure were sacrificed not only for individuals who sinned but ENTIRE communities that sinned!
It became about following rules upon rules, and sacrifices to the smallest detail.
And if you’ve been watching how we, as humans, are with laws and rules, you won’t be surprised to know, we failed horribly.
(NIV) Ecclesiastes 7:20, “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.”
We turned to other gods and idols. We focused more on the fine print, but not the on the Hand that wrote them. We didn’t give God the attention and focus He deserved. The Law was there to condemn us, to show us that no one was perfect.
Very early on, prophets began to prophesy of a Lamb. Someone was coming to be a King of kings, Lord of all Lords. There was nothing mankind could ever give to amend the cost of sin. Even in Genesis, long before these prophecies, God told Eve that from her bloodline One would crush the serpent’s head. All of this pointed to Jesus coming in the flesh. He took on our humanity to do what no other could do.
God intervened because God is the only One who could unite us back to Him.
Jesus Came To Set The Captives Free
Jesus Christ came into our world as a babe. He grew up as a child of God to become a man of God and then proclaimed by God Almighty to be the Son of God. Jesus is the First and the Last. Jesus Christ is God! (Revelation 1:17-18)
He loved. He healed. He prepared the way. He was tempted, just as we are, and He prevailed! All paths we walk, Christ has walked ahead, and He chooses rightly. He knows the struggles of our heart. (Hebrews 4:15)
Through Jesus Christ dying on the cross, when He was completely innocent, He was the first human sacrifice the people of God would ever sacrifice. He was the only One we ever truly needed.
(ESV) Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed”
Salvation is the deliverance of sin through our Savior Jesus Christ. He was without blemish, without any fault. He died being innocent against accusations. If we do not have Christ we will die because the accusations against us will be completely true.
Jesus Christ’s sacrifice means He took our place and bore the punishment of God’s wrath for us. All who put their faith in Him will be saved. He redeemed us. We are guilty, right now, for those who have not put their faith in Jesus. When we face the Judge, we will be condemned because we are condemned already. But Jesus, completely innocent, as the High Priest, has stood in front of the sinner, and offered (noticed past time) Himself up as the perfect sacrifice for our sins once and for all. It is finished! He resurrected and His resurrection is our justification. We are justified by Christ imputing His righteousness to us. (Romans 5:08-09, John 3:18, Romans 3:22)
If you are interested in learning more and what it means to follow Christ for the rest of your life, check out these 2 posts.
- Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)
- I Used To Believe In The Sinner’s Prayer…I Do Not Anymore…
What Does Salvation Mean To You?
Monthly Scripture – (NLT) 1 Timothy 1:19, “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their conscience and as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.”
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