Continued from previous post: The Fall of Man
So the story of redemption and sacrifice begins, and it is repeated throughout the Word of God, culminating in the coming of Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf. We discover through the Bible that a person relationship
with God is not dependent on good works that we do, or on church membership, or even on living a highly moral life. Rather, God’s amazing grace is the fountain through which redemption flow to us.
Separated from God by sin and guilt, we all face two primary spiritual needs. First, we need to be restored to fellowship with God. We are truly before God, and somehow we must find forgiveness .We must face the problem of our sin, and there is no answer to this need within ourselves. The only answer is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Second, we need power to change our lives. Our sin reveals the spiritual depravity of our heart – the selfishness, the lust, the greed, the pride, and the anger that are so destructive. “The heart,” God say, “is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). If we are going to be changed, something must be done in our hearts to turn our lives around. Jesus taught that “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom” (John 3:3). Only the blood of Jesus can take away the guilty of our sin, and only the Holy Spirit can come into our heart and make us new people.
REDEMPTION THROUGH CHRIST
Redemption often involves the concept of purchasing something back that has been lost, by the payment of a ransom. It can mean a deliverance from some sort of confinement; such is the case with the deliverance of the children of Israel from their bondage to slavery in Egypt (Exodus 14:29-30; 15:2).
There are many passage in the New Testament that represent Christ’s sufferings as a ransom or price , and the result secured is a purchase or redemption (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Galatians 3:13; 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1;14; 1 timothy 2: 5-6; Titus 2:14 ; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9). The idea running through all these text is that of a payment made for our redemption. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin and redeemed us.
The penalty for sin and rebellion is death; Jesus stepped in and laid down His life and took the penalty we deserve. The debt against us is not viewed as simply cancelled but as fully paid. Both the Old and New Testament proclaim salvation as an accomplished fact. Christ’s blood or life, which he surrendered for us, is the ‘’ransom’’ by which we are freed form sin. “Blood’’ is mentioned 460 times in the Bible. Fourteen time in the New Testament, Jesus spoke of His blood. Why? Because by the shedding of His blood on the cross, He accomplished the salvation of everyone who believes.
THE EXTRAORDINARY GOOD NEWS OF ETERNAL LIFE
The Gospel of John tells the redemption story of what Jesus Christ did on our behalf. Summarizing His Gospel, John says, “these are written so that you way believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name’’ (20:31). Read on as we examine what the apostle John has to say in his Gospel about the eternal life we receive through Jesus Christ.
THE SON OF GOD
John want to show us who Jesus really is: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the word become flesh and dwelt among us ‘’ (John 1: 1, 14). Jesus, during His life on earth, was God in human form! And just in case John’s introduction isn’t clear enough, a few sentences later he quotes John the Baptist, who says, ‘’I have seen and have borne witness that this is the son God ‘’ (1: 34). Throughout the book, John give evidences of Jesus’ deity – that Jesus performed many miracles (2:1-11; 4:46-54; 5:1-17; 6: 1-13, 16-21; 9:1-7; 11:38 -44), and that he fulfilled prophecies written about Him centuries before (2:13-22; 3:14; 5:46; 12:14-16).
But why would Jesus, who is God, leave heaven to live on earth as a human? Jesus himself tells us why: “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16- 17). God saw us we were, dead in our sin. That’s why Jesus came. God is a forgiving God whose love and patience call all to repent of their sins.
WHY DO WE NEED TO BE SAVED?
So why do we need to be saved? Jesus said, “Truly, truly, l say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). If we are honest with ourselves, we cannot deny that from the moment of our birth we have done wrong things – things that make us guilty before God and deserver of His judgment. The Bible calls these wrong things sin, and sin separates us from God. And because we are separated from God, we face the awful prospect of “the wrath of God” (3:36), which is eternal.
JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY
Can anyone save us from God’s wrath and assure us of heaven? Some people believe they can get to heaven by doing good works, or by following the teaching of a religion, or even by giving money to church or charities. But Jesus clearly said that none of things would save us: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6). He did not say that He simply knew the way to heaven; Jesus said He is the only way to heaven. No human effort can give us eternal life. Christ, and Christ alone, is the one and only Redeemer.
In fact, the only “work” that can save us is the “work” of believing in what Jesus has done to accomplish our salvation: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29). And to those who so believe, the promise of God stands firm: “…to all who did received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (1:12).
To be continued in the next post: How Does Jesus Save Us?