In October 1987 in Midland, Texas, a child named Jessica McClure fell down
an eight-inch well shaft and was trapped twenty-two feet below the earth’s
surface. For fifty-eight long hours the entire nation followed the attempts
to save her. The question was how to save little Jessica. The correct plan was
formulated. For hours rescue and drilling experts carefully dug a tunnel parallel
to the well shaft and then across to intersect near the child. Finally, one
of the workers was able to reach Jessica and bring her to safety.
I now turn to those events which led to man's spiritual fall from God and to the great plan which He devised to save man from his sins. God provided the plan which each of us is privileged and obligated to obey for redemption.
The Sin of Man
If Adam and Eve had continued to obey God's law, they would have lived happily forever. But Satan, the enemy of God and the father of all evil (Job 1:6-12; Mark 4:15), convinced them through lies to break God's commandment of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree (Genesis 3; John 8:44). Thus, sin, which is the violation of God's law (1 John 3:4), was introduced into the world, and with it came punishment and death. One may ask, "Why did God, who loved man, allow him the freedom to sin and why did He give Satan the opportunity to tempt them?" The answer lies in the nature of genuine obedience. Only if man were free to choose to obey God would his obedience be worthwhile, and only if he could choose to disobey, would he really be free in his choice? Likewise, to keep Satan, the origin of evil, away from man would also in effect prevent him from choosing to obey.
The Horror of Sin
Our age, like many others in history, tends to minimize the significance of sin. Adultery, dishonesty, profanity and other sins against God and man are excused, ignored or even laughed at. The Bible teaches that sin is horrible and that it is the worst problem man will ever have. Paul, in Romans 7:13 discussed just how "exceedingly sinful" sin is and also its destructive nature.
The degradation of man is a demonstration of how bad sin is. Romans 1 contains an account of just how vile and depraved man became. Paul describes how men and women fell into the practice of homosexuality, as well as other sins, until finally God let them go their own corrupt ways (Romans 1:28-32).
The ultimate demonstration of the horror of sin was the divine price that had to be paid to save man from it. The Prince of heaven, the sinless Son of God Himself, had to come to earth, and as the Lamb of God, suffer humiliation and the excruciating pain of death on the cross to pay the price for us who were still in our sins (Romans 5:6-8).
God's Plan for Saving Man
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:14-17). "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement" (Romans 5:8-11).
Left to himself, man could not have escaped eternal damnation. But God's love and grace provided a way of salvation from the consequences of sin (John 3:16). God pronounced the penalty of death on man for sin. Because God is perfectly just (Psalm 89:14), His justice could not allow Him to forgive man without the penalty being paid. But if God Himself, in the person of His Son, consented to pay the penalty in man's place, then justice would be
served; sin could be erased, and man could be saved. No one could then question God's justice; rather His love and mercy would be demonstrated in an unparalleled way. In the most sacrificial act of love that ever would be shown, God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die in man's place (Romans 5:8-10).
Listed below is God's plan for saving man. Please study each verse carefully. First, Jesus promised to build His church Matthew 16:18. Secondly, we find His church had its beginning in Acts 2. Now, God's plan for salvation: (1) One must hear (John 5:24; Romans 10:17). (2) One must believe (John 8:24; Romans 10:9-10). (3) One must repent (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38). (4) One must confess Christ
(Matthew 10:32; Acts 8:37). (5) One must be baptized for the remission of his/her sins (Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 3:21). At this point one is saved and the Lord will add the saved to His church (Acts 2:47). One must also remain faithful (1 Corinthians 15:58; Revelation 2:10).
By Jimmy Young
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