Saturday, October 27, 2012

Due to extenuating circumstances there will be no audio this week.  However, here is the script, for your convenience.

   Salvation: The Only Solution

 ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life’ ” (John 3:16, NKJV).

The Title of our lesson implies that there is a problem that requires a solution.  As we know that problem is Sin.  Now, if the solution is Salvation, then that means that we are enslaved, kidnapped, dying, and/or lost.  Something established in our previous lesson.

Our memory verse is at the heart of a discourse that Jesus spoke to one Nicodemus, who came to Jesus to inquire more about Jesus’ teachings.  This is the passage were Jesus starts speaking about being born again, what it means and how it is possible.  Jesus tells Nicodemus that yes there is a problem, and to solve it men must radically change.  Here is another problem: man cannot do it by himself.  So, God sent His Son, Jesus to do it.  This is what our verse indicates.  But, let’s read the verse in context.  Christ in this passage reveals the dynamics of Salvation.  We will start as John 3: 14,

Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 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.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Elsewhere Jesus said that Scriptures give testimony of Him.  So, that at some event described in the Old Testament give us an insight into the character and way in which God works, in fact into the life of Christ.  The children of Israel are being attacked and killed by serpents.  Moses implores for mercy.  God tells Moses to build a brazen artifact: a serpent on a pole.  It will be that when men are bitten, if they look art the serpent they will live.  Some say this is do and live.  But when we ask, how did they know to look.  We realize that they must have heard and believed.  This is what Jesus is referring to in verses 14 and 15.  With this illustration Jesus was referring to His crucifixion.  We know this because in another occasion Jesus spoke of being lifted up and it clarified that it referred to how Jesus would die. 

Christ saved the world, which means all men are saved in Christ.  It is final.  But, not all men believe it.  God in Christ has given to men the solution – the cure – but many men reject it.  This is what Paul says in Romans 5 and Ephesians.  Let us read a few key verses,

Romans 5:6-10
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Romans 5:16
16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

Romans 5:18
8 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

Ephesians 1:7
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 2:4-5
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Ephesians 2:8
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Our salvation is in, through and with Christ.  Salvation is gift to man.  It is complete and sufficient.  And, whosoever continually believes with heartfelt appreciation and a contrite humbled heart shall not die eternally but have eternal life.  This is what Abraham believed, and it was counted to Him for righteousness.  Will you believe?