|Topical Bible Study||August 1961|
God’s Plan for Man—Lesson IV
The Savior and Salvation
WHEN Jesus was born an angel announced that he was to be the Savior. (Luke 2:11) God’s plan of salvation for the dying race called for the sacrifice of a perfect human life as a substitute for the forfeited life of the perfect man, Adam. But every member of the adamic race was fallen and imperfect so that none could be a redeemer and savior.—Rom. 3:10; Ps. 49:7
God’s abounding love for the fallen human race prompted him to send his own beloved Son into the world that he might be the Savior. (John 3:16; I John 4:14) In order to provide salvation from death, it was necessary for Jesus to become a man, which was accomplished by his being born of a human mother. (Heb. 2:9,14) Jesus willingly laid down his life to provide salvation for the condemned and dying race.—John 6:51
Jesus loved the world of mankind, and not only gave his life that the people might live, but also endured much suffering and affliction. (Isa. 53:3-7) To realize what Jesus suffered for us should bring forth our love and devotion to him and to his Heavenly Father, who gave him to be our Redeemer and Savior.
The Bible uses the word “ransom” to describe what was accomplished for us by the death of Jesus. (I Tim. 2:5,6) The word ransom as used in the Bible with respect to the divine plan of redemption means a corresponding price. The perfect man Jesus became a substitute in death for the perfect man Adam who forfeited his life through disobedience to divine law.
The Bible declares that the penalty for sin is death, but that God has made provision for eternal life through the gift of his beloved Son to be the Redeemer and Savior. (Rom. 6:23) This means that in God’s due time every member of the adamic race will have an opportunity to accept the provision of God’s love, and thereby be rescued from death.—I Cor. 15:22
God’s gift of life through Christ is available only through belief and obedience. However, one must be made acquainted with this provision of life in order to believe. (Rom. 10:14,15) The vast majority of mankind have died without having received the true knowledge of Christ; but this does not mean that they will not yet have an opportunity to believe on him and obtain salvation, for they are to be “saved,” or awakened from death for this purpose.—I Tim. 2:3-6
The Bible tells us concerning that future time of blessing for the people that then the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth, and that all will know the Lord and unitedly serve him.—Isa. 11:9; Zeph. 3:9
Those who now believe on Christ and devote themselves to the doing of God’s will, receive life upon the basis of faith. (John 5:24) These are no longer alienated from God because of adamic condemnation, but through faith are at one with him.—Rom. 5:1; 8:1
The Bible describes the relationship of dedicated believers to God at the present time as “justification to life.” (Rom. 5:18) This standing of life is upon the basis of faith, and will be translated into reality in the resurrection.
Many know that the Bible speaks of salvation, and of Jesus as being the Savior, but what do these expressions mean? How many of the following questions can you answer?
How alone could salvation for the dying race be accomplished?
Why was it necessary for Jesus to be born into the world as a human in order to be the Savior?
How do we know that Jesus, as well as his Heavenly Father, loved the fallen and dying race?
What is the meaning of the word “ransom” as used in the Bible?
How widespread will be the result of the “ransom” provided by the death of Jesus?
What provision has been made by God for all of Adam’s race to have an opportunity to benefit from the ransom?
Do believers now receive life through Christ?
“The Atonement Between God and Man,” page 417, par. 2 to page 420.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
Jesus became the Savior of the world by giving his life as a ransom for the forfeited life of father Adam.