Understanding God's Plan for Salvation: A Scriptural Guide

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God's Plan for Salvation

Author: Apostle Kelvin Franklin

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This lesson was first published July 20, 1990 and was entitled "God's Plan for Salvation".  Copyright 1998 KC Enterprises.  All rights reserved.  No part of this lesson may be reproduced or published without written permission of the authors.  Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, King James Version.

1. Introduction

     It is important that we understand the precepts upon which the organizations that we belong to and that we associate with are built. If don't gain an understanding of them, we will surely become ineffective participants. We may find ourselves unknowingly supporting views that we oppose; we will not know our rights and privileges. We may unknowingly commit an act that will force us to be dissociated from the group.

     Many people join organizations not knowing its full scope or intent. They find themselves as part of an organization that leads them down the wrong pathways of life. Many people buy things without reading the "fine print" only to realize that the item they bought will not accomplish the intended purpose.

     Christianity must be understood by those who are a part of Christ. If not, we cannot become effective witnesses. We will struggle through life without knowing the power that is available to help us overcome all things.

     The sad fact is that if we don't take the time to fully understand Christianity, we may find we have not really met God's requirements when our time comes to stand before the judgment seat of God.

     Let's take a look at God's plan for salvation. I shall attempt to let this study go in-depth while at the same time keeping the message and outline very basic in nature.

Here we go with the first point.

2.  Man was Created Perfect

     26. And God said, LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
     27. So GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE, in the image of God created he him, MALE AND FEMALE CREATED HE THEM.
     31. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, IT WAS VERY GOOD. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

     Man was created in the image of God. He was without sin. Everything that God created in the beginning was perfect and without sin. Even satan was created perfect (EZEKIEL 28:12-18.)

3.  Adam's Sin Caused All Men to be Sinners

     16.  And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
     17.  But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
     6.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband, and he did eat. (Also verses 10-14)
     21. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
     22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 CORINTHIANS 15:45-47)
     12. Wherefore, AS BY ONE MAN SIN ENTERED INTO THE WORLD, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
     13. (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
     14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgressions, who is the figure of him that was to come.

     God created Adam as a prefect being. His body, soul, and spirit were clean before God (1 THESSALONIANS 5:23.) God's only command was that he not eat of the tree of knowledge. Adam went against God's law when he ate of the tree of knowledge. In doing this, Adam sinned.

     Adam's sin caused all men to fall under the penalty of sin which is death. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness and restoration into right standing with God.

     In order to really understand this fact, we must first understand what sin is and what it does in our lives.

4.  What is Sin?

SIN: an offence against religious or moral law, an action that is or felt to be highly reprehensible, TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW OF GOD, a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1983)
BIBLE DEFINITION:   1 JOHN 3:4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW.

     This definition and scripture should give us an understanding of what sin is. Anytime we go against God's law, we are committing a sin. We can sin through omission (omitting to follows God commands) or commission (committing an act that violates God's command.) Let's look at this idea a little farther.

A.  The Law Introduced us to Sin

     19.  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator
     20.  Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
     21.  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
     22.  But the scripture hath concluded us all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
     23.  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
     24.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
     25.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
     7.   What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

     The law taught us about sin. It shows us how far we have fallen from God's rules. Yes, he has rules and we must abide by them. Anytime we fail to adhere to one of God's rules we are committing a sin. Through the word of God we see just how sinful we really are.

     Now that we know a little more about sin, it is even more important to understand the results of sin.

B.  Sin Separates us from God

     1.  Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
     2.  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Ref Scriptures PROVERB 15:29; 28:9, ST JOHN 9:31, ISAIAH 1:15-18, 2 CHRONICLES 7:14)

     From these scriptures you can see that sin separates us from God. God is holy and no sin can abide in His presence. God refuses to hear us when we are living in sin. At the moment that we decide to repent of our sins and do right, God starts to listen to our prayers.

     Since the word iniquity came up in our key scripture, let's define this word also.     

C.  What is Iniquity

INIQUITY: gross injustice: WICKEDNESS 2: an iniquitous act or thing: SIN. (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1983)

D.  Sin Causes Death

     16.  And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
     17.  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
     23.  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
     12.  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
     13.  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted he any man:
     14.  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
     15.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death
     16.  Do not err, my beloved brethren.
     4.  Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Review the entire 18 Chapter)
     12.  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,
     13.  (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
     14.  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.)

     Sin causes death. If Adam had not sinned, he would have been able to live forever. God told him that in the day that he ate of the tree he would surely die. When he ate of the tree he died spiritually and also set in motion the elements that would cause physical death. The whole world was set on a course for destruction (ISAIAH 24:17-23.)

 5.  Sacrifice of Animals Instituted for Sins

     19.  For when Moses had spoken every precept to all people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
     20.  Saying, this is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
     21.  Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
     22.  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission .

     Since man was now living in sin and separated from God, God decided to institute a means whereby man could be restored to a right relationship with him.

     Through the shedding of blood, there is remission (the act of releasing from the guilt or penalty of) of sins. This is why the shed blood of Jesus is so important as we will discuss later. God uses this principle of shedding blood to restore us.

6.  Animal Sacrifices Could Not Pay the Price for Sin

     1.  For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
     2.  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
     3.  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year
     4.  For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
     8.  Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offering and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
     11.  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

     God first used the blood of animals to atone for our sins, but as we see in our text scriptures, this was not perfect and only served to bring us to Jesus. In many eastern religions and occults they still use the practice of sacrificing animals as a means of appeasing their false gods.

     The blood of animals was not sufficient to erase away our sins. God had to devise a more perfect way. Also, we can see how everything in the scriptures points us to Jesus. We can see Jesus in everything that is written because he is the Word (ST JOHN 1:1-14, HEBREWS 10:7.) The law was only a shadow of things to come. It served to point man to Jesus.

7.  Jesus, the Perfect Sacrifice, Paid the Price for Sin

     5.  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared for me:
     6.  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
     7.  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
     8.  Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offering and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
     9.  Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
     10. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
    11.  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
     12. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
     13.  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
     14.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Jesus, the Lamb: REVELATIONS 5:6; 13:8)

     Jesus became the perfect sacrifice. He died for us once and is now set down at the right hand of God. God prepared him a body and he came to the world and died on the cross, a perfect sacrifice. We are now sanctified through the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. This was God's plan all alone as Jesus is the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world (REVELATIONS 13:8.)

 A.  Jesus' Blood

     28.  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins

     Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, our sins can now be remitted and forgiven. This replaced the blood of animals.

B.  Jesus' Death gave us Victory over Sin

     53.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
     54.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the sayings that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
     55.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
     56.  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
     57.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

     Death came through Adam's disobedience to God's word. Through Jesus Christ we now have victory. Jesus took the sting and pain out of death for each Christian. Have you ever noticed how the scriptures portray the death of all Christians with the reference of falling asleep? Since Jesus rose from death, we know that one day we will rise from the dead (sleep) unto everlasting life (1 CORINTHIANS, chapter 15.)

8. The Actual Steps to Salvation

I will attempt in this section to summarize critical elements in the salvation process.

8.1. We Must Acknowledge and Repent of Our Sins

     1. In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
     2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
    6. And were baptized of him (John the Baptist) in Jordan, confessing their sins. (ACTS 2:38)
     18. I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, (NOTE: THIS IS THE STORY OF THE PRODIGAL SON)
1 JOHN 1:
     9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

     From these scriptures we can see the importance of confessing our sins. When the people came to be baptized of John in the wilderness, they confessed their sins. In the parable of the prodigal son, he acknowledged his sin before his father. In 1 JOHN 1:9, we can see that if we confess our sins, that God will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

REPENT: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life, to feel regret or contrition, to change ones mind (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Edition, Copyright 1983).

     We must still repent today. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)


8.2. We Must Confess and Believe that Jesus is Lord

     10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
     11. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
     12. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

     We should publicly acknowledge that Jesus Christ has become our saviour. Why publicly? Jesus says that if we are ashamed of him before men, that he would be ashamed of us when He comes in his Glory (ST MARK 8:38.)

     We must believe in our hearts. To believe in our hearts means to believe with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We must totally give ourselves to God.

8.3.  We Must Be Born Again

     3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
     5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water (baptism) and of the Spirit, HE CANNOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
    6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,
     7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.

     God makes it very clear in these scriptures that we MUST be born again. We MUST be born of the water and of his Spirit. Let's look at these two areas separately.

8.4  We Must Be Born of the Water: Baptized

     13. Then COMETH JESUS from Galilee to Jordan unto John TO BE BAPTIZED OF HIM.
     14. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
     15. And Jesus answering said unto him, SUFFER IT TO BE SO NOW: FOR THUS IT BECOMETH US TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS. Then he suffered him.
     16. And Jesus, WHEN HE WAS BAPTIZED, went up straightway out of the water:...........
ST MARK 16:    
     16. He that BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTIZED SHALL BE SAVED; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
ST MATTHEW 28:    
     19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
ST JOHN 3:    
     5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
ACTS 2:    
     38. The Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

     In these scriptures, I pray that you can see the importance of baptism. Peter was part of what I call the new testament church. He brought all of Jesus' idea into a practical everyday application. When the people wanted to be saved, Peter told them to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.

     Jesus is our example. HE HUMBLED HIMSELF TO BE BAPTIZED THAT HE MIGHT FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS. We must follow his example. We are the new testament church of today.

8.5  We Must Be Born of His Spirit

     15. If ye love me, keep my commandments
     16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
     17. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
     18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
     19. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
     20. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

     Jesus' promise is that he will not leave us comfortless. If we love him and keep his commandments, his promise is that he will come and dwell in us in the presence of the Holy Spirit (Ghost.) In other words, when we truly makeup our minds to serve Jesus and make him lord of our lives, at that point, he comes and takes up residency in us. He quickens us and makes us alive. He makes us a new creature.

     17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are past away; behold, all things are become new.

     Before, when we tried to live good, we had no power over sin. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, it gives us the power to overcome sin and be a faithful witness for Jesus (ACTS 1:8.) Now we can and must live a victorious life.

     1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
     2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
     3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
     4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.
     8. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
     9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
     10. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
     11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
     12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
     13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (change) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
     14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

     Let's attempt to highlight a few of the points from these scriptures:

     The righteousness of Jesus is fulfilled only in those who walk in the Spirit and not after the flesh.

     Paul was asking them to be sure that the Spirit of God dwelled in them in the 9th verse. He also makes it very clear that if they (we) don't have the Spirit of God, they were (we are) none of his.

     He spoke to them as christians, yet, letting them know that if they live after the flesh, they would die. We have many who profess to be a Christian but they live after the flesh. If they don't change, they will also die. However, if we use the power given to us by the Spirit to mortify (change) the deeds of the body (our actions) we shall live (have eternal life.)

     Only those who are led by the Spirit of God are the true Sons of God.

8.6  We are Saved by Faith (our Belief in Jesus)

     8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
     9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.

     I cannot emphasize this point enough. We are not saved by our works. We are saved by our faith in Jesus and God. However, true faith will produce fruits and good works: GALATIANS 5:22-24, JAMES 2. OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. OUR FAITH IS IN JESUS CHRIST.


8.7  We Must Live Holy

     11. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
     12. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
     13. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
     14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
     15. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled (1 Corinthians 3:16-17;)
     16. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
     17. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

     Paul spent quite a few words in his letters (epistles) chastising christians for not walking in the way of truth after it has been revealed. Here he points out that we must follow holiness (without spot or blemish) if we are going to see the Lord and enter his kingdom. Look at how Esau sold his birthright for one morsel of bread. When we accept Jesus we are born into the kingdom, and heaven becomes our birthright. Look at how he was never able to regain it after it was lost.

     The godly type of faith requires action on the part of the believer. We cannot make excuses for not following God's word.

8.8  We must Endure until the End

     If we are going to be saved, we must be completely dedicated to Jesus: ST MATTHEW 16:24-28. We must be willing to lay down our life for him.

     22. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
     13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
     26. I (Paul) therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
     27. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

     In order to assure our salvation, we must hold fast our faith unto the end: HEBREWS 10:35-39. The scriptures say in many places that he that believeth shall be saved. The ending of "th" implies that we must continue in our faith until this life is completed. Paul says that he must keep under his body (exercise self-control) lest that after he had preached to others, he would find himself a castaway.

End of Section 1.  Click here for Section 2.

Copyright 1998 KC Enterprises.  All rights reserved.  No part of this lesson may be reproduced or published without written permission of the authors.   Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, King James Version.

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