SALV-1 - God's Plan for Salvation
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Introduction by narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And now,
The Bible says “God wants all men to be saved and come to a
knowledge of the truth,” 1 Timothy 2:4.
We welcome you today to The Gospel of Christ program. In this
series of lessons, we're going to be discussing the great subject of
salvation. And friend, how good it is to know that the God of heaven wants
all men to be saved! 2 Peter 3:9 the Bible says that ‘The Lord is not slow
concerning His promises, as some men count slowness, but He's long
suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but all should come
to a knowledge of the truth.’ God wants everybody to be saved. Jesus has
delayed or is slow in His coming in that God wants to give all men time to
repent. And so today, we're going to think about God's plan for salvation.
Let's then think about God's plan for salvation. The scripture says, in
Titus 1:2, of Christians that they are ‘living in hope of eternal life, which
God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.’ Salvation began in the
mind of God before the world was created, before the first second on the
clock of time ticked; God had already formulated and made a plan of
salvation to save mankind.
Listen to the words of 2 Timothy 1:9. “Of God, who has saved us and
called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to
His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before
time began but has now been revealed by the appearing of our savior
Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to
light through the gospel.” God set that plan in motion before time began,
and it is now revealed in the Lord and savior Jesus Christ. And friend, as
you think about God's plan to save man, God's plan to save me and you,
that plan is motivated, what brings that plan out in the mind of God and the
heart of God is His love for each and every one of us.
Why does God want to save man? Because the God of heaven is
love, 1 John 4:8. That love is so beautifully illustrated in the scriptures.
When you think about God's love, think about passages like these. 1 John
3:1 John says ‘behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon
us that we can be called children of God.’ What a privilege it is to be taken
from being in sin and a child of the devil and become a child of God. What
caused that? The love of God. Think about the beautiful verse of John 3:16.
“God so loved the world He gave.” Gave what? “His only begotten son, that
whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” You
think of passages like Romans 8:39. ‘Nothing can separate us from the
love of God in Christ Jesus.’ And then, you think about God's plan directly
connected to that love. ‘While we were still without strength, in due time,’ or
as some versions say, ‘at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For
scarcely for a righteous man one die, yet perhaps for a good man someone
might dare to die. ‘But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,’ Romans 5:6-8. It's that love
of God that motivates God to want to send His son and to save man from
sin. Listen to the words of 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. “The love of Christ
compels us, because we judge thus, that if one died for all, then all died.
And He died for all that they who live should no longer live for themselves
but live for Him who died for them and rose again.” That that love is what
ought to motivate Christians. It should motivate people to become children
When I think about God's plan of salvation in heaven from eternity
and the magnitude and the wonder of that plan, I can't help but think of 2
Corinthians 8:9. Paul said it this way. Listen to these beautiful words. “You
know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; though he was rich, yet for your
sakes, he became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich.”
Look at God's plan. Look at what Christ did. Look at what He left and all
that He faced and suffered. Why did He do that? So that one day we could
live in heaven with God.
Now, as we think today about this plan and about the unfolding of that
plan that's motivated by God's great love, let's realize that this plan is very
clearly illustrated for us in the sacrificial death of God's son for our sins.
How did the plan of God begin to unfold? What's directly related and
connected to that plan?
Friend, we can't separate the fact that God sent His son to be the
sacrifice for our sins from God's eternal plan for man. Think about what
Jesus gave up, but you also have to think about what He sacrificed here on
this Earth so that we could have the hope of heaven. Do you remember 1
Peter 2:24? The Bible says, “Christ, he himself, bore our sins in his own
body that we, having died to sin, might live for righteousness, by whose
stripes we are healed.” Referencing back, no doubt, to Isaiah 53:4, he was
bruised for our iniquities. ‘The chastisement for our peace was upon him.’
‘By his stripes we are healed.’ What made salvation available? Friend, the
sacrifice of Jesus is key and integral to that great sacrifice or to that great
plan of salvation. If Jesus had not left heaven, if he'd not come to this
Earth, if he hadn't went to the cross and died for each one of us, there'd be
When you think about these words, we have to understand how God
put that plan into action of His own free will. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that
we know God's salvation. We know His sacrifice and that though He gave
up so much. He was willing to do that for each and every one of us to be
saved. And so we see, although Christ committed no sin of Himself, He
made Him (God made Christ) who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf.
There's the idea. God loved each and every one of us so much that He
sent His son to be the offering for our sin.
As John saw Jesus approaching, he's in the area of Galilee, Judea,
he sees Jesus approaching, here's the first thought that comes to John's
mind: “Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
We're not redeemed by corruptible things, like silver and gold, from the
aimless conduct handed down by tradition from our fathers- but with the
precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without spot and blemish, he was
foreordained before the foundations of the world but was manifest in these
last times for us,” 1 Peter 1:18-20.
When you think about that great sacrifice, and you think about the
plan of God, think about Jesus as an integral part in that plan. Think about
what He suffered for each one of us. Take your mind back to Calvary, to
Golgotha, to the trial, and to the crucifixion. He was mocked, beaten, and
spit upon. They brought that whip across the back of Jesus numerous
times. They struck Him on the head that had a crown of thorns on it with a
reed. They said, "If you're the son of God, call down angels." As it were,
"Come down from the cross." His hands and His feet were nailed to a cruel
cross, and He hung suspended between heaven and Earth for me and you.
Friend, that's the love of God. That's the plan of God in the salvation, and
the sacrifice of Jesus that makes salvation available. Jesus tasted death for
every man, Hebrews 2:9. He is the propitiation, the atoning sacrifice for our
sins but not for our alone- for the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2:1-2.
As we think about God's plan from eternity for salvation, I want you to
think about the wonder and the splendor, the beauty of forgiveness that is
related to that plan. What makes this plan of Jesus' sacrifice so wonderful
and so great? Friend, because of His sacrifice, every sin, every word that
I've spoken that wasn't right, every deed that I've done that I know I
shouldn't have done, every thought that has entered my mind that was not
according to the will of God-every one of those-the Bible teaches, can be
It's that sin that separates man from God, Isaiah 59:1-2. “The Lord's
ear's not heavy that it cannot hear His arm's not shortened that He cannot
save.” What's the problem, then? “Your sins and your iniquities have
separated you from your God.” What is it that's going to remove sin and
make it possible? Obedience to the gospel and the sacrifice of Jesus
promises us we can be forgiven of our sins. I love the words of Psalm
103:10-12. The Bible says the ‘Lord's not dealt with us according to our
sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.’ If I have obeyed the
gospel, if I've submitted to God's plan then, I've not got what I deserved for
sin. ‘If you, oh Lord, were to mark iniquities, who could stand?’ Listen to
this, though- ‘But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared’
Psalm 130:4-5. God says in Hebrews 8:12-13, "I'll be merciful to their sins
and their lawless deeds I'll remember no more." Micah said ‘God will cast
all our sins into the depths of the sea,’ Micah 7:18-19.
Let me remind you of it in this way. From the words of Jesus, as you
think about the beauty and the splendor of forgiveness, think about Jesus
as he institutes the Lord's Supper. In Matthew 26:28, Jesus took that fruit of
the vine and He said to His disciples, "Do this in remembrance of me," and
he said, "This is my blood of the new covenant, shed for many for the
forgiveness, for the removal of sins." Peter stands up with the 11 for the
very first time, preaches the good news of Jesus Christ. "Therefore, let all
the house of Israel know assuredly God has made this Jesus, whom you
crucified, both Lord and Christ,” Acts 2:36. They realized the sin problem
and they cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" And here's the
answer. Listen to the beauty of it. "Repent and be baptized, every one of
you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."
Thank God that a plan has been made. Jesus is the sacrifice that was
made and by obedience to God's plan of salvation. I can be forgiven of
every sin that I might have committed.
We also see in God's plan of salvation from eternity. That plan has
been revealed to us in the words of the Bible. How would I know about
Christ? How would I know about His great sacrifice? How would I know
about the beauty and the wonder of forgiveness that comes from
obedience to the gospel? I'd never know that if it weren't revealed in the
Bible, the words of God. Thank God for His message of salvation that has
been recorded in the words that we have in the Bible. The Bible is not
man's opinions. These are not people 2,000 years ago and their ideas. This
book, the Bible, is the words of God, who created the whole world. That's
what the Bible says. 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 says ‘all scripture is given by
inspiration of God, is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God
may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Peter 1:3
says that, according to God's divine power, ‘He has given to us everything
we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him.’
When I read the Bible, when I study God's word, it has everything I
need to be saved. When Matthew wrote or when John wrote or when Isaiah
wrote or when Paul wrote, they weren't writing their own ideas or thoughts.
They were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Listen to a couple of
passages with me. 2 Peter 1:19-21 the Bible says, ‘Holy men of God spoke
as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.’ It wasn't of their own origin. The
Holy Spirit of God was the force behind these men. When they spoke or
wrote, what they spoke and wrote down was the word of God. Now, I know
that's the case. 1 Corinthians 14:37 says Paul said ‘if any man thinks
himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge the things that I
write to you,’ listen to this now, Paul said, ‘the things that I write to you,
these are the commandments of God.’ It wasn’t Paul’s ideas. These are
commandments of God. The Bible is not of human invention, human origin,
or human ideas. These are the words of almighty God.
And friend, the Bible is truth. It's all truth that we need on matters of
salvation. Jesus prayed to the father in John 17:17, "Sanctify them by your
truth. Your word is truth." Jesus had already told us the importance of truth
in John 8:32. "You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free."
And friends, Psalm 119:160 says ‘the entirety of God's word is truth.’ It's
the word of God that makes it possible for us to be saved. ‘I'm not ashamed
of the Gospel of Christ,’ Paul said. Why not? ‘It's the power of God unto
salvation.’ James, the half-brother of the Lord, told Christians to ‘receive
with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls,’ 1
Peter 1:25. We're born again by the word of God, which lives and abides
forever. That's the power and efficacy of the mighty word that we have
recorded in the Bible. As you think about God's divine plan of salvation, it's
integral to see the sacrifice of Jesus is key to that being available. That
sacrifice offers man the forgiveness of every sin he's committed by
obedience to the gospel, and that message of Jesus and forgiveness is
recorded for every one of us right here in the Bible.
But friend, here's the good news as well: This sacrifice, the
forgiveness of sins, God's plan of salvation being recorded in the Bible- if I
will submit to that, if I will obey it and if I will live my life by the word of God
every day, now friend, God's eternal plan of salvation assures every person
that they can live in heaven with God for eternity.
I want you to think about some of the beautiful passages that
illustrate the reward of a Christian life. Matthew 25:46 Jesus said, "The
righteous will go away into eternal life." Don't you want to live with God?
Don't you want to be in heaven one day with the saints of old? Wouldn’t
you love to be free from the sin, the heartache, and the pain that we face
today? When you think about the beauty of heaven, Jesus illustrated it in
Matthew 6:9. Jesus taught His followers to pray ‘our father who art in
heaven.’ What makes heaven great? God. The father's in heaven. If God's
in heaven and God is our father, how wonderful that's going to be!
I'm reminded of the promise Jesus made to His disciples in John
14:1. Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God,
believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions. Were it not
so, I would have told you." And then he said this. "I go to prepare a place
for you and if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, receive you
to myself that where I am, there you may be also." Where did Jesus go? He
went to the right hand of the father. Hebrews 1:4 and 5, and Jesus says,
"I'm going to come again," known as the second coming of Christ, 1
Thessalonians 4:13-18. When He comes again, He's going to receive the
kingdom to the father, 1 Corinthians 15:24-26. I have that promise of living
with God in heaven for all eternity.
I love the words of Hebrews 4:9. “There remains therefore a rest for
the people of God.” As you think about God's plan, what does that plan
require of each one of us? As I think about the great sacrifice that was
made, the marvelous love of God, how every sin can be forgiven and I think
about the word of God and living in heaven, what does God require of each
person to do what's right in his sight?
Well friend, the Bible teaches that we must obey our God. We must
submit to and obey what God teaches us in his word. John 14:15 Jesus
said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." If I don't do what God
says, then friend, we say this as kindly and lovingly as we know how, if
you're not doing what Christ says and you're not doing what God says and
you're not following the Bible, you don't love God. Not the way Jesus said.
John 15:14, Jesus said, "You're my friends if you do whatever I ask." Think
about the words of Christ in Matthew 7:21. Jesus said, "It's not everybody
that looks up into heaven and says, 'Lord, Lord,' that's going there but he
who does the will of my father in heaven."
To be pleasing to God and to respond properly to the eternal plan of
God of salvation, I've got to do what God says. Jesus asked this question
to the hypocrites and to the religious elite of his day. "Why do you call me
'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" Can I call Jesus my
Lord and then not follow what he asks or do what he says? No, that's a
misunderstanding of what Lord means. If Jesus is our Lord, Acts 2:36 that
means we recognize He's the master. We recognize He's the one over us.
And if that's the case, then I must submit to and follow the teaching of
Jesus Christ. This is why the Bible says, in Hebrews 5:8-9, that ‘Jesus is
the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.’
We ask you today as you think about, in your own heart and in your
own mind, as you think about God's eternal plan to save mankind, we ask
you kindly to think about whether you have obeyed the words of the Bible,
the commands of Jesus and the voice of God.
What must a person do to obey God's eternal plan of salvation? The
Bible doesn't make it difficult. I've got to hear the message of salvation.
‘Faith comes by hearing.’ That word faith is kind of the idea of belief or
trust. ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,’ Romans
10:17. Without hearing, there can be no faith. Hearing is essential. Once
I've heard the message, am I willing to believe in Jesus? In Acts chapter
eight, when Philip is teaching the Ethiopian eunuch the gospel, Acts 8:34-
38, they come to certain water, and he's been teaching about Christ. “Here
is water. What hinders me from being baptized? If you believe with all your
heart, you may.” Do you believe that Jesus is God's son? Would you be
willing to repent, turn from sin and turn to God? Jesus said in Luke 13:3,
"Unless you repent, you'll all likewise perish." Would you confess the name
of Jesus before men? Romans 10:10 says ‘with the heart one believes unto
righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ Then
just as they did, the very first time the gospel is preached, would you be
baptized to be saved and in order to have your sins washed away?
There are a lot of people who teach that you're saved and then you're
baptized later. That's not what Jesus said and it's not what Peter said.
Jesus said in Mark 16:16, "He that believes and is baptized will be saved.
He that does not believe shall be condemned." Peter, on the very first
sermon, on Pentecost said, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins."
Have you obeyed the gospel? Have you become a child of God? We
want you to know today that God wants you to be saved, 1 Timothy 2:4. He
wants you to come to a knowledge of His truth and live with Him in heaven
for all eternity.
God's made salvation available. He has done His part and made that
available for everybody. I have to respond properly in obedience to the
gospel. God loves you; we love you and want nothing more from you than
for you to go to heaven.
That's our motivation today. We're talking about, we're thinking about,
we're setting out before us what the Bible says on salvation, because we
love men and women's souls, and we want you to go to heaven.
If you've never obeyed the gospel, we urge you to do that. Your soul
is the most important possession you have. Accept God's offer of salvation,
and obey the gospel while you have time and opportunity.
Study Questions for:
“Salvation: Lesson 1”
1. According to 1 Timothy 2:4, what does God want?
2. According to 2 Peter 3:9, why is God long-suffering?
3. According to Titus 1:2, what are Christians living in hope of?
4. According to 2 Timothy 1:9, who abolished death?
5. According to 1 John 4:8, what is God?
6. According to 1 Peter 2:24, who bore our sins?
7. According to Hebrews 2:9, what did Jesus do for every man?
8. According to Isaiah 59:1-2, what separates man from God?
9. What does Psalm 103:10-12 say about how God deals with us?
10. According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, where does the scripture come from?