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Salvation:- 4 ( 1 | 2 | 3 )


By Nelson Thomas, Mumbai


 We have seen already that most people on the earth do long for a salvation. But their concept or ideology is different. They do know that they need to be saved, but no clear picture of the basic reason or the method. In fact in Christ’s time the pagan world was desperately seeking for peace and security in the midst of uncertainty of life and even the terror of death. It was this search that resulted in various religions.

        But the word of God sets forth a complete picture of salvation. We have considered a panoramic view of the doctrine of salvation revealed both in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.

        The Bible reveals the basic need of man and the kind of salvation he is in need of. His need is not just salvation from enemy or disease. His need is spiritual salvation and internal change. That’s what Christ offers through His work of salvation.

What is the need for such a salvation? -- HE IS IN DANGER.

        The Bible very clearly says that as far as His spiritual life is concerned, man is in a dangerous condition. He may not be aware of it. Even he / she may not feel much about this perilous state. Notice that often a patient is not aware of some of the serious sicknesses he is having in his body. Experts may notice it from certain symptoms. A thorough investigation alone will reveal the true state of his health.

        Similarly we may feel good in the normal sense but close examination will show certain symptoms. Bible not only refers to the symptoms of man’s dangerous spiritual state but it reveals the true estate of man as well.

1. Indwelling sin nature in man. Romans 6:12; 7:17—20

        Sin reigns in the mortal body of man. He finds himself in the bondage of sin, for he is not able to do the good he wants to do. It seems there is a different force working within that empowers him to do that which his conscience hates to do. This is sin nature that we got from our forefathers. Bible says that it was by one – Adam – sin entered in to man kind and it has spread to all. Cf. Romans 5:12

Fact or fiction
        But alas, modern man finds it convenient to deny the existence of sin. Some even if agree, make light of it saying, ‘it is not that much evil’, ‘it’s a habit’, ‘weakness’, ‘hereditary’, or ‘the result of circumstances’ etc. Some would even say sin as an art!

To deny sin is to deny many facts and evidences:-
        • Scriptural statement
        • Religious belief
        • Our own failures
        • Present day crimes
        • Precautions that man takes: like using of locks, police protection etc.

        The truth is that whether man denies or agrees it’s a fact that man is a sinner. Sin rules the heart of man and he is reaping the consequences of this indwelling sin nature in his every day life. Man may take sin lightly but God takes it very seriously, He knows well that sin is destructive not only for man’s present life, even life beyond death.

The entrance
        The origin of sin could also be taken as one of the mysteries. Cf. Dt 25:29. We see sin or its manifestation first of all in Satan. Cf. Isa 14:12—14; Ezek28:11—19; Jude v. 6
From Satan sin entered in to man and thus all became sinners. Cf. Gen 3:1—6; Rom 5:12.
Today we inherit sin through birth, as we all posses the nature of Adam who sinned against God. Cf. Psa 51:5. Rom 7:17—21.

        That means one is not a sinner because he has committed a certain sin. He is a sinner primarily because he is born in Adam’s race. Sin is primarily a nature with which we are born.

        That’s why we don’t need to teach our children to commit sin. In spite of all our effort to teach them the right path, they do deviate somewhere because of the indwelling sin nature, inherited from forefathers. It is in their blood.

        So this is the most serious state of man. He is a sinner by birth. Sin rules in his heart. That is the number one problem man is facing today. This leads to further terrifying situations in life as mentioned below:

2. Away from God. Gen 3:8; Isaiah 59:2

        Sin separates man from God. With a sinful heart man can never approach a holy God. We see it in the Garden of Eden, though God made man to live with him and enjoy His presence, the moment he disobeyed God, he fled from God’s presence. Gen 3:8, 9.

        Bible compares this state of man to a lost sheep. Isaiah 53:6; 1Peter 2:25. Notice how helpless and weak is a sheep, they need a shepherd, till then they are in danger. This is the condition of man; he is away from His shepherd. One wandered from God and others followed Him.


         As a sheep wanders away from the shepherd we lost our way and there is no way to come back to God by ourselves. In Luke chapter 15 the Lord refers to the lost state of man with three illustrations. Cf. Luke 15: 9, 10, 24.

        The prodigal son was lost as long as he was away from the Father’s home. The sheep was lost as long as he/she was away from the true shepherd. And the coin was lost as long as the owner does not possess it and fail to make use of it. All these are true of man.

Man is away from the Father’s house in difficulty and danger.
        • Emotionally, physically and socially weak & exploited.
        • Spiritually sick.
        • Straying, losing sight of God.
        • Some wandered very far from God. Cf.Luk 15:6; Jn 10:11, 14, 15.

        This is one of the major results of sin. He is away from God and unable to find any assistance or blessing from the creator, goes to the eternal damnation, without any hope. Cf. Rom 3:10 – 18. Ephesians 2:12, 13. Man needs salvation from this dangerous situation.

3. Inability to understand the things of God. Rom 1:21, 22; 1Cori 2:14

        Another fall out of sin is the darkened state of man’s intelligence. True, man is wise and he has accomplished much in every field. Yet consider the true state of man, with all his technological expertise he is unable to answer a lot of questions satisfactorily. He is still ignorant of number issues, especially the moral, spiritual aspects of man.

        Though he knows and wishes for a pure, right and peaceful life, fails miserably. He is not able to control his fallen nature. He may know values and principles but fail to practice it. Cf. Rom 7:15—19; 22—25. He finds a conflict between his mind and conduct.

Corrupt mind
        Apostle Paul gives the reason. Cf. Ro 1:21, 22; 1Cori 2:14. Man’s intelligence is corrupt and darkened. He has no capability to know God and the things of God. For him divine things are foolishness.

        Notice that it doesn’t mean man is totally unaware of God and His laws. He does. But man is opposed to God, does not appreciate the things of God. He mind is so corrupt that he can not appreciate, enjoy or discern the things of God. He is opposed to God and His purposes. Cf. Rom 8:6, 7.

Hostile mind
        The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God. Cf. Gal 5:20; Eph 2:14—16; Jam 4:4. The mind of the flesh is essentially proud, selfish, competitive, self-assertive and arrogant. It is a spirit of active opposition to others and God.

        It is from such reprobate and corrupt mind man needs deliverance. More than the wisdom of this world he needs the wisdom of God. He needs the light of God shown in to his darkened heart so that he can see things properly. That makes salvation very important and essential.

4. Lost the life of God. Eph 2:1, 2. Colo 2:13

        Bible presents the condition of man as dead in sins and trespasses. This is something many find very hard to comprehend. How can man who is very much alive be called as ‘dead’?
In the Garden of Eden God warned Adam about this death. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they did not die physically, but died spiritually. That is, they lost the divine life, the ability to relate with God. Gen 2:17; 3:7

        If man is just lost as a sheep, since we are more intelligent than sheep we could make some effort to come back. If there is only an intellectual blackout, with some special course of action we could hope for some improvement. But the condition of man is more serious because he is dead; there is no hope of improvement or repairing. The only hope is God’s own intervention.

        Remember, though man is dead spiritually, he is not without a spiritual component. Every man has a spirit part. He is not just a brute animal. In another word His spirit part is darkened, lost the life, connection. So man is dead to God, holiness etc but alive to uncleanness. No resources to be connected to God. Cf. Eph 2:1, 2. How could dead man walk? Devil energizes man to walk in the course of this world.

        To escape the bondage from Devil, and relate with God, he needs the life of God. He must be quickened and brought to a spiritual life again. That’s what salvation through Christ happens to a sinner. This dead state of man makes salvation through Christ very important as well as essential.

5. Awaiting an eternal judgment. Gal 5:19; Hebrews 9:27; Ezek 18:2; Rev 21:8

        The most dangerous state of man is that he is heading towards an everlasting separation from God. Slowly but surely, every one will end up in the eternal hellfire after judgment. Bible emphatically says, that it has been appointed unto man once to die and then after judgment. Cf. Gal 5:19; Heb 9:27. Revelation 20:11—15.

        As there is no opportunity for correction after death, it is while we are alive we need to consider the ways to escape this punishment for sin. Yes, no body is worried; just we are not worried about our sure physical death!

        It is from such horrifying circumstances man needs salvation. As we contemplate on the real and natural condition man is in, no wonder he is willing to do any thing to obtain salvation. That’s why Hebrew writer refers to the salvation through Christ as ‘so great salvation’.

God’s evaluation, not of man

        Of course many may not acknowledge this unfortunate state of man. In the eyes of man every thing may be bright. Even if man is aware of the truth that not every thing is well with him, proud man is not willing to attribute it to his sin or his need of divine help.

        But remember, the word of God presents the evaluation of God not of man. It was God who looked down from heaven and saw the fallen state of man and took the initiative to save him from destruction. Ps 53:2; John 3:16. And we have to stand before Him one day to give an account of our life. That’s why it is wisdom to heed His voice and acknowledge our true condition and seek the remedy.
So, man needs salvation because of these five reasons:-

i. Indwelling sin and its consequences. (He is a sinner)
ii. He lost divine presence. (He is lost)
iii. He lost the ability to understand the things of God. (He is blind)
iv. He lost the very life of God. (He is dead)
v. He will have to stand before the judgment (He is guilty)

        We can definitely elaborate the dangerous state of man in more ways. The basic issue is his sin. All the other things are the consequences of it. Due to sin he lost the glory of God, fellowship with God, lost his freedom. He is under bondage. Much of the mental, physical disorder is due to sin. He is guilty and condemned. He is dead spiritually and facing physical death and eternal death as well.

         If he fails to be saved while living on earth, he will be lost forever. (cf. Rom 3:19—23. Isa 59:2; 1Cor 5:4, 5; Colo 1:13; Eph 2:1; Roma 5:12; Ezk 18:2; Reve 21:8; Luke 16:19—31. ) Yes, sin leads to all kinds of lose. Man needs deliverance from such loses.




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