If by one man sin and death can enter the world, then by one man's obedience life can be restored.
This is the basis and justification for the plan of salvation.
After the fall in the Garden of Eden, God promised a deliver who would "bruise the head of the serpent and in turn would be bruised in his heel".
Four thousand years later, Christ was crucified and gave us back the right to live with God.
But while Adam made us inherit his death sentence. Christ can only give us back life by a free choice from us.
We must ask to receive it. It is a gift, not a birth right.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". John 3: 16
Salvation By Faith Alone
- Salvation is through faith alone. Believe that God has forgiven you with the one sacrifice of Christ, and that He will change you through the work of the Holy Spirit.
- The Bible only as the rule of life. If there appears to be any contradiction, this is the order
of precedence for guidance:
- What God Himself wrote in the past
- What God said in the past
- The words of Jesus
- The words of the respected ancient prophets
- The words of the twelve apostles
- Any other messages must not contradict the written words of God.
|The Failure Of Works|
| Not Capable ||Not Enough|
| Getting to Heaven through our own efforts will lead to failure.
The standard is too high for us to reach. The price is too high for us to pay.
The disabled cannot jump over a hurdle that is 1500 miles high.
The poor cannot buy a city of gold.
Sin has made you a poor, disabled slave.
- There is no human representative of God on earth.
- Pray to God for forgiveness of sin. There is no need to punish yourself. You are forgiven.
- Nothing that you do will earn salvation. You begin to do good and love the good because of
the success of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Law, Works, Faith And Grace
Everyone who attempts to explain this gets into trouble.
So let me say from the start ... there is nothing you can do to get into heaven, except trusting in God.
What you eventually do - your "works", and the changed characteristics you exhibit ... your "fruits"
are all the work of the Holy Spirit Who is changing you.
Therefore, if you are becoming the person God wants you to be, you will eventually do good things - it is now your nature to do so.
You cannot do otherwise. Anything less is foreign to your new nature.
Now, this is where the trouble begins.
Other human beings will try to make preliminary judgments by focusing on your works and your fruits, but they have no right to do so
because you are still a "work in progress" just like they are.
In some aspects they are right. They should expect one who seems to have been a faithful Christian for twenty
years to not rob banks, sell drugs, take drugs or commit adultery.
However, we would be more understanding of a newly converted drug addict.
But because they focus on this outward evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit, it is sometimes hard
to separate the concept of works from justification by faith alone.
We expect to see good behavior and we want to see good behavior.
We are human. We cannot examine your motives, so we will examine your behavior.
Christianity is the only religion that teaches righteousness through a gift or an act of God - not on our deeds.
It is true that many branches of Christianity teach that we must do something to earn our salvation, to avoid punishment or to lessen punishment.
So, before we answer that, let us see how these concepts are related?
The Law functions as a teacher or a guide book, it tells us what the rules are so that we can know that we have done something wrong.
But it has no power to make us clean again. If we use the analogy of a mirror and a dirty face then the law is the mirror, it lets us see our dirty faces but it cannot clean us.
The only thing that the law can say is that we need to have our faces washed.
The law can only condemn, it cannot save.
| The Function Of A Mirror |
| You are Dirty|| I Cannot Clean You|
|The mirror shows you that your face is dirty.
But you cannot clean your face by rubbing it on the mirror. You need something else.
It is God who can make us clean if we come to Him.
Is it logical for God to say we are clean by abolishing the law?
If we break the mirror, do we suddenly become clean?
Of course not!
The law has a purpose.
If we did whatever we wanted to do, eventually the result of this will be chaos and pain.
Even if we did not have a law to define and condemn chaos and pain, we would experience its effect.
Therefore, it is not the presence or absence of a law that creates evil.
The law is a wise system that defines evil.
But that is all it can do.
It does not create evil by defining it.
There is an ugly rumor which claims that grace takes us out of the jurisdiction of the law so that we do not have to obey the law.
May It Never Be!
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
(Romans 6: 14-15)
This same twisted logic claims that when Christ came to fulfill the law, He kept the law for us so that we do not have to keep it.
However, Christ says that He came to establish the law which shall abide forever.
The Eternal Nature Of The Law.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
(Matthew 5: 17-18)
Jesus did not save us from the wages of sin so that we can continue to sin.
Neither did Christ demonstrate the eternal nature of the law so that we can abandon it with scorn for eternity.
Christ came to demonstrate the fact that under certain conditions, the descendants of Adam and Eve can keep the law and become good citizens of a larger society of the perfect, law-abiding citizens of the universe.
Grace is simply a stay of the death penalty so that God can demonstrate His claims and institute His process of rehabilitation called the Plan of Salvation.
Grace is God's kindness to us. He was wronged but He is willing to extend forgiveness and reconciliation to us.
He made the sacrifice needed for us to find our way back to life.
The law is powerless to clean up the sinner and it was also powerless to save an innocent life.
Christ died and He was not a sinner.
Now the law has a dilemma.
The problem is not just simply sin - then eternal death, because under the law an innocent died, Jesus Christ.
So the law is inadequate to determine all phases of justice.
What to do? Trust the judgment of the one Whose law was violated, and abide by the decision of the one Who lived among sinners and was unjustly killed.
Their decision was to wipe the slate clean and start over. He would cleanse us by writing the law in our hearts, making it part of us just as it is a part of Him.
Forgiveness became a partner with the sterile law. Why?
Because the law giver is not only law abiding, He is also loving and merciful.
- Power To Sustain. Grace is God's supernatural power to help us keep our faith and to not be discouraged or to give up under severe trials.
Grace helps us to understand that God is in control so that we have the determination to continue with confidence that God will overcome.
Grace is as a result of the blessings.
If Satan acted to bring us under the curse of the law, then God can also act to bring us under the blessings of the law.
He began the process by coming to live among us so that He could break the yoke of sin.
God With Us!
Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you.
I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.
(Leviticus 23: 11-13)
Grace is not a license to sin for ever. Grace is a blessing under which God suspends the curse until He can make a case to defend us in the universal court.
- Reconciliation With The Law. We are either slaves of the law (slaves of righteousness) or slaves of sin. There is no other choice and there is no middle ground.
So Grace cannot ignore or denegrade the claims and purpose of the law.
Grace suspends the penalty in the law of curses to give us the time to gain the power and strength to conform to the law.
Grace also guarantees that when we have been changed to love the law, then our past sins will be forgiven and forgotten.
It even guarantees that if justice demands a penalty, that God will pay the price Himself.
Often, the results of our sins bring their own punishment to us but many times the sinner never seems to pay for the far reaching result of their sins
Many religious systems teach that we must suffer the penalties, but God does not.
If God can demonstrate that we are and will be righteous forever, then what is the purpose of punishing us for past sins? Why would we care any more?
Salvation is not about punishment, but about rehabilitation.
God is waiting to welcome us, not punish us or smother us in our guilt.
God is waiting for us to respond to the love, not to the fear.
| All Are Equal|
| Jews, Gentiles. Male, female. Black, white. Disabled, healthy. Priest, sinner, saint. Beauty, beast. Genetically engineered, natural. Rich, poor. King, slave. |
Love Brought Grace.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
(1 John 4: 18)
There is nothing to fear except the possibility that we will reject Him.
All Are Equal
If salvation could be bought, then the rich and the healthy would have an advantage.
Grace levels the playing field.
All people are equal because God has first substituted the righteousness of Christ for our sins.
Then He sends His Holy Spirit to make friends with us. This is the essence of the Gospel.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3: 26, 28).
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them ...
we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
(2 Corinthians 5: 19-20).
I beg you, be reconciled to God.
Faith is partly our response. We accept the pardon that God has given us and allow Him to work out His plan of salvation in us.
To do this we must surrender any belief that anything we can do will pay for any of the crimes we have committed.
There will never be any cause for boasting in us because on our own we can do nothing to achieve goodness.
Faith And Logic.
I once answered a question and pointed out the illogical reasoning of the person by showing him contradictions from the bible.
To this he responded, "We cannot go by proof, we must go by faith".
He further said, "if it makes sense then that is how we know that it is not from God".
Faith does not suspend logic. It is God who said.
Come now, let us reason together.
(Isaiah 1: 18)
Faith simply says believe God. This means that we wait until reason gives us an answer.
Sometimes our modern world contradicts God. Years later we find that science was wrong. This means that there was always a reasonable explanation.
We just did not have all the facts when we made our original conclusion.
So faith says when we have such major disconnections in our world view, that we choose to believe God and wait for the explanation.
We do not know how Christ can substitute His death for ours, just believe that it will work.
In the same way, if our beliefs contradict the bible, we cannot choose one side and appeal to faith when logical proof contradicts this.
The bible concepts are in harmony. If there is a contradiction, we choose the view that harmonizes all statements.
As I wrote all these lessons and I was being taught by God, I became impressed with how meticulous, harmonious and scientific God is.
The Bible became as cohesive as any great symphony, and as concrete as a mathematical equation.
I serve a God of laws and reason and order and logic and such detail that I was simply impressed.
Everybody accepts the belief that faith is blind based on this text.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11: 1)
Some even believe that the more irrational and confusing the challenge, is the more evidence that God is involved!
Faith is neither blind, nor irrational nor without evidence.
No one who is asked to have trust in God, does so without any personal or testimonial evidence about the character of God.
When we are asked to exercise faith in unseen things that we hope for, we trust in the unknown future because of the past faithfulness of God that we know from experience or the cloud of witnesses who testify about His character, His power and His love.
He is honest, truthful, trustworthy and rational.
So if God is the basis or guarantor of our faith, there can never be anything blind, irrational, unreasonable or intangible about our expectations.
When scientists exercise the same trust in future expected results which are based on past established knowledge, it is called a theory.
We would never advance in science without making these quantum leaps in "science faith".
We will also advance in all knowledge and in the relationship with God when we genuinely trust Him.
- Noah's Rain. Noah acted on God's request to build a boat to escape the rain that He had never seen, not because they had never seen rain but because the God whom he trusted had proved Himself honest and trustworthy for the past 500 years of his life and the 1600 years since his forefathers spoke about Him.
- Abraham Chooses God. He is the father of the faithful, rejecting the absurdity of idolatry among his people.
In his case faith came because of rational thinking. How can something be god if I carve it out of wood, then use the rest for fire or a tool which I can use to dig up a sewer?
He reasoned that the true God could not be found among the practices of his father and he reached back to the time of his ancestors like Noah and followed that God.
Therefore, he followed God without knowing where he was going.
But it was not a blind stumbling in the darkness from place to place.
He had already chosen this God as the most rational of all beliefs. When his trust was based on Someone so trustworthy, who cares where He will lead me? Who cares if He tells me where I am going? Who cares if He explains every decision with me or submits His plans to me for my approval?
- Abraham and the Resurrection. After he knew for certain that Isaac was the promised child, Abraham did not disobey when God asked him to kill Isaac.
Reasoning from his past experience and the power of God, he found the solution in something he had never seen before.
On his own, he came to the conclusion that God must be able to resurrect the dead, because this is the only way that God could keep His promise.
Through faith, he made a quantum leap in thinking and found that resurrection is not an irrational belief.
- Jesus' Sacrifice. As He was dying and unexpectedly felt abandoned, Jesus trusted that the God Whom He knew was loving, just and fair. Although He did not understand why He was left so utterly alone, He decided to submit to His fate not substituting this temporary setback with the mountain of evidence about God
in His personal experience, God's testimony and the testimony of all the forefathers before Him.
A Rational Faith
So our faith is not about trying to figure out the impossible, or to believe that something impossible is possible.
Faith is trusting what God says even when our wealth of knowledge and understanding is exhausted.
Faith allows us to take the quantum leap between what we believed was possible to what God says He is capable of doing.
So, through faith, we technically do not believe in the impossible and the irrational, we merely broaden our scope of understanding about what is possible when God supports us because we humbly recognize that we know nothing.
- God Has Power. Our powerlessness and inability to understand how God will accomplish a request is not the same as an irrational belief in the impossible. God is the rational constant.
However, we do not simply explain every impossibility by giving God as an answer.
God knows the answer, but the answer is more likey due to the cause of physical forces that we do not understand than miracles that we believe break physical laws.
In fact, miracles probably never break physical laws. But God can affect physical forces in time periods that we cannot control and with power that we can never hope to harness.
If He changes the physical structure of the universe, He still does it by using laws that exist above the laws we do understand.
I have known Him as a God of law and order Who is predictable because He does not break laws.
Since He is predictable and He can make laws, He is trustworthy.
- God Sees. Our faith is never blind, because God can see and He can execute and deliver our hopes.
- Bible (Written Testimony).
Our faith is not without evidence because the Bible testifies about God.
The Bible states that although evil exists, the universe is friendly. The forces of Good are more powerful than the forces of evil and will one day destroy them.
Based on this we have to believe that the forces of Good must have given us some unbiased, objective, uncorrupted record of itself.
Even if the evidence appears imperfect, the preponderance of evidence and the quality of evidence must lead us to a rational conclusion about God.
» Nature (Scientific Testimony). God appeals to science for evidence about Him.
God says that even if we do not have access to the testimony of eyewitnesses, we have access to nature.
In it we can find rational testimony about Him.
Because evidence cannot contradict each other, the biblical evidence cannot contradict the natural evidence.
So this dichotomy that we have between Bible and science is irrational.
One testimony does not contradict the other. Faith is not the opposite of reason.
Given the war between the two camps, how do we reconcile the testimonies?
- Unbiased Science. We do not negate the science by declaring that Satan rigged the evidence or scientists are lying.
Neither do we hang on to "irrational faith" to the point where we believe that if it does not make sense then God is involved.
God is not the author of confusion!
If it does not make sense it is because we are not in possession of all the facts or some of our conclusions are erroneous.
Our faith tells us that the two records do not contradict each other.
Reality tells us that since the scientific evidence is controlled by the declared enemies of God we must be better at science and better at evidence gathering and better at reasoning.
Therefore, it is rational to say that you will wait for the evidence that reconciles both branches of evidence which supports your faith.
Then your faith allows you to stand firm as an object of ridicule for an extended period of time until new evidence justifies your position.
- Rational Bible. We do not reconcile the testimonies by declaring that the Bible is a record of myths and fables or allegories to teach a lesson.
We must believe that the Bible is truthful and rational.
Because I believe that the Bible is truthful and rational and that God was awesome I prayed to God in faith.
I said that God had two problems to solve in this generation.
- Truthful. He must prove that the bible stories are not myths. He can easily do this by reproducing all the miracles of the Bible through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This event is prophesied.
- Scientific. Based purely on faith, I said that it would be awesome if He could show that the Bible has significant and superior knowledge of science.
In December 2008, He began to give me the scientific evidence about the Periodic Table, DNA and particle physics and much more.
- Periodic Table. The bible has an accurate outline of the periodic table of chemistry written by Moses in 1500 BC. Yet modern scientists have only discovered a crude version of this model 1869 and fully understood it by 1914.
- Particle Physics. The bible has a better model of the relationships between the basic particles that construct the universe than the current "Standard Model".
- Rainbow. The bible has a visual and mathematical model of the science behind the rainbow.
- DNA. The Bible demonstrates in detail steps the concept of semiconservative DNA replication.
- Genes. It has a structure of DNA including the structures we call epigenes.
- Interpretation Of The Evidence. We can reconcile the conflict by examining our prejudices.
Because scientists believe that the Bible is irrational, it summarily dismisses everything that the Bible says.
However, when we appear to have a contradiction, we admit that we do not know. We simply submit to faith in God and the truthfulness of the Bible until we have enough evidence to understand and correctly interpret the scientific record.
Sometimes we even have to admit that what we believed about the Bible was based on tradition, but not on the testimony of the Bible.
The church once believed that the earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around it. We even condemned people to death for teaching anything contradictory.
When the truth is that we knew nothing about how the universe was constructed, nor that things revolved around each other. The Bible never addressed these things as far as we could tell.
Yet science and faith became enemies of each other because the faithful were afraid of what all this knowledge meant and scientists were hoping that this means that they could cut themselves free from faith.
Neither approach was scientific, nor rational, nor logical.
- Prophecy. How can we trust that the Bible is the true written testimony and not the other religious writings?
God uses a rational argument when He says that His ability to prophesy is the proof that distinguishes Him from all other false gods.
- Eyewitness Testimony. When we begin to trust the Bible as His word, we begin to listen to 6000 years of written testimony of eyewitnesses and use them to strengthen our reasons to trust God.
Works Versus Fruits
This is the point that causes all the controversy.
On one hand it is fair to say that if God is in the process of writing His law into our hearts and changing us
then we ought to demonstrate this by our works. This is technically true.
As the Holy Spirit works to bring us back to God we soon start to exhibit the "fruits of the Spirit" -
love, patience, kindness, gentleness, meekness, forgiveness, mercy, hope and purity.
These change our value system - our internal desires.
And, from this solid foundation of good motives and values, we do good works. We love our enemies.
We feed the homeless. We obey the law.
| Faith|| Works|
| Fruit|| Famine|
These are called "fruits" instead of "works" since we exhibit them because we have been saved and are being changed by God.
Not in order to be saved by God.
Good works based on an external goal to win the favor God will wither and vanish if there are no incentives to do so.
However, good works based on internal goodness will always bear fruit under any conditions.
Rewarded For Works
It is clear that the Bible teaches that we will be rewarded for our good works.
This has led to many ministries based on salvation by works versus those wo claim that salvation is based on belief alone.
However, there are two different types of works.
- Works Of The Fruit Of The Spirit (Righteousness).
These works are the fruit of the Spirit and they are the natural response of those who are being transformed by the Holy Spirit.
The result of this is obedience to the Ten Commandments based on the law of love.
These works are not rewarded with anything except eternal life.
- Believe And Transform.
A Christian will bear fruit automatically, because it comes from within a transformed life.
A Christian cannot say that God should pay special attention or give credit because he or she is good.
After all, should an apple tree be rewarded for bearing apples instead of lemons?
Should a mother be rewarded for feeding her child instead of starving it?
"Look God see how wonderful I am, I hugged my children today. I deserve some points towards heaven"!
Ridiculous! It should be normal for a Christian to do good works, not abnormal.
"Faith without works is dead". The absence of goodness in your life shows that you are not being led by the Spirit of God.
That is why the Bible calls the law a mirror. It shows you your progress.
The presence of goodness is a cause for celebration of the power of God to transform, not as points to get on God's good side.
- Believe Only. Some teach that we only have to believe in Jesus and we are saved. They claim that works determine our reward in heaven.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
(James 2: 19)
The devils believe and they will be lost because they do not obey and submit.
You can even be forgiven for not believing in Jesus.
It is nonsense to think that a person can believe in Jesus yet still run a criminal empire and he will be welcomed in heaven.
- Judged. God expects us to bear fruit. The absence of the fruit show that we do not have the Spirit who teaches us obedience.
Instead, no fruit indicate that we are of the devil.
Works Of The Devil.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
(1 John 3: 8)
Disobey The Ten Commandments.
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
(Revelation 9: 20)
The works of the Devil are sin, caused by breaking the law. It will lead to death.
- Rewarded. We are rewarded with eternal life if we show the fruit of the Spirit.
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
(Matthew 16: 27)
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
(Revelation 22: 12)
» The Reward Of Blessings (Prosperity Ministry).
The shameful business of prosperity ministries is prevalent among those who think that "believe only" will save us because the Ten Commandments have been abolished.
So it is not surprising to see such merchandizing of the treasures of God.
They have a cheap grace with no acknowledgement of standards, accountability or responsibility, which results in prostituting the blessings of God.
- Works Of The Gifts Of The Spirit (Great Comission).
There are other works we do that are not based on obeying the moral laws.
They are done to accomplish the Great Commission, in response to God's calling.
God responds to this dedication by pouring out more of the gifts of the Spirit.
Some who claim to have the gifts of the Spirit and dedicated their lives to it, will be rejected because of disobeying the Ten Commandments.
Works Without Fruit.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
(Matthew 7: 21-23)
Evidence of the fruit of the Spirit is more important than successfully applying the gifts of the Spirit.
The gifts are temporary but the fruit is eternal.
God gives gifts to grow His kingdom.
You will be rewarded depending on the quality of your work and your dedication.
Some place their treasures in heaven by giving much more of their time and resources to God.
Some people's work was substandard. They gave the minimum. However, they can be saved.
The unfaithful servant never even tried. He will be lost.
Building Material Quality.
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
Quality Assurance Test.
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
(1 Corinthians 3: 9-15)
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
(Matthew 25: 23)
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
(Matthew 25: 30)
This final verse does not teach that the rich will get richer.
It says that when our works are examined, the one who bears fruit will be additionally rewarded with the spoils of those who are lost.
What God planned to give them will be taken away and given to those who did the most.
Winner Takes The Spoils.
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
(Matthew 25: 28-29)
The Scope Of The Plan Of Salvation
In this debate about the plan and what Jesus accomplished, you will often hear critics complain that some people teach that the works of Jesus were not completed on the cross.
When I hear such criticisms I see the argument as a matter of semantics. What does the plan of salvation mean and what does it accomplish?
|Plan Made||The Execution Of The Plan Of Salvation On The Day Of The Lord |
||Sons of God
|Separated||God Reconciled|| Humans Reconciled |
(Day of Atonement)
|Heaven Reconciled||Earth Reconciled|
|Law||Grace||Faith||Creation Being Freed From Corruption|
- Eden ("Plan Made"). After sin, features of the plan were given to the world. We knew that an innocent must be sacrificed when the sacrificial system was introduced.
Christ was offered up from the beginning!
Christ, The Lamb of God. The Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world.
(Revelation 13: 8)
Eve also knew that her child would defeat Satan.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.
(Genesis 3: 15)
- Covenant At Sinai ("Plan Ratified"). The details of the plan were written down and formally given to the earth in the form of the ceremonial laws.
- Crucifixion Of The Lamb Of God ("Spiritual Reconciliation"). Salvation was accomplished at the cross. There is nothing else that God needs to do to reconcile Himself to us.
Some people define only this event as being the Plan of Salvation.
» A Definition Of The Plan Of Salvation.
We define the Plan of Salvation as all the efforts God does to remove all traces of sin from the universe.
In this Great Plan, God reconciles the whole world to Himself. This includes man, the planet, all creation, the seen and unseen worlds.
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was the pivotal event that launched the execution of this plan.
But the plan is not complete. As long as you wake up every morning and there is sickness and death and sin, we must recognize that the Plan is still being unfolded.
» Jesus Paid It All.
On the cross Jesus won back dominion of the earth from Satan, exchanged His life for us, provided the blood which paid the ransom for sin, suffered the curses and wrath of God for us and submitted to the wrath of Satan.
In Gethsemane He provided the blood by which we can come to Him when we sin and the rights of intercession to mediate our requests for forgiveness.
Jesus did everything that He could in Gethsemane and on the cross, the rest of the Plan depends on our response.
» Justification ("Past Forgiven").
In this process Christ reconciles us to God by forgiving all our sins.
- Holy Spirit ("Mental Reconciliation").
However, even though God has opened the door of reconciliation, the fact remains that we choose to remain unreconciled. How does the Plan try to address this problem?
After Christ, God sent the Holy Spirit to be the constant companion who would woo us back to God.
Although we need to respond, God is still proactive in urging us to respond to what He has made available.
Obedient Mind And Heart.
But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord,
I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God and they will be My people.
(Jeremiah 31: 33 and Hebrews 10: 16)
The Holy Spirit transforms our thinking and then our behavior.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Romans 12: 2)
» Sanctification ("Present Change").
The Spirit changes us daily, to conform to the will of God.
- Jesus Our High Priest.
Since the crucifixion humans are still in the business of sinning.
So the crucifixion and the presence of the Holy Spirit has not stopped us from sinning.
If the Plan was completed at the cross and there is nothing else to be done, then why are we sinning and why is Jesus now working as our High Priest in heaven?
We have an indestructible High Priest who is executing the Plan of Salvation on our behalf in heaven. He gives us pardon when we sin and He is working as our advocate or defense in the judgment.
who has become such [a high priest] not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life.
The former priests on the one hand existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing.
But Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.
Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
(Hebrews 7: 16, 23-25)
- Judgment. At some point, the Plan of Salvation must eradicate all traces of sin everywhere and bring total restoration to the creation.
The judgment ensures that God is just and fair as God finally reveals His legal case for removing sin and sinners.
- Second Coming And Millennium ("Physical Reconciliation Of The Sons Of God").
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subject to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope.
That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
(Romans 8: 19-22)
Paul says that the reconciliation of the rest of creation is still in the future. It will be done when the sons of God are revealed.
That happens after the Second Coming when our bodies are redeemed at the rapture and resurrection.
And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
(Romans 8: 23)
So Christ accomplished our spiritual redemption at the cross, because of this our entire body will be redeemed.
But the other phases of redemption are stretched out over a long period of time because mental redemption can only occur when we choose to accept God's gift and repent.
Physical redemption with new bodies will only occur when God changes the sinful bodies of those whose minds have been transformed. This is when the sons of God will be revealed.
Then we are reconciled to all the unfallen beings in the heavens.
» Glorification ("Future Restoration"). God completely restores us physically to the time before sin and He will restore Eden and place us there when the new earth is created.
- Hell Fire And New Earth ("Physical Reconciliation Of The Planet").
During the millennium the earth is at rest but it is not reconciled. It is still broken and in a state of destruction and defilement with the bodies of the wicked dead.
The Plan of Salvation will be complete when death and hell and sin are destroyed and a new earth is recreated. It will be populated by people who have no desire to sin.
Only at this stage can be say that everything has been totally reconciled and the Plan of Salvation is complete.
In summary, the broken law was the event that triggered the Plan that was in place before creation.
The grace of God, provided for this plan instead of the usual penalty of sin.
Our faith accepts this gracious offer of pardon and reconciliation from God.
The Carefully Devised Plan
The Old Testament says it beautifully.
The woman of Tekoa tricked David into forgiving his son who had fled justice after killing his brother who had raped their sister.
David found it in his heart to grant mercy to her fictitious son who had killed his fictitious brother and save him from the blood avenger, because the death of her only remaining son would bring a great injustice to her.
So she asked Him to be merciful to his son.
The Plan of Salvation reconciles the banished ones to the king.
God cannot play favorites and disobey His own laws. Yet we are doomed unless the King shows mercy.
The woman said, "Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back his banished one.
For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again.
Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him.
(2 Samuel 14: 13-14)
... Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.
(2 Samuel 14: 14 KJV)
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
(Micah 7: 18-19 KJV)
God devised a way, this marvelous plan based on mercy but faithful to the law. It reconciled His banished ones to Him.
Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2: 15
||Time: 50 minutes
Print: 9 pages
Updated : June 2008. 2009
2 Samuel 14: 14 is the Plan of Salvation. Doug Batchelor (CSH) 2 November 2013
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)