Acts 4:11-12 (ESV)
11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
To wrap up the discussion on Soteriology, I want to spend this post looking at what salvation is. I had all these grand ideas that if we could dissect the doctrine of salvation then we could come to a great understanding of what our purpose is and how we should live and the lot. I think that goal was misguided, so I just want to wrap it up with a simple answer. Jesus is salvation.
I am not sure how many who read this blog read the Bible. I hope it is many. The Bible lays out the story of humanity. It is a story of creation and calling. It is a story of rebellion and obedience and its pages it answers the big questions of why are here, what is our purpose and what will happen to us when we die. I know some would scoff at the idea that I and countless others throughout time would commit our lives to God based on the writings of men written in book that has been passed down from the generations, yet to me this book is inescapable. It has time and time drawn me back to its words and time and time again revealed things to me about myself that no other source has. Some have asked me do I really think that God would use a book to communicate with people. This week I have contemplated that question a lot and thinking about it I came to a new appreciation of my limits. In my current state of knowledge and understanding, I can for example only speak one language. I use a computer to prepare my taxes. I don’t know how to fix my broken ice maker, and while there are a several things that I do know there is an infinite amount of things that I don’t. So how do I learn things that I don’t know? Most of the time when I wish to learn something new I read about it. Almost daily, I trust what others before me have written in books to increase my knowledge and understanding about a subject. I don’t think I am alone. Most educational systems are based on learning from books. So does it seem feasible that God would use a book to teach me about Himself? Why would most everything else we learn be in the form of reading but not information about God? It’s a question everyone must wrestle with individually. My hope is that you read the Bible and ask God to reveal Himself to you as you do.
So what does the Bible teach us about humanity and salvation?
It tells us that God created humanity for His purposes and His pleasure. He gave the first humans He created rules to follow and they didn’t. He condemned these people to eternal separation from Him. Tragically, all of us similarly fail to meet God’s criteria which is perfect obedience and submission to Him and therefore are also condemned to eternal separation from Him.
If the story ended there it would really be a tragic book, but God provided a way for humanity to be reconciled to Him.
Salvation is Jesus. The Bible teaches us that God became the man Jesus of Nazareth and dwelt among us entering this world as a baby conceived by a woman and the Holy Spirit. Because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit he was born perfect and lived his life in perfect obedience and submission to God. He lived the perfect sinless life that we are called to live. In order to reconcile humanity, God required a perfect sacrifice and Jesus offered his life as the payment for all the lives of humanity. He stood in the place of humanity and took God’s punishment, the punishment we were to face, on himself so that we could be reconciled. However, this reconciliation was not for all but for only those who become followers of Jesus.
I get that the exclusivity of this message make it offensive to some, but the greater message here is the first message. Humanity was created by God for His purposes and His pleasures. God desires the worship of His creation. He provided a way for us to worship Him. That way is Jesus.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
If you made it this far, thanks. My prayer is that you would know Jesus and therefore know God. If I can help in anyway feel free to reach out.
Heavenly Father, thanks for your salvation and the book you gave us that teaches and guides. Open our eyes and our hearts to know you better. We praise you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.