God reveals through His written Word, the Bible, that He “…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Furthermore, God backs up His desire in that He has established a way for all of mankind to be offered the opportunity for salvation. Jesus explained how this would be possible:
“‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life’” (John 3:16).
On the Day of Pentecost, following the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Apostle Peter spoke to those assembled, saying:
“‘…Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call’” (Acts 2:38-39).
In giving his defense for preaching in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Peter boldly proclaimed:
“‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’” (Acts 4:12).
The Apostle Paul preached this Truth:
“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
So far, we have seen that God wants to save humanity and that He gave His Son to achieve this; also, we have seen that the Church of God confirmed this by what was preached. Peter said that salvation was being offered to those God would call. This vital understanding, that God must call a person to salvation, was a key message of Jesus Christ:
“‘No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day’” (John 6:44; also, verse 65).
This statement by Jesus reveals His actions which would take place following His own resurrection! In anticipation of His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples, “‘…Because I live, you will live also’” (John 14:19). He also taught, saying of Himself, “‘…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).
Mankind has been separated from God since Adam sinned, because all have subsequently sinned (Romans 5:12). Sin brings about a penalty which man, alone, cannot escape—death (Romans 6:23)! However, Jesus Christ came to reconcile us to God the Father:
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10).
Can we see from this verse that our call to Christianity does not just stop with believing that Jesus paid for our sins with His life, of being baptized and receiving the Holy Spirit? Salvation is an unfolding plan in which we must continue to participate! In that, we are promised help from Jesus Christ as we continue to battle sin:
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Note this very powerful declaration by Paul, who stated, “…It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:34; also, compare Hebrews 9:24).
Jesus came and a part of His responsibility was to reveal the Father (John 1:18; Matthew 11:27). Prayer to the Father, in Jesus’ name, is now possible for those who have been called. As our High Priest, Jesus opens the way for us to pray directly to God:
“‘And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full… In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father’” (John 16:23-24, 26-28).
Jesus Christ is the LIVING HEAD of the Church of God! God the Father “put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23). His ongoing oversight of the Church of God is reflected in the messages recorded in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3. The seven churches depicted represent conditions in the Church right up to the time of His Return.
Because Jesus Christ lives, He will also fulfill what is promised! He will return to the earth to establish the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:9-11; Zechariah 8:3).
Let us consider again the question, “How are we saved by Christ’s life?” It is by becoming and remaining Christians!
We are told that, as converted people led by God’s Holy Spirit, “…we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Furthermore, we are to be “…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Paul adds:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith [of] the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
True Christians are the spiritual temple of God in that the Spirit of God dwells in them (1 Corinthians 3:16). This is what Jesus taught, and He said, “‘…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him’” (John 14:23).
The plan of salvation will be completed! In this fact we can have assurance, “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
God sent His Son to be Savior of the world (1 John 4:14; John 12:47). That Work of Jesus Christ has yet to be completed. Jesus is alive forevermore (Revelation 1:18) to be “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).
Because Jesus Christ lives, all will have their opportunity for salvation—eternal life in the glorious, unending Kingdom of God!
Lead Writer: Dave Harris