THE DOCTRINE OF SIN AND SALVATION
Although Bible history forms the heart and center of our Christian worldview, what the Bible says about Christ is paramount. The Christian worldview does not consist of mere events, but events that have a spiritual significance for every one of us. And Christ is the focal point of that significance. He is central to all that we are, all that we believe, and all that we hope for.
The Bible was written to testify of Christ, and the Biblical record of sin and salvation is central to that testimony. Because God has revealed Himself in history, everything His Word says about Christ and our salvation relates to Bible history, and specifically to seven key events. The creation, and fall of man; and the birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and return of Christ. The following Bible passages tell us the spiritual significance of those events.
GOD'S CREATION OF THE WORLD
The first two chapters of Genesis give us Godís own record of what took place at creation, and how mankind came into existence. When the Bible says that God made all things in six days, the words mean exactly what they say, God wants us to teach exactly what they say (not the opinions of men), and those who try to make them say something else are rebelling against God. The following passages tell us that God created us in His own image (not with a sinful nature). Because He created us we are accountable to Him, and He is fully justified in punishing our sin.
Exodus 20:11 In six days The Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.
Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
Ecclesiastes 7:29 God hath made man upright.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold it was very good.
Isaiah 64:8 We are the clay, and you our potter.
Romans 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay?
THE FALL OF MAN
The historical record of the fall is found in the third chapter of Genesis. The following passages tell us that our nature was changed by the fall, and that we are now by nature "children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3).
Genesis 2:16-17 And The Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
Psalm 51:5 Behold I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.
Romans 3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:1-3)
Psalm 5:9 Their throat is as an open sepulcher.
Psalm 140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders poison is under their lips.
Psalm 10:7 Whose mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: whose tongue is mischief and vanity.
Isaiah 59:7-8 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no justice in their goings: they have made them crooked paths.
Psalm 36:1 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Genesis 6:5 Every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart is only evil continually. (Genesis 8:21)
Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon the earth, that does good, and sins not.
1 Kings 8:46 There is no man who does not sin.
Isaiah 64:6 We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST
The historical record of Christís virgin birth is recorded in the first chapter of Matthew, and the first two chapters of Luke. The following verses tell us that, through the miracle of the virgin birth, Christ was conceived and born as both true God and true man, Jehovah incarnate.
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of The Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Isaiah 7:14)
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 Behold the days come, says The Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, Jehovah Our Righteousness.
Micah 5:2 But you Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth unto me one who is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.
Hebrews 2:16 For he truly did not take upon himself the nature of angels; but he took upon himself the seed of Abraham.
CHRIST'S DEATH ON THE CROSS
All four Gospels record the events relating to Christís death on the cross. The following passages tell us that because Christ died for our sins, His blood cleanses us of all sin, and in Him we have forgiveness and eternal life.
John 19:16-18 Then delivered he Him therefore unto them to be crucified, And they took Jesus, and led Him away. And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
1Corinthians 15:1-3 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received... how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.
Isaiah 53:4-11 He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.... for the transgression of my people He was stricken.... He shall bear their iniquities.
John 1:29 Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
Romans 5:8-10 God commends His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
1 John 1:7 If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Revelation 7:14 These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son , so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
CHRIST'S RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD
All four of the Gospels record the events surrounding Christís resurrection from the dead. The following passages tell us that Christ rose from the dead in victory over death, and because He lives we shall live also.
Luke 24:1-6 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in and found not the body of Jesus. And it came to pass as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold two men stood beside them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but is risen.
1Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel... that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.
Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
Psalm 30:3 O Lord, You have brought up my soul from the grave: You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Psalm 41:10 But Thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
1Corinthians 15:17 If Christ is not raised, your faith is in vain; you are yet in your sins.
1Corinthians 15:20-22 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
CHRIST'S ASCENSION UNTO HEAVEN
The most detailed account of Christís ascension is recorded in the first chapter of Acts. The following passages tell us the spiritual significance of that ascension.
Because Christ has ascended unto heaven He:
1- Has sent the Holy Ghost into the world.
John 16:7-8 It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement... He shall glorify me.
[Note: The work of the Holy Ghost is a doctrine which fits in at this point, but because of its length I will not include it here. In short the Holy Ghost caused the Bible to be written and through it brings people to repentance and faith in Christ. (2Peter 1:21, 1Corinthians 12:3, Romans 10:17)]
2- He lives to make intercession for us.
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
1John 2:1 If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Psalm 68:18 You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive.
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.
3- He will return again.
John 14:2-3 In my Fatherís house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Acts 1:10-11 And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, You men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.
CHRIST'S RETURN TO JUDGE THE WORLD
In regard to the end of the world and the final judgement, there are two key facts that we need to keep in mind. 1- Every person who has ever lived, or ever will live, will be judged and must give account to God. 2- Only those whose sins have been washed away by the blood of Christ will not be condemned.
[Note: The passages that warn of Godís judgement are Law, while the passages that assure believers they will not be condemned are Gospel.]
Matthew 24:30-31 Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven unto the other.
Revelation 20:12-14 And I saw the dead small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their worksÖ And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast in the lake of fire.
2Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ: that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it is good or bad.
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (See John 5:25-29, Matthew 25:31-46.)
Romans 10:11 Whoever believes in Him will not be ashamed.
1John 1:7 The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us of all sin.
John 5:24 He who hears my word, and believes on him who sent me, has everlasting life, and will not come into condemnation; but has passed from death to life.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
1John 2:28 And now little children, abide in Him; so that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
The way of the world is to use imagination and deduction in order to fabricate an abstract framework into which the teachings of Scripture can be fitted. However, Bible history is the framework that God has provided. All of the doctrinal truths of Scripture relate to it, and it is the only framework that does not compromise the statements of Scripture.
Gary Ray Branscome