Contents

 

1.    Introduction. 1

2.    God’s word and God’s way. 2

3.    God’s creation . 6

4.    God’s perfect goodness. 7

5.    God’s absolute justice. 11

6.    God’s wonderful love. 14

7.    Jesus is God our Savior 15

8.    Jesus did it all for us. 18

9.    The simplicity of trusting in Jesus. 22

10.  Heaven & Hell 26

11.  Sacrifices & Law.. 27

12.  Prophecies & Foreshadows. 30

13.  Adam & Eve. 32

14.  Cain & Abel 33

15.  Learning from leprosy. 34

16.  Two types of people in God’s eyes. 38

17.  Realizing our need. 40

18.  God’s salvation is available to all 43

 

 

 

1.     Introduction

 

God’s salvation message, also called the gospel (which means good news), is very simple. Here is a summary:

 

God created everything very good, but death, disease, and suffering came as a result of our sin. Sin (or transgression, or iniquity) is our failure to measure up to God’s standard of righteousness, which is to be and to do good and right in all ways and at all times. All of us have sinned and we are sinful by nature, and our works (what we do) cannot earn or merit salvation in any way. God is holy, which means that He is unique, perfect and excellent in every aspect of His nature, character, actions, and words. God’s very nature is perfect love, but He is also perfectly righteous and perfectly just by nature and He cannot simply overlook our sin because His perfect justice requires judgment against us due to our sin.

 

Since God’s love and mercy for us are so great, God the Son, Jesus Christ, became a Man, being born through a virgin, and lived a sinless life so He could bear the just judgment in our place. He suffered much more than just physically, taking our sin upon Himself, and giving Himself to be the sacrifice on our behalf. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, then after three days He rose from the dead. Because He did this for us, if we acknowledge our sin and come to Him, simply believing that He died for our sin and that He rose again, placing our trust in His loving salvation (with no other requirement), then we will receive forgiveness of our sin. We will escape hell, and also receive eternal life of perfect peace and joy in heaven, free from death, disease, suffering, sorrow, pain, and sin.

 

This booklet shows a small portion of how extensively and consistently God has spoken His salvation message throughout the entirety of His word (the Bible, or Scripture). To help illustrate this point, this booklet is about 80% Scripture. It contains passages from 32 of the 39 books of the Old Testament, and from 23 of the 27 books of the New Testament, which are the two parts of the Christian Bible. Also, no Bible passage is included more than once.

 

The Old Testament is the same as the Jewish/Hebrew Bible (called the Tanakh). God’s salvation message has always been the same, and the New Testament is not a change from the Old Testament, but rather it shows God’s fulfillment of the salvation that He promised in the Old Testament. To help illustrate these points, this booklet has Old Testament Scripture in blue text and New Testament Scripture in green text.

 

2.     God’s word and God’s way

 

The Bible was written through the hands of multiple people but is ultimately from God Himself.

·    All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) ESV

·    Man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3) ESV

·    For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:21) NASB

 

God’s power and understanding are beyond our comprehension.

·    Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You (Jeremiah 32:17) NASB

·    I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2) NASB

·    He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:4–5) NKJV

 

God is more than powerful enough to preserve His word through the centuries. It is true and will never need to be adjusted.

·    The words of the LORD are pure words…You shall keep them, O LORD, You shall preserve them from this generation forever. (Psalm 12:6–7) NKJV

·    The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8) NASB

·    Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89) NASB

·    Long have I known from Your testimonies that You have founded them forever. (Psalm 119:152) ESV

·    Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. (Matthew 24:35) NKJV

·    Through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23) NKJV

·    And now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are true (2 Samuel 7:28) ESV

·    The entirety of Your word is truth (Psalm 119:160) NKJV

 

God’s judgment regarding our future will last for all eternity, and He wants for us to choose the right way and be with Him.

·    It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27) NASB

·    Every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160) NKJV

·    Instruction about…the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:2) ESV

·    He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered. (Proverbs 28:26) NASB

·    A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless. (Proverbs 14:16) NASB

·    The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it. (Proverbs 22:3) NASB

·    He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die. (Proverbs 19:16) NKJV

·    He who disdains instruction despises his own soul (Proverbs 15:32) NKJV

·    For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36) KJV

 

God is sovereign, so He is able to declare to us what the right way of salvation is.

·    Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth (Psalm 135:6) ESV

·    Be not hasty to go from His presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for He does whatever He pleases. For the word of the King is supreme, and who may say to Him, “What are You doing?” (Ecclesiastes 8:3–4) ESV

·    The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand…For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:24,27) ESV

·    He does according to His will…No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:35) NKJV

 

God loves us, but He does not accept our “sincerity” or “faith” if we place it in the wrong way.

·    Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way…For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely (Proverbs 1:29–33) NASB

·    The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15) NASB

·    For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. (Romans 10:2) NASB

·    It is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet. (Proverbs 19:2) NKJV

·    Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17) ESV

·    Jesus answered…“You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) ESV

·    He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. (John 12:48) NKJV

 

We should make sure our beliefs are based on the word of God, and not based on wrong teachings, or traditions, or our feelings.

·    He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men”…He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” (Mark 7:6–-9) NKJV

 

Because God loves us so much, He has given us many warnings in His word, and He also teaches us the right way in His word.

·    Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105) ESV

·    The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding (Psalm 119:130) NKJV

·    Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:11) NKJV

·    Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5–7) NKJV

·    For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction (Romans 15:4) NASB

·    The Holy Scriptures…are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15) NKJV

 

We can put our confidence fully in God because He never changes His way.

·    For I, the LORD, do not change (Malachi 3:6) NASB

·    You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; and all of them will wear out like a garment; like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end. (Psalm 102:25–27) NASB

·    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17) ESV

·    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) NASB

·    God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19) ESV

·    The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:10–11) NKJV

 

3.     God’s creation

 

There is no other God anywhere, and God has made His existence obvious to us through His creation.

·    Thus says the LORD…“I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.” (Isaiah 44:6) NASB

·    I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure (Isaiah 46:9–10) KJV

·    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18–20) NASB

·    But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13) NASB

·    The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity (Psalm 53:1) NKJV

·    Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.” (Psalm 10:13) NKJV

·    It is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:11–12) ESV

 

God created everything very good, but death, disease, and suffering came and continue because of our sin. But there is hope!

·    And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31) ESV

·    Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned (Romans 5:12) NASB

·    Man decays like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten. (Job 13:28) NKJV

·    The creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21) NKJV

·    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age (Galatians 1:3–4) NASB

·    Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13) NKJV

 

4.     God’s perfect goodness

 

God is perfectly righteous and good in all ways and at all times.

·    The LORD is righteous in all His ways (Psalm 145:17) KJV

·    There is no unrighteousness in Him. (Psalm 92:15) NASB

·    The LORD is righteous…He will do no unrighteousness. (Zephaniah 3:5) NKJV

·    Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy! (Psalm 99:9) ESV

·    God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5) ESV

 

God requires the same perfection from us in order for us to be with Him in heaven, however we have all failed to be perfect.

·    I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level (Isaiah 28:17) NASB

·    You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2) NASB

·    You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48) ESV

·    I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless. (Genesis 17:1) NASB

 

God will not judge us based on how we were compared to others or “if our good deeds had outweighed our bad deeds.”

·    But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. (2 Corinthians 10:12) ESV

·    The LORD said…“Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) NASB

·    For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3) ESV

·    For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10) NKJV

·    None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die. (Ezekiel 18:24) ESV

 

None of us measure up to God’s standard and we all fall entirely short in contrast to His perfect and infinite holiness.

·    God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. (Psalm 53:2–3) ESV

·    Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. (Ecclesiastes 7:20) ESV

·    There is no one upright among mankind…The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge. (Micah 7:2,4) ESV

·    Surely men of low degree are a vapor, men of high degree are a lie; if they are weighed on the scales, they are altogether lighter than vapor. (Psalm 62:9) NKJV

·    For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22–23) NKJV

·    For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8–9) ESV

·    Are we better than they? Not at all…As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one…They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:9–10,12) NKJV

 

As Jesus taught, God requires perfection from us not only in actions, but also in heart, thoughts, words, motives, and attitudes.

·    Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being (Psalm 51:6) NASB

·    You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27–28) NASB

·    God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4) ESV

·    You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’…But I say to you that…whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. (Matthew 5:21–22) NASB

·    Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15) NKJV

·    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:27–28) ESV

 

The sin of lying includes lying to ourselves about the character of God such as, “Since God is loving, He will overlook our sin.”

·    Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. (Jeremiah 7:8) NKJV

·    Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! (Psalm 40:4) ESV

·    You destroy those who speak lies (Psalm 5:6) ESV

·    But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:15) NKJV

·    But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8) NKJV

 

The sin of idolatry includes creating our own false image of God in our imagination that we prefer and are comfortable with.

·    We ought not to think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. (Acts 17:29) ESV

·    For his images are false…They are worthless, a work of delusion (Jeremiah 51:17–18) ESV

·    For the idols speak delusion…They comfort in vain. (Zechariah 10:2) NKJV

·    Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:4) NKJV

·    They rejected His statutes…and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters (2 Kings 17:15) NKJV

 

Unless we receive God’s gift of salvation, the just consequence of our sin is eternal death, separated from the kingdom of God.

·    Anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death (Leviticus 20:9) ESV

·    Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy…He who works deceit shall not dwell within My house; he who tells lies shall not continue in My presence. (Psalm 101:5,7) NKJV

·    Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death (Romans 1:29–32) NKJV

·    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–10) NKJV

·    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23) NASB

 

Our sin is our own fault and we are each individually responsible for it.

·    The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. (Ezekiel 18:20) ESV

·    God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived (James 1:13–16) NASB

·    Is it not destruction for the wicked, and disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does He not see my ways, and count all my steps? (Job 31:3–4) NKJV

·    Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:24) ESV

·    God, You know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from You. (Psalm 69:5) NKJV

·    All are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13) ESV

 

Our sinfulness is offensive to God and we need His salvation through Jesus Christ.

·    They sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them (1 Kings 8:46) NKJV

·    You are indeed angry, for we have sinned— In these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. (Isaiah 64:5) NKJV

·    I am merciful, declares the LORD; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God (Jeremiah 3:12–13) ESV

·    Then you will say on that day, “I will give thanks to You, O LORD; for although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid” (Isaiah 12:1–2) NASB

 

5.     God’s absolute justice

 

God is loving and merciful but He cannot disregard His justice and overlook our sin, therefore we need His salvation.

·    Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth…, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Exodus 34:6–7) NASB

·    The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but He will by no means clear the guilty (Numbers 14:18) ESV

·    The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked (Nahum 1:3) KJV

·    His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4) NKJV

·    You have wearied the LORD with your words; Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,” or, “Where is the God of justice?” (Malachi 2:17) NKJV

·    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8) KJV

·    Yet you said, ‘I am innocent; surely His anger is turned away from me.’ Behold, I will enter into judgment with you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ (Jeremiah 2:35) NASB

 

God is kind and has provided salvation, but He should rightly be feared because of the severe judgments that He can pronounce.

·    Note then the kindness and the severity of God (Romans 11:22) ESV

·    The hand of our God is for good on all who seek Him, and the power of His wrath is against all who forsake Him. (Ezra 8:22) ESV

·    My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments. (Psalm 119:120) ESV

·    Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28) NASB

·    Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. (Revelation 15:4) NKJV

·    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7) KJV

·    The fear of the LORD leads to life (Proverbs 19:23) NASB

·    In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil. (Proverbs 16:6) NKJV

 

Jesus Christ Himself is the Judge, and He told us the terms of His judgment in advance.

·    He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31) NKJV

·    For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth. (Psalm 96:13) NKJV

·    Preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ…He is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. (Acts 10:36,42) ESV

·    But it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another. (Psalm 75:7) ESV

·    Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. (Ecclesiastes 8:11) ESV

·    Thus says the LORD…’Do not diminish a word. Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings.’ (Jeremiah 26:2–3) NKJV

·    “Therefore I will judge you,…every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.” (Ezekiel 18:30) NKJV

·    Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:18) ESV

 

God, in His love, has provided escape from eternal death and has warned us, and if we are His enemies, then that is by our choice, not by His choice.

·    Our God is the God of salvation; and to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death. But God will wound the head of His enemies,…the one who still goes on in his trespasses. (Psalm 68:20–21) NKJV

·    How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:3) NASB

·    We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death (2 Corinthians 1:9–10) NKJV

·    Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, and in Your righteousness. Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no one living is righteous. (Psalm 143:1–2) NKJV

·    Judge me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness (Psalm 35:24) NASB

·    Save me, O God, by Thy name, and judge me by Thy strength. (Psalm 54:1) KJV

·    The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10) NASB

·    But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works (Romans 2:5–6) ESV

 

6.     God’s wonderful love

 

God is loving and merciful and gracious and patient and forgiving, far beyond comparison.

·    Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8) ESV

·    The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 103:8) ESV

·    Great are Your mercies, O LORD (Psalm 119:156) NASB

·    God, who is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4) KJV

·    But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness (Nehemiah 9:17) NASB

·    To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us (Luke 1:77–78) NASB

·    He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. (Micah 7:18) NKJV

·    I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. (Jonah 4:2) NKJV

 

God loves us and wants to have relationship with us, but that is possible only by obeying God’s command to believe in Jesus.

·    You are My friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:14) NASB

·    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12) NKJV

·    And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.” (Hosea 1:10) ESV

·    That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3) ESV

 

God satisfied His justice against our sins (propitiation) and also demonstrated His love by bearing the death sentence for us.

·    In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9–10) ESV

·    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) NKJV

·    I declare to 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…After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once (1 Corinthians 15:1,3-4,6) NKJV

·    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) ESV

 

Jesus did not have His life taken from Him, but He freely gave Himself for us in love.

·    No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. (John 10:18) ESV

·    By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. (1 John 3:16) NKJV

·    I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20) NASB

·    And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2) ESV

 

7.     Jesus is God our Savior

 

Jesus is, and always was, and always will be, God the Son, who in love, bent down by becoming a Man so that He could feed us with His salvation (the bread of life).

·    I took them in My arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love…and I bent down and fed them. (Hosea 11:3–4) NASB

·    And the LORD said…”I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them” (Exodus 3:7–8) NKJV

·    Jesus answered them,…“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” (John 6:43,51) ESV

·    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:1,14) NASB

·    From their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. (Romans 9:5) ESV

·    God was manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16) NKJV

·    In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9) NKJV

·    But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared (Titus 3:4) NKJV

·    Who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1) NKJV

·    For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. (Psalm 74:12) KJV

 

Jesus showed He was God by taking upon Himself the name of God “I AM.” He also received the declaration of Thomas without dispute.

·    God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” (Exodus 3:14) ESV

·    Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him (John 8:57–59) NKJV

·    He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands…Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:27–29) NKJV

 

Jesus became a Man so He could take the penalty for our sin. He was the mediator for us because He was both God and a Man.

·    Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17) NASB

·    For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5–6) ESV

 

Jesus, our righteous God, who lovingly bore our sin so that we could live with Him, is the only Savior and only way of salvation.

·    Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no savior besides Me. (Isaiah 43:10–11) NASB

·    There is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. (Isaiah 45:21) NASB

·    ‘Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.’ Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. (Isaiah 45:24) NASB

·    Let it be known to all of you…that by the name of Jesus Christ…this man is standing before you well…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. (Acts 4:10,12) ESV

·    These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31) ESV

 

Jesus, in His kindness, helps us to avoid wrong ways by telling us that He is the only Savior and the only way of salvation.

·    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) NKJV

·    Jesus said to them again,…“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved” (John 10:7,9) NASB

·    Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) ESV

·    Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. (John 8:24) NKJV

 

At God’s command a bronze serpent was setup. This was symbolic of Jesus bearing our sins on the cross, and to be saved, we need to look to Him (trust in Him).

·    And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived. (Numbers 21:9) NASB

·    Jesus answered…“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:10,14–15) NKJV

·    For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:40) ESV

·    Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22) NKJV

·    He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24) NASB

 

8.     Jesus did it all for us

 

Jesus did the entire work of salvation for us, and there is nothing that we can do to add to it or contribute to it.

·    Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3) KJV

·    He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Hebrews 9:26) NKJV

·    I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. (Ecclesiastes 3:14) NKJV

·    Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:11) NKJV

·    You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands. (Job 14:15) NKJV

·    I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it (Psalm 52:8–9) NASB

·    Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly (Psalm 108:12–13) KJV

·    Help me, O LORD my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy, that they may know that this is Your hand— that You, LORD, have done it! (Psalm 109:26–27) NKJV

·    O LORD, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things (Isaiah 25:1) NKJV

·    And to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works (Romans 4:5–6) ESV

 

The work of Jesus alone was sufficient to save us from all sins, past, present, and future.

·    LORD, You will establish peace for us, since You have also performed for us all our works. (Isaiah 26:12) NASB

·    I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. (Psalm 57:2) NKJV

·    As for God, His way is perfect…He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect. (2 Samuel 22:31–33) NKJV

·    But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God…For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:12,14) ESV

·    He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him (Hebrews 7:25) NKJV

·    Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God (2 Corinthians 3:4–5) ESV

·    And you are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10) NKJV

·    Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. (John 6:47) NKJV

 

Salvation was provided completely and freely by His work and His goodness (righteousness).

·    And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing. (Psalm 107:22) KJV

·    I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works. (Psalm 73:28) NKJV

·    Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. (Psalm 66:5) NKJV

·    You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. (Psalm 92:4) NASB

·    Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man? (Proverbs 20:6) NKJV

·    In You I put my trust…You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You. (Psalm 16:1–2) NKJV

·    The LORD their God shall save them in that day…For how great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty! (Zechariah 9:16–17) KJV

·    Oh, how abundant is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You and worked for those who take refuge in You (Psalm 31:19) ESV

·    Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! (Psalm 136:1) NKJV

·    “My people will be satisfied with My goodness,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 31:14) NASB

·    Jesus sent him…saying, “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” (Luke 8:38–39) NKJV

 

We do not have righteousness of our own, but we can have righteousness if we submit to God’s righteousness.

·    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18) ESV

·    For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10:3–4) NKJV

·    But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33) ESV

·    He will reign as King and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land…And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’ (Jeremiah 23:5–6) NASB

·    The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God. (Jeremiah 51:10) KJV

·    My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day…I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. (Psalm 71:15–16) NKJV

 

Salvation is a free gift, entirely from God’s grace and mercy, without any merit or reason for boasting by us if we receive it.

·    Those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17) NASB

·    Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15) NASB

·    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9) NKJV

·    Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you…The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent. (Exodus 14:13–14) NASB

·    We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7) KJV

·    And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. (Romans 11:6) NKJV

·    Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us (Titus 3:5) KJV

 

One of the criminals crucified next to Jesus was earlier insulting Him, but by God’s grace had a change of heart shortly before dying, and Jesus showed that he was saved by saying he would be in Paradise.

·    At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left…The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him (Matthew 27:38,44) NASB

·    Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39–43) NKJV

 

By what He said on the cross, Jesus showed that, according to His love, He finished the work of redemption completely for us.

·    Jesus…said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30) NASB

·    Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) ESV

·    Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life. (Lamentations 3:58) NKJV

 

The resurrection of Jesus shows that He lived a sinless life and was accepted as the substitute who bore the judgment for our sin.

·    He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:25) NASB

·    If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins…But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:17,20) ESV

·    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3) ESV

·    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25) NASB

 

9.     The simplicity of trusting in Jesus

 

God’s salvation is also called the good news because we do not have to measure up, but just simply believe and trust in Jesus.

·    But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3) NKJV

·    Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28–29) NASB

·    Everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name. (Acts 10:43) ESV

·    See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8) NASB

·    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. (Galatians 2:16) NASB

·    Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. (1 Chronicles 16:23) NKJV

 

Some try to pervert the simplicity of the good news by adding things that have to be done in order to be saved or stay saved.

·    Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5–6) ESV

·    Of whom have you been afraid, or feared, that you have lied and not remembered Me, nor taken it to your heart?…I will declare your righteousness and your works, for they will not profit you. (Isaiah 57:11–12) NKJV

·    I will scatter you like chaff driven by the wind from the desert. This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you, declares the LORD, because you have forgotten Me and trusted in lies. I Myself will lift up your skirts over your face, and your shame will be seen. (Jeremiah 13:24–26) ESV

·    I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6–8) NKJV

 

The sin of idolatry also includes worshipping ourselves (the creature) by valuing our works rather than God’s (the Creator).

·    Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands (Isaiah 2:8) KJV

·    I will declare My judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking Me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. (Jeremiah 1:16) ESV

·    For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. (Romans 1:25) NASB

·    They trust in vanity, and speak lies (Isaiah 59:4) KJV

·    They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy…Salvation is of the LORD. (Jonah 2:8–9) KJV

 

We should not “boast,” thinking that we can contribute, but rather be “circumcised” by cutting off all confidence in our flesh (self).

·    It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised…that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. (Galatians 6:12–15) ESV

·    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) NKJV

·    For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3) NKJV

·    Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. (Deuteronomy 10:16) NKJV

 

God uses riding a horse as being symbolic of putting confidence in the flesh (self), and warns us of the consequence of doing so.

·    Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses…but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!…Now the Egyptians are men and not God, and their horses are flesh and not Spirit (Isaiah 31:1,3) NASB

·    It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. (John 6:63) ESV

·    ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6) NASB

·    The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love, that He may deliver their soul from death (Psalm 33:17–19) ESV

·    They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return. “I have listened and heard, they have spoken what is not right; no man repented of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turned to his course, like a horse charging into the battle. (Jeremiah 8:5–6) NASB

·    He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy. (Psalm 147:10–11) NKJV

·    For you have stumbled because of your iniquity; take words with you, and return to the LORD. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously…We will not ride on horses, nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’” (Hosea 14:1–3) NKJV

·    I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him (Exodus 15:1–2) NKJV

·    Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalm 20:7) ESV

 

We have value because God created us and loves us, but God hates pride and self-confidence. Our confidence should be in God.

·    Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate. (Proverbs 8:13) NASB

·    For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person. (Mark 7:21–23) ESV

·    A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor. (Proverbs 29:23) NASB

·    Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18) ESV

·    There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12) ESV

·    Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4) NASB

·    By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth (Psalm 65:5) NKJV

 

Here is a parable that Jesus taught about two people, one who looked to what he did, and one who looked to God’s mercy.

·    He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9–14) ESV

 

We should do the will of the father, trusting in the finished work of Jesus, rather than ultimately trusting in our “mighty works.”

·    Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not…do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21–23) ESV

 

10. Heaven & Hell

 

Hell (Hades now, the lake of fire later) is where Satan (the devil) and all who reject God’s way will end up.

·    Be sober…because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) NKJV

·    And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10) NASB

·    The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ (Luke 16:22–24) ESV

·    And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night (Revelation 14:11) NKJV

 

But if we receive God’s salvation, we are rescued and we will have eternal peace and joy with Him in heaven (the new earth).

·    In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge…In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me (Psalm 71:1–2) NASB

·    He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces (Isaiah 25:8) ESV

·    And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4) NKJV

·    And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light (Revelation 22:5) ESV

·    For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create (Isaiah 65:17–18) ESV

·    My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Ezekiel 37:27) ESV

·    Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:1,3) ESV

·    According to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:13) ESV

·    Peace be to you all who are in Christ. (1 Peter 5:14) NASB

·    Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. (2 Thessalonians 3:16) NKJV

 

11. Sacrifices & Law

 

God does not want sacrifices. The sacrifices were to be a reminder of the seriousness of sin and of the need for the coming Savior.

·    Sacrifice and offering You did not desire…Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. (Psalm 40:6) NKJV

·    “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD…“I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats…Bring your worthless offerings no longer…I cannot endure iniquity” (Isaiah 1:11,13) NASB

·    For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6) ESV

·    God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things (Acts 17:24–25) NASB

 

The requirement for a perfect sacrifice was to show our need for the sinless Savior Jesus Christ, the only acceptable sacrifice.

·    Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable on your behalf. And whoever offers a sacrifice…it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it. (Leviticus 22:20–21) NKJV

·    Your lamb shall be without blemish (Exodus 12:5) ESV

·    You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Peter 1:18–19) NKJV

·    He saw Jesus coming…and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) ESV

·    You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. (1 John 3:5) NASB

·    For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15–16) NASB

 

God desires repentance (acknowledging our sin and trusting in Jesus), rather than sacrifices (works that we think are good).

·    “With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings…? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good (Micah 6:6–8) ESV

·    For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart— these, O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:16–17) NKJV

·    Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. (Psalm 4:5) KJV

·    The foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God (Hebrews 6:1) NKJV

·    Testifying… repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:21) KJV

 

The law of the Old Testament was not given as a means of salvation, but was given to help us realize our need for the Savior.

·    For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light (Proverbs 6:23) KJV

·    Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:19–20) NKJV

·    For the LORD our God has put us to silence…because we have sinned against the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:14) NKJV

·    What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants (Genesis 44:16) ESV

·    For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. (Psalm 62:1) ESV

·    You shall read this law…that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God (Deuteronomy 31:11–12) ESV

·    The LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive (Deuteronomy 6:24) ESV

·    Since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near…But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (Hebrews 10:1,3–4) ESV

·    Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24) NKJV

·    Through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38-39) NKJV

 

The law of the sabbath rest was given as a sign that we should “rest” from our work and trust in God’s work.

·    You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you…Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off (Exodus 31:13–14) NASB

·    Regarding…sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16–17) NKJV

·    Jesus answered…“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:25,28) NKJV

 

People in the Old Testament were not saved by what they did, but by God’s grace through faith in the coming salvation of God.

·    Listen to Me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness: I bring near My righteousness; it is not far off, and My salvation will not delay (Isaiah 46:12–13) ESV

·    Thus says the LORD…“soon My salvation will come, and My righteousness be revealed.” (Isaiah 56:1) ESV

·    Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation (Micah 7:7) NKJV

·    For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth (Job 19:25) NKJV

·    But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. (Psalm 13:5) NASB

·    And Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD…because I rejoice in Your salvation. No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” (1 Samuel 2:1–2) NKJV

·    And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9) NASB

 

Several Jewish people were rightly expecting the arrival of Jesus, such as Simeon and Anna who saw Jesus as a child.

·    Simeon…took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:25,28–30) ESV

·    Anna…gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption (Luke 2:36,38) NKJV

 

12. Prophecies & Foreshadows

 

Prophecies in the Old Testament showed that Jesus was God the Son (Immanuel means God with us) and showed that He would bear our sin.

·    For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) NKJV

·    Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14) NKJV

·    Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His Son’s name? (Proverbs 30:4) NASB

·    Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. (Psalm 2:12) NKJV

·    But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by 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. (Isaiah 53:5–6) NKJV

·    My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11) NKJV

 

Here are just a few of the prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament and the fulfillment in Jesus several hundred years later.

·    They will look on Me whom they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10) NASB

·    But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. (John 19:34) NASB

·    But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. (Micah 5:2) NKJV

·    Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea (Matthew 2:1) NASB

·    Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9) NKJV

·    And throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as He rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. (Luke 19:35–36) ESV

·    I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 50:6) NKJV

·    Then they spit in His face and struck Him. (Matthew 26:67) ESV

 

Many actual events foreshadowed Jesus. Below are just a few from the life of Joseph, and showing the fulfillment in Jesus.

·    Joseph brought unto his father their evil report…and…they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. (Genesis 37:2,4) KJV

·    The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. (John 7:7) NASB

·    When they saw him from a distance…they plotted against him to put him to death. (Genesis 37:18) NASB

·    All the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. (Matthew 27:1) NKJV

·    God sent me before you…to save your lives by a great deliverance. (Genesis 45:7) KJV

·    We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14) NASB

·    All the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence?” (Genesis 47:15) NKJV

·    Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35) NASB

 

13. Adam & Eve

 

Adam & Eve tried to cover their nakedness (the shame of their sin) by what they did (their works). But God showed that only His provision was acceptable.

·    Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Genesis 3:7) NKJV

·    The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21) NASB

 

Here are similar passages on the futility of attempting to cover our sin with our works or “good deeds.”

·    Their webs will not become clothing, nor will they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity (Isaiah 59:6) NASB

·    He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13) NKJV

 

If we confess our sin by throwing aside our filthy garments, and then run to Jesus, then we will receive the robe of His righteousness.

·    All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6) NASB

·    And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. (Mark 10:50) NKJV

·    I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) NKJV

·    “This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17) NKJV

 

Filthy garments will fall apart, exposing sin in God’s presence. The righteousness of Jesus is the only garment that can endure.

·    Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness (Psalm 119:142) NKJV

·    For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but My righteousness shall be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation. (Isaiah 51:8) KJV

·    Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. (Revelation 16:15) NKJV

 

If we look to what we do, we may think we are saved, but find out that we did not have the garment of the righteousness of Jesus.

·    But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 22:11–13) ESV

 

14. Cain & Abel

 

Cain offered the fruit of his work and was rejected. Abel offered sheep (symbolic of trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus) and was accepted.

·    Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground…Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock…And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering He had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?” (Genesis 4:2–7) ESV

 

Cain trusted in what he did (going his own way), plowing the ground, and offering the fruit (sacrifice) of his own work.

·    Draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. (Ecclesiastes 5:1) NASB

·    You have plowed wickedness; you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way (Hosea 10:13) NKJV

·    There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 16:25) NASB

·    I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts (Isaiah 65:2) NASB

 

If we do well (go God’s way), then we will for sure be accepted, and not be cursed away from the new earth (like Cain was cursed).

·    So now you are cursed from the earth (Genesis 4:11) NKJV

·    Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire’ (Matthew 25:41) ESV

·    The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not inhabit the earth. (Proverbs 10:30) NKJV

 

15. Learning from leprosy

 

God often included situations in the Bible that had symbolic meaning in addition to the literal meaning.

·    I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets. (Hosea 12:10) NKJV

·    But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. (Galatians 4:23–24) NKJV

 

The following passages about leprosy, in a person, garment, or house, also teach us about the disease of our sinfulness.

·    The priest shall examine it, and if…it appears deeper than the skin, then it is a leprous disease…and the priest shall pronounce him unclean…He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp. (Leviticus 13:25,46) ESV

·    When there is a case of leprous disease in a garment…it shall be shown to the priest. And the priest shall examine the disease and…If the disease has spread in the garment,…it is unclean. And he shall burn the garment…It shall be burned in the fire. (Leviticus 13:47,49–52) ESV

·    The priest shall go and look. And if the disease has spread in the house,…it is unclean. And he shall break down the house, its stones and timber and all the plaster of the house, and he shall carry them out of the city to an unclean place. (Leviticus 14:44–45) ESV

 

In each of the passages above about leprosy, the priest doing the examining symbolically represents God the Son, Jesus Christ.

·    We have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God (Hebrews 4:14) NKJV

·    The Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom (2 Timothy 4:1) NKJV

·    So we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4) NASB

·    Will it be well when He examines you? Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man?…Will not His majesty terrify you, and the dread of Him fall on you? (Job 13:9,11) NASB

·    The priests answered and said, “It shall be unclean.”…“So is this people…,” says the LORD, “and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer…is unclean.” (Haggai 2:13–14) NKJV

 

God’s loving warning #1:  The leprous person was declared unclean and was banished to live alone and outside.

·    The wicked is banished in his wickedness, but the righteous has a refuge in his death. (Proverbs 14:32) NKJV

·    For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:5–6) NKJV

·    And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27) NASB

 

God’s loving warning #2:  The leprous garment was declared unclean and was burned in the fire.

·    The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isaiah 33:14) ESV

 

God’s loving warning #3:  The leprous house was declared unclean and was destroyed.

·    Woe to them, for they have fled from Me! Destruction to them, because they have transgressed against Me! Though I redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against Me. They did not cry out to Me with their heart (Hosea 7:13–14) NKJV

·    God shall likewise destroy you forever; He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place, and uproot you from the land of the living. (Psalm 52:5) NKJV

 

This passage from the New Testament shows consequences of fire, destruction, and separation from God’s presence.

·    When the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed (2 Thessalonians 1:7–10) NASB

 

Since God is the source of all that is good, being banished, or separated, from God’s presence means separation from peace.

·    “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 48:22) NASB

·    Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity…The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace. (Isaiah 59:7–8) NKJV

 

We have no hope to clean ourselves, but Jesus can heal us from the leprous disease of our sinfulness and make us clean.

·    Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one! (Job 14:4) NASB

·    And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. (Mark 1:40–42) NASB

·    But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light…the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7) NASB

 

We have no hope to straighten ourselves, but Jesus can heal us from the crookedness of our sinfulness and make us straight.

·    I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted. (Ecclesiastes 1:14–15) NASB

·    And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. (Luke 13:11–13) NKJV

·    Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are my praise. (Jeremiah 17:14) NASB

 

We have no hope to set ourselves free from slavery and bondage to sin, but Jesus can make us free.

·    For we were slaves. Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended mercy to us (Ezra 9:9) NKJV

·    I am the LORD…and I will deliver you from slavery…and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm (Exodus 6:6) ESV

·    Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36) NKJV

·    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2) NKJV

 

By nature, we have a deceitful hard heart, but Jesus can give us a new heart.

·    There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth. (Proverbs 30:12) ESV

·    There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. (Psalm 36:1–2) ESV

·    And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15) NASB

·    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9–10) NKJV

·    Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1–2) ESV

·    Render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men (2 Chronicles 6:30) NASB

·    Create in me a clean heart, O God (Psalm 51:10) KJV

·    I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:25–26) NASB

 

16. Two types of people in God’s eyes

 

In God’s eyes, we are either wicked (trusting in the arms of our own strength), or we are a righteous saint (trusting in God).

·    He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness. For by strength no man shall prevail. (1 Samuel 2:9) NKJV

·    For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. (Psalm 37:17) ESV

·    The LORD has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:10) NKJV

·    You have with Your arm redeemed Your people (Psalm 77:15) NKJV

 

As there are only two types of people in God’s eyes, there are also only two outcomes.

·    These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:46) NASB

·    The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. (Proverbs 10:28–29) NKJV

·    Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them…and save them, because they trust in Him. (Psalm 37:37–40) NKJV

·    The righteous is delivered from trouble, and it comes to the wicked instead. (Proverbs 11:8) NKJV

·    The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:41–43) NKJV

 

God loves people, and He has no pleasure at all in people going to hell for not coming to Him to receive His gift of salvation.

·    Then Jesus answered and said to them…“But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:19,40) NKJV

·    ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.’ (Ezekiel 33:11) NASB

·    When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:54–56) NASB

 

We are all born with a wicked nature, but we can become righteous (be born again) by trusting in the righteousness of Jesus.

·    The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies. (Psalm 58:3) ESV

·    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5) NASB

·    Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) ESV

·    He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) NASB

·    But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe (Romans 3:21–22) NKJV

 

There are also only two “fathers” in the sense of following one or the other. If we become born again then God is our Father.

·    Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me…You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father…Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:42,44) NASB

·    They have corrupted themselves; they are not His children, because of their blemish: a perverse and crooked generation. (Deuteronomy 32:5) NKJV

 

There are also only two types of trust, whether we trust in our work, or trust in God’s work.

·    Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come.” (Jeremiah 17:5–6) ESV

·    “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters…and will not fear when heat comes” (Jeremiah 17:7–8) NKJV

·    I am He who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:23) ESV

·    Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:12) ESV

 

17. Realizing our need

 

We should “sell/forsake” all that we have, realizing that it is not about what we do, that we possess no goodness, and that only Jesus is good.

·    It does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. (Romans 9:16) NASB

·    A man ran…and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments…And he said to Him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have…and come, follow Me.” Disheartened…, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Mark 10:17–22) ESV

·    So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:33) NKJV

 

Jesus had said “You lack one thing” to him. The only thing that matters is if our name is in the Book of Life by trusting in Jesus.

·    Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away…And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books…And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11–12,15) NKJV

 

Taking up the cross means the death of our pride, denying that we have anything good to offer, and not being offended by that.

·    He said…“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Mark 8:34) ESV

·    But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. (Galatians 5:11) ESV

·    The LORD of hosts…He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense (Isaiah 8:13-14) NKJV

·    And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me. (Matthew 11:6) ESV

 

God’s salvation is available to everyone, but we can receive it only if we realize our need and come to Him believing.

·    He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:2) NASB

·    For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people (Titus 2:11) ESV

·    We have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:10) ESV

 

If we realize our desperate need as a sinner and believe in Jesus, then we will call upon Him for His salvation.

·    For He will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper. He will spare the poor and needy, and will save the souls of the needy. (Psalm 72:12–13) NKJV

·    This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. (1 Timothy 1:15–16) NKJV

·    Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) NASB

·    For the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:12–13) NKJV

 

If we realize we are diseased with sin and believe in Jesus, then we will come to Him to be healed by Him and therefore not die.

·    When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12–13) NKJV

·    I said, “LORD, be merciful to me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.” (Psalm 41:4) NKJV

 

If we realize our poverty of righteousness and we hunger for God’s righteousness, then we will laugh and rejoice in heaven.

·    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6) ESV

·    He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” (Luke 6:20–21) NASB

·    Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5) NKJV

·    Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…He who is mighty has done great things for me…He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.” (Luke 1:46–47,49,53) ESV

·    This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:6) NKJV

·    Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way…Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness. (Psalm 107:5–9) NKJV

·    You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor. (Psalm 68:10) NKJV

 

But, if we trust in our “riches” (thinking we are rich in goodness), then we will end up realizing our “riches” were actually worthless.

·    But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. (Luke 6:24–25) ESV

·    Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. (Proverbs 11:28) ESV

·    Here is the man who did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. (Psalm 52:7) NKJV

·    For, because you trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken (Jeremiah 48:7) ESV

·    Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. (James 5:1–2) NKJV

·    There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches. (Proverbs 13:7) NKJV

 

18. God’s salvation is available to all

 

God’s salvation is available to us no matter how horrible of things we have done, and it is God’s desire for us to be saved.

·    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…For in it the righteousness of God is revealed (Romans 1:16–17) NKJV

·    Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. (Joel 2:32) ESV

·    None of those who trust in Him shall be condemned. (Psalm 34:22) NKJV

·    For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. (Psalm 86:5) NKJV

·    As for me, I shall call upon God, and the LORD will save me. (Psalm 55:16) NASB

·    Let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17) NKJV

·    The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) NASB

·    This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3–4) NASB

 

The truth is that all sin is horrible in God’s eyes, but He will forgive us if we turn to Him. The only sin God cannot forgive is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is calling God a liar by disobeying, for our entire life, His command to believe in Jesus.

·    Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation (Mark 3:28–29) NKJV

·    They still sinned and did not believe in His wonderful works. (Psalm 78:32) NASB

·    According to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith (Romans 16:26) NKJV

·    And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 3:23) NKJV

·    Repent and believe in the gospel. (Mark 1:15) NASB

·    The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. (1 John 5:10–11) NASB

·    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:9–10) KJV

·    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36) ESV

 

Feeling guilt or sorrow for our sins, admitting our sins, or making restitution for our sins cannot save us.

·    When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”…And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. (Matthew 27:3–5) NASB

·    For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10) NKJV

 

True repentance means acknowledging our sin and turning to God’s way of believing (trusting) in Jesus Christ.

·    Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? (Ezekiel 18:23) ESV

·    “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart.” (Joel 2:12) NKJV

·    Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:5) NASB

·    Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:45–47) ESV

 

The good news is simple: What we do cannot earn or merit salvation in any regard, and God, in His love, provided salvation completely for us by Himself, by His goodness and by His doing. To be saved, we just need to Acknowledge our sinfulness, Believe in Jesus who died for our sins and rose again, and Call upon Him by asking Him to give us His entirely free gift of salvation.

·    Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions (Psalm 51:1–3) NKJV

·    After he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30–31) NASB

·    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. (Romans 10:9) NKJV

·    If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11) NASB

 

If we have genuinely believed, then we are free from all guilt and shame. That is reason to have great joy!

·    For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. (Jeremiah 31:34) NASB

·    As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12) NASB

·    Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame. (Romans 10:11) ESV

·    Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) NASB

·    Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8–9) ESV

 

Since God has all power and knows all things, it is absolutely precious to spend time learning what He has said to us in His word. Learning God’s word helps us to get to know Him better, helps us to grow, and helps us to avoid wrong teachings.

·    I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure. (Psalm 119:162) NKJV

·    I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. (Job 23:12) NASB

·    Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?” (Mark 12:24) NKJV

·    Direct my steps by Your word (Psalm 119:133) NKJV

·    As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2) NKJV

 

The best resource for interpreting the Bible is the Bible. Also, God the Holy Spirit, who dwells in each true believer, can teach us directly what His word means.

·    But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (John 14:26) NASB

·    As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 John 2:27) NASB

·    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5) NASB

·    For his God instructs and teaches him properly. (Isaiah 28:26) NASB

 

Regarding Bible translations, a literal translation in modern English is recommended. The New King James Version (NKJV), English Standard Version (ESV), and the New American Standard Bible (NASB) are good. The original King James Version (KJV) is also good, but it has more difficult older English.

 

This booklet may be distributed freely, electronically or in print, as long as it is not modified and it is distributed without charge.

 

This booklet can be downloaded in various electronic formats or read online at wonderfulsalvation.com

 

 

Copyright

 

Copyright © 2019 by PHGF. This booklet may be distributed freely, electronically or in print, as long as it is not modified and it is distributed without charge. This booklet can be downloaded in various electronic formats or read online at wonderfulsalvation.com

 

Scripture quotations marked “NKJV” are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Scripture quotations marked “ESV” are taken from the English Standard Version®. Copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Scripture quotations marked “NASB” are taken from the New American Standard Bible®. Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.Lockman.org

 

Scripture quotations marked “KJV” are taken from the King James Version, 1769 edition of the 1611 authorized version, public domain.

 

For consistency in this booklet, pronouns referring to God that are not capitalized in the ESV or KJV text have been capitalized.

 

For easier sentence flow in this booklet, capitalized words indicating a new line in the NASB or NKJV text have been changed to lower case.