The History of Salvation.

HISTORY OF SALVATION/ 85-003 (Revelation 2:10; 13:8)/ Bible Study Guide/ An Introduction to Soteriology: (The doctrine of salvation) Part 3.

Key Text: “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10, NKJV)

Opening Remarks: “The divine Author of salvation left nothing incomplete in the plan; every phase of it is perfect. The sin of the whole world was laid upon Jesus, and divinity gave its highest value to the suffering of humanity in Jesus that the whole world might be pardoned through faith in the Substitute. The most guilty need have no fear but that God will pardon, for because of the efficacy of the divine sacrifice the penalty of the law will be remitted. Through Christ the sinner may return to allegiance to God.” (That I May Know Him, p. 96).

The history of salvation begins with and end with Christ. He is the central figure in the doctrine of salvation. Without Christ there is no salvation at ll. Notice the following facts:

[1] Christ is the author of Salvation — “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,” (Hebrews 5:9, NKJV)

  • “The Greek word for author is archēgos, literally, a “pioneer” or “leader.” In Acts 3:15 and 5:31 the term, used both times of Christ, is translated “Prince.” It always refers to someone who involves others in his endeavor. For example, it is used of a man who starts and heads a family, into which others are born or married. It is used of a man who founds a city, in which others come to live. It was commonly used of a pioneer who blazed a trail for others to follow. The archēgos never stood at the rear giving orders. He was always out front, leading and setting the example. As the supreme Archegos, Christ does not stand at the rear giving orders. He is always before us, as perfect Leader and perfect Example.” [John F. MacArthur Jr., Hebrews, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1983), 66].
  • The term is also used in Heb 2:10 (Captain); Heb. 12:2 (Author) and Acts 5:31 (Prince). Christ is the “pioneer,” the “leader,” the “originator,” the “source,” the “initiator,” and the chief leader in all things with regard to salvation. First, He initiated the blue print of the process [before this World was created]; Second, He worked out the process [the Incarnation; Thirdly, He has led the way into heaven as our forerunner (Heb. 6:20).

[2] Christ was the Guarantor of salvation before the foundation of the World — “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8, NKJV)

  • John recognized Him as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
  • John the Revelator invites us to read the lyrics of the Heavenly choir, saying –“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 5:12)
  • Prophet Isaiah 700 years before the Incarnation, wrote this: “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7)
  • Apostle Paul is essentially saying the same thing, that Christ was “delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23)
  • Peter adds, Christ “indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:20)

NOTE: Here is a legal definition of the “Guarantor:”  [1] a person or entity that agrees to be responsible for another’s debt or performance under a contract, if the other fails to pay or perform; [2] a person who makes a guaranty or gives security for a debt.

Did Jesus assume the role of a Guarantor – (paying our debt in full) – even before the foundation of the World? Yes.In keeping with [the oath’s greater strength and force], Jesus has become the Guarantee of a better (stronger) agreement [a more excellent and more advantageous covenant].” (Hebrews 7:22, AMP)

[3] Salvation was promised to Adam — “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”” (Genesis 3:15, NKJV)

  • “After cursing the physical serpent, God turned to the spiritual serpent, the lying seducer, Satan, and cursed him… This “first gospel” is prophetic of the struggle and its outcome between “your seed” (Satan and unbelievers, who are called the Devil’s children in John 8:44) and her seed (Christ, a descendant of Eve, and those in Him), which began in the garden. In the midst of the curse passage, a message of hope shone forth—the woman’s offspring called “He” is Christ, who will one day defeat the Serpent. Satan could only “bruise” Christ’s heel (cause Him to suffer), while Christ will bruise Satan’s head (destroy him with a fatal blow). Paul, in a passage strongly reminiscent of Gen. 3, encouraged the believers in Rome, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20). Believers should recognize that they participate in the crushing of Satan because, along with their Savior and because of His finished work on the cross, they also are of the woman’s seed. For more on the destruction of Satan, see Heb. 2:14, 15; Rev. 20:10.” [John MacArthur Jr., Ed., The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed., (Nashville, TN: Word Pub., 1997), 20–21].

[4] Salvation was announced to Abram — “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”” (Genesis 12:1–3, NKJV)

[5] Salvation was revealed to the prophets — “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:10–12, NKJV)

[6] Salvation was longed for by the saints — “My soul faints for Your salvation, But I hope in Your word.” (Psalm 119:81, NKJV) “I long for Your salvation, O Lord, And Your law is my delight.” (Psalm 119:174, NKJV)

[7] Salvation was promised to Gentiles — “Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me.” (Isaiah 45:21, NKJV) “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)

[8] Salvation was to be realized in the Messiah — “He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak.” (Isaiah 59:16–17, NKJV)

[9] Salvation was seen in Christ’s birth — “And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David,” (Luke 1:69, NKJV) “To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins,” (Luke 1:77, NKJV)

[10] Salvation appeared to all people — “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:11, NKJV)

[11] Salvation was proclaimed to Israel — ““Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! 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)

[12] Salvation was accomplished on the cross — “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 3:14–15, NKJV)

[13] Salvation was preached through the gospel — “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13, NKJV)

[14] Salvation was rejected by Israel — Acts 13:44–47 (AMP)44 The next Sabbath almost the entire city gathered together to hear the Word of God [concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God]. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, filled with envy and jealousy they contradicted what was said by Paul and talked abusively [reviling and slandering him]. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out plainly and boldly, saying, It was necessary that God’s message [concerning salvation through Christ] should be spoken to you first. But since you thrust it from you, you pass this judgment on yourselves that you are unworthy of eternal life and out of your own mouth you will be judged. [Now] behold, we turn to the Gentiles (the heathen). 47 For so the Lord has charged us, saying, I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles (the heathen), that you may bring [eternal] salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.

[15] Salvation was extended to Gentiles —- “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” ’ “Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!”” (Acts 28:27–28, NKJV)

[16] This age (today) is the day of Salvation —- “For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2, NKJV)

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as [happened] in the rebellion [of Israel] and their provocation and embitterment [of Me] in the day of testing in the wilderness,” (Hebrews 3:7–8, AMP) “Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them].” (Hebrews 3:15, AMP)

[17] God’s longsuffering in Salvation —-“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, NKJV)

[18] Final Salvation is nearer each day —- “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11, NKJV)

[19] Salvation will be consummated in the Second Advent —- “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28, NKJV)

[20] There will be a praise for salvation in heaven — “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,” (Revelation 7:9–11, NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: Salvation was to be realized in the Messiah — Yahweh “saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak.” (Isaiah 59:16–17, NKJV)

  • “God also saw that there was no human being who could mediate between Himself and His people, who could appeal effectively to Him for them (cf. 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1). Aaron and Phinehas had done this for Israel in the past (Numbers 17:12-13; Numbers 25:7). So God Himself acted in power to deliver them, in faithfulness to His promises.” (Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable)

Ellen Gould White, “The Story of Prophets and Kings,” P. 692 commenting on this text says this:

  • Of the suffering Saviour Jehovah Himself declared through Zechariah, “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow.” Zechariah 13:7. As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was to suffer under divine justice. He was to understand what justice meant. He was to know what it means for sinners to stand before God without an intercessor.
  • Through the psalmist the Redeemer had prophesied of Himself: “Reproach has broken my heart, And I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; And for comforters, but I found none. They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” (Psalm 69:20–21)
  • Of the treatment He was to receive, He prophesied, “For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” (Psalm 22:16–18)
  • These portrayals of the bitter suffering and cruel death of the Promised One, sad though they were, were rich in promise; for of Him whom “it pleased the Lord to bruise” and to put to grief, in order that He might become “an offering for sin,” Jehovah declared:
  • Isaiah 53:10–12 (NKJV) — 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
  • It was love for sinners that led Christ to pay the price of redemption. “He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor,” none other could ransom men and women from the power of the enemy; “therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness, it sustained Him.” Isaiah 59:16.
  • “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.” (Isaiah 42:1, NKJV)

THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: “For there [is only] one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5, AMP)

1. For there is one God. Judaism and Christianity shared the common belief that there is only one God (in direct opposition to the Greek and Roman pantheons and to the polytheism of the surrounding nations). The foundation for this teaching is Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (see also 1 Corinthians 8:4). There is only one God, who “desires everyone to be saved” (2:4), not just one little group.

 2. There is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV). Muslims also believe that there is only “one God,” but they differ in how he makes himself known. For the Muslims, God is Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet. The Jews believe in one God yet still await their Messiah; they believe in Moses as this mediator. Some of the Jews in Ephesus as well as the Gnostics may have regarded angels as mediators. The Romans were praising Caesar as their God. The Christians understand that there is one God and one mediator … Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is our mediator because he is God and because he came from God, became fully human, experienced the trials, temptations, and tragedy of humanity (death), and now lives to intercede for us with the Father (see Hebrews 4:14–16; 7:23–8:2; 9:15). [Bruce B. Barton, David Veerman, and Neil S. Wilson, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Life Application Bible Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1993), 41–43].

ACTION STEP: What response do you think this lesson should inspires us to do? [1] Christ is “the Author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,” (Heb. 5:9). Is it your earnest desire to obey Him today?

[2] Christ is “the Lamb [of God] slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8) Are you glad that He paid your debt in full on the cross?

[3] Christ is the only Mediator between God and men—He is our great High Priest who has passed through the heavens (Heb. 4:14) He is praying for us! He is our Archegos. He is our Leader, our perfect Example. He is always before us. “He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward us, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Is this your desire today?

Have a Blessed Day:  “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)

The Gospel’s Voice/ Bible Study Guide/ Salvation/ An Introduction to Soteriology: (The doctrine of salvation)/ Lesson # 3.

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