Intermediate Edition

II. Salvation for the World


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Chapter 13  Part II

Salvation for the World

Prior to Jesus Christ’s mission, God dealt primarily with Israel, as his people. What Christ accomplished had great implications for all people – notably in making God’s salvation, with eternal life, freely available to every person. An associated outcome is that people from all nations can readily become one of God’s own people.

The Savior of the World

God provides salvation through Jesus Christ . . .

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.   John 3:17 ESV

. . . Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world

[John:] And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.   1 John 4:14 NET

We can only be saved through Jesus Christ

Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.   Acts 4:12 GNT

Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.   John 14:6 NET

The first statement may well mean that: Jesus is the way to the Father because he is the truth and the life. The second statement emphatically states that he is the only way to God, one implication of which is that Jesus is the only source of salvation.

Life through Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ brings spiritual life

[Jesus:] The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.   John 10:10 NET

The “life” spoken of in the NT that Jesus Christ provides is spiritual life. It involves being “alive to God” (Rom 6:11), with God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us, renewing and nourishing us. With this, we have a spiritual consciousness that enables us to live in communion with and in dependence on God. This spiritual life is only attainable through Jesus Christ and what he has accomplished.

Through Jesus Christ we can have eternal life rather than death

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. … 36The one who believes in the Son has eternal life. The one who rejects the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath remains on him.   John 3:16, 36 NET

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, 26and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”   John 11:25-26 NET

Jesus is the one through whom resurrection and life come (v. 25a). Those who believe in him will live even though they die physically (v. 25b). At a spiritual level they will never die (v. 26a), but live eternally.

Salvation for the Gentiles through Jesus Christ

In OT times it was firstly only the Israelites, then after the Babylonian captivity more specifically the Jews, who were “God’s people” and knew of God’s salvation. But through Jesus Christ’s mission, God has made salvation open to the Gentiles.

Jesus Christ died for all people

But we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, so that through God’s grace he should die for everyone.   Hebrews 2:9a GNT

Salvation is now open to everyone who will accept it by repentance and faith (cf. Getting Right with God).

God has made the way of faith in Jesus open also to Gentiles

God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ.30God is one, and he will put the Jews right with himself on the basis of their faith, and will put the Gentiles right through their faith.   Romans 3:22a, 30 GNT

Jesus Christ has made Jews and Gentiles one

Jesus was going to die for the Jewish people, 52and not only for them, but also to bring together into one body all the scattered people of God.   John 11:51b-52 GNT

By dying for all people, Jesus has enabled both Jews and Gentiles to become part of the one people of God.

Those who believe are the true, spiritual children of Abraham

The Scriptures say the same thing about Abraham: “Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.” 7So you should know that the true children of Abraham are those who have faith.   Galatians 3:6-7 NCV™

Epilogue: Jesus Christ’s Mission and Israel

Jesus Christ came foremost to Israel

And so God chose his Servant and sent him first to you [the Jews], to bless you by making every one of you turn away from your wicked ways.   Acts 3:26 GNT

The Jews largely rejected Jesus Christ

He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him.   John 1:11 NET

So, God largely rejected the Jews and accepted the Gentiles

But by their [the people of Israel’s] transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel jealous. … 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?   Romans 11:11b, 15 NET

In v. 11, their “transgression” refers to the Jews’/Israel’s rejection of the gospel, God’s way of righteousness that is by faith in Christ.

God has left a faithful remnant of Israel

So in the same way at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.   Romans 11:5 NET

Pray for persecuted Christians