Jesus Christ offers himself as the Saviour for sinners. As Christians it is our privilege to proclaim this glorious message to mankind. But it is important that all pastors, evangelists, and Christian workers propose salvation on the terms which Christ himself intended.
I have a particular point to make in this article relative to the demands of the gospel. It is this: Christ offers himself not so much as the Saviour from hell as the Saviour from sin.
In the first chapter of the New Testament, it was announced, prior to the Saviour’s birth, that he would save his people from their sins (Matthew. 1:21). Today the message has changed somewhat, we declare that Jesus came to save people from hell.
This is true, but it is not the first truth of the gospel. The woods are full of people who are looking for ‘fire insurance’, that is a way of escape from hell, but few who wish to be saved from sin.
People who think they can have Christ as Saviour from hell and still have their sins are sadly mistaken. There are three aspects of Christ’s deliverance of people from sin.
Jesus saves from the penalty of sin. According to Scripture, there is a legal aspect to the sin problem. Because men have transgressed God’s holy laws, they are condemned, like criminals tried in court. Jesus went to the cross and paid the sin debt so that all who trust in him can be forgiven.
Jesus saves from the power of sin. When God does something FOR a person, he also does something IN that person. One who is born again has a new nature, which means he loves God and strives to please Him. Paul put it this way, ‘old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Jesus saves from the presence of sin. In this life the believer will always need to confess his sins. But God will eventually give us all a perfect body and soul – I mean in the resurrection. This is the final stage of salvation.
John F Thornbury is Served for many years as a pastor in Baptist churches Pennsylvania and Kentucky, USA.