Plan of Salvation
The plan of salvation is very simple. Even a child can understand it. "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter." Mark 10:15. A child must be able to understand the truths of salvation, or salvation would be limited to those with mature minds and understandings. But God is no respecter of persons. His plan for salvation is so simple that any person: child, adult, man, woman, black, white - anyone can conform to the plan.
You don't need to belong to a church or know any special doctrine. You don't need it explained by any special person. Jesus has already explained the plan of salvation. "If you hold to my teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31, 32.
In the privacy of your own home, with your own family, with friends or by yourself, you can learn and do the plan of salvation. Just listen to Jesus. The point of this workbook is to reacquaint you with the teachings of Jesus. Jesus invites you to “Follow Me.” (Not a Church.) Luke 5:27. Through His life and words we are going to let Jesus reveal His plan of salvation. “But the world must learn that I love the Father and do exactly what My Father has commanded Me.” John 14:31.
The plan of salvation started in the Garden of Eden. The Lord provided Adam and Eve with the perfect home. No sin, no death, no pain, no heartache; only peace, joy, happiness and praise to the One who provided it all. But to keep this perfect world and to maintain the eternal life they were living, they had to do one very small thing - obey God. God was their creator and the maintainer of their eternal life. All they had to do was stay connected to that source through obedience.
God invited them to enjoy all the fruit He had created. They were free to eat of all the thousands of fruits available to them. But they were to show their love to their Creator and Sustainer of life by not eating of the one tree - the tree of knowledge of good and evil. So simple. Be obedient and live; disobey and die. Genesis 3:1-4.
Adam and Eve believed the lie. The lie that they could disobey God and still live. Pain, suffering and death entered the world. The same condition applies to us. If we will obey Jesus and follow Him, we will live. If we disobey, we will die. "Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? Declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live." "Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live." Ezekiel 18:23, 31, 32.
It is easy to blame Adam and Eve, but what about you?
Are you making the same decisions they did?
Are you seeking more than what God has given you?
Are you content with what God is offering you?
After Adam and Eve were escorted from the Garden of Eden, lost by their disobedience, they began to populate the earth. They taught their sons and daughters the requirements of God. The promise of God, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head and you will strike His heal," Genesis 3:15 - pointed to a time when a promised Messiah would come to destroy the work of the devil who had separated man from God. That hope was also manifested through a pictorial symbol of the plan of salvation and the work of the promised Messiah.
If anyone had sinned against God's commands, he was to bring a perfect lamb and sacrifice it on an altar. By bringing a helpless, defenseless lamb, innocent of any wrongdoing, the sinner was reminded that his sin would one day cause the death of the innocent Messiah.
One day Cain and Abel both came before the Lord to offer sacrifices. Both had sinned and needed to show by their symbolic sacrifice that they were sorry for their sin and had repented from it. However, Cain brought produce of his own making and labor (his own works of self-righteousness - church works) to present before the Lord. He substituted his own work for the lamb he was required to bring. Abel, on the other hand, brought to the Lord the required sacrifice: God’s required work, a lamb. The Lord accepted Abel’s offering of faith, while rejecting Cain’s.
This demonstrates the fact that God wants us to do exactly what He tells us to do. You cannot offer your works as a substitute for God's simple required works for us. No human effort, outside of the plan of God, will in any way be looked upon with favor by God for the atonement of past sins (Justification).
Cain was very angry and upset that God did not accept the offering of his own works. God was very frank with him. "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Genesis 4:7.
In the Bible, the plan of salvation is called the "Everlasting Gospel". It is the same gospel from Genesis to Revelation. At no time has it changed. The writer of Hebrews tells us this. "For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." Hebrews 4:2. (Cain heard it, but did not obey it: unfaithfulness.)
No difference between then and now. As in the Old Testament and with Cain, so in the New Testament. The gospel will be of no value to us if we do not combine it with faith in the Messiah. Faith produces obedience to what Jesus commands.
If we do not have faith in the Messiah to give us the power to stop sinning, then the gospel will do us no good and we will be lost. No matter how much church going you do, or singing in the choir, or reading of the Word of God. If you don't experience the life changing power of Jesus Christ in your life, and stop sinning, you are wasting your time.
Even Jesus acknowledged that salvation "is from the Jews." John 4:22. You just can't get around it. It is not a new gospel of the "New Testament", but one that has been taught from the Garden of Eden. The Old Testament was written to be an example and "warnings for us." I Corinthians 10:11. Then he goes on to say, "be careful that you don't fall." Verse 12.
The plan of salvation was laid right from the beginning; do what is right, obey God, be accepted and be eternally saved. Do wrong, sin, and die. Your choice. You must master sin. You must live righteously. If you make a mistake, confess it, turn away from it, calling on the name of Jesus in faith to forgive. But if you continue in sin, trying to do your own works, you will die.
We shouldn’t complain when we are being punished for our sins. Instead, we should think about the way we are living, and turn back to the LORD. Lamentations 3:39,40. The three concepts of the "everlasting gospel”, "Plan of Salvation" is what Jesus taught:
What was symbolic?
How does it affect you?
What is the plan of salvation?
Is it important for you to know?
How does it impact on your life?
"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter."
John 8:31, 32
6. "Say to the Israelites: `When a man or woman wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the LORD, that person is guilty...
"But the world must learn that I love the Father and do exactly what My Father has commanded Me."
13. Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
Ezekiel 18:23, 31, 32
"Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? Declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live." "Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live."