How does God save mankind

Explain in detail how God saves people from the power of sin. How did He work out our salvation? Since it is a generally agreed that the bible is not a scientific book, use only language that Jesus or the apostles would use, no science or evolution based explanations. Explain in detail meaning, if you say He saves us by Jesus dying for us, explain how that works.

The jury is still out on the specifics.

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No one tries to use science to explain how God saves us. It’s not a scientific question, but a theological one.

For me to be able to answer the question I would have to better know what you’re looking for. By tossing in the issue of “no science or evolution” I assume this is some kind of creationist game. I can’t tell if you’re wanting the theological answers , as in posting verses on hearing, believing, repentance, being baptized, and so on or are you wanting us to explain how the blood of Jesus saves using scripture to explain a scientific process.

Im wondering about peoples understanding of what is revealed to us in the scriptures. As an example though, if you say believing something is necessary, how does believing whatever you state, cause us to be saved or why would faith in something give us power over sin.

Hi,

I’ve always found Rev John Piper’s teachings on this subject to be very helpful:

The resources there should explain it well enough. If I’m to explain it simply, we are all sinners. only a perfect sacrifice can atone for our sins. God sent Jesus Christ to die and atone for our sins. Through faith in Christ, we receive the gracious gift of salvation. We are thus justified by faith in Christ. God dwells in us by His Holy Spirit, guiding and empowering us to live and do his will.

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Ah! So you think that you have the knowledge to accomplish the salvation of people from sin. You have a formula do you? Well shucks why didn’t Jesus share such a formula in Matthew 19 when the man asked Him, “what must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus said “with men this is impossible.” Gosh and golly, apparently you know more than Jesus.

And you make this past tense… so God has done His bit and nothing more needs to be done because… why??? You have all the indulgences you need for all your sins? I think you are mistaken. Your salvation is not done until you do not sin any more.

You should wonder about your understanding of what is revealed in the scriptures.

We know what the Bible says. But equating that to a knowledge of how God saves people from the power of sin is dubious.

I certainly don’t buy into the black magic explanation of taypeng that God had to perform a magical ritual of human sacrifice in order to make Himself forgive our sins. That does not even agree with the story where Jesus forgave sins all the time. You do believe that Jesus is God… right? When we say that people pay for their crimes, you do understand that is a metaphor, don’t you? And this is only one of the metaphors the Bible uses to describe the atonement. Taking them all literally produces a morass of contradictions and nonsense.

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@Cody_G, …it’s a hard truth, that; but Mitchell is right. The more I read scriptures the more this sticks out from the words of Christ to the writer of Hebrews.

I go on to add that in one sense our salvation is “completed” by Christ in that he made it possible for us to enter into this new covenant at all. But that doesn’t mean that there is nothing left for us to do. Hebrews (chapters 8-10) makes it clear that we need to do the will of God (and that does not mean a mere following of the old covenant - the law), but instead a much higher obedience to the new covenant - to follow Christ. Our refusal to do that, once we’ve come to know this truth, makes us much more culpable now and has much more serious and hellish consequences. Hebrews still uses the language of sacrifice - often to point out that sacrifice is not what God really desires but obedience. And even the new language of sacrifice (i.e. of Christ) must be understood as them seeing and understanding all this in their own context - that is the context of the existing law under which so many Jews already lived. I tend to be with Mitchell in this too, though - that if we want to see this turned into a magical transactional formula in which God is incapable of love or forgiveness until some magical blood ritual has been satisfied, then I think we badly miss the glory of the superior covenant and have lapsed back into a repackaging of the old.

I would also add, though, that we see gentler words (and yet still hard words) from the opening chapters of 1st John, where present sin even among Christians is acknowledged (in fact I believe he more strongly states there that we are liars if we claim we do not sin). We’re also told that if we do sin the truth is not in us … (ouch!) But then the same writer offers up much gentler words too, that if we do sin, we have an advocate with God (Christ himself). We are also reassured that not all sin leads to death and that love covers up a multitude of sins. So there is some sense in which past sins do lose their power over us as we come to God and learn obedience. That isn’t to say that we are excused from making past sins right in whatever ways left in our power. It’s just to say, we can trust God with all of that going forward. Our salvation is something we must continue to work out with fear and trembling - but also with trust.

[It’s probably worth noting that all the various atonement theologies probably have something to offer or at least some kind of historical perspective - even the penal substitution theory. The favored atonement theories of a given time might be more revealing of the various theological strata of the time than they are revealing of some objective reality about God. ]

Thanks for the response. Can you explain how Jesus dying for us atones for our sins. Why does faith in Christ give us salavation and justify us?

What is the meaning of all the scriptures that bring up that we are redeemed and purchased by His blood.

As the scripture makes clear mankind are slaves to sin, did God do something to change that, to set mankind free from that slavery?

I take that quite literally - meaning in the same symbolic sense they seemed to understand it with. Just as we might quite literally speak of some soldier of war “purchasing freedom for his nation” with his own blood; but in Christ’s sense he took the violence of our evil into himself without inflicting it on others. I.e. he was not conquered by evil and so did not respond in kind. He was willing to sacrifice his body that we might be able to follow him in that - knowing that God vindicated his choice to do so by not letting physical death (where evil initially seems to win) have the last word. God came and dwelt among us even though he knew what it would cost him in terms of suffering. He used his own blood to purchase us. That doesn’t make us automatically forced possessions of his. We are still left the freedom to respond so that Christ’s sacrificial love can come to be shown in us too. We are to die with him and have the reassurance that we will be raised with him.

Not even theologians know exactly how God does what He does. Mysterious ways is about as close as I’ve ever heard any get.

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[[Rev 5:9/ISV]] They sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered. With your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation.

So you dont think this means He actually purchased us by His blood? Meaning, He ownes us.

Yes. I do think we’ve been purchased by [or ‘through’ or ‘with’] his blood. I just don’t see that as some sort of mystical transaction such as a demigod needing to be appeased by a ritualistic sacrifice.

God has a claim on everything and everyone. So yes … he “owns” us - but I put that in quotes since God doesn’t exercise ownership in the same way that we think of ownership (or at least probably not a western version of property ownership anyway.) God has a right to us in that way or every conceivable way, of course … but just doesn’t choose to exercise such claims in the same we we usually exercise those claims on material property.

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Jesus (God) purchased us with His blood (Acts 20:28), literally buying us out of slavery to sin so that we might be slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18). We are ransomed, bought by God from sin and Satan. The ransom payment is literally blood, the blood of the incarnate God, who is Jesus, and death. That sacrifice also serves as an atoning work (Romans 3:25) by God the Son to God the Father. We are saved in a legal sense and in a spiritual sense, declared righteous and set free from sin to do the will of our Lord. The wages of sin is death, as Paul explains. Jesus did not sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15), yet He suffered the penalty of sin for the sake of our sins. The righteous for the unrighteous. The just for the unjust. Yes, God has chosen to pay that wage for us, to set us free from sin that we may do His work and love Him and others, and it is received by faith through the Holy Spirit. And the proof that our faith is living and active is found in our works and character, as seen in James 2 or when Jesus speaks of good trees bearing good fruit. We are ever being made more and more Christlike by His Spirit, and we have an important responsibility to work at this as well (Philippians 2:12).

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And that is why we require salvation. Still do.

Absolutely! God has done a lot. But finished? I don’t think so. Just because Jesus’ work on the earth was done doesn’t mean God has finished all His work of salvation.

My one-sentence answer above was too short. (“The jury is still out on the specifics.”) So I thought I’d elaborate.

Not too long ago my church had a series of 12 lectures on the Nicene Creed. Fascinating stuff. It included a lecture on the Atonement.

The four basic atonement theories are:

a) Ransom
b) Satisfaction
c) Moral Influence
d) Penal Substitution

So if you would enjoy a deep dive into church history, this is for you!

The zoom lecture may be watched here

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That is true. That’s why I mentioned that the jury was still out on this important question of atonement.

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You have good questions that deserve a good and long answer. You can check out the link I provided.

When you eat your dinner tonight. Remember that an animal died so that you can live and be nourished.
Christ taking our place, and dying for our sins isn’t beyond logic or rationale.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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