Salvation seems like such a common and foundational subject – because it is! At the same time it is an incredibly deep study. We needed rescued from the dominion of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God. Thank God for His abundant mercy and grace that we are privileged to be a part of His heavenly family.
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.Colossians 1:13-14
We know that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and darkness was on the face of the deep. In the beginning God. And that’s what we need in our lives in the beginning – God. He gives us new beginnings in the new creation. The Spirit of God came hovering over the earth and the waters. And then God began to create things. We see that He created the animals and every living thing. Next God creates man after his own image and likeness. Adam then names all the animals that the Lord brings to him and he gives them all names. From this experience he found that Adam had no suitable “helper” found for him. Then He caused Adam to go into a deep sleep. He takes the rib out of Adam creating woman.
Man in God’s Garden of Pleasures
We also see at the beginning that God actually gave man authority over the earth – which is key to remember. During this time Adam was walking and talking with the Lord in the garden, he had a divine communion with the Lord. He walked in a place of amazing connection with God in the Garden of Eden, When you translate Eden in Hebrew it is actually the garden of pleasures.
That’s is an insight into the nature of God – just to realize he would create a garden that was actually about pleasure. God’s not against pleasures. However, God’s pleasures are not the pleasures of this world. He has an entirely different realm of pleasures for us to experience in Him. Adam walked with God in the cool the day. Again, we understand that Adam was given the authority over the earth – he held the keys. We also understand that there were two trees in the garden.
There was the knowledge of the tree of good and evil and then the tree of life. That’s very interesting. He had the Tree of Life in the garden. Man could have eaten of that – but as far as we know he didn’t. What would have happened if they would have eaten of the Tree of Life? Adam was forbidden to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve was not yet created when God spoke this. Here we see how what God says can get twisted down the pike – especially when it is not first-hand experience. The serpent then tempts the woman. The woman then says, “We are not to eat or ‘touch’ that tree”. But God never said that. He only said not to eat of it.
The serpent says, “You can be like God – He’s lying to you.” That’s the temptation. He’s not telling you the truth.” Eve fell for this thinking that the grass could be greener on the other side. This still happens today. People buy into the lie that God’s not really telling you the truth. He’s not really faithful. He’s not really going to do what he said. His promises are really not going to happen. Right? We’re all tempted to give up. (Luke 18:1)
Then the devil provides another option. Go ahead, and you’ll be fine. You’re not going to die. Go ahead, do this. Go ahead and disobey God. And then it always ends up a mess.
The Fall of Man & Repercussions
It’s worthy of noting that when someone sins they typically don’t see the result immediately. They don’t see it the next day. They say, “Look, I’m fine.” Everything’s fine, right? Nobody knows, nobody sees. But God does. Then they get 10 years down the road, get five years down, get a year down the road, they’re wondering, “Why is everything such a mess?” Then some want to blame God for it – bad idea. It’s important that we take responsibility for our own actions. God is merciful as His heart is to bring restoration to our lives.
Disobedience causes a curse to happen in our lives. We want to obey God. And when we obey Him, there’s a blessing in that obedience. We see how when man obeyed God he was aligned under the blessing and pleasures of God. But then Adam choose to disobey God putting himself under a curse.
Adam chooses, whether knowingly or unknowingly, to take the serpent’s advise. It was a subtle deception where the devil came through the back door – that being Eve. Instead of following God’s directions, now he’s come into alignment with the serpent. Man gave up his keys – the authority that God had given him as the steward of the earth. And now that’s why Satan is called the little “g”, god of this world. It’s all a matter of legal authority.
Since Adam had given over his authority to the enemy. He gave the devil the keys to the earth – who now gained access, influence with a legal authority over mankind. This is where we understand that we’re born into sin. This is why it was an absolute necessity for Jesus Christ to come to rescue mankind – even to take captivity captive (those who believed pre-Christ – with sins previously committed) with the keys of death, hell and the grave. Because all sacrifices to cover sins in the O.T. served only to point to the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God – the only sacrifice that could pay the needed price for our freedom from spiritual captivity.
The Blame Game
Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”Genesis 3:9-13
Here we see the blame game – doesn’t it still happen today? Yes, it does. The man blames the woman. The woman blames the serpent. Nobody’s taking responsibility at this point. That’s not good. There’s not much humility going on here. The Lord begins with the serpent saying, “because you have done this”. Ultimately it was him. God says, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field, on your belly, you should go, and he shall he dust all the days of your life.” And I will put enmity, which means a “deep rooted hatred” between you and the woman, between your seed and her Seed. That is capital S, which is Christ. This is the first prophecy we see of the coming of Christ, who came to destroy the devil’s work. And he said, he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. [Important to notice that God does not curse man – He curses the serpent (the devil). But anyone who follows after him will get that same curse. Follow the Lord!]
The bruising of the heel is a representative of the cross. It’s a picture of what Jesus had to go through. We see God, in His mercy, covers Adam and Eve with a sacrifice. God says, “the fig leaves don’t work.” He doesn’t use the fig leaves. That’s what man created to cover themselves. God says this is a messy matter. The Lord God made tunics of skin which required an animal sacrifice – covering them. Here is another picture of Christ. We see this theme all the way through the Old Testament.
At this point man is kicked out of the Garden of Eden – the garden of pleasures. Now he has to do things by the sweat of his brow. He has to work hard in the earth to make everything happen. It’s a bummer. They had the best life and amazing pleasures with God. They had everything. It was easy. They had God. Now they’re kicked out. The Lord guards the Garden of Eden with cherub with a flaming sword who guards “the way”. This is a picture of how Jesus presented Himself as “The Way” back to God – even to restore the garden of heaven’s pleasures in our lives.
The Way Back
Throughout the Old Testament we see pictures and prophecies of salvation in Jesus. Look at Noah and the ark. That’s a picture of salvation. Jesus is the ark. We get into the ark. And when God judges in the world they’re flooded. They’re judged. It’s condemnation. This is picture of how “in Christ” we are above the waters of condemnation. We’re above the waters of judgment because we’re in the ark of Jesus. Jesus said, I’m the Door. I’m the Way. I’m the Truth. I am the Light. Anyone who comes to the Father must come through me. The Ark is a picture of Jesus. When we receive Jesus we are entering into the Ark. In Jesus we’re safe. As David said, the Lord is a strong refuge. That’s a joyful experience because you’re above judgment. You’re not under condemnation anymore. That’s why there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walked not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8).
We choose to walk after the Spirit but it does not mean all is perfect. We are being perfected as His perfection dwells in us by the Spirit. Faithfulness is when you’re still in pursuit of God. Your lifestyle has changed. Jesus is the only perfect man who walked the earth. Our walk is not perfect. But we have the perfect One living inside of us. Jesus is the only One who ever walked the perfect straight line. We head the same direction but not without some mistakes here and there. Yet, our lifestyle has changed. This includes our standards for living, our commitments, our fellowship and our habits. As those who are born of God we now live as yielded vessels to the Holy Spirit – even walking in the Spirit.
We have to live by His voice. In this process we are discerning, we’re learning and we’re growing. We have to have grace for one another. The key is that we’re being faithful to walk the same direction. I’d like to tell you that when I came to the Lord (was filled with the Holy Spirit and I was delivered from so much stuff) that after that, I never made another error. I like to tell you that I never made any other mistake after that point in time. But it’s just not true. We still make mistakes. That’s why it’s not a perfect walk. It’s a faithful walk.
That’s why Jesus said, Well done, good and faithful servant. He didn’t say, “Well done good and perfect” but “good and faithful” servant. It’s important for us to be encouraged by that. Religion will teach that you must do everything perfect. Legalism is nothing but man-made rules. If it’s not their way, it’s the highway. Jesus was way outside of the box of religion. He did things in so many different ways. He was not legalistic. He was love personified. [One sure sign of legalism is when people want to “control you”. Run the other direction! False authority is built on controlling people, manipulation and creating more rules to follow. True authority is built through authentic relationships from the heart – with God’s love at the center where someone is genuinely there to encourage you in the right direction. They build you up as a son or daughter of God, not tear you down like you are a slave.]
Avoiding Man-Made Counterfiets
This can happen in any circle. Some churches have specific man-made laws in which things need to be done. This is the only way you do a miracle. This is the only way someone gets healed. You must go through the seven steps. You must go through this or that. These things are not necessarily bad in themselves. They’re bad when you impose these things on other people. God may show you some things to do. But that doesn’t mean that those things that you’re supposed to do are the things that your neighbor is supposed to do. The Bible is true for all of us. It is all applicable. We all need to obey those things – commandments and truth.
Anything Jesus tells us to do, we need to do. We all need to go in all the world and preach the gospel. How, when and where is up to personal direction from the Lord. But it is a general command to all believers. We are told to seek first the kingdom of God. It’s for everyone. But we don’t need to create some kind of man-made system to accomplish this. There is diversity. There is difference. There are different approaches. We can glean from one another, but we don’t exalt methods. God can heal a person in so many ways. Jesus used mud in somebody’s eyes, He spoke the word and the servant was healed. He has so many ways to do things. We can’t put God in a box.
Prophecies & Pictures of Jesus
Abraham is told to sacrifice his son, his only son, and take him up on the mount – the actual mountain that Jesus was crucified on. That was a picture of Christ and what he was going to do and did for us.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only the only begotten Son, that whosoever will believe in will not perish but have everlasting life.”John 3:16
And so, then we can see Moses prophesies of the Prophet which is Jesus. David prophesies, over and over and the Old Testament prophets foretold as well.
“I will proclaim the decree of the Lord. He said to me, you are my son. Today I become your father asked me and I will give you the nations as Your inheritance, the ends of the earth is your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter, and you will dash into pieces like pottery.”Psalm 2:7-9
This is a prophecy of Jesus becoming the King of kings. You’re going to rule with an iron scepter. God is going to put the nations of the world, the ethnos groups of people, all the ethnic groups in the world under His rule. Jesus is Lord and King over all these ethnic groups.
In the tabernacle in the temple, there’s so many different pictures of Christ. If we look at the law – what’s the law for? God brought the law in through Moses. The law shows how bad sin was, all the different things that God would require for us to be perfect. How many have read through the Book of Leviticus? It’s monotonous! All the sacrifices that had to be made all the different offerings of sin, trespass offering, all these different offerings. All these different things that were instituted in the Old Testament as a picture of how difficult salvation would be for us. Something absolutely impossible for man to achieve! It shows us just how much work it would take to be good enough for God – to meet His standard. All have sinned and what fall short of the glory of God. We see the Aaronic or Levitical priesthood, which is all about the law. It’s all about works. It’s all about sacrifice- they’re having to make thousands upon thousands of sacrifices. It’s never-ending!
The New Has Come!
This was all for the covering of sin. It was bloody. It was ugly. And God was painting a picture. This is how bad it is. David would offer 1000s of sacrifices. Can you imagine living in such a time. It was a bloody mess. Thank God Jesus didn’t come under the Levitical priesthood. He came under the Melchizedekian Priesthood. (read Hebrews 6-8) It’s important to understand Melchizedek.
When Abraham came back with the spoils of victory, Melchizedek, the mysterious high priest (without beginning and without end) came down to him. Abraham gave him tithes of all. Abraham is the father of faith. Abraham, who was before the law, came into existence before Moses. Jesus comes under the order of Melchizedek, not the Levitcal order. The law is all fulfilled in Christ. Jesus goes back to the beginning as the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.
That is why Jesus, the Lamb of God, sacrifices his life. And then he brings us into the place where we inherit the promises of Abraham. This is where he’s going to multiply us, bless us as the sand of the seashore and as the stars of the sky. We inherit the blessings of Abraham. There is so much there concerning the blessings that Abraham received. Jesus brings us into that in fullness. Jesus fulfills the Law and the Prophets. He is the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice for all sin.
You know the story. John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
“Now when he had taken the scroll before living creatures, and the twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls, full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, and they sing a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the scroll to open and seals for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God, by your blood, out of every tribe, and every tongue, people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth.”Revelation 5:8-10
Restoration of Authority & Position
What we see here is the restoration. You see the restoration where Adam gave away the keys, Jesus, he came up with what the keys of death, hell and the grave. He came up with the authority saying, “All authority has been given unto me and heaven and earth, and behold, now I give you authority.” Jesus restores the authority that was lost when Adam sinned. He gives it back to us because we believed on Him. Then what happens? He makes us kings. He makes us priests. We can now come boldly before the throne of God by the blood of Jesus. (Heb. 10) Out of this we can now rule as kings and priests in the earth. It’s important that we see the earth is restored to us. This is not in the future. This is now in Christ. We have been given all things. We have been given all authority. We can walk in that. Yet ignorance will keep us from that. We have the authority now and the devil lost it to Jesus – Who then gave us our keys back! Jesus is Lord. We have chosen him to be Lord over our lives now. Isn’t that awesome? All is restored!
Jesus fulfilled every Old Testament prophecy and there are so many hundreds of prophecies a fulfilled now the Old Testament. Here’s just one:
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;Isaiah 53:4-6
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
The peace of God is yours. He paid the price for you to have peace. If you don’t have peace right now, you need to get it, because Jesus paid for it. How many of you want to have that peace? Don’t let Jesus pay for it, and then you don’t cash in on it. It’s the same with healing. By His stripes we are healed. This is the covenant. The covenant that was cut was His own body, His own flesh. He paid for healing. He paid for our peace. He paid the price for the iniquities that were committed. He paid the price for our transgressions. All we like sheep had gone astray. We have turned everyone to our own way, and the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. Why? So we can be totally free. That we can live as kings and priests before God. Now we are clothed in robes of righteousness, not our righteousness – His righteousness.
By the Power of God’s Spirit
It’s not by the power of our own soul. It’s not by the power of our own strength. It’s not my might, nor by power but by My Spirit says the Lord. The Spirit living inside of us is Christ in us the hope of glory. By the power of the Spirit we can live as kings and priests. Now we can walk in our true authority having influence for the kingdom of God in the earth. We are to “occupy” until He comes. Why? His kingdom is always advancing. He has anointed us to go take back from the devil that which was stolen.
Jesus told us to pray – “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It’s not just a sweet prayer. This is kingdom. He wants His Kingdom to be manifested. How many of you know people who have problems? How many of you know people who have issues? How many of you know people have need deliverance and freedom? You would love to be able to communicate with them, have fellowship with them etc. – but there’s just this different kingdom at work inside of them and they need deliverance. They need the kingdom of God to come in. God has anointed us, appointed us and called us to go to the devil, just like Jesus did.
See the price that Jesus paid and the reason we need him so badly. Why do we need salvation? We are born into a corrupt bloodline. Were born in the Adam’s bloodline.
Jesus was not born into that corrupt bloodline. The Holy Spirit brooded over Mary and created the “Holy Thing” in her womb named JESUS. His blood was and is sinless. It is pure. When his blood was shed on the cross, it was so powerful that it reversed the curse in the earth as well! So when His blood washes over us, it reverses the curse on our lives. We say, “Lord, cleanse me by your blood!”
You’re now grafted into a whole new heavenly bloodline. You’re washed by the pure, spotless Lamb of God. We’ve all sinned.
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”Romans 3:21
We can see here it is a legal matter. We are making him our Lord. We want Him to be, in essence, our new owner. He takes charge of us. He washes us and cleanses us, and we’re coming under the authority of Jesus. Make Him our Lord. To be under His authority is a whole different world. When you say, “Jesus, I want you to be Lord of my life today” it changes everything! It’s not enough for him to be your Savior. He must be our Lord, and because of this, He is our Savior.
When You Say “YES!”
It’s the best thing when Jesus is your Lord. What you’re saying is “yes” to joy. You’re saying is “yes” to peace. You’re saying “yes” to the love of God. You’re saying “yes” to the Holy Spirit. You’re saying “yes” to being a king. You’re saying “yes” to being a priest. You’re saying “yes” to Jesus. And you’re saying, “yes” to blessing – because He said, “blessing I will bless you.”
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.”Romans 5:14-17
The law came to show what sin was – even those over who had not sinned, according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam. Adam was a type of Him, Jesus, Who was to come. That’s why Jesus is referred to as “the second Adam”. Jesus is the One Who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense (Adam) many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
Notice how many times he said in these passages “the gift”. Salvation is a gift. It’s not because of my own righteousness but by the righteousness of Jesus. We just receive the gift. So many live under condemnation because they are trying to work to be good enough for God. It’s that flood of condemnation. People just need to receive the gift and come into relationship with God. The door of the ark is open. Jesus is the Door. Just come on in. God says, “I want to give you this free gift and restore our relationship.” What it comes with it is a huge bonus package!
The bonus is “life, love, joy and peace in the kingdom of God”! It’s good news. It’s not your own righteousness, but it’s all a gift. What’s our part then? We need to recognize that we have sinned. We repent from sin. Repentance is a gift. If you know people who don’t know the Lord, pray for the gift of repentance. It’s listed as a gift in scripture. Just pray, “Lord, give them the gift of repentance. Help them to renounce the works of darkness.” We need to allow the Lord to convict us in different areas so that we can be transformed, that we can be equipped and be part of His kingdom army that actually makes a difference. We do have to break away, come out of the compromise and live a life that’s separated to God. It’s not by our works, but it is a choice. We say, “I want to follow you, Jesus.” I want to know your ways. I want to be taught by you. I want to learn. I want your Holy Spirit.
Salvation is a free gift! Simply choose to believe, receive and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Confess with your mouth that you choose Jesus to be your Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead – you shall be saved!
“For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”Romans 10:9-10
Welcome the Holy Spirit! When you welcome the Holy Spirit, He will make you holy from the inside out. It’s not by a list that you keep every day. Don’t live by a list, but by the Holy Spirit. He will be the Helper that enables you to follow Jesus daily!