WHY DO WE NEED TO BE SAVED?


Thinking Girls Bible Study is, as it states, for daughters of the King who want to dig deep.  That is, to take a closer look into the Scriptures, to look at the original language and find hidden treasures that come from mining.  Our purpose is to provide studies that go a little deeper than a devotional.  We do want, however, to provide a study on salvation for those who come across the site and want to understand better what exactly it means to be saved or perhaps how to know for sure if one is saved.

A good place to start is in the beginning. Genesis 1: 27 "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."  Because we know that man was created in the image of God, we know that we are eternal beings.  We also know from 1 Thessalonians 5: 23 "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," that we are a spirit with a soul and a body.  The Greek in this verse shows an "and" before soul and body, indicating 3 distinct parts.  This is one of the ways we understand how we were created in His image, the Godhead being three persons in one.  We tend to think of identity as our bodies that have a soul.  But that is incorrect.  We are spirits who have a soul that lives inside a body.  Hang on.  We're about to take a journey.

Before Adam and Eve sinned, there was no death.  Had they not sinned, they would have lived forever in the state they were in.  But we know the story. God put Adam and Even in the garden of Eden and told them they could eat of every tree, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, along with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God established man as a free moral agent when He put him in the garden with these trees. God gave us free will.  He wanted us to be able to make choices to love, to believe, etc. God told Adam and Eve in the day that they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that they would die.  And of course, Eve was tempted by the serpent and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  She also gave some to Adam and he ate, too.  So did they die, like God said?  Not the way we think of dying.  Their bodies didn't die at that time.  What died was their spirits.  Our spirits are who we are.  Our spirits are where we have a relationship with God.  Adam and Eve were created as spirits who had souls who lived in bodies.  They had everything they needed.  They had a perfect relationship with God, they were able to commune and fellowship with God in their spirits.  He met every need they had in their souls and bodies.  They had a sense of security, worth, acceptance, belonging, relationship along with everything they needed physically.  But when the serpent suggested that God was withholding something, that they could be like God, knowing good and evil, they sinned and their spirits died.  The definition of death is to cease to function.  Their spirits ceased to function. They died.

The Bible tells us "And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth" Genesis 5: 3. (Emphasis mine).  David laments this in Psalm 51: 5: "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me."  This does not mean that he was born illegitimately, but that his mother had inherited the sin nature, as has everyone born since Adam.  Romans 3: 23 tells us we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned."  This is vital to understand.  We are born sinners headed for hell.  We are born "in Adam" with non-functioning spirits that need to be made alive in order to have a relationship with God.  When Adam and Eve sinned, they tried to do something in their on strength, their own resources to remedy the situation.  They at once, when they sinned, were filled with shame and no longer were experiencing the worth, acceptance, significance and all the things they had before.  Their relationship with God had been cut off.  Their spirits being dead, they could no longer fellowship and relate to God. They made coverings of fig leaves to cover themselves, to cover their shame.  But their own works, just like ours, weren't sufficient.  There had to be the shedding of blood.  Only God could do something about their predicament.  The omniscient God had made a Provision from before the foundation of the world.  He knew what would happen and He knew His only begotten Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, would become incarnate (Immanuel, God with us) and shed His precious blood to pay the price for our sins.  More of that in a moment.  But now, God the Father would teach Adam and Eve about how their sin could only be paid for by the shedding of blood.  He would kill animals to cover them with their skins, in order to teach them of His plan that was yet future...sacrificing His Son, because without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.

There are so many wonderful things about our Great God that we can ponder, but will never be able to fully wrap our minds around until we are with Him, if even then.  One of those things is how God's sovereignty and our free will intertwine in a way that we can't really understand this side of eternity. God chose us from before the foundation of the world, yet we have the free will to accept or reject His gift of salvation. Another thing that is hard to grasp is that God is both just and merciful.  God is a holy God and cannot allow sin in His presence.  God cannot allow sin to go unpunished because He is perfect in His justice.  And yet, He knew that we could never pay the price that would have to be paid for our sins.  So, in His mercy, He paid the price that we could never pay.  There's a song we use to sing at our youth gatherings when I was a teen that I loved.  Here are the words:

                       He paid a debt He did not owe.  I owed a debt I could not pay.  I needed
                       Someone to wash my sins away.  And now I sing a brand new song, amazing grace.
                       Christ Jesus paid the price that I could never pay. (Ellis J. Crum)

One of those things that we have a hard time wrapping our minds around is that Jesus became one of us.  He is fully God AND fully man.  He knows everything that we experience as humans yet He is fully God.  And God the Father laid all ours sins on Him to pay the price that had to be paid.  We have no idea what that cost Him.

We need to be reminded of His agony in the Garden, sweating great drops of blood.  Then He was betrayed, slapped, spat upon, had His beard plucked out, mocked, stripped, had the crown of thorns with 3-4" long thorns forced into His scull.  He was scourged to within an inch of His life, beaten so badly that He know longer looked like a human being.  Let that sink in.  He was force to walk about 7 miles back and forth that night and  then finally, His hands and feet nailed to the cross to die a slow agonizing death where He would eventually suffocate for you and for me.  2 Corinthians 5: 21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  It's the free gift of salvation that He paid the price for our sins that we could never pay...ours for the taking.  "We are saved by grace through faith, and that is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."  Ephesians 2: 8-9. And it is the work of the Holy Spirit to regenerate a person.

Many people want to save themselves.  They work really hard.  Many think if we are a "good person"  we will go to heaven.  Understand, no one can be that good. "We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23.  And Romans 3: 10-12 tells us "As it is written:  'There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who seeks after God.  They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one."  We also have to understand the consequences of our sin.  Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Only Jesus could do the finished work that had to be done to save us. Romans 5:8 declares "But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  But we have to receive it.  We can accept it or we can reject it.  The Bible is clear that we have a choice to repent and believe in Him.  Romans 10: 9-10 "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." Jesus identified the problem in John 5: 23 that the problem with unbelievers is that they refuse to come to Him to have life.  He died to pay the penalty for our sins and to rescue us from eternal death.  Salvation  is available for anyone who will trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and Savior.

Let's understand eternal death better. That does not mean that those who rejected Jesus will just die and that's the end.  As we said earlier, we are all eternal beings.  What needs to be understood is that we will spend eternity in one of two places: heaven or hell. And if we are truthful, we all know that we are eternal beings. God has put eternity in the heart of every man.  Ecclesiastes 3: 11 says "He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end."  Romans 1: 20 tell us  "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."  We all know in our hearts that there is an eternity and that we are eternal beings.  The atheist says, "there is no God," but the Psalmist says that what he really is saying is, "No! God."  He really knows there is a God, he is just rebelling, saying no.  

Isaiah 34: 9-15 gives us a good description of hell: "Its streams shall be turned to pitch, and its dust into brimstone; its land shall become burning pitch.  It shall not be quenched night or day; its smoke shall ascend forever.  From generation to generation it shall lie waste; no one shall pass through it forever and ever.  But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it, also, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.  And He shall stretch out over it the line of confusion and the stones of emptiness.  They shall call its nobles to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all its princes shall be nothing.  And thorns shall come up in its palaces, nettles and brambles in its fortresses; it shall be a habitation of jackals, a courtyard for ostriches.  The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the jackals, and the wild goat shall bleat to its companion; also the night creature shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.  There the arrow snake shall make her nest and lay eggs and hatch, and gather them under her shadow; there also shall the hawks be gathered, every one with her mate." Hell is unimaginable in how horrible it is. Jesus taught a lot about hell. Jesus says in Mark 9 that "hell is a place of a fire that shall never be quenched, where their worm does not die." But the worse thing about hell is to never have another chance to be in the presence of Jesus.  Try to imagine being in a place described above, where Satan and all of his hideous demons are and every evil person that has ever lived, along with a lot of good people that rejected that Jesus is the only way...all that on top of never having another chance to be with Jesus...forever being separated from Him.  That is the thing that is most unimaginable.

For those who reject this beautiful gift of salvation, Revelation 20: 11-15 informs us of their eternity:  "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.  And there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.  and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.  And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.  And they were judged, each one according to his works.  The Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.  This  is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."


Our God is a very longsuffering God, giving us chance after chance to receive His gift of salvation.  2 Peter 3: 9 says, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."  The Bible tells us today is the day of salvation. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the most wonderful thing is to spend eternity in the presence of Jesus Christ the Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords.  If you have any questions about placing your faith in Jesus, feel free to email me at thinkinggirlsbiblestudy@gmail.com.

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