God’s Means By Which He Provided SALVATION:  The Substitutionary Death of Christ: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, John 10: 7-15

Dr. Gary M. Barker

Published in the Paso Robles Press 3/11//20

Salvation as discussed and revealed in the Holy Bible is the doctrine that deals with God’s provision for delivering sinners from sin’s condemnation and judgment.  This provision was a manifestation of God’s love, mercy, and grace (John 3:16, 1 John 4:9-10, Ephesians 2:4-9, Titus 2:11).  The penalties for sin are both spiritual and physical death (Romans 5:12-21, 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-3).  A sinner is unable to personally pay the penalties for sin.  The punishment for sin is everlasting death or separation from God in hell as clearly taught by Jesus (Matthew 25:41-46, Mark 9:42-4s8, John 3: 15-21, 5:24).  One of the greatest Satanic deceptions that most people believe is that sin can be cancelled by doing good works.  One good work supposedly can pay the penalty for committing One sin.  The conclusion of this thinking is that if a sinner has done more good works than sinful works, he can save himself from God’s judgment.  The error is that salvation isn’t based on good works.  This false idea is impossible because a good work does not cancel the penalty of any sin.  The wages of sin is death as clearly taught by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:23. We know that even in human law that good behavior doesn’t cancel the penalty of sin.   A person could live most of his life as a good and moral person but if he committed murder, his good behavior or works wouldn’t automatically forgive him. The apostle Paul states in Galatians 2:21 that if a person could save himself by good works, then Christ died in vain.  The penalty of sin can only be paid thru death not by good works.  This is why salvation is provided by God’s GRACE not by man’s good works (Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 15:11, Titus 2:11-14, 3:5-7).

Since no sinner can save himself by either doing good or dying for his own sins, God in love Sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay sin’s penalty of death as a substitutionary sacrifice.  This is what John the Baptist said about Jesus: “Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world” (John1:29, 36).  Jesus Himself testified in John 10:11-18 that He would give up His life as a substitutionary sacrifice for His Sheep as the GOOD SHEPHERD.  The Greek preposition in John 10:11 that is translated by the word “for” literally means in the place of as a substitute.  This concept of a substitutionary death is part of the GOSPEL message that saves people when it is believed.  This is what the apostle Paul clearly taught in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.  Paul declared that the GOOD news that saves involves three historical facts:

  • Christ died a substitutionary death for sin
  • Christ was buried dead
  • Christ rose again in a physical, immortal body

This is God’s PROVISION for paying SIN’S PENALTY.  God provided salvation by His LOVE, GRACE, and MERCY which is received by believing that Jesus personally died for every human being (John 3:16-18, 1 John 2:1-2, 1 Timothy 2:3-5, 4:10).  Salvation and eternal life is a FREE GIFT received by FAITH (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9).  Have you personally received this everlasting gift?