Let us look at the topic of salvation, and as we look at this topic, we are going to look at it from several points, first from the historical point of view asking the question “why do we need salvation, or to be saved, and why do we need to see Jesus as our only savior?”
Following those two questions, we will then ask the question, from what do we need to be saved, and how should we be preparing as we walk in the offer and gift of salvation. And there may be many more questions that may come along as we go through this series, but to start we will be looking at the history as to why we need saving.
However, before we get into answering these questions presented, and others to come, let me point out when dealing with the question of salvation there are two things we need to consider. One, we need salvation for our souls, and secondly, we need to be saved from what is coming, something we will discuss as we answer the question “from what do we need to be saved? Because as we go into the history of the bible to look at the need for salvation, we will discover there is something we need to understand about sin and what it is producing in our lives, and world. So, starting from the beginning, we will look at the story of Genesis and what we will discover reading the story of Genesis is the account of one man and the history of humanity.
Now, not everyone will agree with what I am about to share, but if you follow along, you will come to discover from a human perspective what I discovered reading this wonderful story of creation and God’s love. And if I am going to help you see the point and reason as to why we need saving, I will need to take you back to the book of Genesis, but instead of reading from chapters one of Genesis, I will begin at chapters three and work my way backwards for you to understand the point. And as we work our backward through the first three chapters of Genesis, we will find a story written down by the first man concerning his life, and how we today have come to the place of needing salvation. And before I begin reading Genesis chapters three, let me ask you this question, “If Adam had not sinned would there be a need for us to be saved?”
Starting at Genesis chapters three hear is what we know, Genesis 3:1-7 “The serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree, which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
The serpent replied and said unto the woman, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.”
Now, that is the opening of the story of Genesis chapters three, and now that we have read this opening, can we tell what was happening looking back at this history in the lives of humanity? Because if we were to look at the rest of the story reading backwards, we will find Adam was told not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for the day he eats of it he shall die…
Genesis 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat thereof thou shalt surely die.” A revelation of the penalty that was to come upon humanity should we choose to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
And if we continue to read Genesis chapters three, we will find that after listening to the voice of Lucifer now called a serpent in the story, we will find Adam and Eve hiding from the presence of God. The scripture told us, “The eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.”
And what Adam and his wife had discovered after listening to the voice of Lucifer now called a serpent in the story, is that they have rebelled against God with Lucifer and will now suffer the penalty God had revealed from the beginning. Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Their eyes were opened to the reality, they will now face death and will die, and for fear of dying, they were trying to cover their guilt or sin because they were now exposed to judgment and the wrath of God. And so it was, that one day as they were carrying on with their lives in the garden, God came, and they were caught by surprise, and following the arrival of God was the judgment declared against rebellion.
Let us listen to the conversation that transpire when God judged Adam and his wife. First, upon hearing the voice of God in the garden, Adam and his wife hid from his presence. Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”
But as they were hiding, God called out to Adam and his wife, who then began to pass the blame off in the hope of escaping the judgment without realizing passing blame would not have prevented the penalty that was due. Genesis 3:9-13 “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And he said, who told thee that thou were naked? Have thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, the woman whom thou gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, what is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, the serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
Following was the judgement, a judgment that fell upon Lucifer, Eve, and Adam, no one escaped the judgment as each was judged according to God’s pronouncements, and as we read this history, we will find the answer as to why we need salvation or to be saved, it is because we were all judged in Adam.
Now, these are the judgments that came upon all three individuals back in human history leading to the reason there is a need for salvation. Genesis 3:14-19 “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
So, throughout the course of human life, in-order for us to eat, we will need to labour with the thought of passing away and returning to the dust of the earth. This would answer the question as to why as we work our way through life death is always accompanying us. Because as human beings, we live every day with the constant reminder we are going to one day die, and we just do not know when and how, but are sure we will die one day…
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” But despite this depressing end that came about because of one man, God did something wonderful in the midst of judging our ancestor, he made a promise to set us free by sending a son who would pave the way for our salvation. And receiving that promise and forgiveness, Adam repented, and in turn leave behind this story and account of creation, his fall, and the redemption to come through one of his sons to be known in the future as the Christ our salvation.
This is what God promised to do and has done, and said to Lucifer now called a serpent in the story, Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” And now going back to chapter one of the book of Genesis, we can hear the confession of Adam, and the telling of his story, and how we have now come to need a savior…