You may download a printable copy of In Light Of The Cross Bible Study Guides -NLT here.
Brief overview: Salvation from death and sin is a free gift from God. It is not earned. It is a free gift courtesy of God’s love and grace. See John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-10, 2 Timothy 1:9.
Why it is important to know the truth about salvation?
In pagan religions man makes the sacrifices to obtain the pleasure and acceptance of his “god”. Some pagan tribes have offered up human sacrifices just to make sure the sun would rise the next day. They also brought gifts for their “gods” hoping to gain their love and blessing. In Christianity it is the exact opposite. Our God sacrifices Himself on the Cross to obtain not His but our pleasure and acceptance. While we were the guilty ones He did not wait for us to bring a gift or peace offering, but made Himself the peace offering.
Revelation 12 tells us of a war in heaven. Not with machine guns and tanks, but a war of the minds. Isaiah 14 tells us Satan wanted God’s seat to the point where he was willing to kill God Himself to get it. He convinced a third of the angels that it would be in the best interest of the Universe if he was in control rather than God. Satan came to this earth and in Genesis 3 convinced Eve and thus mankind that he was more interested in our welfare than God was. For years a great controversy has raged over who has our best interest in mind.
Why understanding salvation in light of the cross is important:
The Cross settles the controversy of who has our best interest in mind once and for all. At the Cross we see the true character of both God and Satan. While we see Satan manipulating men to kill God, we see a tyrant who is willing to kill anyone who gets in his way of being number one. In contrast we see a God who is willing to give His life to save the world. The Cross shows who is really interested in our welfare and who is just using us as pawns for his own selfish purposes.
While Satan pretended to be on our side and acting in our best interest we see what he is really up to. We can also see the God whom Satan claimed did not really care about us is actually at peace with us and on our side!
Further study on Salvation
If Jesus were to come today would you be saved?
I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 NLT
God wants us to know we are saved. He does not want us wondering or hoping, but knowing that we have eternal life. We have done nothing to earn this, but then again, what did the angels do to earn their place in heaven? Nothing! They were just created there. Before and after sin and the cross, life has always been a free gift and always will be.
If you were to stand before God and He asked you why He should allow you into His kingdom what would you say?
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
I like to share that if I was asked that question, I would just point to Jesus and say “Ask Him?” Jesus would then explain that He was treated the way I deserve to be treated so I may be treated the way He deserves to be treated.
“Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.” Desire of Ages, page 25
Why do I need grace?
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT
What are the wages of sin?
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NLT
I like to share right here that the wages of sin is not eternal torment in hell.John 3:16 says those who believe “shall not perish” instead of “shall not betormented for all eternity.”
What is sin? Important to know since sin causes death.
Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.
Note: Good news is that it is not a sin to be human or tempted. It is a sin to willfully and knowingly break God’s law. Obviously the law is still in effect. If there were no law I could not break God’s law and sin, and therefore I would not need grace. The fact that I need grace shows there is still a law.
How does God deal with the fact that I don’t have a prefect life to offer?
For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. Romans 5:10 NLT
Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 NLT
I am not only saved by His death. I am also saved by His life! His life stands in the place of my life. Again, Jesus was treated as we deserve so we can be treated as he deserves.
Jesus takes our sins and gives us His righteousness.
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT
Note: Jesus took the punishment for my sins in which He had no share, so that I may have the reward of His righteousness in which I had no share. Jesus was treated the way I deserve to be treated so I may be treated the way He deserves to be treated.
Jesus gives us eternal life and then helps us to hate the sins we now love and to love the good things we now hate.
He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NLT