Summary: This is the 3rd of a 5 part series on basic bible doctrines for our new congregation. (New Church Plant as of 4-6-03)
I. THE PROMISE OF A SAVIOR:
From the very beginning sin erected a barrier between man and God. Where there had been a perfect relationship, because both man and God were perfect, there was, and still is a gulf of separation that was created because of man’s sin. You see, as it did for Adam and Eve, so it does for us.. our sin has alienated us from a sinless & perfect God. So, God knew, from the beginning that something, in this case, Someone, would have to bridge that gulf. Now, incredibly the Bible teaches us that God, unfolded His promise of a Savior before creation. Rev. 13:8- "..the lamb who was killed before the world was made."(NLT) God knew even before the sacrifice was needed that Jesus would be the One to bridge the gulf between sinful man and sinless God. Isn’t that amazing? That means that God made us, knowing He would have to save us. Knowing that it would cost Him His Son. Let me ask you - would you have made you knowing it would cost your Son’s life? God did. What unbelievable love!
All through the O.T. God’s plan to reconcile man to Himself is revealed. The earliest referral to this is in the first book of the Bible in Gen. 3:15. There we are told that although satan would bruise Jesus’ heel at the cross, Jesus would crush satan’s power when He resurrected from the grave. And then God rose up prophets to serve as His mouth pieces to tell people of the coming Savior. Through these prophecies people learned all kinds of details concerning this coming Savior. The O.T. is filled with promise after promise that a Redeemer was coming to buy man back from sin.
I believe that there are many things that can substantiate and strengthen your faith. God has provided some strong objective evidence for your faith. Over the last couple of weeks we have talked about such things a archeological discoveries that are showing more clearly than ever that the Bible is an accurate and true historical account. In the 1950’s, in a place called Qumran near the Dead Sea, a shepherd boy accidently uncovered one of the greatest archeological finds of our time. He discovered pots containing what is now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. These scrolls dated back before Christ and held much of the O.T. Now, although they do not contain the entire O.T., guess what they do contain? The portions of the O.T. found on those scrolls contains every prophecy from the O.T. concerning Jesus. It’s as if God gave us a huge neon type arrow pointing to Jesus through those scrolls.
And a study of prophecy is another thing that can deepen your faith. 2 Peter 1:19- "We have seen and proved that what the prophets said came true. You will do well to pay close attention to everything they have written, for, like lights shining into dark corners, their words help us to understand many things.."(LB) One of the greatest proofs that Jesus is the Savior of the world, is the O.T. prophecies. There are nearly 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in His lifetime. No wonder David wrote in Psalm 130:7 "..put your hope in the lord. For He is loving and able to save." (NCV) And only Jesus Christ is worthy of instilling hope in our hearts for only He is our Savior. That’s why Paul wrote: “Jesus is the only One who can save people. His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save people. We must be saved through him!” (Acts 4:12 - NCV) Notice - He’s the only One. Some think that to be narrow but if it not the truth! And not only was He perfectly predicted, He was perfectly qualified.