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Summary: Jesus is the source of our salvation, but how did he do it? He did it by becoming a man, living a sinless life, dying on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, and rising from the dead three days later conquering the grave. More than that, Jesus is the so

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God’s Wonderful Plan of Salvation!

Soteria (Greek) – rescue / safety

1. What does it mean to be saved?

• Freedom from the bondage of sin.

• Peace with God.

• He with us & in us.

• Become a new creation.

• Indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

* It is eternally more important than being saved from fire, illness, poverty etc.

2. WHAT IS SALVATION?

• Deliverance from impending death

• Saving of the whole person

• Forgiveness of sins

• Deliverance from the hands of our Enemy

• Sparing of the coming Judgment and wrath of God

* It’s the greatest miracle God can do in your life.

3. WHY IS SALVATION NEEDED?

All have sinned. Romans 3: 23

We are imprisoned by our sin. Galatians 3:22

We are under a curse. Galatians 3:10

We are slaves to our sin. Romans 6:16

We are sentenced to death by our sin. Romans 6:23

4. Who is a sinner?

• A sinner isn’t someone who breaks all the rules.

• But who hasn’t put God where HE rightfully belongs.

• Where is that? At the center of one’s life.

• Everyone has sinned: Ps 51: 5; Rom 5: 12; 1Jn 1:8; Rom 3: 10

• Penalty for sin: Rom 6:23a

• Who can’t sin? 1 John 3: 9; 1 John 5: 18

5. What it means to be lost?

Lost / Found / Saved : slave to sin,

out of glory of God

2 Corinthians 4:3 Luke 19: 10

Diag: Body; Soul; Spirit

Healthy Happiness Holiness

born in sin / emptiness / unseen /

6. What are man’s efforts to reach God?

(a) Good life

(b) Philosophy

(c) Religion

(d) Good works

7. What is God’s effort for man?

(a) Story of Christmas / Passion / Crucifixion of Christ / Resurrection

Illustration: To help us understand the answer to that question, I would like to recount a story that I heard Paul Harvey tell many years ago. One snowy Christmas Eve, during an especially harsh Midwestern blizzard, an old farmer was sitting in his comfortable chair by the fireplace, book in hand, when he heard a thumping sound against his kitchen door. He didn’t think much of it at first; after all it was a cold, windy night, so he returned to his reading. But when the thumping sound continued, the farmer put down his book and decided to investigate. When he entered the warm kitchen, he discovered that the thumping sound was being made by tiny sparrows that were flying into the glass in the kitchen door. At first the farmer could not understand the small birds’ strange behavior; but then he realized that the tiny birds were attracted by the light and warmth coming through the window pane in the kitchen door. The farmer assumed that the sparrows would eventually realize that bumping their heads against the window pane was not going to get them anywhere, so he went back to his warm fire and continued with his book. Yet, the thumping sound did not stop. In fact, it seemed to increase in frequency. So the farmer returned to the kitchen, and sure enough, the sparrows were still flying into the window pane, hoping to escape the freezing snowy night and find the warmth of the light inside.

Being a kindly and compassionate old man, the farmer was saddened to think of the little sparrows suffering in the cold; therefore, he felt compelled to do something. So he bundled up in his heavy coat and scarf, put on his cap and earmuffs, and stepped into the bitter, windy cold outside. Slowly he tramped through the deep snow to the barn and pulled the huge barn doors wide-open so the sparrows could fly into safety. He even lit a lantern inside the barn so that the sparrows could more easily see the way in. Then he returned outside into the blizzard and began to wave his arms, trying to herd the sparrows in hopes that they would fly into the barn, where they would be safe from the wintry storm. Well, of course, that didn’t work; that only seemed to scare the little birds further away from the barn. Next, he went back into the kitchen and grabbed a hand full of crackers from a canister in the cabinet. He went back outside and began to sprinkle a trail of crackers along the ground to try to lure the birds to the safety of the barn. Yet even that didn’t work. Finally, in exasperation, the farmer went back inside the house and watched through the kitchen window as the sparrows huddled on the frozen branches outside, shivering in the freezing cold. Then, a thought occurred to him: “If only I could become a sparrow, just for a moment. Then they wouldn’t be afraid of me, and I could show them the way to the barn.” At that moment, the farmer realized he had grasped the true meaning of Christmas. God became one of us in order to lead us into the barn.


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