Summary: The basics of salvation: Why do I need to be saved? and How can I be saved?
The word “save” can mean many different things:
• To set aside money for later use, often adding to the sum periodically. (She’s saving for a new computer.)
• To avoid wasting something or using something unnecessarily. (He took a shortcut to save time.)
• To set something aside, keep something back, or protect something so that it can be used later. (He saved some of the pie for tomorrow.)
• To reduce or limit the expense of something. (Extra insulation helps to save on fuel.)
• To collect as many items of a particular kind as possible, usually in order to do something with them later. (She saves old jars for when she makes jelly.)
• To make it possible for somebody to be spared from a situation or activity. (It will save me from having to decide.)
• To treat something carefully or stop using it in order to keep it from being used up or worn out. (Turn the radio off to save the batteries.)
• To store a copy of a data file on a storage medium such as a hard drive or disk.
• To prevent a goal from being scored by an opponent.
• In baseball, to maintain the lead in completing a game started by another pitcher.
• To rescue somebody or something from harm or danger. (The entire crew was saved.)
• To free somebody from the consequences of sin (Source: Encarta Dictionary).
I. Why Do I Need to Be Saved?
A. Because I was born a SINNER
1. What is sin?
Sin is DISOBEDIENCE to God’s moral law. I can sin by doing, saying, or thinking anything that is against God’s rules.
The most frequently used word for sin in the Bible “to miss the mark.”
2. Where did sin come from?
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
3. How does the sin of Adam affect me?
a. I am GUILTY before God because of Adam’s sin.
“…sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12).
When Paul writes that “all sinned,” he’s not talking about our individual sins, he means that when Adam sinned the entire human race became guilty of sin.
Is this fair? Should I be guilty because of a sin committed thousands of years ago? If you read the rest of the verses in Romans 5, you’ll discover that everyone can be made righteous (innocent) because of one man’s obedience (because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross). If you think it’s unfair that Adam’s sin makes you guilty, you should also think it’s unfair that Christ’s obedience can make you innocent.
b. I have a SINFUL NATURE because of Adam’s sin.
There were two brothers, well known around town for their crooked business dealings and underworld connections. They were as mean and cold-blooded as you could imagine. One day one of the brothers died, and the surviving brother wanted to give his dead brother a funeral fit for a king. He called the funeral home and made the arrangements, then he called the town’s minister and made him an offer, as they say, he couldn’t refuse. He said, “I’ll give you $30,000 to put that new roof on the church if, in eulogizing my brother, you call him a saint.”
The minister agreed. The whole town turned out for the funeral, and the minister began: “The man you see in the coffin was a vile individual. He was a liar, a thief, a deceiver, a manipulator, a reprobate, and a hedonist. He destroyed the fortunes, careers, and lives of countless people in this city, some of whom are here today. This man did every dirty, rotten thing you can think of. But compared to his brother, he was a saint” (Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes, p. 759).
The Bible says that everyone is born a sinner. That includes you and that includes me. We all have a sinful nature that we inherited from Adam.
“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5). One of the first words children learn in “mine.” Children are naturally selfish.
“Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies” (Ps. 58:3).
“There is no one who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46).
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). No one here today could jump across the Halifax Harbour, no matter how hard you tried. It’s impossible. And none of us are capable of living a perfect life. We all fall short.
“The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin” (Gal. 3:22).
“We all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2).