Living the Christian Life – Chapter 1: Our Need for a Savior

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries7 Minutes

Since the dawn of time, people have tried to bridge the gap between themselves and God. To do this, we have created multiple religions and cults. We have done good and religious works in order to tip the scales of righteousness—in other words, right living—enough to be accepted by a just and holy God. Every religion in the world is fundamentally based on doing good works in order to be accepted back into fellowship with our Heavenly Father—all except one: Christianity.

Unlike all the other religions on earth, Christianity teaches, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NKJV). In other words, it doesn’t matter how many good works we do; it doesn’t matter how religious we are; it doesn’t matter that we have more good works than bad on the scales of righteousness—at the core, people are sinners, and just one sin is enough to keep us separated from the perfection of God. In our sinful state, humankind is doomed to an eternity apart from our Creator.

But God provided a way to bridge this gap.

One of the most famous Bible passages in the world is John 3:16, which gives us the Good News of how Jesus paid the price for our sin and built a bridge between mankind and God.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NKJV).

Jesus Christ put aside the power and glory of his divinity—being the second person of the Trinity, which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—and came to earth as a helpless little baby. Jesus was fully human, just like you and me with all our frailties and temptation to sin. But because He was also fully God, Jesus never committed a sin, and so He was qualified to take upon Himself all the sins of mankind and to die on the cross in our place.

The Bible says that God placed all the penalty of our sin upon Jesus as He hung on the cross to pay the price to reconcile mankind back to Himself. So we no longer have to work to become acceptable to God—we just receive what Jesus did for us through His death and resurrection.

Jesus is not God’s Plan B. In His foreknowledge, God knew that mankind, with his free will, would choose to disobey Him. He knew we would need a Savior. Jesus was God’s Plan A!

So how do we receive this wonderful gift of salvation? The Bible tells us that salvation is a result of God’s grace and our faith. As Jesus said in John 3:16, “Whoever believes in Him [the Son of God] will not perish, but have eternal life.”

The apostle Paul explains it this way:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works,
that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB).

Paul says plainly our salvation is received “by grace through faith,” and “not as a result of works.” Again, this concept sets Christianity apart from every other religion on earth.

What About Good Works?

So why did God give the Law to the Children of Israel if it was unable to provide salvation? The apostle Paul said the Law was given to point to our need for a Savior.

Just as Adam and Eve needed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so there would be a choice, the Children of Israel needed to the Law to remind them of man’s sinful nature. People don’t know they are sinning against God unless there is a law to show them.

Paul put it this way in his letter to the Galatian church:

“What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of
transgressions…But before faith came, we were kept under guard
by the law, kept for faith which would afterward be revealed.
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that
we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:19, 23-24 NKJV).

So the law showed us the good works that God wants us to do in this life, but also that those good works are not enough for salvation. The fact that there was a Law that mankind was unable to keep also showed us our need for a Savior.

Salvation can only come through faith in what Christ Jesus did for us on the cross. As Jesus said of Himself:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 ESV).

So Jesus is our bridge back to fellowship with God. The Bible tells us that the blood that Jesus shed on Calvary washes away every sin. So when we receive by faith what Jesus did for us at the cross, the Father no longer sees our sin—he only sees the spotless blood of Jesus.

God is our Father, and we are His children. Through Jesus, we are a part of His family again. He wants to spend time with us every day, just as He did with Adam and Eve in the garden. He wants you to talk with Him—that’s called prayer. He wants to talk to you—and there are many ways to hear His voice today. He wants to give you wisdom in your decisions, and He wants to bless your life and your family.