The Salvation Story – A Biblical Explanation
Salvation: Biblical Why & How!
Kay Money (Founder, Teacher, Director)
© 2016 Discover The Bible Lands!
A Note From Kay:
Though rather long, I PROMISE the article below is worthy of your time and you will be blessed beyond measure!
Whether you are a Christian or not…have you ever wondered about SALVATION from a totally BIBLICAL / MIDDLE EASTERN / HEBREW point of view?
- Why the BLOOD?
- Why the SON of GOD?
- Why the CROSS / CRUCIFIXION?
Let’s explore the BIBLICAL answers! We build a picture…so that you may know the “why” and the “how” for salvation. Take time to savor the truths of His eternal provision for YOU! Ask God to reveal Himself… as you read slowly – while soaking up precious truths! (NOTE: The following text is condensed from the DTBL! Study Manual)
++ COVENANT SYMBOLS / SIGNS ++
Covenant is an UNBREAKABLE PROMISE.
To BREAK a Covenant means DEATH.
HE died for us – WE are the Covenant Breakers!
Here you will see Hebrew Thinking & Writing.
(word picture building at its best).
- It is very symbolic, graphic and visual.
- Covenants were “cut” – made almost always between
“greater to a lesser” – “stronger to weaker”
BLOOD & SACRIFICE (Lev. 17:11; Gen. 15: 9-18) Death & Blood was required for SIN: Leviticus 17:11 (NASB) For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ An animal sacrifice was cut from nose to tail (example is God’s covenant with Abraham). Walking through the flesh and blood symbolized the sealing of the covenant and the death penalty for breaking it.
BLOOD & MARKS (Lev. 17:11; I Cor. 11:25) Cutting the arm or hand, the covenant partners mingled their blood, symbolizing oneness. The wound was a permanent sign in the flesh of that covenant. (Jesus’ covenant marks were on his hands, feet, and side.)
CIRCUMCISION (Gen. 17:9-14) Another SIGN of covenant was circumcision. God ordained this sign as a constant reminder of the Children of Israel’s covenant with Him.
COVENANT MEAL (Ex. 24:9-11; Matt: 25:28; I Cor. 11:24-25) Bread (symbol of the body) and wine (symbol of the blood) were used in the meal. Often they spoke saying, “I am eating you; I am drinking you,” symbolizing the covenant and oneness.
NAMES CHANGED (Genesis 17:5, 17) As with Abram and Sarai (Abraham & Sarah), they took on new names with a portion of God’s name in theirs. (The letter H in the Hebrew alphabet is found in God’s Hebrew name.)
A CLOSER LOOK AT COVENANTS
THE OLD TESTAMENT (1st Covenant) After “covenant was cut” (made), the terms of the agreement were written down. A copy was given to each party. God gave the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) to Moses as His Covenant. The whole covenant was then reduced to a summary statement: The Ten Commandments. Moses then placed those tablets in the Ark of the Covenant which was kept in the Holy of Holies.
THE NEW TESTAMENT (2nd Covenant) Jesus further reduces the summary statements, capturing the spirit of the LAW, ten down to two: “Love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. And love our neighbor as ourselves.” (Matt. 22:36-40). There it is – the spirit and essence of the Law is LOVE!
APPLICATIONS IN THE NEW COVENANT
Certainly, as we look at just these few symbols, we see the picture of Jesus, His New Covenant, and His ministry. The Bride of Christ (also human marriage) takes on a new understanding. All the symbols of covenant find fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah. In fact, Jesus IS the New Covenant (Is. 42:6-9). In Matthew 26:26-28 and Luke 22:17;19-20, we see Jesus celebrating the Passover with the Seder meal. In this portion of Scripture, He tells them to “eat the bread – this is my body.” Previously, He had called, “Himself the Bread of Life” (Jn 6:47-48). Then He used the Seder as a covenant meal (eat me) as a SIGN to remember Him and the New Covenant that He was establishing. He takes the wine and symbolically presents the blood sacrifice He is about to make at Calvary (drink me) to ratify the New Covenant. Wine was always used to seal covenant – a SYMBOL of blood.
NOTE: We now understand the very stern warning and penalty for taking the elements / symbols of covenant (what Christians call, “Communion”), without being in covenant with the Lord and without a sound self-examination. (Read the following Scriptures carefully and prayerfully.)
As you read the following text, use the word “Covenant” for the word “Testament.” Be mindful that the word “sleep” means death. (The New American Standard Bible translation is helpful.)
I Corinthians 11: 23-32 “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”
Symbols of Covenant…. in light of Jesus’ ministry and when we are IN COVENANT with Him!
- God gave HIS only – 1st born / only Son – to pay for mankind’s sin and broken covenant with God Himself
- Jesus took on the robe of humanity and in covenant with Him we have put on His robe of righteousness
- We now have the same friends and same enemies
- We have security in Him and we are His responsibility
- We are to reflect His identity
- He gives us His strength and armor in exchange for our weakness
- He carries the covenant marks of His sacrifice in His body (hands, feet, and side)
- We are marked (owner sealed) by the Holy Spirit
- We are to have a circumcised heart
- We are engraved in the palms of His hands (Isa. 49:16)
- The New Covenant is the written New Testament. The Covenant is the written Scripture, and is also written on our hearts (Jer. 31:33; Isa. 42: 6-9)
- At the Passover Seder, Jesus was cutting (making) covenant, sealing it with His own blood sacrifice, giving the New Covenant (Matt. 5:17), and eating the covenant meal signifying the ratifying (confirming) of the sealing of the covenant.
- Entering into His covenant, the gifts of Salvation and the Holy Spirit are given; we receive spiritual gifts by the Spirit; for all eternity we will be holy and not fallen; and we have a new name (Jer.23:6; Jer. 33:16; Rev. 22:4).
Imagine – from the very beginning… before there was “TIME”… God knew we were going to be “covenant breakers.” In our fallen state we simply cannot keep the Law! He knew that HE would provide the substitute blood sacrifice for us! GOD HIMSELF, would provide HIS OWN required sacrificial Lamb! God’s only begotten SON, the LAMB OF GOD would pay the price for whosoever will (Jn 1:29, 36; Jn 3:3,7; I Peter 1:23).
The Lamb of God made the PERFECT covenant sacrifice! It is through the act of repentance, believing (complete surrender and trust), accepting the substitute sacrifice, that we are counted as righteous, and have entered into covenant with a Holy God through the blood of the Lamb of God. Never, ever can that covenant be broken by either party. Salvation is secured for all eternity
NOTE: The word “believe” is NOT an intellectual assent / belief, but rather has a much deeper meaning within the Biblical context. BELIEVE means to, “receive, trust, accept, turn to, rely on, throw your entire weight upon, and totally surrender to.”
Nicodemus had a question for Jesus. Many cannot reconcile his questions to Jesus’ answer. The answer is usually, “Jesus could read his mind.” Well, though true, Jesus was really answering his questions directly. The key is the Pharisaic Judaism frame-of-reference. (Explanation follows text.)
John 3:1-7 “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
The Jewish frame-of-reference believed there were SIX WAYS one was born again (which explains Nicodemus’ response.) (Summary points that follow are derived from Ariel Ministry’s, The Logos & The Rabbi; Dr Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum)
- A Gentile converted to Judaism
(Nicodemus was not a Gentile.)
- A crowned King
(He was not a King from the House of David.)
- Boy bar mitzvahed at 13
(He qualified: He was a member of Sanhedrin which meant he was married.)
- Ordained Rabbi
(He qualified: He was an ordained Rabbi and a Pharisee.)
- Head of a rabbinical school
(He was qualified: He was the teacher.)
NOTE: “Born of water” was a Jewish way of saying a physical birth was being born physically as a Jew. In other words, they thought that being “born a Jew,” was enough to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus countered… that a “Jewish birth” was not enough to enter the Kingdom of God…and clearly revealed there had to be a “spiritual” birth!
POINTS TO PONDER:
The ancient practice of “making/cutting” a covenant has found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ (Messiah) and invites “whosoever will.” Perhaps you are reading this and wondering if YOU are in covenant with God – born again, by the Spirit. Maybe you are not certain or you cannot remember a particular time or day when you repented and asked him to save you for eternity. Maybe you’ve never surrendered your life to Him making Him Lord of your life. If that is the case, prayerfully consider the following Scriptures:
- Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name
- John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
- John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
- Romans 12: 1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
You may want to pray to ask Jesus the Messiah as your Savior and Lord. Perhaps you wish to rededicate yourself as a “living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1-2), allowing Him to be Lord of your life. There is no formal prayer to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, but with a broken, repentant, and surrendered heart, perhaps these words will help in your prayer of salvation.
A Prayer of REPENTANCE & SURRENDER:
“Lord, I believe you are the Son of God who died for my sins. I repent of all my sin and ask your forgiveness. I surrender my life to you and want you to be Lord and Savior of my life.” If you have prayed that prayer (or something similar) with a repentant, surrendered heart, you are now and forever secured in Covenant with God – through Jesus’ perfect blood sacrifice! You have a new Covenant Partner and your life is His. Your eternity is secured!
If you have just prayed that prayer…asking for “forgiveness” and “surrendering your LIFE” to Jesus as your Savior and LORD…. YOU have received ALL the GIFTS we just studied! You have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, enabling your life to change for His glory and empowering your daily walk with Him.
To know Him better, read the Bible – the “living WORD” daily…and fellowship with other believers as a family. You will grow stronger day by day as you follow Him!
IN COVENANT with Jesus Christ… YOU have RECEIVED:
It is a gift
- SALVATION FROM DESTRUCTION:
Your life has a purpose
You are one with God – reconciled – the blood sacrifice satisfied the sin debt
Sin debt was paid, declaring you not guilty (as in a legal document)
He sees you through Jesus’ blood sacrifice for your sin
You are set apart for a life purpose with the power to mature daily and become Christ-like
You have a new Father and new family. You can NEVER be disowned!
Be sure to tell someone as a confirmation of your new life. (Romans 10:9) (We would love to hear from you too!)
NOTE from Kay: Romans 12:1-2 transformed my life. In my 20’s I was very ill, and I remember thinking that I really did not want to surrender the “control of my life” to God. I thought with horror, “What might He do…allow me to get worse?” Suddenly, I heard that still small voice inside say, “But God is going to do what He wants anyhow!” Instantly, all I wanted was Him – no matter the cost! I’m so glad I surrendered my life to Him! Everything in life took on newness! There was also a new direction and a walk through life’s often difficult circumstances, with my Covenant Partner.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Be assured…we are praying for YOU!
Feel free to write and tell me of your decisions! KAY@DTBL.net
P.S. Pondering all that we have talked about here… I have a question! What is the ONLY “man-made” thing that will be in Heaven… for ALL ETERNITY?
Think about it…. ask the Lord what that would be, given what you have learned. Write to tell me! (No guesses – you will know for sure when it is revealed! Smiling..you will relish in that revelation the rest of your life!)
**Additional study materials on the topic of Covenant:
Precept’s Covenant Inductive Study
(*DTBL! highly recommends the inductive method of Bible study.
Even alone on a desert… one can understand the Word in truth!
DTBL! also urges the use of Precept’s Inductive Courses.)