(Scripture: John 1:1-18; Philippians 2:1-11; Colossians 1:12-23; Hebrews 1)
In view of man’s helpless condition in sin, God in His love and mercy provided salvation with His own arm. That provision is Christ. Christ is the only way of salvation because He is God’s appointed way. Christ was sent by God to bring salvation. He fulfilled many of the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament – prophecies regarding his lineage, the place of His birth, the time and circumstances of His triumphal entry, His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, and many others. He will fulfill the remainder of the Messianic prophecies at His Second Coming. Christ is the Son of God. He is truly God, the second Person of the Trinity, existing from all eternity. Jesus claimed to be God, proved He was God by His miracles, received worship, and was declared to be God by His Apostles. The eternal Son took on human flesh in time and became the Son of Man in order to take upon Himself the sin of mankind. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and laid down His life at the cross for the sins of the world.
(Scripture: Leviticus 16:30; 17:11; Isaiah 53; Mark 10:45; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 9:23-28; 1 John 2:2)
Christ died for our sins. That is the summary of the atonement. We deserve eternal damnation, eternal death, but God intervened in Christ, who took upon Himself the penalty due our sins, by dying on the Cross. His burial proved that He died. His resurrection from the dead, three days later, proved that God accepted His death as payment for our sins and demonstrated His victory over death on our behalf. Christ was our substitute, just as the sacrificial lamb, innocent and without blemish, was the substitute of the offerer in the Old Testament. When Jesus died on the Cross He satisfied the just demands of the Law of God on our behalf, becoming a curse for us. He appeased the wrath of God that burned against us. God imputed our sin to Christ, as if He had sinned. He laid on Him the iniquity of us all. And God imputed the righteousness of Christ to us, as if we had never sinned. On the basis of this heavenly transaction, God declares us righteous. This is called justification. This justification is based wholly on the righteousness of Christ, not on our works, and is received by faith. If we believe on Christ, our sins are no longer imputed to us, they have been forgiven, washed away, removed from us forever. Therefore we have been reconciled to God and have peace with God through Christ. Only sin separates man from God, but in Christ we are brought near to God. Christ purchased us from the bondage of our sin and has made us His own. We once were slaves to sin, but now we are slaves to righteousness in Christ. We were once dead in sins and trespasses, but now we are alive in Christ.