Proverbs 23 10-23-22

Ever wondered why evangelists say that people must be saved? Why? From what? Good questions! Let’s look at them.

11 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior [salvation]. Isaiah 43:11

Salvation is an interesting concept. It involves more than one person because, by definition, a person cannot save himself (it’s not called salvation at that point). Another person is required to intervene for the sake of someone else.

When Peter made his great statement in Acts 4:12, he gave us a unique definition of salvation from God’s perspective,

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

There are several questions that arise from this verse.

  1. Must a person be saved?
  2. From what is he lost?
  3. Is he not capable of saving himself?
  4. Why Jesus’ name?
  5. What makes His name special?
  6. Everyone?
  7. What is required?
  8. What shall we gain/avoid?

Let’s look at the first one. The verse states that all men (a figure of speech for all mankind) must be saved. Why? For the answer to this question, we go to Genesis 3 and Romans 5,

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate itThen the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.

Many people consider this passage as a literary story and not historical. I do not, because:

  • The style of writing is narrative, not poetic,
  • Jesus refers to Adam and Eve as real people (Mark 10:6),
  • and Paul refers to Adam in a very specific way in Romans 5,

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people

Adam was mankind’s representative. His action affected every person on the planet. Why would God set things up like that? Because He KNEW that we would fail, so He designed it so that Jesus could be our Second Representative. 1 Corinthians 15:21 says,

21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.

Aslan referred to this representation as “the deeper magic from before the dawn of time”*. So, the answer to the question, “Must a person be saved?” is yes. By someone else: Jesus Christ.

Tomorrow, we will look at the next question, “From what is he lost?”

Abba, thank You for setting things up so that You could save us from our sin, from ourselves, from the enemy, especially death. There has never been a “Plan B;” it’s always been “Plan A.” We are forever grateful! Amen.

*”The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” from The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis

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