4.4.2 Jesus Christ–Saviour and Mediator of Salvation

In Galatians 4: 4-5 we read that the entire history of salvation in the old covenant was geared toward the birth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ: "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."

Jesus Christ is the Redeemer sent by God. He reveals Himself as the Redeemer in His words and deeds. Those who believe in Him will recognise that "this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world" (John 4: 42). Only in Him is there salvation (Acts 4: 12).

During His time on earth, the Son of God performed many miracles of healing. When He healed a lame man, as related in Matthew 9: 2-6, Jesus pointed to a kind of healing that is much more significant, namely the redemption of man from sin.

Salvation has come into the world through Jesus Christ. He is the author of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5: 9). He has brought salvation and is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2: 5-6). Through the sacrifice of Christ, mankind's relationship with God has been set upon a new foundation. The merit Christ thereby acquired makes liberation from sin–and the undoing of permanent separation from God–possible: "Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5: 17-19).

No human being can achieve salvation on his own. All people are sinners and are thus dependent on God's activity of salvation (Luke 16: 26). Through Jesus Christ, all human beings, both living and dead, have access to salvation (Acts 13: 47; Romans 14: 9).

God's plan of salvation provides that, in the course of time, salvation will be offered to all who ever lived or ever will live. Thus the spread of the gospel by the early Apostles, the worldwide propagation of Christianity, and the preparation of the bride for the return of Christ are all phases in this plan of salvation.

SUMMARY

God's actions are aimed at bringing about salvation–in the sense of "deliverance", "protection", and "redemption". This transpires in the form of salvation history, in which a series of divine actions occurring in accordance with God's plan can be identified. This is described as "God's plan of salvation". (4.4)

The manner and measure of the salvation that is to be imparted varies throughout the different phases of salvation history, however, God's will to save–which is valid for all people of all time periods–stands above everything else. (4.4)

In Old Testament times, the hope of salvation was primarily focused on deliverance from earthly need and captivity. Over the course of time, Israel's hope for salvation became more and more clearly directed toward the expected Messiah. (4.4.1)

The history of salvation in the old covenant is geared toward Jesus Christ, the Redeemer sent by God. He is the author of eternal salvation and the only Mediator between God and human beings. The merit which Christ acquired on the cross makes liberation from sin–and the undoing of the separation from God–possible. (4.4.2)

Through Jesus Christ salvation has become accessible to all human beings, both living and dead. No human being can attain redemption on his own. (4.4.2)

See also