God’s Redemptive Plan - Daniel Study - Chapter 8
If you have not received Christ as your Savior and Lord, I ask you to please read the following pages. The most important thing you can have in life is a relationship with Jesus Christ. This can also be used as one of the lessons in your study of Daniel.
Backdrop: Sin and Death
The first book of the Bible, Genesis, explains that mankind has been in rebellion against God ever since the day that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the garden (see Gen. 3). God created man in his image, unique among all creation (Gen. 1:27). God walked with Adam and Eve in unbroken fellowship and gave them dominion over all the earth of which they were to be stewards (Gen. 1:26–30). But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered into the world and everything in creation was affected. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
Adam’s sinful nature was passed on to all humans. Sin affects every part of who we are: our mind, emotions, heart, will, and physical bodies. No one is without sin, and death is a by-product of sin. Death is God’s holy consequence for sin. The end result of death is separation. When a person dies physically, his or her soul is separated from the body. In the same way, when a person is spiritually dead he or she is separated from God. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
Even creation itself groans because of sin’s effect and it awaits deliverance: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” Romans 8:20–22
Everything in our world has been stained by sin, and therefore everything falls short of God’s original glory in creation. We die and the world decays because of sin. The whole world, even creation itself, is left in the frustration of death and decay. Every time we have to repair or maintain something, our labors in that process are due to sin in the world. Even the most beautiful scene on earth is affected by sin. I remember being about 8,000 feet up on a mountain ridge in Northern California when two thoughts ran through my mind. First, was the incredible scenery, which led me to worship as I reflected on God’s creation. The second thought, however, added some perspective to the first. This picturesque scene was stained by sin and light years away from what it could be. What made it even more sobering is that I was looking at this scene with imperfect eyes. The most beautiful thing on earth is not to be compared to the beauty of what believers in Christ will see when God ushers in the new heaven and earth where there is no sin or death. Revelations 21:1–5
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son….Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” John 3:18, 36 If we physically die without our sins being forgiven by God, we will spend eternity separated from God in hell. Our separation from God on earth will only be magnified when we die. To grasp this truth more fully, read Matthew 24–25; Revelation 19– 20.
The Old Testament sacrificial system was only a foreshadowing to the redemption gained through Christ. The blood of animals demonstrated and symbolized the horrible consequences of sin, but only the blood of Christ could cleanse a person from sin and give him or her a right standing before God. Read Hebrews 9:11–15, 10:1–18.
Redemption is the act of buying something and then taking it out of its current environment and placing it into a new environment. Until Christ redeems us, we are under the control of Satan and in his kingdom. However, Christ purchased us when he paid for us with his life. His redemption takes us out of the kingdom of Satan and transfers us into the kingdom of Christ, where we have a new owner and master.
Read Ephesians 2:1–4; Colossians 1:13.
Redemption is only found in a relationship with Christ. When a person receives Christ as Lord and Savior, he or she is cleansed of their sins and brought into the family of God. Christ paid the price we owe for sin when he took the sin of the whole world on his shoulders. Christ’s death on the cross appeased the wrath of God toward sin. Read 2 Corinthians 5:15–21; Romans 3:21–28, 8:1–17; Colossians 1:13.
A man or woman comes into a relationship with Christ through repentance and faith. To repent is to turn from our old way of life and follow Christ. Faith is trusting in what Christ has done on our behalf. We trust that his death, burial, and resurrection are full payment for our sins. Read John 3:16, 6:47; Acts 2:37.
A personal relationship with Christ brings a rich harvest of benefits. These include:
In addition to being completely forgiven and placed in his kingdom, a person who trusts Christ receives eternal life with him. His or her final destination is heaven instead of hell. Read Philippians 3:20–21.
Victory Over Sin
A follower of Christ also receives the gift of the Holy Spirit Who empowers believers to overcome sin. In Christ we are delivered not only from the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin. Read Romans 6–8.
Understanding God’s Word, the Bible
The Holy Spirit illuminates the truth of Scripture to us as we read the Bible. Read 1 Corinthians 2:6–16.
A Prayer of Faith
If you are ready to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, simply bow your head and ask Jesus to come into your life. Ask him to cleanse you of your sin based on what he did for you on the cross, and then commit to following him all the days of your life.
When you do this, all the angels in heaven will rejoice. Read Luke 15:10.