Further Study: Salvation: The Only Solution

Read Ellen G. White, “‘God With Us,’” pp. 19-29, in The Desire of Ages;

Ivan T. Blazen, “Salvation,” pp. 271-313, in Raoul Dederen (ed.), Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology.

“The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of ‘the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal’ (Rom. 16:25, R.V.). It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. . . . God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, ‘that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ ”-Ellen G. White, God’s Amazing Grace, p. 23.

Discussion Questions

  1. Think about how bad sin must be that it took the death of the Creator Himself to solve it. What does the Cross reveal to us about the utter inability of humanity to save itself? What do we think we could add to what has already been done for us?
  2. Some believe in what is called the “subjective atonement,” the idea that nothing about the Cross changed our standing with God. Rather, the whole point of the Cross was, they claim, to change our attitude about God, nothing more. What’s terribly deficient about such a theology? What does it say about the problem of sin if all it would take is an “attitude adjustment” on our part to solve it?
  3. How possible is it to have a good deal of knowledge about salvation and yet not the experience of it? What do you make of Ellen White’s comment that “Consecration to God must be a living, practical matter; not a theory to be talked about, but a principle interwoven with all our experience”?-Our High Calling, p. 243. How do we, on a daily and practical level, live out the experience of salvation?
  4. Dwell on the role of salvation in the context of the great controversy. Why does Satan want to keep as many people as possible from having salvation in Jesus? What are the means he uses against us, and how can we defend ourselves against them?


Further Study: Salvation: The Only Solution — 9 Comments

  1. Question #2, "Some believe in what is called the “subjective atonement,” the idea that nothing about the Cross changed our standing with God. Rather, the whole point of the Cross was, they claim, to change our attitude about God, nothing more."

    There is a lot that I don't know concerning the Bible and the whole business of salvation but there some things that I am reasonably sure of. As the late H.M.S. Richards, Sr. once said in an answer to a question about how we are saved, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so" or as someone else said, "There are two things I know, there is a God and I am not him."

    While we like to think of the cross in simple terms it really is not so simple. The fact that God, "chose us in Him before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1:4 NKJV) and that, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8 NKJV) tells me that the plan of salvation was essentially executed before the fact, not after it. In other words God didn't wait for sin to happen; He devised a plan to deal with it before it happened on earth and made the choice to sacrifice Himself. On top of that God knows, "the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done" (Isa. 46:10 NKJV) so that when He chose us it was with the knowledge of the sinful state we would be in which reminds me of Jn 3:16. The cross then didn't change God's attitude toward us for He has always loved us but rather it changed our relationship to Him, the ones constantly running from Him ever since the fall in Eden.

    We know through Rev 12 that this whole sin problem started in Heaven not on earth so that whatever was done was because of a problem in the universe not just on earth. That means that the cross was dealing with much more than just our sin but was settling the controversy between Christ and Satan which involved the angels.

    For us sinners who are facing death the forensic side of the cross is perhaps the most important thing for it gives us assurance that our sin is taken care of but for angels who have never sinned what was revealed at the cross is the far more important issue. Peter states that the gospel is something, "which angels desire to look into" (1 Pet. 1:12 NKJV). There was a lot they didn't understand about God even though they could see and talk to Him face to face and have the heavenly sanctuary to study in a sinless environment. To them the cross was an eye opener that answered major questions about God and Satan. It also told them that God was accepting us in spite of the sin problem that we continually have.

    To me, when I consider that God is an absolute sovereign ruler in the universe who is accountable to no one and is indebted to nothing concerning His physical acts such as creation and resurrection then I realize that He really didn't need the cross to save anyone. If the intelligent beings in the universe were merely robots then the cross would have been unnecessary but we were not created that way. That makes the salvation issue much more complicated because it involves personal choice and interpersonal relationships between individuals and acceptance of questionable creatures. The angels not only needed to accept us but we also needed to accept ourselves as redeemed creatures welcomed by God, the father of the prodigal son. The cross then is the big flashing neon sign that says that, "God is love" (1 Jn. 4:8 NKJV). That to me is the most important thing about the cross and why I think there is something to be said about "subjective atonement" while at the same time I accept the substitutionary atonement on my behalf on a legal basis.

    • Thank you for such great insights, I never really looked at it that way, now I have a better understanding and a greater appreciation for the cross of Christ.

  2. Predestination in Christ

    The question of eternal predestination and election will also come up in the discussion. The apostle Paul is discussing this point in Ephesians 1 as part and parcel of all spiritual gifts freely bestowed in Christ Jesus (Vers 3).

    Before the foundation of the world God has chosen us in Christ (Vers 4). This leaves room for accepting or rejecting this gift of grace. We are also predestined to be sons and daughters of God by adoption (Vers 5), which calls for a decision. In predestination also glorious grace is freely bestowed in Christ to be accepted or rejected (Vers 6).

    Finally, in the fullness of time predestination in the plan of salvation is climaxing in uniting all things in heaven and on earth leading up to the final glorification in God`s eternal kingdom (Vers 10).

    Eternal predestination and election is centered in Christ. It is a gift of grace to be accepted by faith the same way as justification by faith. This leads to adoration, worship and thanksgiving for the unspeakable gift.

  3. Even before the creation of the world, God saw that His created beings called humans may fall to Satan's trap, He made a solution already even before the creation of earth. Our sin darkened world became the battle ground of two principalities, God's character and law is being questioned, our very own habitation became the place for the whole universe to see what sin is and who God really is. Colossians 2:15 "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it" (NKJV). Satan accused God that no man can obey God's law, not even God Himself. Jesus came here on earth as a man at the appointed time and showed that man can triumph over sin that we can obey. In the battle of two principalities the whole universe saw that Satan will kill Jesus even right there in heaven if only Satan has a chance which Satan literally did here on earth when Jesus came as a man. With that for a fact, Jesus saved the world, Jesus reconciled us to God and the whole universe saw the real character of the usurper.

  4. All I know is that I can't change my sinful condition without the sacrifice of Christ. The more I try to be "good", the more I realize I fail. I owe all to my Savior Jesus Christ and nothing to myself. I realize that the only thing I can do is cry "Jesus Save Me" just like Peter did.


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