Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 13, 1963
NUMBER 7, PAGE 7,10c

Biblical Redemption

Donald R. Givens

Throughout God's inspired Word, salvation is offered to man on the condition that he obey God. The statement "obey God and be blessed, disobey God and be condemned" permeates the entire Bible.

Man, in the beginning, was placed in the Garden of Eden and instructed not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:17) This was a definite and clear command by Almighty God. If Adam and Eve had obeyed this command, they would have been subsequently blessed instead of cursed. But they chose to sin, to go beyond what God had plainly said and to eat of the tree. They acted contrary to the law of God, and thus they were cast out of the garden.

Shortly after this one sees Abel obeying God by offering a pleasing sacrifice and Cain disobeying by offering a wrong sacrifice. (Genesis 4:4, 5) Abel was commended by God but Cain was sorely punished.

Next, one looks at the children of Israel and sees the very same principle applied to them; when they obeyed Jehovah He subsequently blessed them, but when they were in transgression to His Divine laws and left Him to serve corruptible idols, He afflicted them with severe punishment and persecution from other nations. Consult Deuteronomy 28:15ff.

One goes to the New Testament and the very same principle is all through it. Ananias and Sapphire lied to God and were struck dead. (Acts 5:1-11) Barnabas, on the other hand, had not lied about his contribution and as a result he was blessed. (Acts 4:36, 37) In the book of 3 John there is a noticeable comparison between Diotrephes and Demetrius. Diotrephes is condemned while Demetrius is commended because of their actions. So the entire Bible contains this principle throughout: Obey God and be blessed and disobey God and be condemned.

Now that the fact has been seen that the Bible does have a wonderful unity in respect to redemption of mankind; how is it that forty or more men over an extended period of some fifteen hundred years could write at entirely different times and places, but still all completely agree with one another on this vital point of salvation? How could all of these men agree that every person who obeys the commands of Jehovah will be blessed in his doing, and on the other hand if one disobeys Jehovah he will be damned? How could all these different minds come up with this simple principle and rule which holds true all through this book we call the Bible? Do men always agree so wonderfully? Remember most of these writers of the Bible did not know each other. They are from all walks of life and different nationalities. They lived in entirely different eras and varied customs. The great question is, how come they all agree so perfectly on this vital point of redemption?

There is only one reasonable answer. The book we call the Bible is the product of an intelligent Divine Mind. The Bible is the book from God. These men that wrote the Bible down through the ages wrote only as our Creator instructed them. Mr. Floyd E. Hamilton has expressed the thought very well in his book The Basis of Christian Faith:

"Though it is composed of many different kinds of literature, and though It was written by many different authors, over a period of many hundred years it is not a collection of books upon many different themes; there is only one theme running through the whole collection of books, and this theme is the idea of the redemption of man." (p. 151)

This was truly God's purpose in sending Christ to the earth; this was God's purpose in giving us the revelation of the Bible; to give to man the gift of life eternal, the redemption from sins. And this glorious purpose is clearly seen throughout the whole book of God.

Man is not able to save himself in any way. He can never devise a scheme or plan to save himself from hell. Only God can save man from his sins. Man, of himself, is not able to direct his own steps properly. (Jeremiah 10:23) To live eternally in heaven, man must come to God on God's conditions. Man cannot obey God in just anyway he may want to, but only in the way that God desires. The sinner has strayed from God and therefore he must come back to God. The Gospel is the power of God to save man and not any doctrine or opinion of man's devising.

One can see this principle taught in both of the testaments. Israel could not be saved from destruction by trusting in idols or pagan gods, but only by trusting in the one, true and living God could they be delivered from the hand of their enemies. Under the Christian dispensation one sees the fact that the sinner can be saved only when he complies fully with God's terms of salvation and no one is saved outside the body of Jesus Christ. In no other name than Jesus Christ can man be saved. (Acts 4:12)

The Bible, the Holy Word of God, is the only book that can offer salvation or redemption to wicked man. Consider what Mr. Harry Rimmer has said:

"For these reasons, we have confidence to believe that in its present form, the book that men call the Bible is the infallible, inspired Word of God, a safe guide for our conduct and a sure highway of life everlasting." Rimmer, Internal Evidences of Inspiration, p. 223.)

Yes, the Bible is certainly a sure highway to life everlasting. But, as we have seen above, man must obey the commands in this book before he will receive the blessings.

Any promise ever offered by God was on the condition of obedience to God from the one to whom the promise was given. The salvation offered by Jehovah is always conditioned on the obedience of man. Salvation is a gift from God to man when man obeys the commands of God. No one will ever receive life everlasting ,if he rejects the divine revelation, the Bible.

If, as some modernists, claim, the Bible is not the product of one divine mind, but only a garbled bunch of nonsense written by uninspired men; then how is it that this one great principle of redemption is seen throughout it? Why do not the writers, at least one of them, disagree on this principle of salvation? Why does not just one writer say that a person can be blessed by disobeying God? No, the fact stands. Nowhere in the entire Bible, from beginning to end does one find a contradiction on this principle. A simple principle indeed, but nevertheless the Bible is united in the expression of it.

All sinners are commanded to obey God to be saved. God does not change His laws to suit anyone. (Acts 10:34) It makes no difference what race, color, creed man is of; or what opinions he may hold as to what he should do to be saved, he still must comply fully with God's terms. When he does this, he will be saved. When he refuses to obey God, he will be damned. We must obey the commands of God instead of what some man or group of men may devise. (Acts 5:20) The whole duty of man is to obey God. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

Just what does all this prove? It proves that the Bible is either an astounding coincidence that forty or more different men "happened" to write, and it so "happened" that what they wrote agreed in a wonderful manner; OR the Bible is the product of one, divine, an-intelligent mind who is Jehovah our God, and who had a hand in the writing of all the books of the entire Bible. My friend, which is more reasonable?

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