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God Is Our Savior, Part 3
Characteristics of God, God is a Provider
Our first two lessons on this topic focused on God the Father as our Savior. But salvation gets really personal for us when we look at the gospel story—the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This will be our focus for this final lesson on God as our Savior.
Jesus (God the Son) as Savior
In the New Testament, we see a switch from the focus of God the Father as our Savior (although that is still true) to God the Son, Jesus, as our Savior. Like God the Father, being a Savior is simply a part of who Jesus is. We see this reflected as early as the day of his birth, when the angel announced to the shepherds, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Those who witnessed Jesus’ ministry also recognized Jesus as the Savior:
John 4:42: They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man [Jesus] really is the Savior of the world.”
After Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection, the apostles who were tasked with sharing the gospel also referred to Jesus as the Savior:
2 Peter 3:18: But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
1 John 4:14: And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
Who is this Jesus that was sent to be the Savior of the world? The Bible tells us that this Savior is from heaven and that he is the only path to salvation.
Philippians 3:20: But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:11–12: 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
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.”
What does Jesus save us from?
Now that we’ve established that Jesus, as the Son of God, is our Savior, let’s ask the same question we asked of God the Father. What does Jesus save us from? Not surprisingly, the answer is the same. He saves us from sin, and he saves us from God’s wrath. We see this in some of the passages we’ve studied in the Bible Essentials series. In the Hebrews 9 study, we saw that Jesus sacrificed himself to take away the sins of many.
Hebrews 9:27–28: 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
In the Romans 5:1–11 study, we learned that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross saved us from God’s wrath:
Romans 5:9–10: 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Whether in the Old Testament or New, whether God the Father or Jesus is our Savior, the result is the same. We are saved from our sins and from God’s wrath.
How does Jesus save us?
Now we know that Jesus is the Savior of the whole world, and we know that he saves us from our sin and God’s wrath (notice that there’s still no mention of needing to be saved from Satan). The next question is, what mechanism does Jesus use to save us? When God saved the Israelites from their physical enemies, he used great acts of power. Jesus’ act of salvation also displays great power, but a little bit differently.
The primary act of salvation through Jesus was Jesus’ death on the cross. We see that referenced in the Hebrews 9 and Romans 5 verses above. Jesus was sacrificed on the cross to take away our sins, and we have been justified, saved, and reconciled through his blood that was shed that day. The power of this salvation was sealed when he rose from the dead. The apostle John, who wrote the book of Revelation, wrote this:
Revelation 1:17–18: 17 When I [John] saw him [Jesus], I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
We have sinned, and the Bible tells us that God’s wrath rests on us because of our sin, and the penalty we face is death. But who holds power over death? The same one who forgives our sins, clothes us in righteousness, and grants us salvation. Jesus.
How do we obtain this salvation? The Bible makes it clear that there’s nothing we can do to earn this salvation or to “good works” our way into heaven. Salvation is given because of God’s grace and mercy.
Ephesians 2:8–9: 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Titus 3:4–7: 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
And now we come to our final question of the study. We’ll ask the same question we asked for God as our Savior.
What is Jesus’ purpose in saving us?
In last week’s lesson on God as our Savior, we saw that God’s purpose for saving us was to be his people and to be a witness to others. With Jesus’ act of salvation on the cross, we still see these reasons for salvation, but we add one more: eternal life. We got a hint of that in the verses from Titus 3 above. Although there are many verses that talk about this goal of salvation, perhaps the clearest and most famous is from John 3:16–17:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
The goal of salvation through Jesus is not to have a better or more comfortable life here on earth. It is so we can have eternal life with Jesus in heaven. We don’t have to face the punishment of hell and eternal separation from God. Instead, we can enjoy life and peace and joy with God for all eternity. All we have to do is accept the gift that God has given us by his grace—Jesus as our Savior.
Each individual characteristic of God study will come with two resources: a word search just for fun (including an answer key), and a list of verses for if you want to investigate that individual characteristic of God more completely.
You can access these resources by clicking here: God Is Our Savior Resources