Christ died to save sinners

It is so sad and confusing to see that the foundational truth of Christianity, the truth which it centers around is under attack by the one of the most subtle teachings that has been going around in  popular Christianity and even amongst the so called most “historic independent” Seventh Day Adventists of our day.

This issue has been one the most heatedly debated subject in Adventism today and has brought much confusion and fractions to many honest yet misled souls.

The subject that is the “hot potato” of the debate is: Is man born a sinner or not?

First we need to consider the main purpose for humanity in the plan of salvation?

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt 1:21)

This famous texts show the need of salvation for all humanity, including babies, need Jesus Christ as our Saviour from sin.

Then, we need to ask ourselves, ” what is sin”?

The Bible has it’s answer for that in 1 John 3:4 which says:

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

Below are the Strong numbers for the word sin:

G266
ἁμαρτία
hamartia
ham-ar-tee’-ah
From G264; sin (properly abstract): – offence, sin (-ful).

G264
ἁμαρτάνω
hamartanō
ham-ar-tan’-o
Perhaps from G1 (as a negative particle) and the base of G3313; properly to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), that is, (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin: – for your faults, offend, sin, trespass.

sin = the transgression of the law  = missing the mark

What is the condition of all humanity as described in the Bible?

Let’s allow the Bible answer for us.

Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world

Psalms 143:2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Job 14:4  Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Sin “is the outworking of a principle at war with the great law of love which is the foundation of the divine government.”  {GC 492.2}

Are there anyone who are not sinners?

Rom 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

1 Ki 8:46 If they sin against thee, (for [there is] no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;

“There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Rom 3:10)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23)

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  (1 John 1:8)

Who did Christ came to save and die for?

“This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”  (1 Tim 1:15)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”  (Rom 5:8-10)

What was Christ’s mission on earth?

“It was to save sinners that Christ left His home in heaven and came to earth to suffer and to die. For this He toiled and agonized and prayed, until, heartbroken and deserted by those He came to save, He poured out His life on Calvary. ” {SL 82.1}

” The heart of Christ is constantly drawn out in sympathy towards fallen man. While upon earth, his only mission was to save sinners; although He had a deep abhorrence of sin, He manifested the tenderest compassion towards the sinner. When the repenting sinner, conscious of guilt and unworthiness, comes to Christ, realising that he is deserving of punishment, but relying on the love and mercy of Christ, the pardoning love of God will be revealed to him, and joyful gratitude will spring up in his heart for the infinite compassion and love of his Saviour. The provision made for him in the counsels of heaven before the foundation of the world, that Christ should take upon Him the penalty of his transgression, and impute to him his righteousness, will overwhelm him with amazement, and call forth from his lips songs of gratitude and adoration.”  {Messenger, April 12, 1893 par. 4}

 What is humanity’s condition that makes everyone in need of salvation?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It was this teaching of Christ that called forth from the Pharisees such bitter hatred. That all were lost; that all were sinners and needed forgiveness; that both Jew and Gentile were included in the work of the Redeemer; that all must conform to the great moral standard,–this was contrary to their self-righteous ideas, and they hated the Great Teacher. They would not tolerate the teaching that did not distinguish them as a holy people, a royal nation.  {RH, January 24, 1899 par. 4}

All are lost through Adam. Our only hope is a transformation of character through repentance and faith in Christ as our personal Saviour.  {YI, August 27, 1896 par. 9}

The natural excellencies that men may imagine they possess are not to be considered. Natural religion, so-called, does not weigh in the scales with God, because all have sinned and come short of his glory. Those who are wise in their own estimation must see their need of heavenly wisdom. This fact is to stand out in clear lines: Man is a lost sheep, and can never, without divine aid, recover himself, or come back to the fold. There is only One who can reclaim him, and restore him to holiness and divine favor,–Jesus Christ our Redeemer. But, degraded by sin as he is, blind and wretched, man may be redeemed if he will accept Christ as his personal Saviour, and come back to his loyalty to God. Mrs. E. G. White. {YI, August 27, 1896 par. 10}

As a result of Adam’s disobedience, every human being is a transgressor of the law, and is sold under sin. Unless man repents and is converted, he is under bondage of the law, serving Satan, falling into the deceptions of the enemy, bearing witness against the precepts of Jehovah. Only by perfect obedience to the requirements of God’s holy law can man be justified. Let those whose natures have been perverted by sin, ever keep their eyes fixed on Christ, the author and the finisher of their faith.  {8MR 98.1}

 

The human family have all transgressed the law of God, and as transgressors of the law, man is hopelessly ruined; for he is the enemy of God, without strength to do any good thing. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). Looking into the moral mirror–God’s holy law–man sees himself a sinner, and is convicted of his state of evil, his hopeless doom under the just penalty of the law. But he has not been left in a state of hopeless distress in which sin has plunged him; for it was to save the transgressor from ruin that He who was equal with God offered up His life on Calvary. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  {1SM 321.2}

“The carnal [or natural] mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Human nature could not keep the law, even if it would. Apart from Christ, without union with him, we can do nothing. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” The law requires us to present to God a holy character. It demands of men today just what it demanded of Adam in Eden,–perfect obedience, perfect harmony with all its precepts in all relations of life, under all circumstances and conditions. No unholy thought can be tolerated, no unlovely action can be justified. As the law requires that which no man of himself can render, the human family are found guilty before the great moral standard, and it is not in the province of law to pardon the transgressor of law. The standard of the law cannot be lowered to meet man in his fallen condition. No compromise can be made with the sinner to take less than the full requirement of the law. The law cannot acquit the guilty, it cannot cleanse the sinner, or give power to the transgressor to raise himself into a purer, holier atmosphere. Standing before a holy, good, and just law, and finding ourselves condemned because of transgression, we may well cry out, What shall we do to be saved?  {ST, May 30, 1895 par. 2}

There is but one way of escape for the sinner. There is but one agency whereby he may be cleansed from sin. He must accept the propitiation that has been made by the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. The shed blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” A complete offering has been made; for “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,”– not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father’s person, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  {ST, May 30, 1895 par. 3}

“Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a well-balanced mind. He was perfect in his being, and in harmony with God. His thoughts were pure, his aims holy. But through disobedience, his powers were perverted, and selfishness took the place of love. His nature became so weakened through transgression that it was impossible for him, in his own strength, to resist the power of evil. He was made captive by Satan, and would have remained so forever had not God specially interposed. It was the tempter’s purpose to thwart the divine plan in man’s creation, and fill the earth with woe and desolation. And he would point to all this evil as the result of God’s work in creating man.”  {SC 17.1}

“It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Job 14:4; Romans 8:7.

We are out of harmony with the will of God; but the Son of God has brought us, at infinite cost to himself, that we might serve him, and do the will of Heaven. The moral image of God may be restored in our fallen natures, through faith in Christ, and obedience to the commandments of Jehovah.  {RH, February 14, 1888 par. 3}

“The heart must be cleansed from its impurity; self-will must be exchanged for God’s will; God’s ways must be chosen before our own ways.” {ST, December 15, 1887 par. 9}

Aren’t human beings able to produce and develop good naturally?

Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.”  {SC 18.1}

“The Saviour said, “Except a man be born from above,” unless he shall receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3, margin.

The idea that it is necessary only to develop the good that exists in man by nature, is a fatal deception. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” 1 Corinthians 2:14; 3:7. Of Christ it is written, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men”–the only “name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” John 1:4; Acts 4:12.”  {SC 18.2}

“It is not enough to perceive the loving-kindness of God, to see the benevolence, the fatherly tenderness, of His character. It is not enough to discern the wisdom and justice of His law, to see that it is founded upon the eternal principle of love.

Paul the apostle saw all this when he exclaimed, “I consent unto the law that it is good.” “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, “I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:16, 12, 14.

He longed for the purity, the righteousness, to which in himself he was powerless to attain, and cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Such is the cry that has gone up from burdened hearts in all lands and in all ages. To all, there is but one answer, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29.”  {SC 19.1}

“The less we see to esteem in ourselves, the more we shall see to esteem in the infinite purity and loveliness of our Saviour. A view of our sinfulness drives us to Him who can pardon; and when the soul, realizing its helplessness, reaches out after Christ, He will reveal Himself in power.

The more our sense of need drives us to Him and to the word of God, the more exalted views we shall have of His character, and the more fully we shall reflect His image.”  {SC 65.2}

“Were it not for Christ’s atoning sacrifice, there would be nothing in us in which God could delight. All the natural goodness of man is worthless in God’s sight. He does not take pleasure in any man who retains his old nature, and is not so renewed in knowledge and grace that he is a new man in Christ. Our education, our talents, our means, are gifts entrusted to us by God, that he may test us. If we use them for self-glorification, God says, “I cannot delight in them; for Christ has died for them in vain.”  {RH, August 24, 1897 par. 11}

“The carnal [or natural] mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Human nature could not keep the law, even if it would. Apart from Christ, without union with him, we can do nothing. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” The law requires us to present to God a holy character. It demands of men today just what it demanded of Adam in Eden,–perfect obedience, perfect harmony with all its precepts in all relations of life, under all circumstances and conditions. No unholy thought can be tolerated, no unlovely action can be justified. As the law requires that which no man of himself can render, the human family are found guilty before the great moral standard, and it is not in the province of law to pardon the transgressor of law. The standard of the law cannot be lowered to meet man in his fallen condition. No compromise can be made with the sinner to take less than the full requirement of the law. The law cannot acquit the guilty, it cannot cleanse the sinner, or give power to the transgressor to raise himself into a purer, holier atmosphere. Standing before a holy, good, and just law, and finding ourselves condemned because of transgression, we may well cry out, What shall we do to be saved?  {ST, May 30, 1895 par. 2}

In order to receive help from Christ, we must realize our need. We must have a true knowledge of ourselves. It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. Only as we see our utter helplessness and renounce all self-trust, shall we lay hold on divine power.  {MH 455.4}

 Does God love sinners? Why do humans need a Savior?

The Lord saw our fallen condition; He saw our need of grace, and because He loved our souls, He has given us grace and peace. Grace means favor to one who is undeserving, to one who is lost. The fact that we are sinners, instead of shutting us away from the mercy and love of God, makes the exercise of His love to us a positive necessity in order that we may be saved. Christ says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). {1SM 347.3}

The hope we have in Christ is because we are sinners. We have a right to claim a Saviour. Then when there are those in any of our institutions associated together who err, let not men act the part of denouncing, condemning, and destroying, as though they were faultless. {TM 264.2}

“We would never have learned the meaning of this word “grace” had we not fallen. God loves the sinless angels who do His service and are obedient to all His commands, but He does not give them grace. These heavenly beings know naught of grace; they have never needed it, for they have never sinned. Grace is an attribute of God shown to undeserving human beings. We did not seek after it, but it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow this grace on everyone who hungers for it, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our need is the qualification which gives us the assurance that we will receive this gift. {ML 100.2}

Grace is an attribute of God exercised toward undeserving human beings. We did not seek for it, but it was sent in search of us. {FLB 94.2}

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