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LESSON 1 Ė GODíS GREAT SALVATION BIBLE STUDY
Welcome to our Mailbox Bible Study Course. We trust you will enjoy these lessons as much as we did composing them. We are glad to be able to serve the Lord and you in this way. Many are being saved and helped through these simple Bible lessons. We suggest that you try to do one lesson each week; this will keep your interest in them active. This particular course contains sixteen lessons on God’s Great Salvation Bible Studies. Read through this lesson carefully and complete the answers to the lesson by clicking on this word here "LESSON AND TEST IN MICROSOFT WORD FORMAT" and then save it to your computer. Once you have answered all the questions in the test, attach the test questions or copy and paste them into an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email address and send it to us. We will then evaluate and return any corrections to you with your next lesson. On completion of the full course you will receive a beautifully presented certificate. Should you have difficulty opening these files or sending the email please let us know by return email. We suggest that you print these lessons and put them in a binder for future studies.
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LESSON 1: GOD’S GREAT SALVATION
As the author of The Mailbox Club lessons, I want to share with you what this course is all about. For most of my Christian experience I have been mainly concerned with my responsibility as a believer--what I needed to do to please God. The "responsible" side of salvation is very important, but there is also the "grace" side--what God has done for us, what He is doing for us now, and what He will do for us in the future. God is working to fulfil His purposes and to satisfy His great love for us. We are not going to heaven simply for our own happiness but also for God's joy and satisfaction. Our place is in "the Father's house," loved and accepted in His beloved Son, because the Father wants us there! Precious child of God, you are the object of God's love and delight. God is for you! God wants to turn your eyes away from yourself and your failures to His beloved Son and to your perfect and complete acceptance in Him. In these lessons I am sharing with you what God has taught me through many gifted Bible teachers. I am especially indebted to the writings of C. A. Coates for new light on the truths in this course. To those of you who have taken other Mailbox Club courses, you may think that you have already covered the teaching in this course. Let me assure you that you will find much in these lessons to lead you into new joy and victory in your Christian life.
Yours in His victory,
The turning point in the history of a soul is when it becomes consciously an object of divine love. C.A. COATES
GOD'S GREAT SALVATION CONTENTS
Lesson 1 God's First Man
Lesson 2 God's Second Man
Lesson 3 The Death of the God-Man
Lesson 4 God's Mighty Victory
Lesson 5 God's New Creation
Lesson 6 God's Called-Out Assembly
Lesson 7 Sanctified in Christ Jesus
Lesson 8 Forgiven Forever!
Lesson 9 Justified Freely by His Grace
Lesson 10 Made Righteous in Christ
Lesson 11 Sonship
Lesson 12 God's New Covenant
Lesson 13 God's Great Plan
Lesson 14 God's Blessed Hope
Lesson 15 How to Enjoy God (Part 1)
Lesson 16 How to Enjoy God (Part 2)
NOTE: The King James version is used in all Mailbox Club courses. We reserve the right to translate from the original texts where necessary to make the meaning clear to the reader
GOD'S GREAT SALVATION LESSON 1
God's First Man
Scripture Reading: Genesis, chapters 1, 2 and 3
Key Verse: "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." ROMANS 5:12
The Bible is the story of man's complete ruin in sin and God's great salvation in Christ. Just as a brilliant, flawless diamond is best displayed against a black velvet background, so God's great salvation shines forth against the dark background of man's sin and rebellion.
GOD'S FIRST MAN
The Bible describes the creation of the heavens and the earth in one majestic sentence: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1. God created plant life, fish, birds, and animals, all in preparation for His greatest creation, man. We are using the term "man" in these lessons to indicate mankind--the human race. Man did not come up from lower forms of life. He was created by God Himself. The Bible says, "The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [a living person]." GENESIS 2:7. Man was created by God as a living person. We do not call an animal a person. Man is not only a living person, but he has a spirit, which was breathed into him by God Himself. By his spirit, man can know God and receive His life. Man is a created being. Man is not God, nor a part of God, but man is the highest of all God's creatures because he was created in the image of God. The Bible says, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." GENESIS 1:27. God gave man dominion over all the earth. God's thought was to have a glorious head over all of His creation. God wanted a man who would rule over all things for His pleasure. As soon as Adam and Eve were created, God blessed them. It was His first act regarding them. God told them to "be fruitful and multiply." God wanted a whole race of people in His own image and after His moral likeness. Why did God create man? God created man for His own satisfaction, and He takes pleasure in His handiwork. The Bible says, "The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in His works." PSALM 104. When God completed His work of creation, He looked at everything that He had created and He was pleased. The Bible says, "And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." Genesis 1:31.
Genesis, chapter three, is one of the most important chapters in the Bible. It shows how sin came into the world, the nature of sin, the source from which it came, and its consequences. God placed Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden filled with good things to eat. God placed only one restriction on Adam and Eve. They were not to eat of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." For a time Adam and Eve were very happy. They had everything they needed to make them happy. Best of all, they had fellowship with God, their Creator. This made them supremely happy. But God allowed His great enemy, Satan, to tempt Adam and Eve. Eve was deceived by Satan and she ate the forbidden fruit. Adam was not deceived but he also ate the fruit. He chose to disobey God. This terrible rebellion and disobedience on the part of the first man brought sin and death into God's beautiful world. The Bible says, "Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin..." ROMANS 5:12. How did sin come into the world? It came in by the disobedience of one man, Adam. What is the nature of sin? It is rebellion against God and His will. What was the source from which sin came? The source was Satan. What were the consequences of Adam's disobedience? It brought sin and death into the world. And it brought man under the control and power of Satan.
ADAM'S SINFUL FAMILY
When Adam disobeyed God, he died spiritually; he was separated from God's life. His nature changed. He now had a sinful nature. Because Adam was the head of the human family, he passed his sinful nature on to his children and to the whole human family. Adam himself had been created "in the image of God," but the children which he produced were "in his own likeness, after his image." Genesis 5:2 Adam produced a race of sinners like himself.
GOD NO LONGER HAD PLEASURE IN ADAM
From the very moment that Instead of purity and innocence, the germs of all kinds of evil were in Adam's heart, and he passed his sinful nature on to his children and to the whole human race. We are going to look at the children of Adam at different times in history and see God's estimate of them. We will be considering what the children of Adam are by nature. We should bear in mind that all through the Scriptures we see a work of God's grace in certain individuals. In every age, there were men and women who were marked by faith in God.
THE CHILDREN OF ADAM IN NOAH'S TIME
In Genesis 6, God tells us what conditions were like on the earth approximately 800 years after Adam's death. By this time there was a vast number of people living on the earth. What were people like at this time? The Bible tells us that they were very wicked. God's Word says, "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." GENESIS 6:5. God says that the people of this time were so wicked that every thought they had was only evil continually. The Bible says, "It repented the LORD [it made Him sorry] that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart." GENESIS 6:6. Because men were so wicked, God sent a great flood which destroyed every person except Noah and his family. Only eight people survived this great flood--Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives.
THE CHILDREN OF ADAM IN DAVID'S TIME
After the great flood, the family of Noah brought forth children and multiplied. Once again, the children of Adam covered the earth, and once again they turned from God and filled the earth with their sin and wickedness. Once again God called forth a single family to follow Him. God chose Abraham to be the head of a family who were to be His special people-the children of Israel. Later, the children of Israel became slaves in Egypt, but God gave them a deliverer, Moses, who led them out of Egypt. On Mount Sinai, God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. These commandments showed the people what was right and what was wrong in God's sight. Later, under the leadership of David, a godly king, Israel became a great and powerful nation. This was approximately 1300 years after the flood. Did these people bring satisfaction and pleasure to God's heart? They did not. The Bible says, "The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy. there is none that does good, no, not one. “PSALM 14:2. Even with a good king like David and with God's holy laws, the people were still sinful in their hearts.
THE CHILDREN OF ADAM IN CHRIST'S TIME
Another thousand years pass by, and we come to the time when the Lord Jesus Christ was on the earth. Were the children of Adam any better then? No, they were not. Jesus knew what was in the hearts of men. Here is His description of the children of Adam: "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man." MARK 7:21-23.
THE CHILDREN OF ADAM IN OUR TIME
It has been about 2,000 years since the time of Christ. Are the children of Adam better now? No, they are not. The children of Adam are all sinners by nature. The Bible says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one." ROMANS 3:10-12. The Bible does not say that all of Adam's children are alike in their sinful actions, but the Bible does say that we are all "under sin." The Lord Jesus told us what things would be like in the very end days, just before He comes back to the world in great power and glory. Will things be better then? No, they will not. Instead, they will be worse. Jesus said that "iniquity [sin] shall abound" in the days ahead. The Lord said, "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man." Luke 17:26. The Lord Jesus is saying here that when He comes again, things on earth will be as they were in the days of Noah. What was it like in the days of Noah? "The wickedness of man was great in the earth... every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." We have looked at the children of Adam at different times throughout history. The entire history of Adam's family can be summed up in one word--SIN!
GOD'S PROMISED SAVIOUR
Before He created Adam, God knew that Adam and his children would fail. But from eternity, God had His plan. He would give the human race another Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. In reading the Old Testament, we discover that, from the fall of man onward, every blessing that God promises is connected with a coming Saviour. God's great plan of redemption began with one man, Abraham. God said to Abraham, "Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, unto a land that I will show you... And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed." GENESIS 12:1,3. In Genesis 22:18, God said, ".. all the nations of the earth be blessed....." In these wonderful promises to Abraham, God revealed His heart. His great purpose is to bless man! Even though men are sinners, God loves His sinful creatures and desires to bless them. God's blessings for the human race were not to come through Adam and his family, but through Christ, God's promised Saviour. This promised Saviour would bring in righteousness and peace. He would be "for a light to the Gentiles" and God's salvation to the ends of the earth. The Bible says, "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end..." ISAIAH 9:7.
God created man for His pleasure. God's first man, Adam, and his family brought no pleasure to God. God promised a coming Saviour, Jesus Christ. In Him all the nations of the earth will be blessed.
THE CHILDREN OF ADAM IN NOAH'S DAY
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
THE CHILDREN OF ADAM IN THE DAYS OF CHRIST
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness." MARK 7:21
THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE CHILDREN OF ADAM can be summed up in one word - SIN
GOD IS "THE GOD OF TRUTH." ISAIAH 65:16
HE WANTS US TO KNOW THE TRUTH!
It is the truth of God that has the power to set men free. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." JOHN 8:32. God gave us the Bible that we might know the truth--the truth about God, the truth about Jesus Christ, the truth about Satan, the truth about sin, and the truth about ourselves. The Bible tells us the truth about the origin of things--the origin of the universe, the beginning of the world, and the beginning of the human race. Men leave God out of their thoughts and engage in endless speculations on the origin of the universe. We need to simply believe God's Word. The Bible says, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God .... " HEBREWS 11:3
God said it!
That settles it!
I believe it!
No believer need be afraid that any discoveries of geology or of any other science will ever be able to shake the truth of God's Word. The Bible tells us the truth regarding the origin of man. Again, men leave God out and weary themselves with various theories about how man got here. The Bible says that man was created by God. The human body is the most wonderful thing in nature. It could never have come into being by chance. God did not create millions of people; He created one man, Adam, and He created a wife for Adam. Adam was the head of the human race. When he sinned he took the whole race with him--away from God. Man in his natural state is not only a sinner, but he is a rebel. He does not want God to interfere in his life or his plans. The Bible says that the carnal or fleshly mind is "enmity"-hatred against God. The great leaders of the world can exercise their minds to try to solve the problems brought on by man's sin and rebellion, but they can never solve them. We must not put our trust in man, neither ourselves nor others. If we put our trust in man, we will be bitterly disappointed. The Bible says, "Cursed is the man that putteth his trusts in man." JEREMIAH 17:5. We are to put our trust in the living God. He will never fail us or disappoint us. The Bible says, "Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." JEREMIAH 17:7. How blessed it is to know God! The Bible says, "Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keeps truth for ever.” PSALM 146:5,6.
The Bible is God's Holy Word, It is God's message to us, and it is the most important book in all the world, God Himself is the true Author of the Bible, though He used many men to write it. God told these men what to write, and even the words to use. Long, long ago, God told a man named Jeremiah to write a part of the Bible. God said to Jeremiah, "Write all the words that I have spoken unto you in a book." JEREMIAH 30:2. Jeremiah obeyed God and wrote the Book of Jeremiah. God's Holy Spirit told Jeremiah what to write, and he wrote the words down. This is what we mean when we say that the Bible is "inspired of God:' Every book in the Bible was written in this way. The Bible is the only book which was inspired by God. The grand theme of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ The first part of the Bible, the Old Testament, contains hundreds of promises concerning the coming of the Saviour. The second part of the Bible, the New Testament, tells us that the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, has come. The Old Testament can be compared to a great picture gallery in which Christ is seen in all the glories of His person and His work. There are countless "types" or "pictures" of Christ in the Old Testament Christ is the key of all the types. They all point to Him. The first man, Adam, is a type of Christ. The Bible says that Adam is "the figure of Him [Christ] that was to come." ROMANS 5:14. God put every created thing on earth under Adam's control, and in God's time, every created being in the universe will be made subject to Christ. As formed by the hand of God, Adam was perfect. But there was one thing Adam lacked. He lacked a companion suited to him. God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone." GENESIS 2:18. God purposed to make a companion for Adam, one perfectly suitable to him. God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam, and while he slept, God took one of his ribs and closed up the wound in his side. From the rib taken from Adam, God formed Eve, the first woman. The word "woman" means "from man," because Eve was taken out of Adam. This is a beautiful picture of how Christ will, one day, have a bride, a companion perfectly suited to Him. Eve is a type of the Church as the bride of Christ. The Church is composed of all believers from the time of Christ's death until He comes again. At the very beginning of the Bible we see God's great purpose in creation. He wants His Son to have a bride, a companion perfectly suited to Him.
The Bible tells us that, before the creation of Adam and Eve, there was in God's universe an angelic being who had rebelled against his Creator. This being is called Satan or the devil. Satan is not just an influence for evil. He is a very real being. There are two main passages in the Bible which tell us of the original position of Satan and how he became the enemy of God. These passages are Isaiah, chapter 14, and Ezekiel, chapter 18. The Bible describes Lucifer in this manner: "You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty." (Ezekiel 28:12). Since he was "perfect in beauty;' Lucifer was as beautiful as it was possible for a creature to be. Since he was "full of wisdom;' Lucifer was as wise as a creature of God could be. Lucifer apparently held a position of great authority. He was perhaps over all the angels in heaven. But a time came when this mighty angel sinned against God. The Bible says, "You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity [sin] was found in you." EZEKIEL 28:15. Where did sin begin in the universe? It began in Lucifer's heart. What was Lucifer's sin? His sin was pride, which led to rebellion. Lucifer decided that there was none so great, none so beautiful, none so wise as himself; therefore he decided that he should be God. He set his will against the will of God. Five times Lucifer said, "I will... !" It is a terrible thing for a creature to se~ his will against God's will.
LUCIFER'S BIG "I"
"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation... I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." ISAIAH 14:13,14. A great change took place in Lucifer's heart when he sinned. He no longer loved God or wanted to do God's will. He now loved himself and wanted to do his own will. He was no longer content to be the highest archangel under God. He now wanted to be God! Lucifer was cast down from his exalted position. His name was changed to Satan, which means "adversary:' Thus Satan began his career of opposing God, and he has been opposing God ever since. One third of the angels in heaven followed Satan in his opposition to God. These angels are called "fallen angels;' while those who remained true to God are called the "holy angels:' Satan, along with these fallen angels, set up a kingdom opposed to God and His kingdom. Eve’s rebellion, there have been these two kingdoms in the universe the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God.
GOD PROVIDES A COVERING FOR MAN
Soon after God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, Satan came to destroy God's handiwork. He did not boldly approach Adam to try to get him to disobey his Creator. Instead, he chose to deceive Eve. He told Eve that she would not die if she ate the forbidden fruit, but that she and Adam would be "as gods:' Satan suggested that God was keeping back something good from them. Adam was not deceived. He chose to disobey God. Since Adam was the responsible head of the first family, the Bible lays on him the blame for sin entering the world. God's Word says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world .... " ROMANS 5:12. God had told Adam and Eve that if they disobeyed Him, they would surely die. The immediate result of Adam's disobedience was death! What kind of death was it? It was spiritual death. We know that Adam did not die physically at once. He lived for hundreds of years after his act of disobedience. But he died spiritually. In the Bible, death always means separation. We know what physical death is. It is the separation of the spirit from the body. What is spiritual death? Spiritual death is the separation of man's spirit from God's Spirit. To be cut off from the life of God is to be dead spiritually. The first thing Adam and Eve noticed after they had sinned was that they were naked. They were conscious that they were in a state utterly unsuited to God. They sewed fig leaves together to make aprons for themselves. Adam and Eve's "fig leaves" are a type of man trying to make himself pleasing to God by his good works. But this was not acceptable to God. God Himself made provision for Adam and Eve to be properly clothed for His presence. He clothed them with skins. Two innocent animals had to die to make a covering for two people who had sinned. Those slain animals were a type of Christ who died for our sins that we might be clothed in His righteousness, so as to be fit for God's presence. The animals' blood was shed for man's sin. The Bible says, "Without shedding of blood is no remission [forgiveness of sins]” Hebrews 9:22
THE PROMISED SAVIOUR
Sin always has terrible consequences. A holy and righteous God could not overlook the rebellion and disobedience of Adam and Eve. He could not pretend that nothing had happened. That same day, in the cool of the evening, God came seeking Adam and Eve. They were not seeking God, but God was seeking them. Throughout the Bible, it is not the sinner who is seeking God, but God seeking poor, lost sinners, that He might bring them to Himself. God loved Adam and Eve, but now sin had come between Himself and them. God pronounced His judgment upon them. They would have to leave the beautiful Garden of Eden. Hereafter, man would have to work hard to get his food from the ground. Eve would be subject to her husband and would bear children in sorrow and pain. The ground itself would be cursed because of their sin. Adam and Eve are driven from the garden. To the serpent who had been used by Satan to deceive Eve, God said, "Upon your belly shall you go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life." To Satan himself, God said, "1 will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed." GENESIS 3:15. Then God gave the first promise concerning the coming Saviour. God said, "It ["the seed of the woman"-Christ] shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." God was saying to Satan, "You will wound the coming Saviour, but He will deliver a death-blow to you." This is the first promise in the Bible of the coming of the Lord.
TEST PAGE OF LESSON 1 FROM GODS GREAT SALVATION BIBLE STUDY
Read each question carefully; then, select the correct answer and mark it with a X.
1. The Bible is the story of:
(a) man's improvement through the ages of history. .........
(b) man's complete ruin in sin and God's great salvation in Christ. .........
2. Sin and death came into the world:
(a) by the disobedience of the first man, Adam. .........
(b) for no apparent reason. .........
3. The nature of sin is:
(a) rebellion against God and His will. .........
(b) just not being as good as we should be. .........
4. The moment Adam disobeyed God:
(a) he died physically. .........
(b) he died spiritually. .........
5. The children which Adam produced were:
(a) in the image of God. .........
(b) in Adam's likeness, after his image. .........
6. After God gave the Ten Commandments:
(a) people were still sinful in their hearts. .........
(b) people became better. .........
7. In the end days, just before Christ returns: (a) things will be much better. .........
(b) things will be as they were in the days of Noah. .........
8. The entire history of Adam's family:
(a) shows steady improvement. .........
(b) can be summed up in one word--SIN. .........
9. In God's promises to Abraham God revealed His purpose:
(a)to destroy man because he was a sinner. .........
(b)to bless man because of God's love. .........
10. God's blessings for the human race would come through:What is the most important thing you have learned in this lesson? .....................
(a) Adam and his family. .........
(b) God's promised Saviour, Jesus Christ. .........
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Updated May 2012 by Shelly Allen