The Plan of Salvation
The plan of Salvation begins and ends with God and the mystery of iniquity. In reality, without minimizing the sinfulness of man, the conundrum begins with God. No man ever takes sin so seriously as God. Nor can any man fathom God’s use of sin to bring glory to Himself.
It was the Sovereign perfect will of God that the heavens should exist. It was the Sovereign perfect will of God that a portion of His created angels should overstep their boundary and seek to be as God. Hence, sinning was exhibited throughout the universe.
It was the Sovereign perfect will of God to display evil before the universe even more through the collapse of man in Adam. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. In His perfect will, God has deemed sin a suitable back-drop to demonstrate His holiness, righteousness and mercy.
The perplexing question of the Bible is not, “How can God send good men to hell?” It is rather, “How can God bring bad men to heaven?” As we have said, the mystery of iniquity begins and ends with God. He cannot tolerate sin. He is eternally repulsed by the unholy sinfulness of His own creation. Why God deemed it suitable for all to be this way is not given for man to comprehend. As one theologian has said, “Bring me a worm that can understand man, and I will show you a man who can understand God!” It cannot be done. Though we cannot comprehend why God has so ordained things in this manner, we can be assured that the revelation of His Word, as stated in the Bible, says that He has. Man knows but little.
Nevertheless, God, and only God, has solved the enigma He Himself has disclosed. God has sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect sinless life, to qualify as a perfect sacrifice, to obtain a perfect redemption so that God reconciles Himself to man. This reconciliation is wrought through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on behalf of ungodly sinners; and the imputation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to them through faith. This great exchange of Jesus Christ doing for sinners what God demands of sinners is called the Substitutionary Atonement.
The Gospel is the Good News that the righteousness of God has now been revealed. It is a righteousness of God that satisfies His own righteousness in order to receive sinners into His presence. God has solved His own eternal deterrent. In doing so, God has exhibited the sinfulness of Sin, the Perfection of His Nature, the Solemnity of His Justice and the Mercy of His Love. In a way inconceivable to man, God has demonstrated His Glory to a universe of spectators and satisfied a host of heavenly demands of which mankind knows very little.
All those who take the righteousness of Christ as their own, through faith in His finished work at Calvary, shall be reconciled to God and there shall be no condemnation for them. Any attempt to possess heaven under any other terms is strictly forbidden and accursed. God’s righteousness alone, to be had by faith alone, in the perfect sacrifice of Christ alone, is matchless. It is the singular Gospel given to men by which they must be saved! O sinner, flee to Christ. Take His righteousness as your covering for eternity, lest you perish. [R.M. Zins]