4. The Doctrine of Salvation
Because false religions and cults deny that Christ is God, they also completely reject the fact that Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross provided for mankind’s full salvation.
Of all the glorious works of our Savior, Christ’s death on the Cross in mankind’s place is of supreme importance. In one single act, Christ “wiped out the handwriting [certificate of debt] of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Col 2:14). “That through [His] death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through f ear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb 2:14,15).
The Cross was not an accident or after thought! God purposed and foreordained His plan of salvation from the moment of man’s fall in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:14,15; Acts 2:23,24). Death and eternal separation from a loving God was the consequence of man’s sin. However, God, because of His great love, planned a way for the price to be paid for sin so that mankind would not be separated from Him forever.
The focus of this divine plan was in the Person of Jesus Christ and His substitutionary sacrifice of His life for ours. Christ did for us at the Cross what we could never do. By dying on the Cross for us, Jesus took on the penalty we ourselves deserve. His death paid the ransom for our sin and allowed us to be restored back to God. Hallelujah!
All other religions attempt to gain credibility by pointing to the teachings of their founders. Christianity goes well beyond, because of the supreme importance of the teachings AND the death and resurrection of the Founder!
Without Christ’s death and resurrection as the incarnated God/man, Christianity would be nothing more than rules and rituals -just another religion. But because of Christ’s death, we have eternal salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord! By His death on the Cross, Christ made it possible for man to be reconciled to God:“…Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 5:18; see also Romans 5:10; Ephesians 2:16). Christ’s substitution for mankind on the Cross satisfies for all time the demands of God’s justice and Law in regard to our sin. To simply illustrate this reconciliation, imagine God and man standing and facing each other at creation. When Adam sinned, he chose to turn his back toward God. Then God, Who cannot condone sin, had to tum His back to Adam. Christ’s death satisfied the requirements of a holy God, so God turned back to face man. Now the choice is man’s to accept Christ’s sacrifice and salvation and thus “turn around” (repent) to face God again in relationship.
Jesus Christ’s sacrifice was foreshadowed in type by the Levitical sacrifices commanded i n the Old Testament. The animal to be sacrificed for sin had to be perfect, without blemish (Lev 9:2,3). This was a foretype of the sinless and perfect Lamb of God, Who would come to earth to give His life as a ransom for our sin (Matt 20:28; John 1:29). His death was necessary (Lev 17:11; Heb 9:22) because the penalty for sin is death (Ezek 18:4, 20).