The Place of the Abrahamic Covenant in the Salvation of Mankind


Chapter 1 - FOREWORD

When we come to discuss the "salvation" of mankind, we must define what we mean by "salvation". The great enemy of mankind is death. Sooner or later we all die; we cease to exist and this cessation is permanent unless some provision is made for an escape from this condition. If, somehow, we can be saved from this eternal oblivion, then we have a remedy for and a solution to the fact of death which we can rightly call "salvation".

If all mankind is subject to death after a lifetime which is infinitely short when measured against eternity, we must enquire why God created Man and Woman in the first place. We must tread very lightly when we attempt to probe the mind of the Almighty and yet He has revealed enough of His plan and purpose with the Earth and mankind upon it, to give us an insight into the reasons for the Creation.

God is revealed as The Great Moral Perfection of the universe. When Moses beseeched the Lord: "Shew me thy glory" (Ex. 33:13) God did not put on a spectacular display of power and might for Moses to behold. Rather the Most High revealed his great moral perfection by stating: "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin..." (Ex. 34:6). Similarly, when the Psalmist commented upon the greatness and "wondrous things" of God, he observed: "But thou, Lord, art a God of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." (Psa. 86:15).

Fellowship

When God created Adam, there was no being in the Garden of Eden with whom Adam could have companionship. While the animals were around him, they had no moral capacity. They could not respond, in kind, to Adam's need for a kindred spirit. It is for this reason that Adam was described as living "alone". (Gen. 2:18) Accordingly, God created Eve for the purpose of providing a companion fit to fill the emptiness in the life of the man. At this point, Adam and Eve not only had fellowship with one another, but they also had fellowship and communion with God and the angels.

When sin and death entered into the world because of the sin of Adam, their fellowship with God was breached; they were driven out of the Garden and all their posterity have inherited a proneness and proclivity to sin. This inherited sin-nature has continued to form a barrier between God and Man. Sin and its product, death, is the problem to be solved.

The healing of the barrier between God and Man was divinely provided by the appearance of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Although stricken with the same sin-nature as all other members of the human race, he lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father's will. He perfectly manifested to all men, the mind and moral attributes of the Father as it was revealed centuries before to Moses. Through his resurrection, those who come to God in the appointed way, through his Son, Jesus Christ, gain reconciliation to God and become his sons and daughters by adoption.

The purpose of God (in a nutshell) is stated in Acts 15: "It was God's original concern to secure a People from among the Gentiles to bear his Name." (verse 14; Moffatt) The People that God is seeking, is a People who reflect His moral attributes by believing what he says and by obeying his commandments. "The Father seeketh such to worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23) With such the Father can have true fellowship - People of like-mindedness. On such, God is anxious to bestow his divine nature.

Now it is obvious that even God cannot create individuals with the capability of moral choice, who will automatically elect to serve Him. If they were pre-programmed to do His will, they would be mere automatons and therefore could not give the satisfaction to God which stems from a voluntary free will. The People whom the Father seeks, must have a complete free will of their own, and yet who voluntarily come to the Almighty in the way that He has appointed.

In the book of Revelation, it is recorded: "For thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure, they are and were created." (Rev. 4:11). There are two Greek words which are translated by the English word pleasure. The first is hedone from which we get our word, hedonism, which means sensual indulgence.

The second Greek word is theleo, which carries the meaning of satisfaction or delight in. The purpose and satisfaction which the Almighty derives from the creation of mankind, is the development of a People with whom he can enjoy eternal fellowship because they exhibit the similar qualities of mind and character which are embodied in the One Who Inhabits Eternity.