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God's great scheme of redemption

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Radio transcript for March 23, 2008

Harold Bigham preaches on "God's great scheme of redemption" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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God prepared a scheme or plan of redemption for man. "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 3:9).

Man was created in the image of God and was given a soul. Adam was given the command to work in the Garden of Eden and what trees he could eat from (Genesis 2:15). Out of Adamâ??s rib, Eve was made and the first couple lived in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3 starts with the deception of the serpent as he beguiled Eve (Genesis 3:1). She was deceived by the serpent who mockingly answered her declarative statement that Adam and her were prohibited from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden by saying that God provided it for them to eat and become as gods and have infinite knowledge knowing everything. Eve believed the lie and ate of the forbidden tree and gave to her husband Adam who also ate. This act of rebellion separated Adam and Eve from what they had previously enjoyed in the Garden and from the previous fellowship that they had with God. As a consequence of sin, the human race began to die. Romans 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: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adamâ??s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come" Romans 3:23 states "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God".

This rebellion provided the need for man to be saved from his sins. Paul wrote that it would be gradually over time but when the time was right that God would send His Son born of a woman born in due time. "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law" (Gal. 4:4). The Bible speaks of the scheme of redemption as something that wasnâ??t fully revealed until the time was right. Peter said, "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven; which things the angels desired to look into" (I Peter 1:10-12).

God would ultimately send His son Jesus to be the saviour of the world. Paul wrote in Philippians 2 how that Christ left Heaven even when he was on equality with the Father and Holy Spirit to come to earth. The Son of God would be born of a virgin. This was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 and fulfilled in Matthew 1:21-23. His name would be Jesus for he would save His people from their sins. The One who would ultimately die on the cross would die willingly for all people. "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" (John 3:16). Jesus was the "Just dying for the unjust" (I Peter 2:21-24).

Before Jesus would die on Calvaryâ??s cross for our sins, the scheme of redemption had to be prepared. John the Baptist came and prepared the Way for Christ. John the Baptist was a rugged preacher by his clothing he wore and the selection of food that he ate. He came preaching "Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand or near" (Matthew 3: 2) Ultimately John the Baptist would decrease so that Jesus would increase (John 3:30) John died by being beheaded by the viciousness of King Herod who agreed to the demands of a wicked woman who wanted the head of John the Baptist in a charger (Matthew 14:1-12).

Jesus taught His apostles and the people about His mission and what was required of them. His audiences were composed of great masses of people to small groups of people to even individuals. He taught people coming from all walks of life and backgrounds. He demonstrated to them his love, compassion, mercy, grace and justice. He performed miracles to prove that He was the Christ and that His message came from Heaven (Mark 16:17-20). Jesus prophesied that He would die at the hand of those who did not believe that He was the Christ the Son of God (Mark 10:33-34). Jesus prepared His apostles to continue to carry out His mission to teach the gospel to all the world (John Chapters 14 â??16) and He prayed to His Father that all men would be one as "Thou Father art in me and I in Thee" (John 17:20-21).

On one occasion, Jesus said to Simon Peter "upon this Rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). Christ said that he would build His church on the confession that Peter made that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God.

Jesus said as well that there be some of you standing here that shall not taste of death till they had seen the Kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1). Luke records that the preaching of repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).

The Lordâ??s church, the church of Christ was built on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. Peter, standing up with the other apostles preached the first gospel sermon in fact. He taught the large assembled audience at Jerusalem that Jesus Christ was taken by their wicked hands and crucified on the cross of Calvary. He taught them that Jesus died for the sins of the world and that Jesus is now sitting in power on the right hand of the throne of God. He proclaimed that all of this was according to Godâ??s eternal purpose or Scheme of Redemption (Acts 2:23). Those who were pricked by the gospel and who inquired "Men and brethren what shall we do?" were commanded to repent of their sins and to be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38). The Bible said that almost 3,000 people became Christians and were added to the Lordâ??s church (Acts 2:41-47).

God in His infinite wisdom and love for man gave us His great Scheme of Redemption that we all might obey His Plan of salvation by our own decision or free moral agency.

Will you accept Godâ??s redemptive plan for you today?

And now let's listen to what the Bible says about how to become a Christian

Is there something that I must do to become a Christian? Has this thought ever cross your mind? You are not alone in your search for the Truthâ?¦many others have asked the same question today and even in Bible times. After hearing the gospel in Acts chapter two, a group of people asked â??Men and brethren what shall we doâ?? (Acts 2:37). So it is likely that you today are asking the same question! The answers are given in the Bible. We are taught by the gospel of Christ that we must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17-â??So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of Godâ?); We must also believe in Christ (Mark 16:16 â??He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damnedâ?. We must repent of our sins (Turning away from sin and turning to God) Luke 13:3,5. We must confess the good name of Christ as the only begotten Son of God (Matthew 10:32, 33; Acts 8:37) and we are to be baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). When we obey God through obedience to the gospel, we have obeyed that form of doctrine (Romans 6) and Jesus adds us to His church, the church of Christ. We have become a â??Christianâ?. We become a Christian the same way that others did so in the book of Acts. The same process that makes us a Christian makes us a member of the body of Christ, the church of Christ. We must live a faithful Christian life even if we must die for Christ (Rev. 2:10). What a great life it is when we become a Christian! We become a new person with new goals. Paul described it as a â??new creationâ? (II Cor. 5:10). We would like to study with you more in your search for Truth and desire to become a Christian. We would like to mail you our free Bible Study lessons so that we can study the Bible together. Please write down our contact information that will be given in a few seconds.

Thank you for studying the Bible with us today.

We want to send you our free Bible Study lessons to help you in your study of the Bible and search for Truth. The Bible Study lessons are non-denominational and a simple way to help you as you study more about Godâ??s will for us today.

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Listen to our excellent Sunday program "Studying the Bible Together� with Harold Bigham on WWCR at 9:45 P.M. on the Seeking the Lost International Radio Broadcast.

Todayâ??s program is a joint evangelistic effort and has been financially brought to you by the Clinton church of Christ, Clinton, Ms and the Sixth Avenue church of Christ in Jasper, Alabama.

Seeking the Lost International Radio is under the oversight of the Eldership of the Clinton church of Christ, Clinton, Ms.

May God bless you in your study of Godâ??s Word and remember to tune in Sunday night 9:45 P.M. to "Studying the Bible Togetherâ? another program brought to you by the â??Seeking the Lost International Radio broadcast".

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