Reform And Salvation/Redemption

W. Terry Varner
January 22, 2017

The Bible is the revelation of the Almighty God and is a message of reform and salvation/redemption. Consider:

The Old Testament served as a message of reform to the nation of Judah following the divided kingdom of Israel. When Josiah began his reign as king of Judah in 2 Kings 22-23, he is described as doing “what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Kings 22:1). The temple was in dire need of repair from neglect of Josiah s predecessors. Josiah sent Shaphan, his scribe, to Hilkiah the high priest with instructions to make all the necessary repairs to the temple (2 Kings 22:3-7). As the workers began making repairs to the temple they “found the Book of the law” in the temple (2 Kings 22:8). Hilkiah, the nigh priest, gave the Book of the Law to Shaphan who read it and then took it to Josiah (2 Kings 22:9-10). [This is difficult for us to comprehend that the Book of the Law had not only been neglected but became lost and not in use in Judah. Facts are facts.]

The finding of the Book of the Law began the much needed reform of Judah under Josiah. Prior to Josiah’s reign and the finding of the Book of the Law, the well-being of Israel is described: “For great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us” (2 Kings 22:13). 2 Kings 23 lists the many reforms occurring under Josiah as well as his death in the battle against Necho, king of Egypt, at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:28-33).

The Old Testament also served as a message of redemption to the Jew who faithfully kept the Law until the death of Jesus. At Jesus’ death His blood flowed backward over the centuries to that obedient Jew “might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15). Likewise, the Jew after the death of Jesus, who obeyed Jesus as the revealed Messiah/Savior were like those on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) Timothy, Paul, etc., were made “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).

On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), the church was established. They began with the written Old Testament in their hands in order to prove Jesus was the Christ. From time-to-time in the book of Acts, the early Christians entered the synagogue and read “from the Law and the Prophets” (Acts 13:15) and “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ’” (Acts 17:2-3).

As the New Testament writings appeared they were added to the canon of the Bible until the full sixty-six books. They preached that “all scripture is inspired of God” (2 Tim. 3:16); i.e. all Scripture had its origin and source from God not man. Thus, Paul writes: “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches” (1 Cor. 2:13).

The early Christians preached the message of redemption/salvation by preaching the gospel as God’s only power to salvation. They preached the necessity of faith (Rom. 10:17), repentance (Luke 13:3, 5), confession (Matt. 10:32-33), and baptism (Acts 2:38). They taught how the Christian is to worship, live, and die. All of this was made known to them through the Scripture. God knows and understands that man being a creature of choice will sin. Sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:1-2). They preached a message of reform by teaching that was to repent (Acts 8:22) and “walk in the light as Christ is light” (1 John 1:7) and the “blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all son” (1 John 1:7). Rejoice that we know God and live.