Look inside any HCSB and you will find "God's Plan for Salvation." We think it makes a lot of sense to accompany every copy of God's Word with a concise explanation of how man can have a saving relationship with God. Recently, with the passing of Roy Fish, we were reminded of this feature and why it's important. Fish, author of the plan (listed below) you'll find printed in our Bibles, was known worldwide as both an evangelist and trainer of evangelists. Twitter exploded with tweets from former seminary students and church members who were impacted by his life.
But Fish's passing also brings to mind life's brevity. Scripture teaches we are here on earth for a moment and then gone. The urgency of the gospel announcement rings louder when those we love pass out of this life, and Fish's life in particular renews our focus on the importance of evangelism.
Fish, who was 82 when he passed, is survived by his wife, Jean Holley Fish, and their grown children: Steve and Marci Fish, Holli and Dan Lancaster; Jeff and Holly Fish; and Jennifer and Charles Pastoor. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren, according to SWBTS's website.
God's Plan for Salvation
"How can I find meaning and purpose in life?" is a common question and worth considering. So what is life all about--and how does this relate to God, me, and eternity?
It's about how we got here.
People on this planet didn't get here by some cosmic accident. At creation, God said "Let Us make man in Our image" (Genesis 1:26). God created men and women and placed us here on the earth.
It's about why God put us here.
God loved what He created and created us to truly know and enjoy Him. He loved us and wanted to live in fellowship with us. In the beginning, we lived in harmony and happiness with God and one another (Genesis 1:31).
It's about how we responded.
In our early history the first humans turned away from God and went their own way--and fellowship with God was broken. Now, all people are born with a sinful nature, and without exception all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23). The consequence of this is that we are separated from God and deserve punishment for our sins.
It's about how God rescues us.
Out of His deep love for us, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to rescue us from our dilemma by dying on the cross (John 3:16). By sacrificing His life on behalf of sinners He took the punishment we deserve in order to provide salvation. Then God raised Jesus from the dead, confirming the work of Jesus on the cross and establishing His power over death.
It's about our response.
Jesus has sufficiently paid the debt for all of our wrong-doing, and we are called to turn from our sin, rebellion, and isolation and trust what Jesus has done on our behalf.God makes very clear the conditions by which the salvation Jesus offers can be ours. In Mark 1:15 Jesus said, "Repent and believe in the good news!"
First, God says we must repent. The word "repent" means a change of direction. This means when we turn to God, we are turning away from sin and giving up on the attempt to make ourselves right before God.
Second, God says we must believe. The word "believe" as it is used in the Bible means trust. The object of our trust is the One who paid the price for our wrong-doing. We must trust Jesus to remove our guilt and the penalty of all the wrongs we have done. The Bible says when we put our faith in Jesus, God takes our sins away and gives us the gift of eternal life.
How Will You Respond?
The Bible says that "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord" will be rescued (Romans 10:13). If you've not trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior, why not stop right now, turn from your sin, and believe in Him who alone can save you and give you new and eternal life?
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The Apologetics Study Bible (Understand Why You Believe)