Christ Came to Save Sinners:
From Creation to Christ
Discover who Jesus Christ is and why you need to be saved as you find answers to people’s most-asked questions about God, life, and eternity.
Where did I come from?
The only way to answer this question is to go back to the beginning. At about 4,000 B.C., God created the universe in six 24-hour days (Genesis 1–2). In the Ten Commandments, God said, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11a). In the Ten Commandments, God said, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11a). In this verse, day means a literal 24-hour day since God ordered the Israelites to work only six days each week on the basis of His six workdays for making the universe (Exodus 20:8–11).
After God created the earth, plants, heavenly objects (the sun, moon, and stars), and animals, He created man (humans) on the sixth day of Creation (Genesis 1:26–27). Man is unique compared to animals since “God created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). God formed Adam, the first man, from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). Later that day, God made Eve, the first woman, from Adam’s side (Genesis 2:22).
God created Adam and Eve with a right relationship with Himself (Genesis 3:8). He told them to have children, spread over the earth, and rule over the earth and all the animals (Genesis 1:28). At the end of the sixth day, God said that His entire creation was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
What happened to God’s “very good” creation?
God created Satan as one of the angels (Colossians 1:16), and Satan sinned by rebelling against God through pride (1 Timothy 3:6). Furthermore, Satan persuaded one-third of God’s created angels to sin by rebellion too (Revelation 12:4). To sin means to disobey God in thought, word, or action.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan embodied a serpent and then tempted and deceived Eve into disobeying God’s command not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:16–17; 3:1–6). After Eve sinned, she gave the tree’s fruit to Adam, who also sinned by eating it (Genesis 3:6). Adam listened to Eve and then sinned (Genesis 3:17), yet he was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14).
Adam and Eve’s disobedience dramatically changed their relationship with God and their whole being (Genesis 3:7–13). Adam and Eve were created naked (Genesis 2:25), but after they sinned, their newly acquired knowledge made them aware that nakedness is shameful. Consequently, they sewed fig leaves to clothe themselves (Genesis 3:7). They also suffered spiritual death, which broke their right relationship with God, as shown by their attempt to hide from God (Genesis 3:8). Despite their sin, God called for Adam and questioned Adam and Eve to obtain their confessions (Genesis 3:9–13). Their blame-shifting answers to God’s questions revealed that they had also instantly received a sin nature (a tendency to sin) when they initially disobeyed (Genesis 3:12–13).
Then God pronounced sentences on the guilty parties: Satan, Eve, and Adam (Genesis 3:14–19). He announced Satan’s demise by lovingly promising man that the Christ (the Messiah), the Seed of the woman, would vanquish Satan (Genesis 3:15). He sentenced Eve to bear children in pain and to want to rule over her husband, and He sentenced Adam to produce food with difficulty and to die physically (Genesis 3:16–19). Man experiences physical death since all people sinned in Adam, who was man’s representative (Romans 5:12–14).
God also cursed the rest of His creation, which consists of animals and inanimate objects, by subjecting it to futility (Romans 8:20).
After Adam and Eve’s sentencing, God supplied them with garments of skins for proper attire (Genesis 3:21). To clothe Adam and Eve, God apparently sacrificed animals, whose blood was shed. Additional Biblical revelation shows that an animal sacrifice’s shed blood covers sin. Therefore, God not only provided clothing for the first couple, but He also covered their sin.
Later, God gave the nation of Israel the Law in which He commanded them to use the blood of animal sacrifices to atone for, or cover, people’s sins (Leviticus 17:11). The shed blood of these animal sacrifices foreshadowed the precious shed blood of the Christ (Hebrews 9:12; 10:1).
Then God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22–24). Subsequently, Adam and Eve had children, and their children had children, and so on (Genesis 4–5).
Were there later events that also affected today's world?
Several later historical events also occurred that have influenced the present world.
In Noah’s time, man was extremely wicked (Genesis 6:5–6). As a result, God decided to destroy man and land-dwelling animals with a global flood, except for a remnant (Genesis 6–9). Noah found grace (unmerited favor) from God and had a right and close relationship with Him (Genesis 6:8–9). God told Noah to build the Ark, a big seaworthy vessel, to rescue Noah and his family and God’s chosen number of each land-dwelling animal from the Flood, and Noah obeyed God (Genesis 6:13–7:16). Noah’s family consisted of him and his wife and his three sons and their wives (eight people).
The Flood began 120 years after God first declared judgment (Genesis 6:3, 7; 7:11). The Floodwaters rose and covered the entire earth, including the pre-Flood mountains (Genesis 7:17–20). Outside the Ark, every person and land-dwelling animal died (Genesis 7:21–23). Noah and those with him lived in the Ark for slightly over one year (Genesis 7–8).
After the Flood, God told Noah and his sons to have children and spread over the earth (Genesis 9:1). Noah’s three sons obeyed God and had children to start repopulating the earth (Genesis 10). Eventually, man, who shared one language, migrated to a plain and dwelt there (Genesis 11:1–2). He also decided to build a city and a tower to make a name for himself and remain together in one location (Genesis 11:3–4). God’s command to spread over the earth was disobeyed.
In judgment, God confused their one common language by giving family groups different languages (Genesis 10:5, 20, 31) to cause misunderstanding between people (Genesis 11:5–7). He also scattered man over the earth (Genesis 11:8). Nations formed because God intervened at Babel (Genesis 10–11).
Later, God chose the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to become the nation of Israel (Genesis 11:27–50). He also said the Christ would descend from Abraham (Genesis 22:18), Judah (Genesis 49:10), and David (Jeremiah 23:5).
What is God like?
God is triune (Matthew 28:19); one God exists in three Persons – Father, Son (the Lord Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. God is holy (Isaiah 6:1–7); He is absolutely morally pure. God is righteous (Psalm 11:7); He always does what is right. God is eternal (Psalm 90:2); He has no beginning or end. God is sovereign (Daniel 4:34–35, 37); He has supreme authority over all things. God is all-powerful (Jeremiah 32:17), all-knowing (Psalm 147:5), and everywhere present (Jeremiah 23:24).
Why am I here?
You are here to have a right relationship with God, and then to serve Him. You also must understand your current standing with God before you can have a right relationship with Him.
As a result of Adam’s sin, man is born spiritually dead and naturally sinful. Spiritual death separates man from a right relationship with God (John 3:1–8). The sin nature influences man to sin (Galatians 5:19–21a).
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, states that man is subject to sin as his master (Romans 3:9): “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10–12). These quoted Old Testament verses show man’s complete sinfulness. In summary, Paul explains, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In other words, all people are sinners and fail to display God’s perfect moral character.
Because all sins are ultimately committed against God (Psalm 51:4) and God is a righteous Judge (Psalm 7:11), He will punish unsaved people with the penalty for sin (Isaiah 66:24). If you have not been saved from the penalty for sin, then you do not have a right relationship with God, and you are an unsaved person (unbeliever).
What is the penalty for sin?
The penalty for sin is eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. At physical death, the spirit is separated from the body (James 2:26). Unsaved people’s spirits are sent to Hades at physical death to suffer torment (Luke 16:19–31) and await the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11–15).
God the Father has given all judgment to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22). At various judgments (Ezekiel 20:33–38; Matthew 25:31–46; Revelation 20:11–15), He will judge unsaved people (spirit and body) according to their works (Romans 2:6; Revelation 20:12–13). At these judgments, all unsaved people will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Matthew 13:40–42; 25:41; Revelation 20:15), where they will be tormented forever (Mark 9:43–48) and suffer different degrees of punishment (Luke 12:47–48). Eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire is known as the second death (Revelation 21:8).
Satan and evil angels will also be cast into the Lake of Fire, which was prepared for them (Matthew 25:41), to be tormented forever (Matthew 8:28–29; Revelation 20:10).
Can my good works save me from the penalty for sin?
Your good works cannot save you from eternal punishment. Paul said, “For by grace are ye [you] saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). In other words, salvation is God’s gift. Paul also wrote to Titus, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His [God’s] mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5a). You can never earn salvation through good words; on the contrary, your salvation depends on God’s mercy and grace.
Can Christ save me from the penalty for sin?
The Lord Jesus Christ can save you from the penalty for sin. Through Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection, God has provided the only way for you to have a right relationship with Him.
Knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ’s Person and the Gospel (the Good News) is essential for your salvation.
Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah (John 20:31). The title Christ or Messiah means Anointed or Anointed One, and Jesus is the Anointed One predicted in Old Testament prophecy(OTP) (Daniel 9:25–26OTP). In His First Coming, Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies about the Christ as recorded in the New Testament. For example, Jesus is the Christ who is a Man (Isaiah 7:14OTP; Galatians 4:4), an Israelite (Jeremiah 23:5OTP; Romans 1:3), and God (Micah 5:2OTP; Titus 2:13). The title also functions as a proper name for Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 20:31). The title Son of God refers to Jesus’ identity as God (John 19:7). It also refers to the relationship between God the Father and Jesus, the Son (John 5; 17).
Jesus Christ is Lord (Romans 10:9–10). After Jesus’ resurrection, the title Lord usually expresses His deity, especially His supreme authority (Acts 2:36; Philippians 2:9–11), and typically identifies Himself or God the Father. This New Testament title is equivalent to God’s personal name in the Old Testament (YHWH, generally translated Lord).
The Lord Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1; 8:24, 58; Hebrews 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1). After seeing the resurrected Jesus Christ, Thomas, a disciple, said to Him, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Thomas’ declaration revealed his faith that Jesus was God, and the Lord Jesus accepted his statement (John 20:29).
The eternal Son of God, Christ (Jesus), became a man (human) (Philippians 2:5–8), yet without a sin nature (Luke 1:35), through the Holy Spirit’s work of a miraculous virgin conception (human beginning) in Mary (Isaiah 7:14OTP; Matthew 1:18–23). Consequently, Christ is both fully God and fully man in one Person (Colossians 2:9). In the city of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2OTP; Matthew 2:1–6), Mary, a virgin at the time, gave birth to Jesus Christ (Isaiah 7:14OTP; Matthew 1:23–25). He was an Israelite by birth (Luke 3:23–38).
God the Father sent His Son on a mission: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus Christ became a man to be the Savior of mankind. By living a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21), He qualified as man’s perfect sacrifice. When He died on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), He shed His blood to forgive man’s sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22). Paul stated “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3; Scriptures fulfilled: Isaiah 53:5–6OTP). In addition, Jesus Christ was man’s sinless Substitute, who paid the penalty for man’s sins through His sacrificial death (Isaiah 53:5–6OTP; 1 Peter 3:18).
After Jesus Christ died, death could not hold Him. Paul declared that Christ “was buried” and “that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4; Scriptures fulfilled: Psalm 16:10OTP). His burial verified His death. Three days after He was buried, God the Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead (resurrection) (Acts 10:40; Galatians 1:1) in the same physical body in which He died, yet it had changed into a glorified body (Luke 24:36–43; Philippians 3:20–21). As a result of His resurrection, Jesus Christ lives forever (Romans 6:9).
After His resurrection, Jesus Christ appeared to “witnesses chosen before by God” the Father (Acts 10:40–41). Paul stated that Christ appeared to Peter, the Twelve (the original group of apostles), over 500 brethren at one time, James, all the apostles, and Paul himself later (1 Corinthians 15:5–8). Christ’s post-resurrection appearances verified His resurrection.
The Gospel (the Good News) consists of historical events concerning the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death, burial, resurrection, and post-resurrection appearances (1 Corinthians 15:1–8).
Forty days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3), Christ was taken up to Heaven (Psalm 68:18aOTP; Acts 1:9–12), where He is now seated at God the Father’s right hand (Psalm 110:1OTP; Ephesians 1:20). Currently, the Lord Jesus intercedes for believers (Hebrews 7:25) and performs other ministries.
Although the Lord Jesus Christ’s payment for the penalty for man’s sins is sufficient for all (1 Timothy 2:6), it is only effective for those who become saved (in other words, those who enter into a right relationship with God).
Is there any other way to be saved?
There is only one way to be saved. The Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and, therefore, to Heaven, where the Father resides. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, told his audience, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Thus, Jesus Christ is the only Savior.
How can I be saved?
God requires you to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.
In the New Testament, repent generally means to turn away from sin inwardly.
Repent. When Paul summarized his message before King Agrippa, Governor Festus, and others, he stated that he proclaimed to all people “that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for [befitting] repentance” (Acts 26:20b). You must obey the command to repent. Performing “works” befitting “repentance” means demonstrating genuine repentance in your life after salvation. God does not require you to clean up your life before He can save you (Titus 3:5a). Peter said that the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9b). God wants you to turn away from your sins inwardly instead of suffering eternal death.
In salvation accounts in the New Testament, believe means to trust.
Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ includes trusting in His Person as the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of God, Lord, and God and trusting in the Gospel (the Good News) of His sacrificial death, burial, resurrection, and post-resurrection appearances.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior today. Paul and Silas, Paul’s coworker, told the Philippian jailor, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou [you] shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31–34). To be saved means to be delivered from the penalty for sin. John 3:16 is a key salvation verse: “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.” The term only begotten Son conveys that the Lord Jesus is God the Father’s unique eternal Son with the same divine nature as God the Father. In this verse, God loved mankind (the world) and gave His only begotten Son through Christ’s becoming a man and sacrificially dying on the cross. Rather than justly receiving eternal death, God graciously gives you eternal life when you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Did anything else happen at my salvation?
At salvation, God abundantly blessed you. God gave you the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). You received forgiveness for your sins (Ephesians 1:7) and became a child of God (John 1:12). God also justified you (Romans 3:21–5:21); He legally declared you righteous or not guilty. In addition, you “died to sin” (Romans 6:2); thus, sin is no longer your master. God bestowed on you many other benefits when He saved you.
What should I do now that I am saved?
After salvation, you should believe the Bible’s eternal truths and obey its commands to live the Christian life.
You love God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ by obeying their commands (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3). Specifically, you should obey their commands for Church Age believers (1 Corinthians 14:37) since you are no longer under the Law of Moses (Romans 7:4, 6). The Lord Jesus tells you to love fellow believers as He has loved you (John 13:34–35). Love others as you love yourself (Romans 13:9). You should be baptized to express your faith in Christ (Acts 16:31–34; 18:8), attend a Bible-Believing Church (Hebrews 10:25), and participate in the Lord’s Supper to remember the Lord Jesus’ sacrificial death (1 Corinthians 11:23–26). God saved you to perform good works (Ephesians 2:10), and good works are evidence of genuine faith (James 2:26). You are to practice righteousness (1 John 3:10), show mercy (James 2:13), and exercise humility (James 4:10). Consider your relationship to sin as your master dead but your relationship to God as your Master alive in union with Christ Jesus your Lord (Romans 6:11). The Lord Jesus tells you to preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15) so that God can save unbelievers.
An essential of Christian living is your dedication to God, which involves your nonconformity to the world and transformation through your mind’s renewal. On the basis of His compassion towards you, God urges you to dedicate yourself completely to Him as one who is alive, holy (separated from sin to God), and pleasing to Him (Romans 12:1). This self-sacrifice is the only logical way to serve Him (Romans 12:1). You should not be “conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). In this verse, the world is the present evil age in which man’s lifestyle opposes God. This world can negatively influence your life. Then you are positively commanded to be “transformed by the renewing” of your “mind” (Romans 12:2). In other words, your life should change by changing your thinking to a Biblical Christian way of thinking founded on the Scriptures. A renewed mind can test and approve what God’s will is, and His will is what is “good, … acceptable, and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Expect to be persecuted as you live a life devoted to God in union with Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12).
As soon as you know of any personal sins, you can confess them, and God will forgive them and spiritually wash you “from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Forgiveness of your sins allows you to maintain fellowship with God (1 John 1:5–10).
Studying the entire Bible is vital. The Bible is God-breathed and beneficial “for doctrine [teaching], for reproof, for correction, for instruction [training] in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). It is inerrant (without error) in all that it records (Psalm 119:160).
Prayer is also necessary. God commands you to pray to Him often (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The Lord Jesus frequently prayed as your example (for example, Luke 5:16; 6:12, 9:18). Furthermore, God answers prayer (James 5:16b–18). You can vocally or silently pray by making requests with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6) to your Heavenly Father (Ephesians 3:14), who knows you and your thoughts (Psalm 139:1–6).
Regarding your present standing with God, you can have assurance of your salvation (John 10:27–29).
As a Church Age believer, what will happen in my future?
At death, spirits of Church Age believers go to be with the Lord in Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8).
When the Rapture of the Church occurs, dead Church Age believers will be resurrected, and then living Church Age believers will be “caught up together with them … to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:13–17a). Believers’ dead or living earthly bodies will be instantly changed into eternal glorified bodies at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51–54; Philippians 3:20–21). Thus, Church Age believers will always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17b).
At the Judgment Seat of Christ, Church Age believers will have every work after salvation (Ephesians 2:10) judged and rewarded accordingly (2 Corinthians 5:10).
After the Tribulation Period (Revelation 4–19) and the Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Coming (Revelation 19:11–21), glorified believers of all eras, including Church Age believers, will reign with Christ in His Millennial (1000-Year) Kingdom on earth (Revelation 20:4–6).
Finally, all believers will be with God in the New Heaven and Earth for eternity to fellowship with Him, serve Him, and reign with Him (Revelation 21–22).
-  Genesis 2:4–25 mainly gives more details about the sixth day of Creation.
-  John 8:24 and 58 relate to Exodus 3:13–15 in the Old Testament.
All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version, with the word Scriptures and pronouns referring to God capitalized. The original title of this work was “‘Christ Died for the Ungodly’: From Creation to Christ.” This online Gospel tract (booklet) was written by Matt Hancock and updated on .