Tom: Well, here we go again, Dave. We’re dealing with salvation. Seems we never run out of things to discuss with regard to the gospel and salvation. I hope the people who are listening are edified by this—encouraged. I know it’s a blessing to me!
Dave: It’s a very important topic, and it’s the difference between heaven and hell!
Tom: Yeah. Now, one of the things that we’ve been talking about, or, sort of the line we’re going down, is Jesus, the Savior. And we’ve been talking about the qualifications that the Savior of humanity has to fulfill. And one of the ways we’re encouraged about God’s Word is because much of it is prophecy, and much of it has already been fulfilled to the letter!
Tom: If there was a prophecy that wasn’t fulfilled, we’d throw the book out!
Tom: That’s how important prophecy is, and what an encouragement it is to us who believe God’s Word. It gives us confidence in what He’s saying.
Dave: Well, it’s the foundation, it is the basis of the gospel we preach. And Paul, in Romans 1, said he was an apostle “separated unto the gospel of God.” This is God’s gospel. This is not the gospel of some church. After all, the problem is between God and man, and it’s up to God to tell us how to be reconciled with Him. You don’t negotiate!
So, the gospel was foretold in the past! And if Jesus Christ…you know, who the Messiah would be; when He would come, where He would be born, what would happen to Him? That He would be crucified—even before crucifixion was even known, that prophecy was there…
Tom: Dave, we’re going to cover some of this.
Dave: …all the details! Now, if Jesus Christ did not fulfill what the prophets said, he’s not the Messiah! And, as you mentioned, this is the great proof! Why do I have such confidence that Jesus is the Savior of sinners, the only hope of this world. Well, you could say, “Well, I opened my heart to Him, He came in.…” I mean, I can remember…60 years ago, Tom, I can remember it like it was today! A fantastic transformation in my life! I literally felt Christ come into my heart, into my life, and change me! I’m not saying that anybody else has to have that experience. We don’t go by feelings….
Tom: We go by faith…right.
Dave: …but nevertheless, that’s not what I base it on. Somebody says, “Well, one of the favorite songs we love to sing: “He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives in me. Ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.” Well, I can tell you, I know that! His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we’re the children of God. We have that with us in the Holy Spirit. But we also have the proof—prophecy…
Tom: You had a subjective experience, now you’re talking about something objective here.
Dave: …absolute proof, Tom! I can prove that Jesus Christ is the Savior of sinners, who He claims to be, because of the prophecies that were laid out thousands of years ago. You can’t tamper with them! Not just one. Jesus said it Himself, Matthew 24: “All things that were written in the prophets, the psalms, concerning Me must be fulfilled.” And they were!
Tom: Now, Dave, we went over some of the qualifications. I’m not going to…I’m just going to go down a line without going to the scriptures, but then I want to pick up where we left off. But we said the Messiah, the Savior, the Christ, has to be God, has to be a perfect human, physically and morally. He has to be sinless. He has to be both God and man in order to pay the full penalty for our sins.
Dave: Now, that’s even…logic would tell you that.
Dave: But the scripture also says it.
Tom: Mm-hmm, and as we’ve been saying, He has to fulfill all the biblical prophecies with regard to the Savior of humanity. Now, one of those prophecies has to do with the virgin birth, which is kind of being pushed around today. People are saying, “Well, that’s not important. But let me read from Isaiah:7:14: “Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel.”
Now, some people are saying, “Well, you know, it’s not really important that Jesus was born of a virgin, you know. What’s the big deal?”
Dave: Well, they will say, of course, that the—the Hebrew word there is “alma.” It doesn’t mean “virgin,” it means “young woman,” a young unmarried woman. Well, if you were a young unmarried woman in Israel, and you were not a virgin, you would be stoned. It’s that simple.
But the New Testament, of course, makes it very clear: Matthew chapter one quotes that. And the word there, in the Greek, is “virgin.” So, this is what the Bible said. Now, again…
Tom: Well, let me add to that. We have Luke:1:34-35: “Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man.’” She’s not just talking about being a young woman here!
Dave: Right. She’s claiming to be a virgin, and she herself is puzzled. How am I going to have a child?
Tom: And the angel responds! Gives us the answer here: “And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’” This is virgin birth.
Dave: Well, it had to be.
Tom: But why is that important?
Dave: Well, if it was not a virgin birth, then Jesus would be just an ordinary human being. Being an ordinary human being, He would be a sinner. That’s true of all of us! The scripture says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” There is no human being—ordinary human being—who is not a sinner. So, he would have to die for his own sins. He couldn’t die for the sins of the world. Furthermore, to pay the penalty for mankind, for all of the human race—and this is an infinite penalty—we would be separated from God forever, for eternity! God is infinite. His justice is infinite. We’re finite beings. We couldn’t possibly. So, no finite human being, even if he were sinless, which is impossible—but even if he were, a human being could not pay the infinite penalty for the sins of the world!
Only God could do that. It wouldn’t be just for God to do that, because He’s not one of us. So, God became a man through the virgin birth. He didn’t cease to be God, He’ll never cease to be man, He’s the one-and-only God-man. That’s why He’s called “the only-begotten of the Father.” Jesus Christ is absolutely unique.
And so, because of who He is, He was able to pay the penalty. And, Tom, we’ve gone over this before, but it bears going over it again. You know, God himself couldn’t just make a bookkeeping entry in heaven. This is a matter of justice. I use the illustration…well, let’s try to use a little different variety here…that…whatever it is—I got a ticket, whether it’s a parking…let’s take even just a parking ticket. The ticket has been written out. It has to be paid. Or, I get a speeding ticket. It has to be paid. And to suggest that… “Well, the court can just…the judge can just make some kind of an allowance for me.” That’s not justice. Or, “I know the judge’s mother, and she’ll get me off.” That’s not justice. Or, “I promised the judge that if he will let me off this time, I’ll never, ever break the law again. That’s not justice! Because I can’t make up for having broken the law in the past by keeping the law in the future. So, only God himself, as a man…
Tom: The perfect, sinless…
Dave: …perfect, sinless man…
Tom: Not under any condemnation…
Dave: …representing the entire human race, took the penalty that the entire human race had imposed upon it by God’s infinite justice—and He paid it! And only because that penalty was paid can God forgive us. And once again, it’s powerful scripture when you get to Romans 3. Paul raises the question: “How can God be just, and at the same time justify sinners?” And he lays it out: It’s only because Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins. So this is the requirement!
Tom: So, if Jesus isn’t born of a virgin, He’s not qualified.
You know, earlier we were talking about the…you know, we’ve been talking about the Antichrist. The Antichrist is the one who’s going to deceive the world into believing that he is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Now, he may have a different rational, or a different understanding or promotion of himself as to who he is, but nevertheless, for a Christian, it would seem you’d just have to check his genealogy. Does he have a father and mother?
Dave: Tom, one of the things that I think is missing—not just from the secular world, but I think from the church, from the professing church, even from people who call themselves evangelicals—I watch some of these people on television, or you go to some church service—I don’t see the fear of God! The…Tom, it just overwhelms me more and more—I have an awesome sense of reverence, and a fear of God, a godly fear. God is the…no beginning! No end! The Creator of the universe! He’s infinite, He is perfect in holiness and purity! And that I would just go on through life and think that somehow, you know, He’s going to accept my good deeds, or whatever—that I can just push aside the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and I can say, “I don’t need that!” And Jesus wept in the Garden, and pleaded, “If there’s any other way, don’t make Me go through this!” That I could brush this aside—or I could excuse myself somehow, when this is offered to me as a free gift, and I reject that gift. And, by the way, if I try to pay for a gift, I am rejecting the gift! I think there’s a sense of the awesomeness of God that is missing today, in the church and in the world, and we need to get back to that. And, Tom, there’s only one way, and this is the gospel of God. This is what He says, and we’d better accept it.
Tom: Yeah. See, it’s a matter of getting to know—as you’ve mentioned time and time again on this program—getting to know Him! That’s why we’re going over all of these qualifications, criteria, whatever you want to call it. To know Him is to be in awe of who He is and what He’s done!
Dave: And then, how wonderful that He offers salvation as a free gift. Why not accept it? Believe in Him!