“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16).
It is in Christ that salvation is found. The world may get people down, but Jesus is there to lift people up. Solomon wrote, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
The person who seeks to please God will heed those words. Peter recorded that God has provided “… all things that pertain to life and godliness …” (2 Peter 1:3). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6).
The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Paul was sure his reward awaited him. His life serves as an example of how a child of God should live — ever seeking to please God.
One “gets into Christ” through baptism. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). Paul wrote, “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
When people are baptized into Christ, they become new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17), they have forgiveness of sin (Colossians 1:14) and in Christ, salvation and eternal life (2 Timothy 2:10, 1 John 5:11). Even those who crucified Jesus were forgiven of their sins if they obeyed the Gospel. This, in itself, magnifies the love God has for mankind.
The prophet Isaiah in chapter 53 gives us a look at Christ to help people see God’s plan for man’s salvation and his great love for man. In Acts 8, the Ethiopian noble man was reading from Isaiah. He definitely was a religious man, as he had traveled all the way to Jerusalem to worship and was on his way home. When Philip joined him, the passage says, “Philip began at the same Scripture and preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:35). At the end of the chapter, the nobleman obeyed the Gospel and was baptized into Christ.
Salvation can be gained, but only by following Christ. God gave man everything needed for this to happen — the sacrifice, the word to follow and obey, and the ability to learn about all these things.