God has always had a plan for mankind. When man was created and placed in the Garden of Eden, God’s plan of creation was completed. He had provided man all he needed to survive and to have a good life.
Sin caused God’s crowning accomplishment, man, to go from a childlike innocence to that of guilt-ridden fearful being. The beauty of God’s plan was marred by man’s unwillingness to be obedient.
When God came, they hid themselves. God could have destroyed man, but his love and compassion for man was seen in his providing a way of redemption for man.
He chose to send the redeemer, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Even though man had made a mess of God’s plan, God still loved man.
When one studies the Bible, they see the account of God’s love as he brought salvation to the world. In the book of Acts, there are several accounts of how people became Christians.
They were not all at the same place in their spiritual development as they were taught what to do. Some already believed Jesus was the Son of God but they had not turned from their old ways to follow God.
On the day of Pentecost, they asked Peter what they had to do to be saved – they already believed Jesus was the Christ from listening to Peter’s sermon. He told them to “repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins.”
Others, such as the Ethiopian noble man (Acts 8), had to be taught about Jesus. God’s plan for man was to give man a way to be justified once again.
As one looks at God’s plan, it is seen that the first step in the plan of salvation is developing faith. Jesus in his ministry did many signs and wonders that are recorded in the Bible.
John wrote, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name”(John 20:30,31).
Some stop at this point in their study of God’s word and fail to see the entire picture of God’s plan. Paul wrote, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
Those seeking the truth will continue to study God’s word, which shows one must make a change in their lives to be pleasing to God – repentance. Repentance is part of this great plan God has for man.
Luke recorded in the book of Acts about an Ethiopian nobleman who had to turn from the religion he knew and follow Christ, which he was eager to do (Acts 8:36). He had been studying Isaiah 53 when Phillip taught him about Christ. God’s plan changes lives.
The next part of God’s plan is seen in the words of Jesus during his earthly ministry. He taught about man needing to confess that he was the Christ.
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32).
Paul wrote to the Roman brethren, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10).
Confessing before others that Jesus is the Son of God, letting others know that one has faith in him and his promises. When the Ethiopian asked Philip about being baptized, he was eager to proclaim his belief in Jesus as God’s Son (Acts 8:37).
God’s plan brings joy to the one obeying, for they know salvation is within their reach.
As seen in the book of Acts, God’s plan leads one to desire to be baptized, knowing that it is during baptism that sins are forgiven.
Peter wrote, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).
God’s plan for man’s salvation is seen when one looks at the plan itself. It must be God’s plan, never man’s plan.