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God’s plan for mankind, part 2
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This week a closer look at the plan of God for mankind.

In order to understand the great love of God one must study the plan God has for mankind. God gave mankind His word. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16).

This word is able to make a person complete, and is able to keep one in a saved condition if one continues to follow God’s word.

The first step in God’s plan of salvation is that of developing faith. Jesus came to earth (John 1:1 – 14) and after He began His ministry did many signs and wonders that are recorded in the accounts of the gospel. John recorded why these things were done. “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). In God’s plan man was shown that Jesus performed miracles so that one faith could be developed.

After studying about Jesus one’s faith develops in Him just as it did in those that were present when he taught and preformed miracles. The importance of faith is seen in the words of the Hebrew writer as he said, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). In studying the Bible, one learns that Jesus was sent from God (Matt. 1:25 ff). Jesus promised salvation to all who would obey Him, and faith in Him leads one to know His words are true. Jesus was crucified for all the sins of mankind, and God raised Him triumphantly from the grave (1 Cor. 15:1 – 5). Faith leads one to continue studying which leads to the realization that a change must be made in one’s life if they want to please God.

Repentance is the next logical step. Repentance starts in the mind, and then is seen in the life of an individual. If a person wants to follow Jesus they must leave the way they are walking and turn and follow Jesus. The Ethiopian nobleman talked about in Acts chapter eight had to turn from the religion he knew and follow Christ, which he was eager to do (Acts 8:36). This was a religious man; seen by the fact he had traveled a long distance to worship God. When Philip taught him the truth of God’s word, he was ready to obey.

Those whom the apostles taught were in sin, but had turned from their wickedness to follow Christ. Paul wrote, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:16-18). The progression of God’s plan continues.

As will be seen in the coming weeks, there is more than faith in God’s plan of salvation.

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