From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield


In Australia it goes without saying that Christ died for our sins as we are peppered with this “good news” or the “Gospel”. The Church and individuals are bent on making sure that this and the advantages of it are known. I personally am identified with these people as it appears to be part and parcel of trying to convince others to enjoy the salvation that is ours as it a responsibility that comes with the territory.

As a retired motor mechanic I have functioned within a technical world where there is a technical explanation to the way everything works. I am accustomed to understanding why things do what they are supposed to do, and what are the symptoms that occur when they don’t.

So, what is the technical explanation to why Jesus Christ died on the cross for us and what went wrong when the apparent reasons for him doing it, do not work?

To start with we need to examine what are the things that make up salvation? It has two main ingredients.

The first is righteousness.

Because only perfection lasts forever, so salvation requires perfection which is the same as the righteousness of God. Therefore righteousness is a necessity for anything eternal.

However the human race started out badly because of the choice Adam and Eve made at mankind’s beginning. They were tested with two trees in the Garden of Eden where they lived after their creation. One was the Tree of Life and if they ate the fruit from it they would continue in the righteousness they were created with, the other one; was the Tree of Good and Evil. The name “good and evil” in itself indicated that if they ate the fruit of this tree they would be contaminated , and while the one tree sustained their righteous life, the other one destroyed it, so the day they ate from it they became sinful and they died. From then on all children were born sinful in the same way as their original parents were.

 “We are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. (2 Corinthians 5-14b)(NIV).

They died because the wages of sinfulness is death. So because sinfulness entered the world through one man all of us are born sinful with the death that is part and parcel with sinfulness.

However on the cross the sinfulness’s of us all was placed on Jesus and he died the death that should have been ours.

“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5-15)(NIV).

But with no death penalty coming our way everyone has the righteous life Adam and Eve were created with.

So because we are descended from Adam we are all sinful, but because Jesus died the death sinfulness caused, we have the righteousness Adam and Eve were created with. Salvation requires righteousness and through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross this is exactly what everyone has without exception.

The lack of righteousness has never stopped anyone from salvation. “Not one single Soul”. Everyone has the righteousness they need as this righteousness is perfect and will not contaminate anything eternal.

So the next question that needs to be asked. Why is not everyone saved?

The answer lies in the fact that righteousness is not enough. “Oh” it is an essential component, but it must remain within the guide lines set down by God.

Only God has the wisdom and resources to maintain all of his creation forever, and this takes far, far more than simple righteousness. Righteousness has to be guided as while it is perfect it has no wisdom in itself. Therefore so that it never does anything that is outside of what God does in his normal function of ruling the creation, salvation also needs the Holy Spirit to dwell within the righteousness of everyone to guild each person in the way God is using his wisdom to achieve all he has to, to sustain everything forever.

So salvation consists of righteousness needed for everlasting life and a place where the Holy Spirit can dwell without being contaminated. It also requires the Holy Spirit to dwell within the righteousness to constantly maintain a presence of God so everyone has the guidance to stay within the wisdom of God.

While we are all sinful through our relationship with Adam and Eve, we all have the righteousness we need through the death of Jesus Christ.

For those who see in the Gospel of Jesus Christ the answer to our sinfulness and believe in him, then God is God and the Holy Spirit dwell within our righteousness which makes up everything salvation must comprise of.

Everyone has the righteousness, but God has to be God to each individual for the Holy Spirit to dwell within it. If this is not the case, then we would wander aimlessly around Heaven as loose cannons making it impossible for God to rule his creation as only he can do.

Having righteousness is not the full story, while it is essential it must be controlled and so we are given the Spirit so that this always happens. This means that salvation requires the Spirit to constantly guide us so we always are in harmony with God as do whatever it takes to maintain his creation perfectly forever.

If the death of Jesus Christ does not bring about the salvation of every individual, it is because it fails when God is not God to these individuals which would make it impossible for God to have complete control of his creation which he must have.

God has done whatever it takes for everyone to be saved, but to reject God as being God is to reject his authority and the Spirit will not take any part of the unbeliever’s life and that person will not be saved.  Salvation has been made available for everyone, the only reason everyone is not is because even though they see his “divine nature” and “eternal power” they have failed to glorify him (Romans 1:20).

Trevor Topsfield


Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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