The general message of salvation has been the same throughout the Bible, but only in the most recent pages of the Bible has the mystery of salvation been made known.
We learn from the book of beginnings, Genesis, that the world is crippled by sin. It is filled with corruption, false hopes, lies, pain, suffering, and death. The world has rejected and ignored the God of love, life, righteousness, and peace.
The general need of salvation is clear to every man (Rom 1:18-20). Who does not want love instead of hate, life instead of death, right instead of wrong, and peace instead of war?
Yet, for the history of the world no people could keep them. Sure, we enjoy each of those things for a time, but they are fleeting and they are quickly corrupted. Humanity fails to save itself. It should be clear that we need God’s help. We need salvation.
The Message of Salvation
In response to the corruption of this world people need God’s grace to provide some sort of atonement for our wrongs. People need to be redeemed from the evil that surrounds us, and be made right. People need to be reconciled one to another and before God in the way of life.
This message of salvation is preached from the very first pages of scripture. God provided atonement for the sins of Adam and Eve. God provided redemption to Israel from the nation Egypt and from their sin. God reconciled the world unto him through his Son.
The message of salvation (grace, atonement, forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation) is always presented to us by God. Before Christ was arrived Hezekiah was seeking God’s salvation through the means God had revealed:
“And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them: And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.” – 2 Chronicles 29:23-24
Yet, there was a mystery to salvation. How could a few animals reconcile Israel to God?
The Mystery of Salvation
What has been kept secret since the world began was the true means of salvation. Man needed salvation, and they were offered salvation through faith in God, but how was it possible? How could God save ungodly people? How could God rid the world of wickedness and corruption?
It was finally revealed to Paul how that the blood of Jesus provided salvation freely for all men. Our sacrifices, obedient works, and special prayers were not required to receive salvation.
On every page of the Bible God teaches that the corrupt world and depraved humanity requires his grace, atonement, forgiveness, and redemption. Priests and prophets of Israel taught that Israel needed God’s grace, redemption, and reconciliation. However, no one understood how God could provide these things to ungodly people until the mystery of Christ was revealed.