Jesus As Saviour

07. Jesus As SaviourHow should you talk about Jesus’ person and work? Given last week’s blog about how the gospel needs to be commended before it is defended, what do people really need to hear for the gospel to be seen as GOOD NEWS? I want to suggest the first of two images in building a healthy gospel, where Jesus comes to us as a Saviour. My intent here is simply to share how Jesus, like no other person in history, correctly diagnoses and offers himself as the only cure for the human condition.


No one I know likes to hear they have a problem. The only exception seems to come when the diagnosis of their condition comes as a relief because it offers an explanation for the symptoms they have been anxiously suffering. Over the past few months a close family member has been unable to find a diagnosis for the painful symptoms they have been experiencing. The day the doctors finally determined the cause came as a relief. She knew why she was suffering. Knowing what she was facing removed the confusion.

Aussies experience a range of painful symptoms. Just ask. People suffer psychologically, socially, physically, and spiritually. Life seems to fracture at work, at home, with friends, and in the private life of the heart and the mind. We see on the news natural disasters, poverty, terrorism, corporate greed, unjust structures, rape, murder, and tyranny. We sense in our heart forms of emptiness, brokenness, bitterness, bondage, and hopelessness. Yet alongside these painful symptoms are expressions of love, creativity, ambition, achievement, compassion, and hope. What makes sense of our condition?

Jesus diagnosed the heart of the human problem as the problem with the human heart. Affirming our dignity that humanity was designed for good in the image of God, Jesus diagnosed our condition by expressing how we have become damaged by evil (Matt 7:11; 15:19). Our good desires have been corrupted and we have become sinners by nature and by choice. Jesus also offered the prognosis: that without re-birth, sin retains its power over us, and we will encounter sin’s penalty at the judgment. This is not good news. But it can be a relief in that it explains our human propensity to screw everything up, and prepare us for the good news of the cure Jesus came to offer.


Paul states, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15). Jesus told Nicodemus, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). Jesus didn’t come just to diagnose our condition and leave us with a bleak prognosis. His perfect life and his substitutionary death paid the penalty for our sin. God judged sinful humanity in Jesus, so that just as through the first Adam we were all condemned as sinners, so through Jesus as the second Adam we can all be made righteous. Jesus’ resurrection also served as a witness to Jesus’ defeat of death as our greatest enemy, demonstrating miraculously how God has overthrown the power that sin holds over us. Through repentance from sin, and through believing in Jesus as our Saviour from the penalty and power of our sin, we receive new spiritual life and experience a re-ordering of our desires. Jesus offers himself as the cure for our condition. This is GOOD NEWS. Sin does not have to be terminal.

Jesus  makes sense of our symptoms before stepping in to destroy our disease. When people find out why they need a Saviour, the gospel becomes as attractive as it is confronting. This is the first of two great images in a faithful presentation of the gospel.

Dan Paterson is Assistant Director of Traverse, and a Pastor at Ashgrove Baptist Church.