Catechism Lesson 6: God’s Plan of Salvation
The Book of Genesis tells us that God created man and woman. The first man was Adam, and the first woman was Eve. Adam and Eve lived happily in the Garden of Eden, until they were tempted by the snake to disobey God. As a result, they were driven out of the Garden of Eden. The sin of disobedience committed by the first man and woman is called original sin. Thereafter, each and every human being who was conceived in the womb inherited original sin. Due to original sin, human beings are born without sanctifying grace, and have an inclination to sin (which is called concupiscence).
The Catholic Church teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the one exception of all created human persons who was preserved from the stain of original sin at the first moment of her conception. God preserved Mary from original sin because He chose her to become the mother of His Son.
Despite man’s disobedience, God showed great mercy through His plan of salvation. God the Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, became incarnate in order to redeem mankind. The Incarnation of God the Son happened at the time when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was chosen by God to become the mother of His Son. When she said “yes” to God’s plan of salvation, she conceived Jesus, the Son of God.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a small town in Judea. He grew up in Nazareth with Mary, His mother and Joseph, who was Mary’s husband. Although the scriptures do not tell us a lot about the childhood of Jesus, it does tell us that Jesus was obedient to Mary and Joseph. When Jesus was about thirty years old, He began His ministry on earth. He went out to preach about the kingdom of heaven, healed the sick, drove out demons and worked many miracles. When the appointed time came, Jesus had His Last Supper with His disciples. Then after, He was arrested, condemned to death, suffered and died on the Cross. It was through His death on the Cross that Jesus accomplished His work of redemption. On the third day after He died, Jesus rose from the dead. He appeared several times to His disciples before He ascended into heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father. At the end of the world, Jesus will return to the world to judge the living and the dead.
After Jesus ascended into heaven, life was a very difficult for the disciples. They hid out of fear of being arrested and put to death just like Jesus. However, before He suffered and died on the Cross, Jesus promised His disciples that He would send them the Holy Spirit. Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles. The apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and bravely preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that men might be saved.
Up to this day, the Church has been present in the world in its mission to make disciples of every nation, and to baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The Church fulfills her mission through the preaching of the word of God, by ministering the sacraments to the faithful, and the teaching of true doctrine. As Christians, we are called to be a part of God’s plan of salvation by living the true Christian life, and thereby become the light of the world. (Read Matthew 5:14)
The Glory Be
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
- True or False: The sin of disobedience committed by the first man and woman is called original sin.
- True or False: Jesus was born in Jerusalem and grew up in Nazareth.
- On which day did the Holy Spirit descend upon the apostles? ______________________________
- The mission of the Church is to teach people how to become rich and successful in life.
- True or False. A person who claims to believe in Jesus but lives a sinful life is guaranteed salvation.