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Basic Bible Teachings

3.2  |  How Does God Save Us From Death? Lesson 3.2  |  How Does God Save Us From Death?

Lesson 3.2

How Does God Save Us From Death?

When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to explain how Jehovah will eliminate death and what he will do for those who have already died.

Begin Lesson

In the previous lesson, you learned that Adam disobeyed God and passed sin and death on to all his children. In this lesson, you’ll learn how God sent Jesus to save us from death. This arrangement is called the ransom. We’ll consider two aspects of the ransom:

  1. How the ransom was paid
  2. How the ransom can benefit billions of people, including you

1. How the ransom was paid

Jehovah sent Jesus to earth to be born as a perfect human, without sin. (1 Peter 2:​22) Because Jesus remained perfectly obedient to God, he could become the Savior of mankind, something no other human could do.

This video clip will explain how Jesus could save humankind from death and become the “savior of the world.”—1 John 4:14.

Let’s take a closer look at how Jesus described his role in saving mankind from sin and death. Click the highlighted words to get an explanation. [?]

Matthew 20:28

“Just as the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.”

Jesus described himself as “the Son of man” numerous times. Although Jesus had lived in heaven as a spirit person, he was born as a human on earth to a woman named Mary. (Galatians 4:4) He was perfect​—just as the first man, Adam, was before he sinned.​—1 Corinthians 15:22.

In the Bible, the word “ransom” can refer to a price paid to set someone free from captivity. Jesus gave his perfect human life to free us from the clutches of sin and death. The next section of this lesson will explain how the death of one person could be “in exchange for many,” even billions of people.

Pick the correct answer. Why could Jesus provide the ransom?

Jesus certainly was a good man. However, if he had been just like other good men, an imperfect descendant of Adam, he could not have provided the ransom. (Psalm 49:​6, 7) He must have been something more.

That’s right. Jesus was a perfect man, just as Adam was before he sinned. Unlike Adam, though, Jesus always remained obedient to Jehovah God. (Romans 5:​19) As a result, he could give his life to save us from death.

Many people believe that Jesus is God. Yet, Jesus clearly stated that he is not equal to God. (John 14:28) Furthermore, Jesus had to die in order to provide the ransom. If Jesus were God, he could not have died. The Bible calls Jehovah God “the King of eternity, incorruptible,” which means that he cannot die.—1 Timothy 1:17.

Summary of Section 1

God sent Jesus to the earth to pay the ransom. Jesus sacrificed his perfect human life, which equaled what Adam lost when he sinned.

2. How the ransom can benefit billions of people, including you

How could the sacrifice of one man, Jesus, pay the ransom for billions of people? And how can you benefit from the ransom?

This video clip shows how one generous gift can benefit many people.—John 3:16, 17.

True or False: By sacrificing his perfect human life, Jesus paid the debt brought on by Adam’s sin.

Correct. By his death as a perfect man, Jesus canceled out the effect of Adam’s disobedience. His sacrifice gives us what our forefather Adam lost—the opportunity to enjoy everlasting life.​—Romans 5:​19.

Many are surprised to learn that Jesus died to pay the debt brought on by Adam’s sin. The Bible explains that when Adam disobeyed God, he in effect sold all his descendants into slavery to sin. (Romans 7:​14) Jesus gave up his perfect human life to pay the ransom and set us free from sin and death.​—1 Corinthians 15:22.

The Bible describes the ransom as a precious gift from God. (Romans 3:23, 24; 6:23) How can we show our appreciation for that gift? We start by coming to know Jehovah and Jesus through a study of God’s Word, the Bible. (John 17:3) This knowledge will help you to see the ransom as God’s personal gift to you and help you to become friends with God and Jesus. (John 3:16; 15:13-15) Click the arrows on the picture to see how you can benefit from learning about the ransom. [?]

Even people who have already died can benefit from Jesus’ sacrifice! How? By means of the resurrection. Let’s examine what the Bible says about the resurrection. [?]

John 5:​28, 29

“The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus’] voice and come out.”

“Those in the memorial tombs” are people who have died but who are still in God’s memory. (Job 14:13) Jehovah, who created the vast universe, remembers the name, or designation, he has given to every star he has made. (Isaiah 40:26) Likewise, he remembers every detail of those who have died throughout history.

People will “come out” of the memorial tombs by being resurrected. When Jesus was on earth, he used power from God to bring people back to life. (John 11:17, 43, 44) In the future, he will use God-given power to resurrect the billions who have died and are still in God’s memory.

Photographs and videos help us to remember a loved one who has died. God’s infinite memory enables him to recall every detail of those who have died​—even their personality and experiences. In the resurrection, by means of God’s power, Jesus will bring back “all those in the memorial tombs.” (John 5:28) Slide the circle to change the picture. [?]

Read Acts 24:15, and then answer the question, Who will be resurrected?

It’s true that God’s servants will be resurrected, but the Bible teaches that many others will also be raised up.

That’s correct. Righteous people, or those who used their lives to do what God says is right, will be resurrected. In addition, even unrighteous ones, such as those who died without knowing about God, are in Jehovah’s memory. They too will be resurrected and given the opportunity to learn about him.

Summary of Section 2

Jesus’ ransom sacrifice has made everlasting life possible for us and for billions who have died. By coming to know Jehovah and Jesus, we start to benefit from the ransom.


Now let’s review some key points to help you remember what you’ve learned.

Review 1 of 3

Jesus was able to provide the ransom because he was the exact equivalent of . . .

Good. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice corresponded exactly to the perfect life that Adam lost.—1 Timothy 2:5, 6.

The Bible says that we die because of the sin we inherited from Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:22) To provide the ransom, Jesus needed to be a perfect man, as Adam was before he sinned.

Review 2 of 3

What must you do to benefit from the ransom and gain everlasting life?

It’s true that if we want to please God and gain everlasting life, we must believe in Jesus. Yet, the Bible makes it clear that we must do something more: We must show our faith in God by our works.​—James 1:​22; 2:14.

You’re correct. We should learn more about the one who lovingly provided the ransom​—Jehovah God. (John 17:3) If we show our appreciation by obeying him and his Son, Jesus, we can gain not only everlasting life in the future but also greater happiness right now.​—Luke 11:28.

Many feel that way, especially those who regret serious mistakes they’ve made. However, if we feel truly sorry for what we’ve done, ask God for forgiveness, and work hard not to repeat our sins, the Bible promises that God will forgive us and grant us the opportunity to live forever. (Psalm 86:5) For more about God’s forgiveness, check out the links at the end of this lesson.

Dig Deeper

Read John 3:​16, and then answer the question, What motivated Jehovah God to send Jesus to die for us?

That’s right. Jehovah compares his relationship with Jesus to the close bond between a loving father and his firstborn son. By sending his beloved Son to die for us, Jehovah gave us the most precious gift ever given. We can therefore be confident that Jehovah cares for us and wants us to live forever.​—Romans 8:​32.

Since Jehovah God is almighty, no one can force him to do anything. Jehovah was not obligated to provide the ransom because of any good works humans have done. Rather, the Bible shows that he acted out of kindness and love.​—1 John 4:​10.

Lesson Summary

  1. God sent Jesus to give his life as a ransom. His perfect human life corresponded to what Adam lost
  2. Jesus’ sacrifice benefits billions of people, even those who have died. To benefit from the ransom, we must come to know Jehovah and Jesus

What’s next?

Go to the Next Lesson

Jehovah wants us to live forever in a world free of pain and wickedness. In Lesson 3.3, “How Will God End Suffering and Evil?,” you’ll see how God will permanently eliminate these conditions.

Attend a Group Study

You’re welcome at our meetings. There we examine what the Bible says and how we can apply its teachings in our life.

Request a Personal Instructor

Would you like more help? We’ll be happy to contact you at a time and place convenient for you.

How Does God Save Us From Death?