Basic Christianity Series #1: Salvation
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- Pages: 8
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The paradox of human thinking lies in the reality that we think we are improving ourselves and the world at large. We cling to the belief that by improving things around us we are improving our human nature. But who and what we are requires honest soul searching. Am I good? How good? Is there a God who determines those judgments? Did he create me? Did he divinely inspire men to write the Scriptures? Are they reliable truth? Does this God really care about me?
If you’re searching for answers to any of those questions, carefully examine the ten truths that follow, realizing the reality that the Bible states: …it’s impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
Truth # One: You are going to live forever! Regardless of where you ultimately reside, it will be a conscious eternity. Heaven is eternity with God: …the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23b). The alternative is an eternity without God: They will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life (Matthew 25:46).
Truth # Two: According to God, you are sinful regardless of how good you believe you are. You’re not only sinful because you have committed sinful acts that violate God’s laws, but you’re sinful because of the basic nature you came into this world with. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard (Romans 3:23). God says you entered the world a sinner because you are a descendant of Adam. You were born in his family line.
If you plant a seed of corn in the ground, you get several ears of corn each with hundreds of individual kernels. All of the seed carries the same basic nature of that first kernel.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they were merely choosing to go their own way rather than the way God had requested. As a result, God withdrew the communion that was available to Adam and Eve through his Spirit and now all who are born of their seed are born without God’s Spirit and with a sinful nature. The withdrawal of God’s Spirit left mankind under the sentence of death—physical death and separation from God’s Spirit.
Truth # Three: God loves you in a way that you cannot fully comprehend. …God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). This is real love–not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins (1 John 4:10).
Your salvation does not depend upon who you are, but on who God is, and God is Love! For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
God created you for his pleasure. You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased (Revelation 4:11). God, in love, took the ultimate risk and gave you free will. He further chose not to interfere directly in this free will. He gave you a mind that was capable of choice. Our parents, Adam and Eve, chose to reject God’s perfect will for their lives. But, being both a just and a loving God, a way of reconciliation has been provided for us, a way whereby we can once again have his saving Spirit in our lives and a guarantee of eternal life in heaven with him.
Truth # Four: If God was going to give man an opportunity for eternal life with him, man had to know that a sacrifice was required to cover or atone for his sin. Both the Old and New Testaments teach this truth: The life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible (Leviticus 17:11). According to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). Trusting in his sacrifice on your behalf indicates your obedience to God’s desire for you as well as a change of heart regarding your sin.
Truth # Five: God’s ultimate gift was necessary not only to show you how much he loves you, but to redeem you. The gift was his only son Jesus Christ who was born into the world and by whose death your redemption was made possible. His blood was shed as payment for every sin that you personally have ever committed. God is the giver of this marvelous gift. You can be the receiver of the gift. The Bible says …as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12). A gift is “free.” You can’t earn something that is free. All you can do is receive this by trusting and believing it to be true. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.
Truth # Six: When you receive God’s great gift of forgiveness and acceptance through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Spirit comes into your life, and you are born again. The Apostle John said that we must be …reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God (John 1:13). Jesus said, “I tell you the truth; unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life” (John 3:3-6).
Truth # Seven: The way to God and heaven is to believe and trust in Jesus Christ. There is no other way to eternal life. There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me (John 14:6).
Multitudes think there are other ways to heaven but God warns us, There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death (Proverbs 14:12).
Scripture also makes it clear that we cannot get to heaven by our own good works. Remember, salvation is a free gift from God. Paul wrote to the Ephesians …God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). Even perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments falls short. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are (Romans 3:20). We have nothing to offer. Only through Christ’s righteousness—his life living within us—are we saved.
Truth # Eight: God’s Holy Spirit is waiting to enter the life of all those who turn to him in faith and trust. He says, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in… (Revelation 3:20). He is standing right now at the door of your life and heart. Only you can respond to God’s call.
Truth # Nine: God doesn’t send anyone to hell. Men and women go there because they ignore the alternative. It’s not enough to just know about Jesus; it’s necessary to share in his life. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life (1 John 5:12).
Truth # Ten: It’s important that you agree with God that you are a sinner and that Jesus Christ was sent to this earth to die for your sins. Faith brings understanding. People who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means (1 Corinthians 2:14). And intelligence alone cannot comprehend the depths of God. I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent (1 Corinthians 1:19).
If your heart’s desire is for Jesus Christ to come into your life, there is no better time than right now to quietly acknowledge before God that you are placing your trust in him for your salvation. God’s Holy Spirit will teach you new and wonderful truths as you read of his love for you, pray to him, and listen to him, who says, I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark (John 12:46). Jesus said to the people who believed in him, You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:31-32).