Salvation is the greatest gift of all. It can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming at times. We hope that this will help you understand just what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It is more than just saying a prayer, it is a new way of believing and living. We want to show you just what Scriptures say about this great gift given to us by Jesus Christ. Click through the tabs below to find out more.
Sin - The Problem
God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and freedom of choice. We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
How have we disobeyed Him? We have broken the commands of God. It started in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve both rejected God’s commands (Genesis 3) and we have continued to break the 10 Commandments found in Deuteronomy 5:7-21.
Death - The Consequence
God has given us rules to follow. Because we have broken those rules, we deserve punishment.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ jesus our Lord” – Romans 6:23
God gave us one commandment at the very beginning and that was that Adam and Eve could “eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:16-17). Because they chose to disobey God and eat from the one tree they were commanded not to eat from, we now have the consequence of that sin. “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19).
Christ - The Sacrifice
But the story does not end there. For God does love us so much (John 3:16) and He does not want anyone to spend eternity in Hell (2 Peter 3:9). He sent a sacrifice for us on the cross to provide a way out of the punishment and spend eternity in Heaven.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit” – 1 Peter 3:18
“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting of him” – Hebrews 9:27-28
The only way for us to have salvation is through the blood of Jesus Christ. That sounds like a weird idea. Do we walk or swim through the actual blood of Jesus? Well, not exactly. Hebrews 9:22 explains that “the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”. You see, Jesus was that shedding of blood that has allowed the forgiveness of sin for everyone who believes.
Do you think you can make it Heaven on your own? Many people believe that it can be done. The problem is that we can not do that. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). We may think that if we help those around us, go to church as often as we can, be a good person that God will look at what we have done and see that we deserve salvation. But there is an even bigger problem. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). Because God is a holy God, He can not look at sin or even be around sin. He must turn away from anything that is unholy.
That is where the cross of Christ comes in the play.
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” – Timothy 2:5
“For God demonstrates his own own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” – Romans 5:8
The Good News? Jesus provides the salvation that we need! There is no need to work for our salvation for Christ has given His life to bring us to God cleansed through His blood.
Repent - The Return
So then, what SHOULD we do? Repent. This word is typically only used in the church, but it is a great word. This word means to reject sin and turn back to God.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” – Acts 3:19
It is more than just saying a prayer, but it is letting go of sin and turning back to God.
Grace - The Forgiveness
Grace is given to believers in Jesus through the death of Jesus Christ. But what is Grace?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” – Ephesians 2:8-9
Grace is what allows God to see us again. It is one of those things that is given to us who do not deserve it.
Believe/Confess - The Act
Once we have seen that we can not earn our salvation, we must believe in the person who did earn it for us.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” – Romans 10:9-10
“For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” – Romans 10:13
This is more than just literally saying “Jesus is Lord”. The Bible says that “if we declare”, this word has more meaning. A declaration is given by people who have given their whole belief in to what they declare. So to declare that Jesus is Lord is to believe it whole heartedly.
Live for Christ - The New Creation
For those who have declared Jesus as Lord and repented of their sin, there is something new in store for you. We are now new creations.
“And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” – 2 Corinthians 5:15
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
We are therefore new people who have new desires. We have a new name given to us by God. He calls us “children of God” (John 1:12).
This does not mean that we are going to live a happy new life, however. For there will be many trials that come our way. This should not make us sad or unhappy for God tells us that they must come.
“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” – Acts 14:22b
“Enter through the narrow gate. for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” – Matthew 7:13-14
For those who embrace the trials, there is pure joy. This is a daily thing that occurs. But we must keep going.
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” – Mark 8:34
We must die to ourselves and run to Jesus if we truly want to be His disciples. This means that we don’t always get to do the things that bring us temporary happiness, but we do get to do the things that bring eternal joy.
Do you want to take the next step? Please contact us immediately and we would love to talk to you personally.