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Salvation . . . The First Step
A born again believer is a “new man” (Eph.2:15; 4:24; Col.3:10), a “new creature” (Gal.6:15; 2 Cor.5:17). Just as a baby takes his first step, so too, a born again child of God (1 Jn.2:1,12), must also take their first step as they grow in Christ. That first step is salvation, the beginning of a brand new life for God’s child; but many people stumble here because of false notions. Some people think that to just be a pretty good person is the key to getting to Heaven, while others think that all they need is to just believe in God. Both of these are false thinking. Salvation comes ONLY through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
What does the Bible say?
Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (KJV)
Salvation is so simple that even a child or retarded person can understand. Salvation is the work of God’s grace by which He pardons our sins and bestows upon us the gift of eternal life (Eph.2:8-9; Rom.6:23). This means that we are NOT saved by our works, but by God’s grace. God’s amazing grace is His favor, kindness, mercy and love that no one deserves.
To fully appreciate what the Lord has done for us, we must understand our spiritual condition before salvation.
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (KJV) . . . There are three different deaths in the Bible. Physical death is what everyone experiences at the end of earthly life. Spiritual death is being alienated from God because of sin, which is the exact condition of ALL mankind without Christ. Eternal death is ETERNAL SEPARATION from God and all His goodness and mercy. It is being condemned to everlasting punishment in Hell (Jn.3:18,36; 8:24; Mat.25:41,46; Rev.20:15).
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (KJV) . . . Without Christ, the situation is hopeless because our sins separate us from a Holy God, and after we die physically, we shall be judged and pay the penalty for our sins, which is eternal death. BEWARE!!! The Catholics have a damnable doctrine of purgatory. That word or that doctrine is NOT found anywhere in God’s Holy Word!
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (KJV) . . . Even though everyone dies physically, unless Jesus comes in the Rapture to take the church Home (1 Thes.4:13-18); all those who are truly saved are no longer alienated from God and will NEVER suffer eternal death, but instead, are given everlasting life (Jn.3:15-16,36; 5:24; 6:40,47; 11:25-26; 12:44-46; 20:31; 1 Jn.5:10-13).
God provides salvation because He loves us and knows we can do nothing to save ourselves.
Sin separates us from a holy God, and there is ONLY ONE WAY, to bring us back into a right relationship with Him, and that is God’s only begotten Son (Jn.1:18; 3:16,18; Heb.11:17; 1 Jn.4:9).
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (KJV) . . . This was the ONLY way that God could forgive our sins without violating His own law, which requires death as the penalty for anyone who sins (Eze.18:4). Since Jesus is both God and man, He is the ONLY Person who ever lived a completely righteous life (Isa.53:9; Mat.27:4,19,23-24; Jn.8:46; Lk.23:41,47; 2 Cor.5:21;Heb.4:15; 7:26-27; 1 Pet.2;22; 1 Jn.2:1; 3:5).
As Jesus hung dying on the cross, the Father placed ALL the guilt of our sins upon Him. This to me is a mystery. In those three dark hours (Mat.27:45), what happened is something I will not even attempt to describe. This was something extremely PRIVATE between Almighty God and His well beloved Son (Mat.3:17; 17:5; Mk:1:11; Lk.3:22; 2 Pet.1:17). I do not think it is meant to be known by us how this was transacted. I think all we need know is, that it DID happen, and we must believe it! On that cross, ALL the sins of the world (Jn.1:29; 1 Jn.2:2).
Jesus’ death was sacrificial. All the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament foreshadowed (looked forward to) the Perfect Lamb of God (Jn.1:29,36; Rev.7:17; 14;10; 15:3; 19:9; 22:1,3). Only the Lamb of God could make the final atonement for sins with His shed Blood.
Christ’s death was substitutional. Jeus paid a debt He did not owe, because we owed a debt we could not pay. He paid the penalty for our sins, bearing OUR punishment on the cross.
His death was sufficient. There is NOTHING that can be added to what Jesus did on the cross! Anything we try to do in order to earn salvation is worthless in God’s eyes, and it is an outright insult to Him. God is Holy! We are sinners! Since Jesus was perfect, His sacrifice on our behalf was accepted by the Father. His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), sufficiently covers ALL the sins of mankind. Jesus is the Only Way to come to the Father (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12), and receive forgiveness and reconciliation. There is NO other method for salvation. If we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He took our place on the cross, and trust in Him for our salvation, we shall be saved.
The result of Christ’s salvation is transformation.
When we receive Jesus as our personal Saviour, He comes to abide within us through the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit abiding in Believers: (Jn.14:17,23; Rom.5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor.2:12; 3:16; 6:19; 12:7; 14:25; 2 Cor.6:16; Gal.4:6; Eph.2:22; Phil.2:13; 2 Tim.1:14; 1 Pet.1:11; 1 Jn.2:27; 3:9; 4:12).
Because the Holy Spirit resides in us, our old way of life no longer is desirable to us. The Spirit works within us to make us more like Christ.
Salvation is a gift from God, but we must accept it.
When Jesus died, He paid our sin debt in full and opened the door for the world to be saved . . . BUT each person must respond individually. Each person must have a personal relationship with Jesus! It is a one-on-One relationship. The sooner we learn this, the better we are.
Believing. Saving faith is trust in Jesus as a living Person, the Son of God, for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God. We must believe that Christ paid for our sins and ask Him to forgive us. At that moment the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and seals us as children of God. See Saving Faith: http://www.godcannotlie.org/saving_faith.htm
Lordship. When we sincerely accept Jesus as our Saviour, we are also acknowledging Him as our Lord and Master. Some people have trouble with His being their Master. I pray you are not one of them! This simply means we give Him the authority to guide and rule our lives according to His will and that we are obedient to Him! Obey Him! (Jn.14:21; 15:10,12).
Repentance. Turning to Jesus requires turning away from our old life. Repentance is heartfelt sorrow for sin accompanied by a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ. This does not mean we will lose our salvation if we sin again. IF a person is truly saved (and God KNOWS if you are), you cannot lose your salvation! I believe once saved, always saved, because that is what the Bible teaches. See our article:
YES! Absolutely our weaknesses and the old sinful nature will at times resurface, but dear one, each time we fall, we have the privilege of turning back to God for forgiveness and cleansing (1 Jn.1:8-9). BUT, remember this . . . IF we continue in sin, the Lord will chastise us as a loving Father to draw us back to Himself (Jn.15:2; 1 Cor.11:32; Heb.12:5-11; Rev.3:19).
After being saved, we are all like babies taking our first step. A new believer cannot understand all the doctrines of salvation any more than a toddler knows all the process of walking. But, once we are saved, we have a responsibility to learn what God has done for us and what he expects of us. It is very important that we understand just what is involved in our salvation.
Salvation, Spiritual Growth
Desire to Grow
Listening to God
Lord's Return, The
Obedience to the Spirit
Peace With God
Sign of Spiritual Growth
Soul is Eternal, The
Time and Patience