It is not merely by repeating certain words that a person is saved from their sin. And it is not how much you know about God that saves you or how much you know about yourself that saves you. Salvation is not based on how many time you have attended church or how “good” you think you are. No one is automatically saved, even if your father is the pastor of a church or if you were baptized and held under water for two minutes … you are not saved by affiliating or osmosis. No man can vouch for you before God as to your worthiness for salvation, not even the Pope himself. You must come to God on your own and by your own free will. And it is definitely NOT by your good works that you can be saved from your sin because we have no righteousness in our self that is worthy of paying for our sin debt to God. If we could pay for our sin debt then Jesus died in vain but the truth is that we cannot pay for our sin debt, we are Spiritually separated from God, Spiritually “dead” and unable to please God, unable to do His will, unable to meet His righteous standard and unable to even know God’s, know His love for us and His will for our life! Jesus is the only one who lived a perfect life pleasing to God and He is the only way to be reconciled to God.
The deadly disease of sin:
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Isaiah 64:6 “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”
The Amazing cure:
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 5:24 Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment. Indeed, he has crossed over from death to life.
We are “all spiritual beggars” in need of the food of eternal life and God is our loving Heavenly father who wants to give us eternal life and the best of life. Each person has a Spiritual void inside them … it’s a desire to know their Creator and to know their significant in the world. The problem is that we spend our time making us a Creator in our own image and finding significance by trying to impress others with our God given gifts and abilities. God is always pouring out His amazing grace upon each person, showing each person His awesome creation and the decay (sin) that is ruining it. God is also showing each person His righteous perfect standard and He is convicting each person that they don’t measure up to this standard. This is why each person is “without excuse” for failing to see his need for Salvation (Roman 1:20).
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
And Salvation, grace and even the faith to believe are “all” gifts from God that He freely offers to each person. You don’t supply any work that enables your salvation and in the same sense once you are saved you can’t do any work to undo your salvation. God is revealing Himself to each person and He is waiting for each person to “receive” the gift of eternal life by believing in His Son, Jesus Christ. God has done all the work, all you do is agree with God’s assessment of you … it’s as easy as ABC.
The question is “Have you accepted the free gift of eternal life?”
A – Admit your a sinner
B – Believe Jesus is Lord
C – Call upon His name
(with the mind you believe and with the heart you receive)
But you must call upon Jesus before you physically die or you will die in your sin and be eternally separated from God (Hebrew 9:27). If you die without Jesus as your Savior you will wait in hell before you are sentenced at the White Throne of Judgement for the degree of punishment you will endure forever in the Lake of Fire! And oddly enough each person will agree with God about their judgement, because as we stated earlier man is “without excuse” for rejecting God’s gift of Salvation (Romans 1:20). In a sense God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, it is by a person’s own free will that they either receive the free gift of eternal life, acknowledging Jesus as Lord of their life or they reject the free gift, preferring to think they are their own god. If you continually reject the gift of Salvation in Jesus you will harden your heart toward God and slip into a state of delusion and insanity and torment that will endure for all eternity … separated from God.
Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”
Matthew 18:3 “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
I don’t want to a complicate the issue, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ is simple enough that a child can understand it. That is why Jesus said to Nicodemus you must come to God with child like trust and be be “born again“. Being born again means you are “Spiritually born” and connected to God, forever. Jesus is waiting at the door of your heart for you to invite Him in to live forever. That’s what it means to “believe” and be “born again” to eternal life.
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.“
The message of salvation by “believing in Jesus” is so simple and true, yet it is so profound that scholars have written volumes of commentary on the precious blood of Jesus that takes away the sin of the world. God is offering His gift of eternal life to each person but you must “decide” to receive this gift. If you do not believe in Jesus then you will “perish”, which means you will eternally be as you are now, an unsaved sinner separated from God’s love and forgiveness. Jesus said, whoever does not believe in Him is already judged (John 3:18). But judged for what? … SIN! Jesus came to save you from the penalty of your sins, which is eternal death and separation from God. Jesus came to save you from your self indulgent nature (sin) which reasons “I did it my way” instead of “I did it God’s way“.
Look, sin is not just the immoral thoughts you have or the immoral behavior you display but sin is a “self indulgent nature” that thinks and acts separately from God’s will for your life. You think and act separated from God’s way because you inherited a sin nature from your earthly father “Adam”. Because Adam disobeyed God, Adam’s innocent nature was changed to a sin nature and every person that is physically born is born with a sin nature. In other words, you are born with a sin nature that is Spiritually separated from God and therefore your natural desire is to “do it my way” without regard for doing it “God’s way“. Man’s self indulgent nature (sin) doesn’t want to acknowledge that there is a Creator God that man is accountable too for how he lives his life. It is not your fault you were born with a sin nature that makes you rebellious toward God but it is your fault if you do not acknowledge you have a sin nature and you do not desire to be free from it. Repentance in Christianity means a sincere turning away, in both the mind and heart, from self to God.
Perhaps you don think there is a Creator God or you do not think that you are accountable to God for how you live your life or you think you are “good enough” to stand before God just the way you are and give an account of how you lived your life. If this is the case then your “heart is hard toward God” and you are “in love with your self centered way of thinking” that is leading you to eternal death! God’s grace through the Holy Spirit is trying to reach your heart and convict you of your sin nature and your need for salvation from sin but if you continue to turn from His grace, you will harden your heart toward God and the offer of salvation through the blood shed by Jesus will seem like foolishness to you.
“Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15
“For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, Timothy 2:25
To “believe” means you accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering. Jesus is able to grant you forgiveness with God for your sin nature and He is able to grant you a new Spiritual nature that like His and He is able to grant you “eternal life” with Him forever. That is what it means to be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. A repentant heart is the “good soil” where the seed of life brings new life in Christ and where the seep of life can grow abundantly in the life of the new believer (Matthew 13:8). To believe in Christ is to turn toward God and to repent is to turn away from self. Both “belief and repentance occur at the same time” during salvation but for some people a full awareness of their sinfulness “follows their belief” and for others a full awareness of their sinfulness “leads to their belief”.
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. – John 3:5
To “believe” or to “repent” is NOT a work of salvation that you can take credit for but is is a response that you make to the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ. To believe is more than just acknowledging that Jesus offers salvation from sin, it is a personal plea to Jesus to be saved from “your” sin. And once you saved, you cannot be “unsaved”. Salvation is a “one time” act of faith that saves you forever from your Spiritual death penalty because of sin. You can not loose your salvation. You cannot be Spiritual unborn any more than you can be physically unborn. Once you believe, you are guaranteed entry into heaven and eternal life with Jesus Christ and you are joined in fellowship to all those who have bowed their heart to Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:39-39 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Unfortunately, however, a born again Christian continues to have both a “old sin nature” and a “new Spiritual nature of Christ”, which are in conflict with one another. Therefore you must daily “deny your old sin nature” and follow your new “Spiritual born again nature” of Christ (Luke 9:23). This is hard to do but the good news is that when you physically die, your old sin nature dies with your body. You soul lives on eternally without sin and better still you will one day have a “resurrected” body that will allow you to enjoy Heaven and Earth the way God intended for man … free from sin (1 Corinthians 14:42-49)!
Romans 1:21 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
If you do not think you are a sinner in need God’s forgiveness, it is perhaps because you have not reached the age of accountability before God, the age when God convicts you of your sin. This is the case with babies and young children and those born mentally impaired in reasoning. People like this are not able to understand they are born with a rebellious nature towards God’s and that they need salvation in Jesus Christ. It is commonly believed that if a baby or a young child or a person born mentally impaired dies, then God has a special way of giving that person a choice of salvation (I think it is similar to the way God gave the Angles a choice to stay in Heaven or follow Satan to earth). However, when you reach the age of accountability before God, you are “without excuse” for not acknowledging your sin (self indulgent nature) and seeking forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Only you and God know the age when God made it clear in your conscience that you were accountable to God for your actions and for acknowledging God as the Lord of Heaven and of earth and of your life.
2 Corinthians 6:2 “For He says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
This conviction of your sin nature and your accountability for your sin to God could have occurred when you were 6 years old or more likely after 12 years old. It is not important when you were first convicted of thoughts or behavior that was in conflict with God’s way and it’s not important how much you have sinned or how terrible your sins are, what is important is that you acknowledge that your sin nature causes you to think and behave contrary to God’s moral standard. Your Self Indulgent Nature (SIN) causes you to put your ways above God’s ways. However, man’s way leads to eternal death and separation from God while Christ’s way leads to reconciliation with God and “eternal life” with God. Your are not guaranteed tomorrow to make this decision to accept Jesus as Lord of your life … today is the day of salvation!
Here is the gospel message and salvation prayer that is included in the handout bulletin at my church:
Our Goal: To honor our Lord and King, and to carry out the Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus approached them and told them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Our Prayer: To help others come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, and to follow Him as a faithful disciple. Matthew 10:39 “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Luke 6:40 “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”
God’s Message: There is only one way to heaven and eternal life with Him. John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Man’s Problem: Man is unfit for heaven because of sin and he destined for eternal death and separation from God. Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s Desire: That all man would repent of their sin and be saved. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
God’s Solution: God’s sent His only begotten Son to pay the death penalty sentence for our sin, by living a life without sin and dying in our place. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
God’s Call: God is always there calling for sinners to come home. Revelation 3:20 “‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
Your Response: Behold today is the day of salvation. In repent faith, turn yourself over to Jesus Christ today and receive His pardon and His righteousness. You can use this prayer to “call upon the Name of the Lord.”
Dear Lord Jesus, I know my sins have separated me from You. I know that I need Your forgiveness to cover the penalty of my sins and Your righteousness in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I now repent of my self indulgent nature (SIN) way of thinking and turn my life over to You, Lord Jesus. I do believe that You earned my salvation for me; through dying for my sins in your perfect sacrifice on the cross, and through living on my behalf, a perfect life of obedience and righteousness. I trust in you alone to save me, and I am willing to follow You as Lord of my life. Thank You for granting me forgiveness and a new birth into spiritual life, united with You for eternity. I pray this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, please tell me or a fellow Christian as a way to publicly confess Christ and a way for other to rejoice with you. It is important that you find a good Christian church, a body of believers, to serve with and grow with. These will be your friends for eternity.
God is listening … it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or bad you fell. God is more powerful than the hurt you caused others or the doubt you have about Him. God is more powerful than the pain and burdens you carry. He is able to carry them much better than you can.
Now that you are a born again child of God, a Christian, your first work of faith is to seek out a body of Christians, a local church, to serve and grown in. Equally important, you will want to be baptized, as your first work of faith, publicly demonstrating the private confession of your belief in Jesus. And that is what baptism is, a picture of your death (to your sin nature) and resurrection (new life) with Christ. Make sure the church you attend adheres to the essential uncompromising truths that your new life in Christ rests upon. In the essentials uncompromising unity, in the non-essentials liberty and in all things love.
Here are the essential articles of faith that are included in the handout bulletin at my church:
– We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
– We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
– We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
– We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential and that this salvation is received only through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and not as a result of good works.
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life and to perform good works.
– We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost: they that are saved unto the resurrection of eternal life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of eternal damnation.
– We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.