What is salvation?

As humans, we have a tendency to serve ourselves and put our own interests first.  Our hearts are naturally self-serving, which cause us to live a self-fulfilling lifestyle.  But aren’t we morally good?  Sure, we can do good things from time to time.  However, do those good deeds save us?

The Bible says everyone has sinned – we were born into it.  Romans 3:23 says:

...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 5:12, speaking about how sin spread beginning with Adam, the first man:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.

No amount of good deeds or great works can save us.  Being a moral person isn’t good enough.  Verses such as Ephesians 2:8-9 confirms this:

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.

If there is nothing we can do to achieve salvation, what is our hope?   The answer lies in the verse you just read – "for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith."

What all does this mean? 

Jesus Christ came to Earth just over 2,000 years ago, as prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible.  He performed miracles, ministered to the sick, raised the dead, and radically challenged the status quo.  The religious leaders (mostly the Pharisees) grew increasingly fearful and jealous, as Christ confronted their beliefs and man-made religious traditions.

While many thousands of people followed Christ, many of the religious leaders grew so resentful of Him, they convinced the Roman authorities to crucify Him.  After He died on the cross, He was buried in a tomb.  However, on the third day of His death, He rose from the grave!

Christ’s death, burial and resurrection permanently saved the world for all of those who believe.  John 10:11, the words of Jesus Himself:

"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."

John 3:16 also says:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Do you believe in Christ?  Do you feel a tug in your heart?  If so, He’s calling you to receive Him as your Lord and Savior!

Pray a simple prayer to Jesus by admitting that you are a sinner (for everyone has sinned).  Tell Him that you believe He died for your sins.  Ask Him to become Lord and Savior of your life, and commit yourself to serve Him for the rest of your days.

How do you commit yourself to serve Christ?  It’s not living up to hundreds of laws in the Old Testament (for Jesus fulfilled those laws).  However, in order to serve Christ, we simply love others as much as we love ourselves.  Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-41:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Loving others like we love ourselves fulfills all commandments.  2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says:

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Do you have to immediately "start being good" after accepting Jesus?  Don’t sweat it – it’s a life-long progress.  When we accept Jesus, the Holy Spirit moves into us and begins to minister to us.  He helps break old sinful habits, helps us understand the Bible, and comforts us in our times of pain.

We’ll occasionally mess up, but what Jesus did for us on the cross covers our transgressions - past, present, and future.  Don’t think you have to have it all figured out to serve the Lord.  Remember the previous passage, Ephesians 2:9:  "it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."

Allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives along with praying and reading God’s Word on a regular basis will diminish our own selfish desires.  Serving others by loving them as much as we love ourselves is the key to living a Christ-like life.

We encourage you to share your new-found faith with others.  Find a Bible-believing church where you can grow and where you can serve others.

And always remember, no one or nothing can take away the gift of salvation from Christ Jesus our Lord!  Romans 8:38-39:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 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.

If you have made a decision for Christ, please let us know!

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