“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” — Titus 3:5

There is a reason you exist. It’s because God loves you. He formed you for His delight and to display His glory. Within the Bible’s pages, the purpose of man (human beings) and how to attain eternal life with God is made clear.

Why Do I Need Salvation?

The one thing that stands in between God and us, is sin. Sin entered our world the moment that Adam & Eve disobeyed God at the beginning of time.

You see, the only completely righteous and holy being is God. His holiness is the standard by which we humans are measured. Sin is our failure to meet His standard. Sin is demonstrated by the bad things we do, the choices we make, the thoughts we think, and the attitudes we have. Sin is also demonstrated when we fail to do right things.

Many people think that if they are “good enough” or if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds, then they’ll go to heaven and attain eternal life. But, we cannot be good on our own. We cannot earn our way into heaven and eternal life because how good or bad we are isn’t in comparison to other people, who may be worse or better than we are.  Our standard for goodness is God Himself, who is pure, holy, righteous, and good.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” — Romans 3:23

We can try and try to do the right things – to do good things – but we will never be able to do them all the time. Not a single person alive can please God.

None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” — Romans 3:10-12

What is the Consequence for Sin?

Since we do not meet the God’s standard for holiness, godliness and goodness, there is a penalty for our sin. Every human being falls under God’s wrath because of their disobedience to God (sin) and since God is a just God, the penalty must be paid.

For the wages of sin is death…” — Romans 6:23

The penalty for sin is death. What?!  Don’t we all die? Yes, every living thing dies a physical death, but the Bible warns us about a spiritual and eternal separation from God which is what this verse is talking about.

What is the Good News?

Some people believe they need to “get their act together,” clean up their life and make sure that they are good before they come to God. Others don’t understand how God could possibly love them as they are, and sometimes this stems from the perception that no one else seems to love them so why should Jesus. The good news is found in the Gospel. In fact, gospel means good news!

God loves you.

God loves you fiercely and so much so that He paid the penalty for your sin so you don’t have to!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” — John 3:16

As you can see, the verse about the consequence for sin above isn’t finished yet. The first part states the consequence for our sin (death), but the second part states God’s gift to us (sinners).

“…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 6:23

Some people may ask why it says “in Christ Jesus our Lord” and some may even say wonder if belief in God and belief in Jesus are the same thing. They are not the same thing. Simply believing in God is not enough to attain salvation and eternal life.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — Romans 5:6-8

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” — Ephesians 2:8-9

Because of God’s great love for you, God Himself provided a way for you to attain salvation, eternal life in heaven and escape eternal separation from Him, rescuing you from the consequences of sin. That way is through His son, Jesus.

Jesus, being fully God and fully man, is the only man who walked the earth, was tempted in every way that we are, and yet did not sin.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” — 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus is the one who paid the price for our sin – yours and mine and everybody’s. He gave His life – sacrificed Himself – in order to fulfill the justice requirement for sin. Three days later, Jesus conquered death when God raised Him back to life. This was done so that all would know that only one God has power over sin and death. (You can read the full account of Jesus’ trial, execution & resurrection in Matthew 26:14-28:20; Mark 14:12-16:20; Luke 22:1-24:53; John 18:1-20:22).

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.” — 1 Corinthians 15:3-7

Without Jesus’ death on the cross and His defeat over death by being raised again to life, our penalty for sin would never be paid and we would incur the wrath of God for our own sins. He bought us with His precious blood so that we could be in relationship with God and have eternal life with Him.

How Can I Be Saved?

When we realize that we are sinners — or can’t obey God enough to attain a relationship with God — and that our sin separates us from God, we are ready to see that God has provided the way for us to have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus. We can also receive His offer of salvation and eternal life which is supplied to us in Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. Salvation is deliverance from sin and the consequences of sin, which as we’ve seen is death & separation from God.

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” — 2 Corinthians 7:10

This deliverance from sin first must bring us to a point of repentance – or, in other words, we need to admit that we are sinners and want to turn away from our sin and selfishness so that we can follow Jesus. We need to confess our sin and repent (or turn away) from our sin in order to attain fellowship and relationship with God and also the promise and hope of eternal life.

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.” — Romans 10:9

Sometimes a free gift is hard to accept. Some of you may be wondering what you have to do or change so that you can have a relationship with God. Do you have to work for it or repay Him in some way?  The answer is NO. You can’t repay God for His gift, that’s the whole point! It is given to you out of His grace, or unmerited favor. Simply believing – or having faith – that Jesus is who He said He was, lived a sinless life, died a sinner’s death and was raised again to eternal life to pay the penalty of sin and defeat death in your place, and wanting to live in such a way as to follow Jesus is the only thing needed to accept this gift of eternal life.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” — Ephesians 2:8-9

What Happens After I Am Saved?

There are several ways that God offers you as a result of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Justification: the act of declaring you righteous in the sight of God

“Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law” — Acts 13:39

“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” — Romans 4:25

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1


Unity with God: the relational union with the God

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17

 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” — John 1:12

But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” — 1 Corinthians 6:17

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” — Galatians 2:20

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

 

Unity with Other Believers: union with the community of believers in Christ

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.” — 1 John 5:1

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” — 1 Peter 2:9-10

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ... Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” — 1 Corinthians 12:12,27

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” — Ephesians 4:4-6

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” — John 17:22-23

 

Eternal Life: continued life after death in the presence of God

And this is the promise that he made to us — eternal life.” — 1 John 2:25

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” — 1 John 5:13

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” — Romans 6:1-8

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

 

Peace: the goodness of life – it enables you to remain calm despite circumstances

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: – Romans 5:1

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” — Romans 8:6

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” — Romans 15:13

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” — Colossians 1:19-22

I Believe These Things, What Do I Do Now?

If you are ready to tell God of your great need for Him and desire to have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, here are some steps you can take to begin

Begin in Prayer
  1. Confess your sin. Admit that you are a sinner and that without Christ as your Savior, you can’t meet God’s standard.
  2. Tell Him your desire to repent – to turn your life away from sin – and ask Him to strengthen you against temptation to sin.
  3. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior – confess your belief that Jesus died for your sins and rose again and that the Bible is true.
  4. Accept what God has done for you through Jesus’ sacrifice and believe the promises that He has made for you in cleansing you from sin (Isaiah 1:18) and in giving you eternal life.
  5. Ask God to continue to grow you in the desire to know Him and ask for guidance from Him through the Holy Spirit, who is our helper (John 14:15-17; Acts 1:1-5).
Begin Reading the Bible

Through the Bible, God grows us in the knowledge of who He is and who we are in light of Him. We grow in our faith, gain guidance and encouragement as we understand more of what Jesus Christ did and how we can live in such a way that brings honor and glory to Him.

If you don’t have a Bible of your own, there are several websites online that you can use for free. Here are a few I like: Bible Gateway, Blue Letter Bible, Bible Study Tools, ESVBible.org, Bible.com.

Many libraries have Bibles to lend and Christian churches often give away free Bibles to those who want one. If you have a friend following Jesus, you can ask them for help in getting one as well.

Find a Community of Believers to Begin Fellowship With

It is important to learn Biblical truth from leaders and teachers who know the Bible well. God grows and strengthens our faith when we are in community with other believers because this is where we learn how to apply the teachings of the Bible to our lives.

If you have trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and have committed to follow Christ, we want to hear from you! We want to celebrate and rejoice in what God has done in your life as well as pray for your growth in this new faith. We’re also here to help you to grow spiritually so if you have questions or concerns you would like help with, please send me an email at: melissa [at] merhabameanshello [dot] com (no spaces).

 

Because He is worthy & you are loved,

Melissa