Salvation

1 John 5:11-12 - “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this eternal life.” This passage tells us that God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son, Jesus Christ. In other words, the way to inherit and enjoy eternal life is through God’s One and Only Son. The question is, how can a person have the Son of God and therefore eternal life?

Humanity's Problem - SEPARATION FROM GOD

Isaiah 59:2 – “But your sinful acts have alienated you from your God; your sins have caused him to reject you and not listen to your prayers.” Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” According to Romans 5:8, God demonstrated His love for us through the death of His Son. Why did Christ have to die for us? Because, Scripture declares all of humanity to be sinful. To “sin” means to miss the mark. The Bible declares “all have sinned and fall short of the glory (the perfect holiness) of God” (Romans 3:23). In other words, our sin separates us from God who is perfect and holy in all he says and does, and in his righteousness and justice…God must therefore judge sinful man. Habakkuk 1:13a - “You (God) are too just to tolerate evil; you (God) are unable to condone wrongdoing.”

Humanity's Solution - THE FUTILITY OF OUR WORKS

Scripture also teaches that no amount of human goodness, human works, human morality, or religious activity can gain acceptance with God or get anyone into heaven. The moral person, the religious person, and the immoral and non-religious are all guilty of sin. They all fall short of God’s perfect righteousness. In Romans 1:18-3:8, the Apostle Paul declares that both Jews and Greeks (meaning everyone) are under sin, that “there is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:9-10). Added to this are the declarations of the following verses of Scripture: Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not of works, so that no one can boast.” Titus 3:5-7 – “God has saved us, not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.Romans 4:1-5 – “What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, has discovered regarding this matter? For, if Abraham was declared righteous by the works of the law, he has something to boast about (but not before God). For what does the scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.' Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is credited as righteousness.” No amount of human goodness is as good as God. God is perfect righteousness. Because of this, Habakkuk 1:13 tells us God cannot have fellowship with anyone who does not have perfect righteousness. In order to be accepted by God, we must be as good as God is. Before God, we all stand naked, helpless, and hopeless in ourselves. No amount of good thoughts, words, actions or living will grant us forgiveness for our sins – we all stand guilty before God and therefore cannot enter into to heaven or eternal life on our own merit.

What then is the solution? GOD'S SOLUTION

God is not only perfect holiness (whose holy character we can never attain to on our own or by our works of righteousness) but He is also perfect love and full of grace and mercy. Because of His love and grace, He has not left us without hope and a solution. Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This is the good news of the Bible, the message of the gospel. It’s the message of the gift of God’s own Son who became man (the God-man), lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sin, and was raised from the grave proving both the fact He is God’s Son and the value of His death for us as our substitute. Romans 1:4 - “who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 4:25 – “He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.2 Corinthians 5:21 – “God made the one who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.1 Peter 3:18 – “Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.

Because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross, the Bible states “The person that has the Son has life.” We can receive the Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior by personal faith, by trusting in the person of Christ and His death for our sins. John 1:12 – “But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children.” John 3:16-18 – “For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18 The one who believes in Him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

This means we must each come to God the same way:

(1) as a sinner who recognizes their sinfulness,

(2) realizes no human works can result in forgiveness of sins and in the receiving of salvation, and

(3) relies utterly and completely on Christ alone by faith alone for our salvation.

If you would like to trust Jesus Christ, the One and only Son of God, as your personal Savior, you may want to express your faith in Christ by a simple prayer (talking with God) acknowledging your sinfulness, accepting His forgiveness and putting your faith (belief) in Christ for your salvation. If you have just trusted in Christ, you need to learn about your new life and how to walk with the Lord. May we suggest you start by studying through the ABCs for Christian Growth available online at www.bible.org. This series will take you step-by-step through some basic truths of God’s Word and will help you build a solid foundation for your faith in Christ. And, as always, if you have any questions please feel free to email Brother Steve or call the church. May God richly bless you my beloved...