THE PROBLEM- Why do we need Salvation?
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
God started this whole thing when He created the world before time and space ever existed. God is preeminent and He is infinite; He exists outside of our boundaries. God made angels to worship and serve Him. He created everything, and everything was perfect in the beginning.
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
God made mankind in His very image, this gave Man worth as the special creation. Man was made to have dominion over all the earth; made to have communion with God Himself. Everything God made was perfect until the Fall of mankind. The Fall of man is a very common phrase in Christianity, and simply put is the time Man was separated from God. Remember I said God made angels? Well, there was one of those angels named Lucifer who was jealous of God. The creation, (Lucifer), wanted to be the Creator, (God). He sparked a rebellion in Heaven and took to himself 1/3 of all the angels of Heaven. God cast Lucifer and his followers out of Heaven. Lucifer became Satan, the Devil, the Evil One, and his followers became demons.
Now there is imperfection and rebellion on earth as well as good and perfect. God made a Man and a Woman in the beginning and placed them in a garden to live. He gave them only one rule.
"And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
It's important that God gave us boundaries and rules. They were for our protection and safety, but they were also because He loved us. As long as Man obeyed this one rule, He could live together with God forever.
But Satan wasn't done with His rebellion yet. Because God loved the man and the woman, and because Satan's ultimate goal is to pervert and destroy God's perfect plan, he tried to convince the man and woman to sin. He came to the woman in the form of a serpent and convinced her to disobey God by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree.
" And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
For this sin of disobedience, the man and woman had to leave the garden. Man and God could no longer be together because God is good and perfect and cannot look upon sin. We have a problem, because every human that has been born into this world was born into sin, we cannot help it, we are naturally separated from God. Nothing we do can ever get us back into that perfect relationship with God. We are sinners, and all sinners go to Hell: a place of isolation and separation from God and from love: utterly and hopelessly alone for eternity, in a place of torment. We have a problem.
THE SOLUTION- How do we get salavation?
2,000 years ago, God sent His son Jesus to the earth. God still loved mankind, we are the prize of His creation and he loves us more than everything else He created. Jesus was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit of God to a young Hebrew woman named Mary. Because He was virgin born, He did not have the seed of sin in Him. Jesus went on to live a perfect life, being all God and all Man. He never once sinned, and so was the perfect sacrifice for sin.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
That is the most quoted verse in the entire Bible because it encapsulates the entire gospel. God loved us so much that He sent His Son to pay for our sins. Jesus lived for 33 years on this earth performing miracles, proving He was God, fulfilling prophesies. He healed the sick, calmed storms, raised the dead, and preached the kingdom of heaven. Jesus died on a cross as the perfect payment for sin. He was innocent, yet He died for all of the guilty: you and me. When He died, He took every sin upon Himself and paid the price for them. But, He didn't just die, He rose from the dead to prove He had the power over death. Because He was resurrected from the grave, He conquered sin, death, and Hell and offers eternal life to us today.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
We earned death by disobeying God. Even if we were not born into sin, we still disobey God. What are God's laws? Well here, let's take a test. How good of a person are you by God's law?
- Thou shalt have no other God's before me. (Exodus 20:3)
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. (Exodus 20:4)
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. (Exodus 20:7)
- Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)
- Honor thy father and thy mother. (Exodus 20:12)
- Thou shalt not kill. (Exodus 20:13)
- Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
- Thou shalt not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)
- Thou shalt not covet. (Exodus 20:17)
Those are God's 10 laws. Have you kept them all? Have you ever stolen something? I know I have. What about lying, or bearing false witness; have you ever told a lie? Have you ever worshiped anything other than God? Maybe it was your job, yourself, friends, family, other religions, anything we worship other than God alone is a sin. Have you ever taken the name of the Lord in vain, also known as cursing? All of these are sins and condemn us to Hell, eternal separation from God.
Maybe you've said no to all of those question. Perhaps you've never told a lie, never coveted, never stole, or killed, or cursed. By Man's standards, you have met all of God's requirements. Surely, you are good enough for God to allow into Heaven, right? Let's see what Jesus had to say about the 10 commandments.
" But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
" Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."
--1 John 3:15
That's a different story now. In God's eyes, lust is the same as adultery and hate is the same as murder. Maybe you've never killed anyone, but have you ever wanted to? Maybe you've never committed adultery, but have you ever thought about it? These sins of the mind and heart are as real as the actions themselves. You can't win. Living a perfect, sinless life is impossible for anyone other than God Himself. Man couldn't get to God; not in a millions life-times of good works and righteous living could we ever earn Heaven.
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
If the best we can offer is filthy rags, what have we of Heaven? If the most we can do is give stinking, dirty, rags to God as payment for our sins, we are truly hopeless.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
How to be saved:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
First we must realize that we are sinners, everything you have read to this point was to make you realize your need for salvation. It's the history of the world, the Truth of God's Word. We all are sinners, and the free gift of God is grace for our sins. If we have faith, believing what Jesus did on the cross paid for our sins, and we confess Him as Lord of our lives, God's saves us by His grace. It is a gift. We cannot earn it. All we can do is accept it by faith.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
That's all there is to it. No big ceremony, no ritual. Just you, honestly and truly confessing from your heart that Jesus is Lord, and the He is risen from the dead to conquer death, Hell, and sin forever. It's a simple prayer. Yet it is the most important decision you'll ever make. This one choice you're making right here and now will change your entire life. Choose Jesus. Accept the free gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ's payment for your sin on the cross, and you shall be saved.
If you have any questions about Salvation or what it means to be saved, please send me a message, I'd love to share with you more about the gospel! Remember, God loves you so much and has made a way for you to be with Him in Heaven for all eternity! Choose Jesus today!