THE GOOD NEWS OF SALVATION
Let me begin by asking you a few questions. Have you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Are you a child of God through faith in Christ Jesus? Are you a Christian? I might also ask, If you were to die today, would you go to Heaven? In other words, do you know you have eternal life?
Now, you might answer, "I'm not sure. Can anyone really know for sure?" The answer is, yes. The Bible says we can know. 1 John 5:13 says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." So you can know.
Now let me show you from the Bible how you can know. Look at Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Here we see that the Word of God teaches us that everyone is a sinner. We have all disobeyed and have fallen short of what God expects of us. Now we may not be the worst sinner, but we have sinned. We have had bad thoughts; we have failed to love the Lord our God at all times with all our heart, soul and mind - we have sinned. Romans 3:10 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one." So we see here "there is none righteous." Now what is being taught here is the fact that all of us are sinners by nature. I have sinned and you have sinned. Now let me show you the penalty of sin in Romans 6:23. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." From this verse we see that the penalty or punishment for sin is death. Death here means separation from God. Let me explain this. God created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden and said, "Of every tree of the Garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:16-17). But they disobeyed God and did eat of the tree. When they did, they died, spiritually. From that time on they experienced spiritual death or separation from God. Also because of this, physical death came upon the human race. But the main thing I want you to see is that man sinned. When he did, he died or separated himself from God. Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Here we see again that we are all sinners by nature and all are separated from God. So what the whole human race needs is to be reconciled or brought back to God. This is why Jesus Christ came into this world, to reconcile us. II Corinthians 5:18-19 tells us, "And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation.
Yes, our Lord came into this world to reconcile us to God or to pay our sin debt, our penalty. Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Notice, He died for us or in our place. In II Corinthians 5:21 we find, "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
Now we have found that we are all sinners by nature, and the wages of sin is death or separation from God. But our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world and died for us, taking our place, becoming our substitute, paying our sin debt, dying our death. All this so that He might reconcile us, or bring us back to God. I Peter 3:18 says, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death In the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." So Christ has already paid the sin debt 2000 years ago on the Cross. He died, was buried, and rose again. Therefore, the way to become a Christian or to be reconciled to God Is to believe the Word of God, accept it by faith. Salvation is a gift. Jesus Christ has already done the work. All you have to do is to believe this and reach out by faith and receive the gift of God of eternal life, the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." And in Ephesians 2:8,9 we find, "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." Then Romans 3:24 tells us, "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
Salvation is not by works such as baptism, catechism, church membership or keeping the Law. Salvation is by Grace and Grace alone. Now let me ask you again, are you a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus? If not, will you right now admit to God that you have sinned, and that you now believe that His Son, Jesus Christ, died for your sins and paid your sin debt, was buried and rose again the third day? Then you will have eternal life. Having done this, you can know for sure that you have eternal life. I John 5:13, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God: that you may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." "There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1).
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