[by Lantz Manomano]
What is salvation and how can we understand what it means to be saved? Can you earn your own salvation by your personal effort to be a good person? Is your personal character and attributes adequate for you to please God so that you enter heaven?
I’m going to take the opportunity to talk about understanding salvation by first giving this illustration below:
Imagine that you’re a person who is just trying to live a decent and honest life. You earn an income at your workplace but you find the financial aspect of your life to be challenging because you live in a difficult economy. Even though you have been working honestly and so hard for your employer, you believe that he has not been seeing all the good work that you’ve been doing for the company.
So then one day you get tempted to steal or embezzle a large amount of money from your employer who later discovers that you’ve been stealing from him. Your employer takes you to court and then you’re locked up. However, according to the law, the only way you can be set free from jail is to pay every cent you stole from your employer plus a massive fine you’ve been charged the state.
The problem is you can’t pay the fine or even the money you stole because you don’t have the capacity to pay such a large amount of money. Your own effort to pay for your debt is fruitless.
Then your father who is a loving and gracious man decides to pay for your fine and all that the debt that you owe without any conditions or prerequisite that you should pay him back. So even though you’re guilty according to the law, your father loves you too much to see you remain in jail.
So after your father pays your full debt, he writes you a note stating that you have been redeemed and you are free to live a purposeful life.
Therefore as a son, you cannot claim that you got out of jail by your own effort or strength. It was through the payment and work of your father that you were set free or saved.
The glory for your salvation as a son does not go to you but all the glory goes to the one who paid your debt and set you free.
So in relation to Christianity, salvation is when Christ redeems you from facing spiritual death and into eternal life. We are all guilty and have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).
Spiritual death is when we are dead to the things of God and we are His enemies because we have not accepted Christ Jesus who offers us the free gift of eternal life. Christ Jesus gave His life for ours so that we could receive His life and pass from death to life (John 5:24).
Eternal life is experiencing everlasting life with God which begins from the very moment we put our trust in Christ for the exchanged life that came through the cross.
Salvation is for everyone but it’s not forced upon a person. Salvation is a freewill choice and so one has to make a decision of whether he/she desires to be saved or not.
WHAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT SALVATION
1. It is for all mankind (John 3:16)
2. We are purchased by the blood of Jesus (Acts 20:28)
3. There’s no other name that saves than that of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12)
4. It’s not worked for so no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-10)
5. It is free of blood line, will of the flesh and will of man but is being born of God unto His will (John 1:13)
6. It is the evidence that Jesus is alive and how it testifies of that He is the Resurrection and the Life
7. Jesus bore our sins for us in exchange of His righteousness to us (1 Peter 2:24)
8. Jesus death satisfied God’s wrath and His sacrifice was once and for all (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
9. Salvation introduces a better covenant (Hebrews 8:6-12)
10. When we go back to the man whose bail has been paid for, he would want to know the person who would have given him another run at life. He would want to know the nature of this person, and would want to display towards this person. In other words there is a response that comes with salvation.
WHAT DOES SALVATION MEAN FOR THE CHRISTIAN?
1. That Jesus is the lamb who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)
2. Not only has Christ taken away our sins but He has also forgiven us our sins.
3. That one has come to the end of self and realised that they need a Saviour (Acts 4:12)
4. It means that one no longer live for themselves or for man but live for Christ (Colossians 3:17,24)
5. One is a new creation and the old things have passed away meaning that God has chosen to forget how one used to live and is looking at a new man born of God (2 Corinthians 5:17)
6. One has been called from darkness into Christ’s marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)
7. One starts growing in the grace knowledge of one who saved him (2 Peter 3:18)
8. With Life comes a grateful heart (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
9. One becomes a courier of good news that actually saves (Romans 1:16)
10. Salvation is the beginning of experiencing God’s never ending LOVE (John 3:16)
Salvation is the beginning of an amazing relationship with an awesome God who loves us dearly. We are delivered from fear but we are not shielded from the trials and tribulations of these times. Instead we rejoice in them knowing that Christ has overcome the world for us. We now never walk alone because we have the Holy Spirit to guide, teach us and remind us of what Christ has done for us so that we know who to live for. We should never take salvation for granted whether you’re a new or mature believer because it was Christ’s life for ours and we celebrate life now because of salvation. Be blessed and like the word says: Today choose between life and death – though I’d rather you choose LIFE
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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