Some people think a personal relationship with God is something only theologians can comprehend. Actually, God’s plan of salvation is simple enough for everyone to understand. Here are the ABCs of salvation.
Admit to God that you are a sinner. All persons need salvation. Each of us has a problem the Bible calls sin. Sin is a refusal to acknowledge God’s authority over our lives. Everyone who does not live a life of perfect obedience to the Lord is guilty of sin. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Since none of us is perfect, all of us are sinners (Rom. 3:10- 18). The result of sin is spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). Spiritual death means eternal separation from God. By God’s perfect standard we are guilty of sin and therefore subject to the punishment for sin, which is separation from God. Admitting that you are a sinner and separated from God is the first step of repentance, which is turning from sin and self and turning toward God.
Believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and receive Jesus’ gift of forgiveness from sin. God loves each of us. God offers us salvation. Although we have done nothing to deserve His love and salvation, God wants to save us. In the death of Jesus on the cross, God provided salvation for all who would repent of their sins and believe in Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to others. After you have received Jesus Christ into your life, share your decision with another person. Tell your pastor or a Christian friend about your decision. Following Christ’s example, ask for baptism by immersion in your local church as a public expression of your faith. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Rom. 10:9-10).
Don’t overcomplicate this part. You will learn more as you grow in faith, but salvation is this simple.
I’m Saved… Now What Do I Do?
Now that you have accepted the free gift of God, the next steps sound simple enough, but many fail to stick to the plan. James tells us in chapter 2:18-26
“18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
What does this mean? It means that we are saved by grace and only the grace given because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, but now that we say we believe in Him, we are to prove it! Take that belief and work it out. Begin following the teachings of Jesus. We recommend that you start with the New Testament and be a student and disciple of Jesus. He gave us the perfect example to follow. He knows we’re going to make mistakes along the way, but He is a gracious father and has already forgiven us. Just continue to pursue Him and never give up! Finish the race!
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