God's Plan of Salvation
1 John 5:11-12 And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the 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 possess eternal life is to possess God's Son. The question is, how can a person have the Son of God?
(It all started with an apple and a snake . . . or so they say)
Separation From God
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death [spiritual separation from God]
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 men to be sinful. To "sin" means to miss the mark. The Bible de-clares "all have sinned and fall short of the glory (the perfect holiness) of God" (Rom. 3:23). In other words, our sin separates us from God who is perfect holiness (righteousness and justice) and God must therefore judge sinful man.
Habakkuk 1:13a Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, And Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor.
The Sinfulness of Man
Romans 3:23 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
The Futility of Our Works
Scripture also teaches that no amount of human goodness, human works, human morality, or religious activ-ity can gain acceptance with God or get anyone into heaven. The moral man, the religious man, and the immoral and non-religious are all in the same boat. They all fall short of God's perfect righteousness. After discussing the immoral man, the moral man, and the religious man in Romans 1:18-3:8, the Apostle Paul declares that both Jews and Greeks are under sin, that "there is none righteous, not even one" (Rom. 3:9-10). Added to this are the declarations of the following verses of Scripture:
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast. Titus 3:5-7 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but ac-cording to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Romans 4:1-5 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned 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 ac-cepted 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 living will get us to heaven or give us eternal life. What then is the 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.
He Died in Our Place
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet 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.
He Rose From the Dead
1 Corinthians 15:3-6 Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred....
He Is the Only Way to God
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. Romans 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, ac-cording to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, Romans 4:25 He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
How Do We Receive God's Son?
Because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross, the Bible states "He 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 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 10:10 I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly (that it might be full and meaningful)
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever be-lieves in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
This means we must each come to God the same way: (1) as a sinner who recognizes their sinfulness, (2) real-izes no human works can result in salvation, and (3) relies totally on Christ alone by faith alone for our salvation.
We Must Receive Christ
John 1:12 As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name
We Receive Christ Through Faith
Ephesians 2:8,9 By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast
When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
John 3:1-8. Jesus Teaches Nicodemus 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him. 3 In reply Jesus declared, I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. 4 How can a man be born when he is old? Nicodemus asked. Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born! 5 Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him.
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.
You Can Receive Christ Right Now by Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is just talking to God)
God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be."
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so your salvation date is:
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. 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.