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Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Maybe you wonder why it was necessary that Jesus come and die for the sins of the world. Why would the world need such a strange thing as a man tortured, beaten and hung on a cross to die?

As a starting point, consider the law of God as He gave it to Moses in Exodus 20 (the Ten Commandments).

1. Have no Gods before Me (not even in your heart)
2. Make for yourself no idols
3. Do not take the name of the LORD in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
5. Honor your father and mother
6. Do not murder (not even in your heart)
7. Do not commit adultery (not even in your heart)
8. Do not steal
9. Do not bear false witness (lie)
10. Do not covet

How do you measure up? If 10 is too many, consider what Jesus later told his disciples, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

Whether you take the 10 or the 2, the bottom line is that God has a standard of holiness. That standard is given in His law. Keep it, and maintain fellowship with God; violate it in any point, and be forever separated from God by your sin.

This standard of holiness is not just for the Jew. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. There’s none righteous. Not one. Romans 3:11-18.

It doesn’t end there. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this, the judgment.” Hebrews 9:24. The payment or wages that a man receives for his sin is death. Romans 6:23

But God, in His mercy, has provided a sacrifice, an offering that would satisfy the requirement of the law. That sacrifice was His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

“God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

1 John 2:2 He Himself is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“I am justified (made just as if I’d never sinned) through His (God’s) grace. Romans 3:24

“Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1

I had a great need. I have a great God. He gave me a great gift in the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

 

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I am not ashamed . . .

I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous; no not one. The wages or just payment for sin is death. It is appointed that each man and woman shall die once and face the judgment of God.

But God, while we were yet sinners and enemies of God, sent His only begotten Son to die a substitutionary death that our fellowship with God might be restored. That the hand of judgment might pass over those who accept the sacrifice of Jesus on their behalf.

Jesus rose on the 3rd day proving His sovereignty over all things including death. Look for His grave, and find it is empty. He is risen, and He alone has the words of eternal life.

There is one way, one truth, one God. No one comes to the Father except through the Son, Jesus.

Lie to yourself if you must to continue in your rebellion, but absolute truth will stand.

Consider Romans 1:18-32. Is that the end you seek?

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Recently, a woman I have known for over 20 years became a believer in Christ.  By her own words, she was “born again.”  I was deeply impacted by her conversion.

My friend and I ware both small business owners and have dealt primarily with each other in that capacity.  Through the years that I have been going to her business, I have not kept my relationship with Christ a secret.  I shared with her what was going on in my life, what my husband and I were doing in ministry and invited her to church-related events.  Although I did pray for her and her family over the years, I am sad to say, I never asked her if she wanted to be born again.

But GOD . . . He sent another to lead her to Christ.  The first time I saw her after she got saved, she told me with great excitement.  I could see the change.  I could sense her hunger.  I met with her that very day and  began to answer her questions about the Bible .  She was very grateful.

But that was so little to give her for what she brought to me.  Through her, I heard God speaking to me.  “Out of the world, I continue to pluck them.  One by one I will claim them from wherever they are.  I am not finished the work of saving.”

I felt so amazed.  In the brightness of her excitement about God and all the things of God, I was humbled.  For surely God had done this thing and had let me see it.  I am so grateful.  I pray to be in the path of many more new believers.  They give off such a pleasant aroma . . . the aroma of God.

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Luke 23 recounts the story of Jesus hung on the cross between the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.

Then one of the criminals who was hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  Luke 23:39-43

The thief’s relationship with God changed while he hung on the cross.  The thief hanging on the other side never changed his position.  We can only assume he will spend eternity separated from God in unspeakable torment and darkness.

One of the first fruits of Jesus’ crucifixion was the salvation of the one thief, a clear picture of God’s heart for the lost.  He is never too busy with His “agenda” to save one lost soul.  Even as He went to lay down His life to save all of humanity, He took time to save one wretched criminal even as his life was ebbing away.

Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

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The celebration of Christmas includes the understanding that the baby Jesus came to save, but that imbedded idea can be lost in the festivities.   Understanding why humanity needs a Savior can help us to keep our focus throughout the year on the Christmas message.

Why a Savior?

  • Because God is righteous and holy, and there are none who can meet His standard.  All men have turned their backs on God.  Romans 3:10-18.
  • Because all of humanity has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23.
  • Because we are slaves to sin without Christ.  (Romans 6:6)
  • Because we lack the righteousness required to be in the presence of God, to dwell with Him for eternity.  2 Corinthians 5:21.

May you see clearly the darkness of your own soul and your total and utter helplessness to save your self, and therefore, your unquestionable need for a Savior – Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

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Sometimes as believers, we use terms that only we understand.  What some might call “Christianese”  Understanding these terms and being able to “translate” them to those who don’t speak our “language” is essential to effectively sharing the gospel.  What does it mean to be saved?  What happens when we are born again?

The Basics

  •  Salvation is a gift    (John 3:16)
  • The only Requirement is belief (John 3:16)
  • Jesus is the perfect sacrifice, satisfying all the righteousness requirements of the law (2 Corinthians 5:21)

What happens?

  • We’re made alive spiritually  (Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:1)
  • The charges against us are dropped (Colossians 2:14)
  • We’re forgiven of  all our sins (Ephesians 1:7)
  • We’re purified for God to be His own (Titus 2:14)
  • We’re made new – a new creation in Christ  (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • Old things are gone; all things are new (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • We’re reconciled to God (restored to right relationship) (2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:21)
  • We’re presented to God holy and blameless (Colossians 1:21-23)
  • We receive the Kingdom of God (Luke 12:32)
  • We receive lasting inheritance (1 Peter 1:4)
  • We have abundant life now (John 10:10)
  • We receive everything needed for life and godly living (2 Peter 1:2-11)
  • We receive the power of  the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)
  • We receive weapons for warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18)
A Word Picture to Illustrate
     If they still don’t get the idea, give them a picture:  “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.  Isaiah 1:18

May the One who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy keep you from stumbling  and present you to God as without fault (and only God can do that).

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The expression “born of the Spirit” is used by the Apostle John in Chapter 3 of his gospel.  Being born of the Spirit means to become a new creation by the spiritual washing or purification of the soul, by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God at Salvation.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”

As a result:

  • What was before (the old life) is gone
  • The past does not control the  future
  • All things have become new (they are not what they were)
  •  All things are now of God (God is ruling my life, so everything is subject to Him)

Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

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