Salvation - Why Jesus?

Through an act of faithless disobedience many years ago, sin entered the world as the two first humans decided to go against what God had specifically instructed them, and instead follow what they wanted to believe. The book of Genesis tells us that Satan told Eve she would not surely die if she ate the fruit God warned would kill her, but instead she would gain the knowledge of God. Satan implied to Eve that God was keeping knowledge from her, but if she disobeyed God and followed his instructions instead, she would learn real “knowledge.” Lured by the temptation of spiritual depth and knowledge, she chose to believe that surely something appearing so harmless–a piece of fruit–would not really bring such destruction. But the truth of God’s instruction stood whether she believed it or not. The cost of the “knowledge” they attained was something the Lord wished to spare them from–the knowledge of good and also of evil. And as warned, this action indeed brought death.

The same trap still ensnares today: the lie that says one may discover “truths” and be more like God by following paths the Lord strictly warns against such as divination and channeling of “energies,” and paying homage to other deities, spirits, or gods. Satan manipulates spiritual esoteric experiences that convince followers they are on the “real” path of knowledge–experiences that often seem to bring feelings of peace and love. But these experiences, these shiny harmless looking pieces of fruit with the appearance of nourishment are also filled with death.

Humans have rebelled against him since the beginning, and continue to do so. But God created us. He is our Father. And as a parent loves a rebellious child, the Lord still loves his human creation beyond comprehension. That is why he gave us the Bible as an outline of how to be safe from the traps of evil in the same way a parent gives their children rules like no riding bikes in the street or no placing hands on hot stoves. Not to be mean. Not to keep his kids from all the fun they could be having riding in the street. He was the one who gifted the bike. He delights in our delight. He just knows more than we do. He knows what is safe and what will kill us. He calls us to believe him even if we don’t understand. He calls us to trust that even though he does not explain everything to us, as our Father he has our best interest at heart.

He calls us to believe him in order to be saved from darkness and death within our lives here and now on earth, but also for what comes after: to be saved from eternal death after we die. Both Eve and Adam deserved death by their action. God had told them they would die if they ate the forbidden fruit. They did it anyway. Guilty. Even though God allowed them to live for a period of time, they were now separated from him, and would indeed also now one day experience death. There was only one way to cover the inevitable sin now passed down to all humankind: with the blood of an innocent offering.

But there was no human totally innocent. Every human had sinned. No one was perfect. But the Lord had a plan of ultimate redemption. And throughout the Old Testament, he planted prophecies of his detailed plan to send the only one who was without sin–himself– as the one eternal sacrifice. Then he fulfilled every one on his own predictions.

Because of his incessant, incomprehensible love for us, the Lord sent himself in a form that would be a sufficient sacrifice–as a human. He called this extension of himself a name by which we humans can begin to comprehend–His one and only Son, Jesus. He did this as a gift to us. We did not deserve it then, and we don’t deserve it now. We all still sin. It is an amazing gift from our father.

And all we have to do is accept it. But we have to chose to accept it. The theme throughout the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus is that it is by FAITH that we are healed and restored. Pride and lack of faith got humankind into the whole sin mess. It is by FAITH we are restored. All one needs to do is drop the pride and say, I don’t have to understand. I choose to believe. I don’t want to keep living a life that will end in death. What God says, I want to do that. I want Jesus in my life.

That is what the Lord asks of us: to have faith in the one he sent. 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 (Romans 10:9). This is how to be saved. And it is the only way. Every other way is false. The Lord teaches this clearly and repeatedly (1 Timothy 2:5-6, 1 John 2:23, 1 John 5:10-12, 1 John 5:20, Acts 4:12, John 14:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, John 3:16-18, John 12:48–just to name a few).

One thing I have learned is that scriptures say it best. Here is a list of scriptures that briefly outline the why and how of salvation. You will then find a prayer and instructions if you would like to receive this gift.

THE LORD IS THE CREATOR, AND MAN IS WITHOUT EXCUSE FOR RECOGNIZING HIM
Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US HAS SINNED
Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.

ALL HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM HIM
Romans 3:10-12
There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.

THE RESULT OF SIN IS DEATH 
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

CHRIST DIED FOR US SO WE COULD BE SAVED
Romans 5:8
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16
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.

JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY
John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.”

SALVATION COMES BY FAITH
Romans 1:17-20
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift from God–not by works, so that no one can boast.

John 3:16 (It applies to both, and is worth repeatingJ)
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.

HOW TO RECEIVE IT
Romans 10:9, 10, 13
That 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 . . . for, “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

If you’d like to pray today to be on the Lord’s side—to be saved from the death our sins deserve, I encourage you to pray and tell the Lord so. If you are unsure what to say, you may pray this prayer:

Dear Father in heaven, I believe your word. I want to believe more, please give me more faith, Lord. I know I am a sinner. Please, Lord, I ask you to forgive me for all the wrong things I’ve done in my life. I trust your word. I believe that you sent Jesus, your Son, as an extension of yourself, to die for our sins. You are the Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and I trust that only by having faith in you can I be saved. Please free me and protect me from darkness. Please grow me in understanding and wisdom. Please help me to live a life pleasing to you and restore peace and joy in my life. I put my whole trust in you and ask that you come into my heart, Lord. Renew me, protect me, and grow me. Thank you Jesus for hearing my prayer. Thank you for saving me.

What Now?
I am so excited for you, and the way the Lord will now work in your life if you let him! He restores all areas of life we surrender to him. Life can become so rich. This sincere choice keeps you for eternity, and that is awesome, but to live a life now that is rich, full of joy, free from the oppression of evil, and to store richness in heaven for later, seek him daily.

This website by Pastor Greg Laurie is a great resource for what to do now:
http://www.harvest.org/knowgod/new-believer/start-to-follow.html

This website is a great resource to locate a Calvary Chapel Church near you:
http://calvarychapelassociation.com/churches/
There are many excellent churches and denominations out there (and some not so good. Check scriptures yourself and pray–the Lord will guide you). I like Calvary Chapels because it is a denomination that started with the intent to keep in simple and teach straight through every word of the Bible. They are awesome.

I would also love to hear from you if you would like to share your decision with me.

I pray the Lord grows, protects, strengthens, and nurtures you and your walk with Him.

Ephesians 6:8: For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. 

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