This is my very first blog post. Many more to come!
I have to start with salvation, as there’s no point in discussing spiritual matters if you’re not a child of God. I believe there are three steps involved.
I have a question for you. How good do you have to be in order to be good enough to enter into God’s eternal presence? Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” The truth is our idea of good falls far below God’s holy standard and it is impossible for us to meet His criteria on our own. That is why we are all in need a Savior. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. Not just physical death, but spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God.
God did not create us to be sinners and become separated from Him. But for us to truly love God, He had to give us free will—a choice, either to love God and serve Him or to disobey God and go our own way. The first man, Adam, chose to disobey God, and he experienced immediate spiritual death. Through Adam’s disobedience, sin entered into him, and he reproduced offspring after his new nature as Genesis 5:3 says, “And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” It is through Adam that each and every one of us has a propensity to sin.
Satan is referred to as the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31) and “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) because to this day he continues to successfully tempt people to sin against God and produce unrighteousness.
God knew that man would sin and fall under Satan’s control. He knew we would need a deliverer to release us from our captivity. Before the angels hovered above the throne of glory, before God said, “Let there be light,” and most certainly before He declared, “Let us make man in our image,” the Triune God appointed the death and resurrection of the eternal Son. First Peter 1:19-20 tells us that Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the world to redeem us with His blood.
Jesus willingly set aside His deity and “Made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). When Jesus went to the cross, He took our sins upon Himself and in exchange offered us His righteousness. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
This passage says we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Righteousness, or right standing with God, is not automatically applied to us. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” We have a choice to make and it involves more than just believing with our intellect.
In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” To receive Jesus’s gift of salvation, you must “Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). When we do this we are spiritually reborn. When we are born the first time we have the nature of natural man. When we are “born again” we are partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
The first step is that easy-believe and confess. The common misconception that we are saved by being baptized or by doing good works is not true. If it were, Jesus would not have had to die. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Step two coming soon…