It has been said that the gospel is such a simple message that even the very young can understand it, but so profound that the most learned theologians can never reveal the depths of its riches. Although the gospel is easy to understand, many opposing views exist because eternal salvation seems far-fetched, and salvation as a gift from God seems unimaginable. The gospel answers these paradoxical questions: How can an unholy person become holy and how can a fallen creature have fellowship with a holy God?
These transformations seem impossible, but the Bible says that “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). Sadly, the truth of the gospel is rejected by many persons. They cannot reconcile their image of a loving God with the idea of a just God’s eternal condemnation of unforgiven sinners. Regardless, without an Almighty pardon for sin, the sinner stands eternally condemned without hope.
Although God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, contrary to widespread misconceptions, He does not make anyone go to heaven, nor does He force anyone to end up in Hell. That determination is a choice made by each person on earth. In fact, God’s will is for every person to repent, trust in Christ as Saviour and be saved.
The Lord is …not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
The gospel reveals the lost and sinful condition of each and every person apart from Jesus Christ. Regardless of how decent and moral you try to live your life, the gospel reveals your true state and dire need. Using the gospel, the Spirit of God opens your heart, eyes and ears to bring conviction of sin into your life, while the Father draws you to Himself.
God provided many pictures and types throughout the Old Testament as a witness of His desire to fellowship with man. He provided shed blood and animal skins for Adam and Eve, the ark for Noah and his family, the ram in the thicket for Abraham and Isaac, and the brazen serpent on the pole for Moses and the nation of Israel. God has now provided His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, for the entire world. Thus, the message of Christ and His cross, having its foundation throughout the Old Testament, is the message that must be presented to a desperately needy world today.
The most spectacular message ever told concerns the work of Christ and how it can change a person’s life for all of eternity. In fact, it is the greatest message ever told, the greatest theme in history, and the greatest work ever performed by the greatest Person who ever lived. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid the penalty for sin by shedding His precious blood on the cross of Calvary.
The blood shed on Calvary’s cross was the blood of God! It was the blood of Jesus, and He is God’s Son—God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). Thus, the Creator of the universe justly satisfied the judgment for sin on our behalf through the shedding OF HIS OWN BLOOD.
Twelve scriptural proofs that God shed His own life’s blood for our sin:
- “church…purchased with his own blood.”
- “a propitiation through faith in his blood”
- “justified by his blood”
- “made nigh by the blood of Christ”
- “having made peace through the blood”
- “blood of Christ…purge your conscience”
- “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus”
- “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”
- “washed us from our sins in his own blood”
- “redeemed us to God by thy blood”
- “made them white in the blood of the Lamb”
- “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb”
References: (1) Acts 20:28; (2) Romans 3:25; (3) Romans 5:9; (4) Ephesians 2:13; (5) Colossians 1:20; (6) Hebrews 9:14; (7) Hebrews 10:19; (8) 1 John 1:7; (9) Revelation 1:5; (10) Revelation 5:9; (11) Revelation 7:14; (12) Revelation 12:11
Only God could devise such a wonderful plan of redemption. God Himself became the sacrificial Lamb, but why? By God’s very nature, He must judge sin. Through His Law, the sinner must be judged guilty and condemned forever. However, through God’s Son, every man, woman or child ever born has a way out. This is the essence of the gospel!
The truly repentant sinner is saved from the penalty of sin when he realizes his desperate need and acts on his desire for God to forgive his sinful soul. Because Christ sacrificed Himself, His blood is able to clear the guilty of ALL judicial condemnation and the fiery wrath and indignation of God. God accepted Christ’s payment, making redemption possible for all those who would receive Him as their Saviour.
Everyone should ask the same simple question that the Philippian jailer posed to his two prisoners. “…Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Only two answers to your appeal exist—one right and one wrong.
God saves man or man saves himself. The premise that man saves himself implies that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was somehow inadequate. God’s saving man denotes salvation by grace—the unmerited favor of God.
If one adds anything to Christ’s work, this places the works of a mere mortal as equal to the sacrificial work of the Son of God on the cross of Calvary! Our greatest works could never be placed equal with what Christ did for us, and there is a day coming when God will judge the world in righteousness. The standard for that judgment will be Christ’s righteousness because we have all individually fallen short of God’s perfect standard.
Christ’s righteousness is the benchmark that everyone must meet; therefore, the Lord commands every sinner to repent! However, some people find it difficult to admit that they are even a sinner. Sin is simply the transgression of God’s law, of which, all are transgressors. Consider this: Have you ever lied? That makes you a liar. Have you ever stolen anything, even time from your boss? That makes you a thief. Have you ever lusted after a woman? That makes you an adulterer in your heart. Everyone has broken God’s laws; all sinners need God’s forgiveness.
The assertion that God saves man requires God to impute His righteousness to the believer, which is precisely the arrangement proclaimed by the Bible. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…” God’s righteousness is offered unto all, (everyone), but is imputed, (or accredited), only to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, (just like the Philippian jailer).
What does the Bible teach concerning the way to be saved? The following chart illustrates what every sinner should personally acknowledge to God based on the scriptural declarations provided.
In so doing, the individual will better understand the Gospel of the Grace of God; however, this chart is not meant to be used as a formula for prayer.
No single magic prayer for salvation exists. One must simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and call upon Him in order to be saved. The Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Repeating these “personal acknowledgements” without the heartfelt conviction of trusting in Christ will simply be an act of futility.
2. All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.
The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”
The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,
3. God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life — of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.”
God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.” You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.
4. If you want to accept Christ as your Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always.”
Did you pray this prayer? YES NO
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