Sunday, October 29, 2017

Salvation 101 (Part 8) - What Are the Prerequisites for Salvation?

Me: What must I do before I can be saved?

God: Hear me out.

Me: That's it?

God: Yes. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Salvation is a gift from Me for you to believe and accept by faith. Whoever believes in My Son, Jesus Christ, will have eternal life. But, how are you to believe in Him of whom you have never heard?

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

Me: But, I've done some bad things in my life. Plus, I know I'm not perfect and will likely offend You in the future as well. Don't I have to somehow make up for that first?

God: No. Christ died for your sins, all of them: past, present, and future. Your personal sins are not an issue in salvation, nor can your future sins undo the salvation I give by My grace. I am completely satisfied in the work of Christ on your behalf to make you utterly righteous and justified in My eyes.

He [Jesus Christ the righteous] is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us [Paul and fellow believers, even today] to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses [sins] against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Me: {Later that day...} Awesome! Now I get when and why I was lost and condemned. I could do nothing about my condition, and nothing is what I did.

The "Bad News" is awful. I saw my need for a Savior only You could provide, and provide Him You did. I heard how He did everything You would ever require so I could be reconciled to You. I could rest my weary soul in Him, forever. Amen!

What happened before I was saved? I heard the word of Christ.

I learned enough about salvation from God's perspective in His word to know there was nothing I could do. I did not need to do my best, or anything for that matter, to become salvation-worthy. I believed in Him whom He sent, and salvation was gifted to me.

Even if I behaved perfectly, I could do nothing about my sin nature. Salvation had to be on God's terms because anything done from my sin nature was unacceptable. His terms were simple: turn from thinking I could do things my way and instead trust and rely solely on Christ for my soul salvation.

 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Previously, I had followed plenty of theories about what God required, spoken confidently by religious men in religious buildings, or written by sophisticated theologians. These same stated in so many words of tradition and of their own imaginations that if I was to be saved, it was going to be by the skin of my teeth.

Or, I'd seek an easier message of grace and love for anyone who said they believed, backed with contemporary music and stylish stages to maximize an emotional response. Yet, these messages lacked knowledge and authority from God, and were simply based on acceptance, tolerance, and acts of compassion.

Eventually, I finally understood salvation from God's perspective when I was taught exclusively from His word. Only then could I see the contrast in His thoughts and ways versus man's. Only then could I understand just how much love He expressed and power He exerted for our salvation. It was all Him. I had nothing to offer. Nothing.

as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." (Romans 3:10-12)

~ ~ ~

I so desire to share with you some of the things I learned about God's perspective of salvation from His word in this blog series, Salvation 101:

1. Saved? Saved From What?
2. Why Do I Need to Be Saved?
3. How Can I Be Saved?
4. What Does It Mean to Be Saved?
5. What Does It Mean to "Work Out Your Own Salvation?"
6. Who Can Be Saved?
7. What About Personal Sins?

In summary, hearing the word of Christ is about listening to God's perspective on:

1. Realizing our lost state and seeing our need for a Savior (the Bad News).

2. Hearing the Gospel, the provision of a Savior, the Good News of the message of reconciliation.

3. Accepting the gift of salvation through faith, trusting Christ for the salvation of your soul.

More to come...

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