To be saved means to be transferred from God's disfavor to God's favor. It means becoming part of His Kingdom. It means a new, God-centered life. It means escaping the fear of hell and obtaining the assurance of heaven.
We are born separated from God and lost in our sins. Shortly before Jesus was born, an angel appeared to Joseph and said, "...you shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who will save his people from their sins..." (Matthew 1:21).
How Can We Be Saved?
In order to be saved, we must:
1. Want to be saved. This is called repentance. To repent means to change one's mind. If you want to be delivered (saved) from a sinful, self-centered life and you want God in your life -- but are aware that your sins are separating you from Him -- you are ready to be saved.
"Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away..." (Acts 3:19)
This does not mean you must reform your life to be saved. It does mean you want God to reform your life. You are open to His working. God is no longer an enemy to keep at a distance. Instead, He becomes the priority of your life.
Repentance, as a change of mind, can occur in a split second (though God sometimes prepares a person over time).
2. Understand the basis of salvation: the work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is both God and man. The Bible says, "Unto us a Son is given, and his name shall be called, 'Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace....'" (Isaiah 9:6).
Jesus came to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. He died to pay our penalty so that God could forgive us.
"...Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures..." (I Corinthians 15:3) "...Christ died for us. How much more then, having now been justified [declared righteous and 'not guilty'] by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him." (Romans 5:8b-9)
After Christ died, He rose again, evidencing that He is the Son of God and that His payment for sin was effective.
3. We must depend upon what Christ did for us to make us right with God; this is called "faith." A check is only "potential" money until it is cashed. The work of Christ does not benefit us until we believe. He died for everyone, but only those who exercise faith (depend upon Him) experience the benefits of Christ's sacrifice,including salvation and forgiveness.
We cannot obtain God's forgiveness by living a good life or by doing our best. No one does his or her best all the time anyhow. Besides, we already owe God everything; how can we give Him more than our all?
Good works or rituals cannot save us.
"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy..." (Titus 3:5a)
To be saved, we must stop trying to earn salvation. Jesus Christ is the Savior. He saves. He does not help us to save ourselves. He does the saving!
"...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved...for whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved..." (Romans 10:9,11)
Would you like to call upon the Lord for salvation, to hold God to His Word (which is what faith is)?
If so, you might want to pray this model prayer:
Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I cannot make up for my sins. I believe Jesus died as the sacrifice for all my sins. He paid my penalty through His death on the cross. He freely took the punishment that was due me. I believe He rose again. I want to be saved from my sins. I now claim the promise of forgiveness and eternal life through my Savior. By faith I claim the salvation you offer. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you understood and prayed that prayer in sincere belief, you have begun a relationship with the God of the Universe that will last forever. If you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are saved, forgiven, and right with God (John 3:16, I John 5:13). Begin reading your Bible (start with the Gospel of John and then read the rest of the New Testament first), and let us know of your decision. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you a new believer? A seeker? Want to know more about the Lord? Or perhaps you've known the Lord for a while but have never been taught the basics of Bible doctrine. E-mail us and request our free "Mailbox Club" Bible study course. We won't bother you for contributions or ask anything in return. The only cost is your postage to mail the answer sheet back.
The course is simple but will help you understand the basics of evangelical Biblical Christianity. The material is well-referenced to the Bible.
Just email us at email@example.com and request the "free Bible Study." We'll need your name and snail mail address.
God bless you,
The Camp Emmanuel Pastors