WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN
What is salvation? This question is the most important to ask. Your eternal destiny is dependent upon learning the answer, then believing the answer. Thankfully you need not go any further. Salvation implies a need to be delivered, to be rescued; but, what do we need to be rescued from? We need to be rescued from God’s wrath and condemnation against our sin.
GOD IS HOLY & RIGHTEOUS
The Creator God is perfectly holy - we are not. This is manifest by the clear reality that we sin and we know we sin because of God’s law that we break. God is not only holy, but He is righteous, He is just. As any good judge and He is, The Judge: sin, crimes, evil, misconduct, etc cannot go unpunished. In fact, just as the consequence of a lie is measured by whom it is against so is our sin measured by whom it is against; that is, a holy God. Wherefore, if you were to lie to a friend that is one thing, but if you are to lie on the stand to a judge, the consequences are greater and more severe.
SIN & ITS’ PENALTY
Therefore, the just penalty of our sin against the eternal, holy, righteous Judge is an eternal punishment. We must pay an eternal payment for our sin and this eternal payment is literally hell and the lake of fire. It is our sins and the debt and penalty of them that we need to be saved from.
CHRIST – THE PROVISION OF SALVATION
How are we, therefore, saved? Well, a Christian is called such because of Christ. This is the reason and purpose God sent His only begotten Son to come to earth; that is, to pay the debt and penalty of our sins. He paid the debt and penalty of our sins on the Cross, or as the Bible states it, “He was delivered for our offences”. However, if Christ stayed dead His salvation was too. Rather, He rose from the dead the third day for our justification; that is, for the forgiveness of our sins and the giving of His righteousness. Therefore, God sent Christ to die our eternal death, to pay our penalty. He rose again from the dead to give power to what He had done and to offer it to salvation from the debt and penalty of our sins. God’s provision of salvation is offered to us freely by His grace, by His great love toward us.
FAITH – THE APPLICATION OF SALVATION
Nevertheless, we need to receive the gift, and the only response that is compatible to God’s grace is faith. We cannot work for it; that is go to church, pay a tithe, give to charity, be water baptized, pray a prayer, clean up your life, etc for it. Faith is non-meritorious to its’ subject, but meritorious to its’ object. In other words, all the credit, merit, and glory goes to the object of one’s faith because faith is trusting in someone or something to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. When God sees your faith trusting Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of your sins this satisfies His justice against you and the forgiveness of sins is applied to you. Wherefore, the moment you trust Christ for the forgiveness of sins all your sins are forgiven: past, present, and future.
This is salvation, this is how one becomes saved, this is what identifies one as a true Christian – first not what they do, but what they believe; that is, the shed blood (death) of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins that they may possess eternal life with Him in heaven instead of eternal condemnation and wrath in hell and the lake of fire apart from Him.
We hope and pray you trust Christ this very moment so that you know for sure if you were to die today that you would spend all eternity with God in the heavenly places.