Showing posts with label Gospel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gospel. Show all posts

Jesus is the Savior, but how can we be saved?

We know that Jesus Christ came down to earth to save sinners (1Timothy 1:15)*. However, many of us do not know how we can be saved.

This is what the Apostle Paul said,"You have been saved by grace, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And this not from yourselves not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2: 8-9).

We are not saved because of our good works. If that were so, we could boast. We have nothing to be proud of in front of God because according to the prophet Isaiah, our good works are like dirty rags in the light of God’s holiness. (Isaiah 64:6)*.

We are saved because God is gracious. He is compassionate, loving and forgiving. He saves through grace, which he gives freely. But, to be saved, we have to believe in Christ. What does this mean?


First, we must know who Christ is. He is the Word which existed from the very beginning, even before the world was made. The Word was with God and the Word was God (John1:1)*. The Word became flesh and he lived with us (John 1:14)*. God who cannot be seen was seen through His Son (John 1:18; Colossians 1:15)*. To believe in Christ is to know who He is. This is the first part of faith

Second, to believe in Christ is to trust Him as the only Savior. We trust no one else to save us, only Jesus, who died on the cross to pay for our sins.  Not religion, not our church, not holy people, not our good works. Only Jesus.

Third, to believe in Jesus is to submit to Him. Jesus the Savior is Jesus the Lord. A big part of this belief is to turn away from sin and submit to Jesus as King or Lord of our lives. The root of sin is to live selfishly, according  to our desires. But to believe in Jesus is to tell Him: Your WILL shall reign in my life!


Have you responded to Jesus and placed your faith in Him? Right now, you can respond to Jesus and trust Him completely. Pray to Him like this:

“Lord Jesus, thank you for your 
great love for me that you paid for 
my sins at Calvary. I acknowledge 
you as my God who became man 
to save the world.  I believe that 
you are the Savior and Lord of   
my life.  I turn my back on my sin.   
Forgive me and come into my 
heart and life. Amen.” 

It is not the prayer that saves you but your faith in Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. If you are genuinely saved, you will see transformation in your life. As a new creation, you should bear fruit of good works for the glory of God.

But know that at that very moment you respond to Jesus-- putting your trust in Him and turning away from a life of sin-- you are given the assurance of eternal life with God. Nothing can separate you from God. If you are genuinely saved, you remain genuinely saved, a son or daughter of God. 


* Passages quoted from the Bible

1 Timothy 1:15  "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst."

Isaiah 64:6a "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags..."

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

John 1:18 "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known."

Colossians 1:15 " He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation"

This article was originally written by Pastor Isabelo Magalit of the Diliman Campus Bible Church with additions by the owner of this blog.

Four-Point Gospel: an outline

1.  The Offended One: God (and His Character)
-the Creator and Sustainer (Acts 17:24-25)
-He is Holy
a. Sinless: absolute separation from sin (1 John 1:5)
: no communion with sin (Habakkuk 1:13)
b. Hates all kinds of sin (Proverbs 6: 16-19)
c. Punishes sin: God pours out His wrath against sin (Romans 1:18)
d. Sets His holiness as standard for all (Leviticus 11:44)

2. The Offender: Man (and his sin)
a. Sin: sin is primarily an offense against God (Psalm 51:4)
 : sin is any action contrary to God’s will (James 4:17)
b. Man’s condition: everyone is sinful (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10-12; Genesis 6:5)
: man and woman are sinful from birth, at the moment of conception (Psalm 51:5)
c. Sin’s source: man inherited the sinful nature of the first man and woman who rebelled against God (Romans 5:19a; Genesis 3)
d. Result of sin: man became spiritually dead because of sin (Romans 5:12)
          : sin separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2) because God is holy (Revelations 15:4)
e. Man will face judgment for sin: God punishes every single sin with eternal death and separation from Him in hell (Romans 6:23a; Matthew 13:40-42)

3. God’s Solution: Jesus Christ
-to escape God’s judgment, man or someone in his place must satisfy
   God’s justice (Isaiah 65:6-7)

-Good works? No.
-even our best effort is unacceptable to God because it is stained by sin (Isaiah 64:6)
-this is so, because we are inclined to do evil all the time (Genesis 6:5)
-also, God will accept only the sacrifice of a holy or sinless man
-because of the demand of sinlessness, it is clear that man can’t save himself from sin because he is sinful and he can’t reach God’s standard

Who, then, is sinless?
-God alone.
-this is where God demonstrates His love. He knows that we cannot save ourselves and so He came here on earth as a man—Jesus Christ—to be our substitute. He came here to take the punishment of sin that was meant for us (1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 5:8)

Jesus alone can substitute for us because:
1.       He is fully human and so he can represent us before God (John 1:14)
2.       He met God’s requirement of holiness and sinlessness (Hebrews 4:15)
3.       He is God himself (John 20:28; Romans 9:5; 1 John 5:20)

-He had to die because without the shedding of blood, there can be
       no forgiveness (Heb 9:22b)
-by Jesus’ sacrifice, we have a way to be reunited with God (1 Pt 3:18, John 14:6)

   On the third day, He rose back from the dead:
1.       His sacrifice was acceptable to God (Romans 4:25)
2.       He conquered death; death has no power over Him because He is sinless (2 Timothy 1:10;     Acts 2:24)
3.       He can give us eternal life (John 14:19, John 10:28)
4.       He is the Messiah or Savior (Psalm 16:10)

4. God’s Requirement: Repentance and Faith
-Jesus made a way for us to be reunited with God, He is giving us eternal
       life for free (Romans 6:23b)

THE QUESTION: How can we receive all these?
-Jesus’ categorical answer is in Mark 1:15
“Repent and believe the Good News”
-Repentance and faith are God’s requirement for salvation

A.      Repentance (Luke 13:3)
Change of heart, mind and actions

a.       not a good work or an effort from man’s side but a gift as well (Acts 5:31)
b.      It is a deep remorse for having offended God; God-centered remorse/sorrow (Psalm 51:4)
c.       Does not attempt to excuse or justify oneself for sins committed
d.      Confesses to God specific and not general sins
e.      A willingness to make restitution whenever possible (Luke 19:1-9)
f.        A strong resolve to turn away from sin and acts it out (Acts 19:18-19)

A dying to self
-total submission to the Lordship of Christ and renouncing one’s self to
     follow and obey Jesus

a. John 12:25
“…hates one’s life in this world…”
“counts nothing in this world too dear to be given up in obedience to the
     will of God (Lk 14:26)”

b. Mark 8:34-36
“deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”
“no to self; yes to Christ”
“the attitude to self is that of crucifixion… everyday he renounces the sovereignty to his own will… and renews his unconditional surrender to Jesus”
“I cease to live for my sake in order that I might live for His sake”

Note: Dying to self does not mean that a person needs to practice it consistently in his life before he can be saved—this is good work. Instead, it points to the one time but sincere commitment a person makes in giving himself to God at the time of his conversion.

B.      Faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)
-not simply knowing and believing basic facts about Jesus, but makes a moral demand on the lives of the sinners
-it is also a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9)
-it is an attitude where man abandons all reliance in his own efforts to obtain salvation
-casting oneself unreservedly on the mercy of God
-relying entirely on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross
-opposite of human works

Elements of Saving Faith
1.       Knowledge (intellectual conviction)
-hears and understands the complete Gospel (Romans 10:17)
-mental assent
2.       Personal trust and reliance on Jesus Christ as the only Savior (John 14:6)
3.       Wholehearted surrender to Jesus as Lord (Matthew 10:37-39)

-Faith is a commitment to Jesus to love the things He loves (righteousness) and hate the things He hates (sin)
-it also does not mean that a person has to consistently practice faith before he can be saved. Rather, it points to the one moment when one truly entrusts his life to Jesus

Note: all these happen—faith and repentance—only by the grace of God
: pray that we be able to exercise genuine faith and repentance, by appealing to God’s grace and mercy

*My heart-felt thanks goes to the Soli Deo Gloria Church in Davao for their discipleship materials

Another take on Salvation

Have you ever heard the statement, “Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins?”

Did you ever ask, “What danger was there to sin that one needed to be saved from it?”

The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23).” The danger of sin is in its consequence—eternal spiritual death, eternal separation from God and eternal torment in hell.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).” This means everyone is subject to the consequence of sin. Eternal spiritual death, eternal separation from God and eternal torment in hell await everyone.

Unless sin is removed or its wages are paid, we will have to face its consequence. We will have to die a spiritual death for our sins.

The Gospel of Salvation

The entire Bible is the love story of God for humanity. It records everything God did for His children, for the people of the world.

But humanity today cannot feel God’s love. The most common complaints are, “God is so distant,” or “God does not seem to care for me. He’s just an all-powerful being who controls the universe.”

This is humanity’s perception. But God has revealed Himself, has in fact given Himself to us.

This is the truth. It’s not based on the limited understanding and experience of humanity but based on the TRUTH of the WORD of GOD.

This is my basis and this truth is what I want to share with you.

Joh 8:32 “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

First Color: Yellow

In the morning the sun rises and in the evening it sets. It’s the brightest thing our eyes see in the sky at daytime. It is so bright that we cannot look at it directly without damaging our eyesight.

I compare God’s glory and holiness to the sun. Why? Because like the sun, God’s glory and holiness cannot be matched by anything humanity has.

In fact, the Bible says only God is holy.

Rev. 15:4—Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy.

His holiness is different from man’s notion of holiness. God’s holiness means He is “undefiled by Sin (sinless), free from wickedness, clean, pure.”

In addition, God calls humanity to a life of holiness.

Lev 11:45 For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy."

But can man equal God’s glory and holiness? Is there a way for man to see God face to face? To look at the bright sun without destroying their eyes? Let’s find out.

Second Color: Black

When the sun sets night comes. At night, there are shadows, and darkness abounds. This is the best representation for humanity in contrast to God.

Darkness is sin. The Bible records the fall of man in Genesis three when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. They sought to be like Him by eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Bible tells of the sinfulness of humanity.

In Romans 3:10-12 we read, “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.’"

And a few verses after in Rom. 3:23 God says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

It is clear in the Bible. Humanity is tainted by sin. Humanity is in darkness because of sin. All of humanity in under sin.

You may ask. So what? What if man and woman are sinful? Should I be alarmed? The world has been like this since time immemorial so what’s the difference if I now know that I am sinful?

In the beginning God and humanity are in perfect fellowship. Nothing hinders humanity from personally experiencing the full glory of God. But because of sin, a gap was made between the Creator and His Creations.

We go back to who God is. God is holy, sinless and blameless. And humanity is sinful and unrighteous. Sin takes away the fellowship between God and man. No longer can man experience God in His fullness because of sin. Humanity is separated from God.

1 John 1:5 “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

Even in the physical realm, light and darkness cannot go together. We can always see a distinction between shadow and light. Never has there been a time when light and darkness existed together with our eyes not distinguishing one from the other.

This is our standing with God because of sin. We cannot be with Him because sin is blocking the way. Sin has made a gap between us and God. He is beyond our reach.

Once more you may ask, so what if I am under sin and separated from God? What does that do to me?

Romans 6:23 says, “for the wages of sin is death…”

You are bound to die in eternity apart from God. The payment for your sins is eternity of torment in hell. This is a fact. Remember, all have sinned so logically, all is bound to pay for their sins in spiritual death.

Rom 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”

So is there no other way? How can this sin be removed? Is there anything I can do?

If the Bible is consulted, humanity cannot do anything to penetrate sin and reach God. But this is the Good News, God already did everything to free man and woman from sin.

We go back to Romans 6: 23, “for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus’ death on the cross fully paid the price of Sin.

Third Color: Red

Red is the color of blood and love. Jesus died on the cross because of His great love for us. This sacrifice is the Good News; Jesus Christ is the Good News.

Man cannot bridge the gap made by sin by himself. He cannot pay even for a single sin he has done to save himself. Instead, the sins he has committed demand for his eternal death.

Rom 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Why did Jesus have to die? Only a sinless and blameless being can pay for the sins of all to ransom everyone from death to life. If a sinner dies for his sins, he has only death for that is just and that is what’s demanded by sin. But if a sinless God dies for others’ sins, the death he dies he dies for the sinners not for himself. Thus, his life remains.

This is what Jesus did. He is a sinless God-man who died to pay for our sins, to free us from death. We are no longer under sin and death for Jesus rose back to life. He is now offering us the gift of eternal life.

Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

All our sins were imputed on Jesus. He died the death we needed to die. But on the third day He rose back to life, thus, conquering sin and death and ushering in eternal life to humanity.

Jesus himself said in John 14:19, “…Because I live, you also will live.”

Jesus’ death bridged the gap made by sin. He made a way for humanity to be once more in fellowship with God.

1Pe 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins… that he might bring us to God…”

It is only by the blood of Jesus that the gap was bridged. No amount of work done by humanity will suffice, but everything was finished in Christ.

Some may say that they can do good works to cancel out their sins. They will be saved when the good they have done finally outweighs the bad things they did. This is not true, for God’s demand for holiness is perfect, meaning, not even a drop of sin. Because man has sin in him, no matter how many good things he does, these can never be cancelled out. It is not by good works that man is saved, it is by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

Eph 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this, not from yourselves it is the gift of God—not by works so that no one can boast.”

Some may say joining a group or a church will bring salvation to people. But it is clear, Jesus said it himself, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)”

Not by affiliation, not by good works, not by man’s righteousness but only by the grace of God through faith in the one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can we be saved.

Fourth Color: White

The blood of Jesus bridges the gap between humanity and God. We who were once darkness can now be cleansed from sin and brought back in a loving fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. There is no other way but through God's One and Only Son (John 14:6).

How can we cross this bridge towards God? Jesus answers plainly, "Repent and believe the Good News (Mark 1:15)."

If we put our faith in Jesus, believing that He can cleanse us from sin as Savior, and surrendering our life to Him as Lord, we are forgiven from our sins and put right with God. The act of believing always comes with a heart of repentance-- a change of mind and attitude towards God and sin. We now hate sin as God hates it and love righteousness as He does.

When these things are true to us-- repentance and faith-- we become true children of the light.

1Th 5:5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

God is light and when we become children of the light, we can have fellowship with him once more. This is accomplished by the blood of Jesus which gives the gift of eternal life. If we receive this gift, we have assurance of salvation.

Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Jesus is knocking at your heart now, offering this gift. What is your response? Will you repent from sin and believe in Jesus Christ?

Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Fifth Color: Green

Green is for life and growth. If you put your faith in Jesus, you begin a relationship with God. He becomes your Father and you His sons and daughters.

Joh 1:12 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Accepting him by faith in your heart, you slowly begin to know Him. You grow in Him like a plant sprouting and growing to be a strong tree.

2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

You are now children of the light, a new creation. Your old selves are buried in death and you have new life in Jesus, eternal life in Him.

And there is assurance that no matter what happens you are safe in the hands of Jesus.

Joh 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

Growing in faith means knowing God more and more in prayer, study of the Bible, Sunday worship and fellowship.

This is God’s love story. The all holy God reaches down to sinful man. By His own blood he makes a path, He bridges the gap made by sin. When one accepts Jesus by faith, acknowledging his or her weakness and depravity, turning away from sin by God’s grace, he receives the gift of eternal life. He is cleansed from sin. He becomes a new creation and God calls him or her His son or daughter.