- Part 2
The most important question anyone can ever ask,
was asked by the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30.
What must I do to be saved?
We saw in our first
The study of salvation
is called Soteriology
from two Greek words:
Q: What do we need to be saved from?
Q: What is sin?
A: Sin is breaking God’s law or falling short of the standard that God has set.
SHORT OF THE TARGET
The Bible teaches us that none of us can reach God’s target: “There is no one righteous, not even one…” (Romans 3:10)
UNIVERSALITY OF SIN
ORIGINAL SIN: We are born with a sinful nature which we inherited from Adam. Adam is the head of the entire human race and when he fell through sin, we fell with him. (Romans 5)
Q: What are the consequences of our sin?
A: Sin will be punished by a perfect, good and just God.
CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
Sin separates us from God because he is holy and sinless. If you die in your sins you will be eternally separated from God in hell.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death…
Q: What does the word WAGES mean?
A: Wages are what we get paid for what we have done. So our wages (what we get for what we do) for our sin is death.
QUIT - BEFORE
The punishment for sin is the death penalty! But “the wages of sin is death” is not referring to physical death. It refers to a place of punishment called hell.
Rev 20:14-15 … The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
But the word gospel means GOOD NEWS. Knowing that I’m a sinner and that I deserve to go to hell is not ‘good news’.
The good news is: GOD LOVES YOU! Jesus tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
God does not want you to die for your sin. God doesn’t want you to go to hell and so he made a way of salvation:
Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Salvation was the purpose of Jesus’ coming:
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
The angels rejoice when someone gets saved:
Luke 15:10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Last time we saw that many people think that it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you believe something. Of course they only use this sort of logic when it comes to religion – everywhere else, truth matters.
Sincerity is not enough. You can be sincerely wrong.
Sincerity is not enough. You need the truth.
John 8:31-32 … Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
SINCERITY NOT ENOUGH
We also saw that, contrary to many religions, Christianity claims exclusivity i.e. it is the only way to God.
Acts 4:11-12 “He (Jesus) is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
If we could be saved by another way, then Jesus died for nothing.
Gal 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
JESUS IS THE ONLY
WAY TO GOD
Isaiah 64:6 … all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…
Titus 3:5… he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
Contrary to what other religions teach, we cannot be saved by our own good works.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been
saved, through faith…
not by works...
God’s standard is 100%. But only Jesus, God’s Son, was sinless.
Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
1 Peter 2:21-22 … Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
Because our sin deserved punishment and death, Jesus (who was sinless) died in our place as a substitute. He took our punishment!
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so
that in him we
might become the
1 John 3:5 But
you know that he
appeared so that
he might take away
our sins. And in
him is no sin.
So Jesus is the only ‘redeemer’ of man.
Acts 20:28 … Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him…
Rev 5:9 … you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
1 Pet 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
By his death on the cross, Jesus made it possible for us to be reconciled to God.
Christianity teaches that Jesus is not a mere man, a prophet, a guru or something similar, but the Saviour of the world, the only “name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) 1
Ephesians 2:13-18 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility… and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.… For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
1 Wikipedia: Salvation
Unlike other religions, the Christian perspective on salvation is that no one can merit the grace of God through human effort (performing rituals, good deeds, asceticism or meditation).
Contrary to all other religions, in Christianity we “are justified freely by his grace” (Rom 3:24).
Christianity teaches that man cannot reach God by his own efforts and that God has to bring about our redemption because we are incapable of doing so.
Matt 19:25-26 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
So salvation is not earned or merited by man it comes from God and is a free gift.
Rom 6:23 For the wages
of sin is death, but the gift
of God is eternal life in
Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8 For it is
by grace you have
been saved, through
faith— and this not
from yourselves, it is
the gift of God…
This free gift of salvation
is because of God’s grace or “unmerited favour”.
Jesus told parables which showed that grace was God’s to give and that it was freely offered.
In the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, a son demands the family fortune and subsequently wastes it, then returns home expecting little in the way of good treatment. However the father welcomes him with open arms.
If salvation were achieved by works (any human effort that intends earning salvation), men could take pride in their efforts toward holiness, and God’s gift of grace would be diminished in contrast to man’s efforts.
But salvation is a gift - so there is no room for boasting:
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.
Rom 3:24-28 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus… Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
1 Tim 2: 3-4 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
GOD WISHES ALL
TO BE SAVED
So if God wishes all to be saved, why will many perish?
God’s gift of salvation is free, but you
have the choice to accept it or not.
To be forgiven and brought back into a personal relationship with God, it is not enough that the grace of God exists as potential solution. It must be claimed personally by the sinful person. 1
When we receive God’s gift of salvation, only then can the atoning death of Christ become an actual solution for one’s sins.
A gift must be accepted
In 1829 George Wilson was convicted of mail robbery in Pennsylvania and imprisoned. Andrew Jackson, the U.S. President issued a pardon for Wilson. Strangely Wilson refused to accept the pardon. No one knew what to do and so Wilson’s case was referred to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The court stated: “A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it is rejected, we have discovered no power in this court to force it upon him.” As such, Wilson was not released from prison early. 1
Why was he not released? Because of his crimes? No. Because he refused the pardon.
1 Wikipedia: List of people pardoned or granted clemency by a U.S. president.
A pardon must be accepted
And likewise - many go to hell not because of their sin, but because they refuse the pardon.
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)
Rom 2:8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Acts 7:51 "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!”
Heb 2:3 How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
WE CAN REJECT GOD
You can choose to believe in God’s Son or to reject him:
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:36)
You can choose to open the door or to keep it closed:
Rev 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
LET JESUS IN
Jesus compared sinners to sick people who need a doctor. In Matthew 9:11-12 we read that “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.”
When the Pharisees saw this, they questioned Jesus’ disciples.
Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
If you are sick, in order to
get better, you must:
Admit that you are sick.
Find a competent doctor.
Go to the doctor and get their advice and medicine.
Take the medicine.
In order to prevent a
I’m not sick. Can you recommend any medicine or some good operations?
WHAT MUST I DO?
We must admit that we are sinners (admit you are sick):
1 John 1:8,10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us… If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
We must believe that Jesus can save us (find a competent doctor).
John 10:9 “I am the gate; whoever enters through
me will be saved.”
John 14:6 Jesus
answered, “I am the
way and the truth
and the life. No one
comes to the Father
except through me.”
2) BELIEVE - FAITH
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Believing in Jesus doesn’t just mean believing that He exists. Even the demons do that (James 2:19). It means putting our trust and hope in Him.
We must come to Jesus and put our faith in him (go to the doctor).
3) CALL UPON HIM
Rom 10:13 “Everyone
who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
We must confess our sins and ask God to forgive us (take the medicine).
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
We must repent i.e. not only be sorry for
our sins but turn our back on our sinful
life (change your lifestyle).
Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent
and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”
The recognition of one’s sinful state,
followed by acceptance of the atoning sacrifice of Christ, is called repentance. Repentance in the New Testament has a
wider meaning than simply regretting
the mistakes of the past. 1
The Bible tells us that there are two kinds of sorrow:
2 KINDS OF SORROW
2 Cor 7:10-11 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Worldly Sorrow means:
You were sorry you got caught, but you did not change your mind about your sin, you would do it again.
That sorrow is of the world.
It leads to death, God’s punishment on sin.
Godly Sorrow means:
We are truly sorry for our sin
We want to change our actions, our attitude and our behaviour!
Matt 27:3-5 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
WORLDLY SORROW: JUDAS
Matt 26:75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
GODLY SORROW: PETER
But Peter is restored by Jesus (John 21) and goes on to be a powerful apostle and witness for Jesus. (Acts 2:38)
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
Salvation is not unattainable – it is close to us. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
Q: How near is it?
A: It’s as close as your mouth and your heart.
Rom 10:6-13 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… for, “Everyone
who calls on the name of the
Lord will be saved.”
THE KINGDOM IS NEAR
Jesus is Lord!
I believe God raised Jesus from the dead.
When we repent this we are freed from the penalty of sin and made clean in God’s sight.
Psalm 51:2 Wash away all
my iniquity and cleanse
me from my sin.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let
us reason together,” says
the LORD. “Though your
sins are like scarlet, they
shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as
crimson, they shall be like
We have 2 options - we must choose: LIFE or DEATH.
If we believe in Jesus’ words, we are promised ‘eternal life’:
John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
If we reject Jesus’ words, we will face judgment:
John 12:48 “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.”
LIFE OR DEATH
SALVATION IS FOR TODAY: 2 Cor 6:2b Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. (NLT)
How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. (1 Kings 18:21)
If you have never asked Jesus to save you, would like to do that today? Just bow your head and pray something like this.
Jesus, I know that I have sinned.
I am sorry for my sins and ask you to forgive me.
I believe that you died for me. I believe you rose from the grave and can save me today.
Come into my heart today and save me.
Help me turn my back on my life of sin.
I believe that you will do what you said you would do.
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Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:
New American Standard Bible®,
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