Salvation

I believe I “got saved” as Christians say, as a child, because I know I “prayed the prayer” when I was very young, and believed it, and believed in Jesus Christ. But on my way to see about joining a missionary work, I mouthed the words in a prayer in a gospel tract a young black man coming from a Campus Crusade meeting gave me on a lonely stretch of Los Angeles highway. That is a very story many find interesting, for another time.

This time I just want to share a few verses to understand and memorize for the new born-again Christian, –or– a few verses to help understand salvation.

I think my idea of salvation, like Christ taught us, is best thought of as salvation from death and Hell.

Believing in Christ comes with everlasting life:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Rejecting the Son leaves someone in sin:

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

It’s not that God condemns them, the rejection of the offer of life from the giver of life is what leaves them where they already are. Like Job said in the book of his name, “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me”. I remember some people who rejected Christianity for “laying a guilt trip on them”, which was a way of saying “making me feel guilty”.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

See, everybody has sinned, meaning done things that fault them. A little white lie, a nickel kept that wasn’t yours, even wanting one. Even thinking you were better than somebody because they did this or that, or they didn’t do something you do that’s good, this is sin, because it shows a lack of perfect love for your neighbor. The second commandment is to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. If you don’t do that perfectly, your soul is spotted with sin and deserves some kind of either payment or mercy.

So we have all done something wrong:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

The payment for sin is you die, because you did not live a perfect life. But Jesus Christ did, and he paid the penalty of death for you:

Romans 6;23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Eternal life is a gift. It is a gift extended in mercy, no matter how dirty you think you are, or how “clean” you think you are and know you should not so think. There is NO SUCH THING as being “good enough” for heaven or “deserving” heaven or eternal life. There is nothing you can do to earn it short of being perfect. Heaven has “no spot nor wrinkle” in your covering.

That’s why it’s a pure gift of grace and NO works:

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

It’s not exactly a formula, but here is how it works. Okay, Christ paid the penalty with his death, but if he is dead then how can we believe he can give us eternal life. The proof is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

You confess verbally that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and it does eventually come out of your mouth to yourself or someone. Don’t worry about the temptation to doubt that comes following, just wave it away.

Let Jesus into your life. It will be a new life. No riches are promised, just the truth and eventually persecutions for the truth.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

And by the way, Jesus welcomes everyone. Nobody has too much sin for Jesus. He forgives it all.

Lastly, get a KING JAMES BIBLE to study.Accept no counterfeits.

Speakers of English as a second language (and native speakers of various languages) have told me that the King James Bible was much easier to understand than the other versions they had encountered. They can feel that the spirit is different. The other translations have many contradictory passages and all. Most of them have enough to convey enough for salvation, and many places in many of them are correct, but there is too much discrepancy and disagreement in the “jot and tittle” meanings Jesus said would be preserved forever.

 

 

 

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