Salvation Your journey to Faith

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1 Salvation Your journey to Faith 1. Separated from God - Sin and it s Consequences We were created to have a relationship with God our creator. Sin stops this from being possible. Sin causes a loss of innocence, a loss of purpose in life, an inner discord and corrupts mankind. We sin when we think or act contrary to the way God does. Sin literally means to miss the mark. We are not sinners because we sin - we sin because we are sinners! The ultimate consequence of sin is eternal separation from God. Heaven and hell are real places (Matt 25:46). Because of our sin we are utterly unable to save ourselves and therefore need a saviour. Isaiah 59:2 But there is a problem - your sins have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God s glorious standard. From the original sin we have all inherited the nature to sin. Disobedience to God was the cause of this initial sin. From that moment Adam and Eve were separated from God and died spiritually. (Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-4) 2. God s Solution to Sin Christ s Sacrifice for All Mankind God s desire is that all may know Him, that none would perish. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord isn t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent God appeared in the form of the man, Jesus, to once and for all do away with sin. Jesus did this through the ultimate sacrifice of His own life. Jesus was the only one able to make this atonement (the process of forgiving and pardoning a sin) as He was Himself without sin. Mankind was destined to die and face the judgment of God, so Jesus made a once and for all sacrifice that would take away the sins of the world. He paid the price for every person s sin. For those who accept what He has done on their behalf, who receive Jesus as their Saviour and Lord, He gives them access to this full and complete salvation. Romans 5:8 But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners

2 Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. John 14:6 Jesus told him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father expect through me. Salvation is a free gift received by faith. We are unable, in any way, to pay or earn our forgiveness and salvation. Good works or religious activity is not enough to receive God s forgiveness. Ephesians 2:8&9 God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things you have done, so none of us can boast about it. 3. Receiving Salvation Turning to God and Asking Forgiveness Realise your condition. Like the story of the prodigal son who came to himself, (Luke 15:11-24) we have to come to the place where we are ready to surrender our life to Christ. Ephesians 2:1-5 Once you were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins. You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God s anger just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God s special favor that you have been saved!). Repent Luke 13:3.And you will also perish unless you turn from your evil ways and turn to God Repentance involves: (i) A Change of Mind True repentance is a firm, inward decision; a change of mind. It is only after you admit your sin, accepting you are wrong, that you can be healed, receive forgiveness, and come into a right relationship with God. The prodigal son realised his sin and decided to return to his father. (ii) A change of Heart. The prodigal son declares in Luke 15:21 Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. There was deep personal sorrow because of his sin and he declared this sorrow to his Father. (Also see David s prayer of repentance in Psalm 51)

3 (ii) A change of direction. True repentance means that we turn away from our sin and turn towards God. The prodigal son by his words and actions showed a will to change. A willingness to totally forsake the past and accept the future God has for us is essential in repentance. The act of repenting is not something to be fearful of or run from. On the contrary, repentance is something to be joyful of and run towards for it is only possible because of God s love and kindness toward us. Repentance is a hallway, not a living room it s a place we pass through, not live in! 2 Cor 7:10 (NKJV) For Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted Romans 2:4 (LITV) it is God s kindness that is leading you to repentance Receive God s forgiveness in Christ by faith. 1 John 1:8-9 If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. Forgiveness is something that is freely offered by God. It is on the basis of what God has done through Jesus dying on the cross. God freely offers forgiveness when we confess our sin to Him. We receive forgiveness by faith, believing what He has already declared in His word. When God forgives He does so absolutely. He never brings the offence to His remembrance or our remembrance again. Once He has forgiven, it is finished. It is as though the offence never occurred in the first place. Hebrews 8:12 And I will forgive their wrongdoings, and I will never again remember their sins. Heb 10:16-17 This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts so that they will understand them, and I will write them on their minds so they will obey them. Then he adds, I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds. As such, we should not go searching for the offence again. At times we may feel that we are not forgiven, but we are. And if God has forgiven us, we should also forgive ourselves. Nor should we listen to Satan s accusations that we are still guilty and not forgiven. If we believe that Jesus died for our sin and we have confessed our sin to Him and asked His forgiveness, then we are indeed forgiven and God no longer brings our sin to His remembrance. Rom 10:9-10 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

4 The act of salvation involves a heart belief and a confession of the mouth. With our heart we believe that Jesus took our sins, died in our place on the cross, and was raised to life again by the power of God. With our mouth we ask Jesus to forgive our sins and we confess Him as our Saviour and Lord of our life. Action Step: Make sure that your spirit is born again. Whether you have experienced Jesus or not, ask Him in prayer right now that your spirit would be born anew. You might pray a prayer something like this: Jesus, I come to you as a sinner and ask that you forgive me of my sin and cleanse me from within. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you died on the cross for my sins and that you were raised to life on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and my life. I receive you as my Saviour and Lord of my life. All that I am, I now give to You. All that You are, I now receive as mine. I thank you Jesus for the free gift of eternal life. Amen" 4. We are made Spirit, Soul & Body The bible says that we are composed of three different parts. o We live in a body. Our body connects us to the physical world by our senses sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing. o We have a soul. Our soul connects us to the world through reason, emotional feelings and commitments. We think, have emotions and have an inner resolve to do things. o We are spirit. Our spirit is the way that we connect with the spiritual world, including God. Our spirit has three parts conscience, intuition and communion with God (once we are born again). Some people already understand that there is a spiritual world through past experiences. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until the day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 5. What happens to us when we are saved? (Justification & Regeneration) Justification As soon as we received Jesus as our Saviour a transfer takes place. He takes upon Himself our sin and imparts to us His righteousness His right standing before God the Father. Jesus has taken His righteousness and clothed us with it! He has taken our rags, and put us in His robes. That means we can boldly come into His presence as a child would their father. We can pray in full confidence because of who He is, and what He has done for us; not based on ourselves. We are free from guilt and blame, and can talk to God anytime, anywhere.

5 2 Corinthians 5; 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. Romans. 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Regeneration When we put faith in Jesus Christ, our spirit connects with God s Spirit, and a new spiritual life starts. 2 Corinthians 5:17 What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun. The word describing the new life is similar to that of a caterpillar transformed into a butterfly. It s like a brand new creature. You have advantages in this new life, just like flight for a butterfly. John 3:3 Jesus replied, I assure you, unless you are born again you can never see the Kingdom of God In John3:5 Jesus goes on to say that unless we are born of water and the spirit, we cannot see the Kingdom of God. We have all experienced a natural birth. Our spiritual birth, on the other hand, is a matter of choice and comes only when we make a personal decision to invite Jesus into our heart. His Spirit gives new life to our spirit, thus the term born again. Colossians 3:9-10 Don t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. In its place you have clothed yourself with a brand- new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. There are some thought processes that will need to be adjusted in this new life. God s word describes it as renewing our mind. Our minds are like a computer and our past life and experiences have programmed it to think and react in a certain way. But God wants to reprogram our mind with His words and thoughts. His words and thoughts are filled with hope and life and will bring to us His kind of life experience. We learn not to trust or consult our feelings, as they are fickle and subject to change and can often deceive us. Instead we begin to learn how to be led by our spirit which is now joined to God. Our spirit may have been ignored or trampled on in the past, but God starts off the process of relationship with Him by making our spirit new. We become born again of the Spirit and we can now begin to communicate with Him. 6. How can I be assured of my salvation? Fortunately, faith is not simply blind acceptance. There is a spiritual feeling (an inner witness) that is a part of faith that reassures us that the step we have taken in accepting Jesus has worked. God wants us to be certain that we are His children. He has designed the experience of salvation so that we would also be able to experience the Holy Spirit in our entire being, spirit, soul and body.

6 When we believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit, who lives in connection with our spirit, provides a guarantee that we are a person who is alive to God. It is a new feeling of knowing that we do have a relationship with God. Many people experience this as a pervading feeling of inner peace. Ephesians 1:13-14: And now you also have heard the truth, the good news that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God s guarantee that He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God. 1 John 5:11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. So whoever has God s Son has life; whoever does not have His Son does not have life. 7. What if I sin again? When we sin, we grieve God and break fellowship with Him. Our relationship with Him is not affected (we are still His child) but our fellowship is. The sacrificial death of Jesus paid for our past sin, our current sin and our future sin. He paid the penalty for all our sin. Fellowship is restored through confession of sin to Him and the receipt of His forgiveness. When we openly confess our sin, and put our full trust in Jesus, we know that we have been made right with God again. The penalty for our sin has been paid in full! 1 John 2:1-2 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. Action Step Whether you have been a Christian for a short time or a long time, ask the Holy Spirit to put a guarantee of your salvation in your heart and mind. Keep asking until you experience that assurance.

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