Every year a season or moment of gift-giving falls upon us, whether it is the Christmas season or certain ceremonial holidays or birthday celebrations. It's a time to lavish on others or showcase just how much we care for a loved-one or special friend. Do we ever stop to think that God our Heavenly Father has done the same for those He loves, ..His creation, His children?
The greatest gift ever given to mankind, is the free gift of salvation from our Heavenly Father. This free gift came with a heavy price - the shedding of blood, death, burial, and ultimate resurrection of His Son, Jesus. The price had to be paid for you and I or there would be no hope for our soul because we would die in our sins and iniquities and perish for all of eternity. One must understand that there is more to life than the life we currently live in this physical world. There is a life unseen which is eternal and the choices we make in this life, will affect the outcome of the life to come. The scripture reminds us that there are two roads a person can travel on in their life journey; one is a broad-way that leads to ultimate destruction and the other, a narrow path that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7: 13-14). There's a choice to be made.. we must choose wisely which road to walk on while we still have breath in our bodies, and the chance and the opportunity to repent before the Lord and make things right with Him.
WHAT EXACTLY IS SALVATION?
Salvation is the ultimate plan of redemption for all mankind who's current destiny/future or ultimate end spiritually speaking, is to be eternally lost because of unrepentant sin in one's own heart/soul/life. This eternal provision is made through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as atonement for our transgressions that lay bare before our Heavenly Father. Jesus is the only one who can forgive all our sins. Salvation allows us to be free from the entanglement/bondage of sin and unrighteousness, and to be made alive and redeemed with newness of life in Christ. It truly is a wonderful gift of His mercy and grace; it's a free gift from God and it's nothing that we can purchase or earn through works or deeds, for as the scripture reminds us in (Ephesians 2: 8-10), "for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them". Here's something to think about and ponder on: 'if salvation was a thing money could buy, the rich would live and the poor would die!' ...a line referenced from a late 1970's spiritual 'All My Trials'. Upon closer reflection, there is profound truth and reality to this statement. Do we really understand the price of salvation ..it cost the life of the Innocent One as substitute and penalty for us, the guilty ones. What price can we ever put on life? So if salvation, which was so costly in its enactment, was something that the rich and prosperous could afford where would that leave the vast majority of humanity who couldn't afford it? Most of us would be forever lost, but thanks be to God who freely gave His Son, Jesus to be a living redemptive sacrifice for our sins so that we can attain life everlasting if we simply believe in Him and repent of our sins. He reminds us in His Word, "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" (John 3: 16).
HOW DO WE OBTAIN SALVATION?
First we must recognize that we have sin in our lives and that we are in need of the Saviour. The scripture states, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3: 23). So in order for us to obtain salvation, we simply must acknowledge, confess, ask for forgiveness and repent (turn away in the opposite direction) of our sins to the Saviour who is Jesus, and believe that He is faithful and just to forgive us of all our iniquities, trespasses, unrighteousness and sins. The Bible declares in (Romans 10: 9-10), "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation". It's a heart and mind decision directed/led by the conviction of the Holy Spirit to turn our life around 180-degrees in the opposite direction and to surrender and accept Jesus in our heart. We then begin to abide in His Word and follow after Christ and His Righteousness in order to live holy before Him for the remainder of our days on this earth. Daily crucifying and denying our fleshly/earthly desires in order to live, walk and be led by the Spirit. True and sincere faith is believing, repenting & surrendering oneself to Jesus. If you feel within in yourself that you are ready come to Him but not sure of what to say or how to pray, you can use a prayer like this:
Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and separated from You
because of my sins. I am truly sorry and I know in my sinful state
that I deserve hell as my just judgment. I repent and forsake my
sinful ways and my unrighteous living. Forgive me for all my trespasses
and sins, I also forgive all who have sinned against me. I believe
that Jesus your son, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead,
and is alive. I confess You as my Lord and Saviour, and invite
You Lord to come and reign in my heart from this day forward. Thank
you Jesus for dying for my sins and giving me Eternal Life. I will now
follow You all my days. In Jesus' name.. Amen.
Welcome to the royal, eternal family of God! What happens from this point going forward is that a new way of living and thinking begins. Stay connected to the Lord by reading your bible and obeying what He commands in His Word. Go to a Bible believing, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, loving church and spend time in prayer, praise and worship to God. Get baptized in water (by full immersion) and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Continue to repent of personal sin in your life (because we're not perfect, we do sin daily), and grow in His grace, knowledge and wisdom to live holy and righteous before our King, for God is truly holy. Seek the Lord with all your heart to really know Him in a genuine, loving relationship. This is part of our journey as believers, our faith-walk in Christ. As we seek Him, a sincere desire to faithfully serve Him in sharing His gospel to others and being a witness for Christ, gets birthed in our hearts. Be Blessed forever in Jesus's name!