Maple View Baptist Church

To understand salvation, we must first understand that every person is born into a world that is filled with that nasty, three-letter word: sin. Sin means that we have "missed the mark." We have missed the mark of God's perfect standard. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." This is a bad thing, because as the Bible reminds us, sin alienates us from God. Therefore, all people were lost and facing a future that only included dying in sin. All people were left to face the righteous and just judgment of God. While there are sins more severe than others (Matthew 23:24), there is no such thing as just a mild sinner. For example, regarding my atrial fibrillation, I once mentioned to my cardiologist that my heart rhythm did not seem to be off as much as it had been. He replied that there was no such thing as being "slightly" in atrial fibrillation- you are either in it or you are not. The same is true for our sin. If we have broken even one of God's laws, we are still guilty of sin. Because of our sins, whether they are few or many, we need to be rescued from the penalty of our sin. We need to be saved.

 

The good news is that God wants all of us to be saved. First Timothy 2:3 tells us that God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Furthermore, God loves you and does not want you to die in your sin. In fact, God made the biggest move of all in seeking to rescue you from the penalty of sin. Because of His love for you, God sent His Son (Jesus) into the world so that through Jesus you may be saved from the penalty of sin. God wants you to spend your eternity with Him in heaven and to know the joy of salvation as you live your life here on earth.

 

In Ephesians 2:8-9, we read that we have been saved by grace, through faith. It is not by way of anything we have done, but it is a gift of God rather than by our works so that we can not boast. The Christians living in Ephesus in the First Century were reminded that their works could not and did not save them. They were rescued from the penalty of sin by God's grace through their faith in the person and work of Jesus. So, first we need to understand that we cannot be made right with God based upon our works. We can not decide which work we will do and offer it to God as a payment for our sin. We can not tell God, "Well, I only had a hard time keeping three commandments - I was perfect in the others. Is that good enough?" It is not, because it does not erase what was done. Second, we understand from this Scripture that we can not come to God any way we please. We can not be deceived into thinking that if we deprive ourselves of some "good thing" that we will then be in good standing with God. We are only able to receive salvation God's way. Third, if we can indeed only receive salvation by God's grace through the person and work of Jesus, it is essential to know who Jesus is and what He came to do. When Jesus was speaking to the Jewish people, Jesus said (regarding Himself) in John 6:58, "This is the bread which came down from heaven." After Jesus' bodily resurrection, when the disciple Thomas saw Him, Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28).

 

The New Testament portion of the Bible is filled with example after example of the Deity of Jesus. That is, Jesus is fully God. But, Jesus is also fully human. He was miraculously conceived and physically born. He ate real food, felt real hunger, wept real tears, and shed real blood. Jesus is fully human and fully Divine. This is who He is.

 

What did He do? We know that He was without sin (Second Corinthians 5:21). We also know that He came to die. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us (Second Corinthians 5:21). In other words, through His suffering and death, Jesus, being perfect, paid the price for our sin so that we could be saved. Jesus spoke with His disciples shortly before His suffering, and He declared to them that He was THE WAY to come to God (John 14:6). He was not merely the "best way," or one of many ways, but He was and is the Only Way.

 

Friends, this is good news! It is great news! God has done the work for you. You could not save yourself from the penalty of sin, so God provided the way. You do not need to try to work your way to God. He came to you. You can neither earn nor buy your salvation. It is a free gift from God to you when you place your faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Dear Friend, it is that simple. We read in the New Testament book of Romans, in chapter 10, verses 9 and 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."

 

One final thing - God will not make you believe on Jesus, and neither will He force you to be saved. It is your choice. You can continue in your sin, and you can die in your sin. Or, you can turn from your sin to Christ, who suffered for YOU, and you can be saved. What will you do? God is reaching out to you with mercy and love. Jesus, through His death and resurrection became the author of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9). Give your sin to God in exchange for His mercy and grace. There is no sin too great for God to forgive. A new life in Christ awaits you right now.

 

If you would like to be saved today, right now turn from your ways to God's way. Turn from your sin to Christ. Call upon Him, and He will hear. Pray this simple prayer: "Dear Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. Thank you for coming to earth to die for my sins. Thank you that You are alive forevermore. I want to live for you from this day forward. Come into my heart and my life. With joy and sincerity I receive Your salvation. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen."

 

Friend, if you have truly believed, take God at His Word. Romans 10:13 says, "Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." This applies to you! Now, to grow in His grace, you will want to get a Bible and begin reading and studying so that you can know God better. If I can be of further help to you, please contact me at Maple View.

 

God Bless You In Christ,

Pastor Mele

(410) 676-3786