Salvation is the most basic truth about Christianity. Salvation centers on what Jesus Christ did for all men. Being a sinless man, he substituted as payment for your sin and mine. That’s good news. Now the Catholic Church teaches that if you die with a mortal sin on your soul you can go to hell, and some churches teach that you can lose your salvation, but others say no, once you receive the seed of God’s spirit you are going to heaven forever.’ You may not receive many rewards once you get there, but you are going to get there. But what is common to Christianity is salvation. There are twists and turns by various churches, but if you accept Jesus as your Lord, if you commit to him he saves you.
What does that mean? It means you are going to heaven. Despite what people might want to tell us no one is good enough on their own to be with God. In the book of Romans we read that there is no one that is good, not one.(Romans 3:12) Everybody has lied, been deceitful, cursed, been bitter, hurt someone, done something that disqualifies them from being the kind of good that God requires to be in his presence.
This is the most basic truth about Christianity. We all fall short of God’s standards. We can never be “good enough.” No matter how hard we try we cannot be sinless. The price of sin is eternal destruction. God doesn’t grade on a curve. You either are sinless and get to be with Him eternally or you don’t. But God is merciful and compassionate. He provided a way for us to overcome this seemingly insurmountable hurdle. He sent his son. His son lived a perfect life. Because he lived that perfect life he should not have had to die.
Death is the consequence of sin. Jesus Christ had no sin. Jesus didn’t die because he had to. Jesus chose to die that horrible death on the cross to pay for our sin so that we could have eternal life. There is no greater love than that. He gave his life for us.
I heard a story a while back about a man who was on a rooftop as the river was rising in a flood. He saw that the water would soon rise over the roof so he prayed that God would save him. He felt confident that God was a merciful God that answered prayer, and waited patiently. Soon, a helicopter came by, and lowered a rope. But the man hated flying, and told the pilot to go on but not to worry because God was going to save him. As the water rose to near the rooftop he heard a shout and saw a man in a boat. But he didn’t like the look of the man or the boat he was in, so he told the man to go on but not to worry because God was going to save him. Well, pretty soon the water swept over the roof. The man didn’t make it. He drowned.
When the man faced God he asked God what happened. He was so disappointed because he had told everyone that he had prayed and he was sure God would answer this prayer. GodÂ replied, “I sent a helicopter and a boat, and you turned them down. I provided a way for you. You just didn’t take it.”
If you have not accepted Christ you are dying. In truth you are spiritually dead. If you don’t like the method God has sent to save you then you suffer the eternal consequences. Jesus Christ is the helicopter and the boat. Accept the gift. Get in. Do what he says. He is piloting the ship. He’s in charge. He’s the boss. And he will take you from death to life.
So we make Jesus Lord of our lives. We believe He died to pay the price for the sin in the lives of every one of us and was raised from the dead to sit at the right hand of the Father. We are saved from the eternal destruction that is the result of the sin in our lives because he paid the price for us. We are no longer our own, but we belong to Him, the living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.[Romans10:8-11]
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for Godâ€™s wrath remains on him.[John3:36]
If you haven’t committed to Christ, why not now? You are not guaranteed the rest of the day let alone tomorrow. This is too important to wait. You can commit to Christ by making him Lord in your life believing God has raised him from the dead. The following prayer meets these requirements:
Dear God, I confess my shortcomings. I believe you sent Jesus Christ to pay the price for my sin, which he did, and you raised him from the dead.Â I thankfully submit to him now as lord in my life.
When you do this you become a new creation in Christ. This is the start of a new life. One with Christ at the center and eternal life with him as its duration.
In my my journey I have personally seen that Jesus Christ is as real and personal to many Baptists as He is to many Pentecostals, and vice versa. The same is true for many believers in many different denominational and non-denominational churches. This relationship of Jesus as Lord is the cornerstone of Christianity everywhere.
This is also the standard of the books of the bible, that people believed the Word of God (Acts 4:4), received the Word of God(Acts 2:41), and followed (Acts 12:8) Christ as Lord and Savior(Romans 10:9-10).
© copyright 2009 Mark W Smith, All rights reserved.