- Religion and Philosophy
How to Receive Salvation
What is Salvation?
Salvation is being delivered from sin and made free from the law of sin and death. All this is made possible through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He atoned for our sins by shedding His blood on the cross at Calvary as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of the world. The Bible says Jesus paid the price for our lives.
Luke 15:10 tells us there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents.
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
That means right now because you accepted Christ as your Savior, the angels in heaven are rejoicing over your soul being saved from destruction. As we celebrate your salvation here on earth, just know that the angels in heaven are rejoicing with us as well that another soul has been added to the Kingdom of Heaven.
In a sense, there is nothing we can do to receive salvation, as God is in control, and we can't infuse His spirit into us. We can't earn it, no matter how many good deeds we perform. It can't be bought with money. It's a gift from God.
However, this doesn't mean there's not anything we can do to receive salvation. If we do our part, God will do His. There are two ways to receive salvation, the first is through faith.
“Faith is the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
There are many scriptures telling us salvation is still a future event.
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”(Matthew 24:13).
“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they”(Acts 15:11).
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed”(Romans 13:11).
We Must be Born Again
Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus one night and questioned him concerning this subject which was a mystery to him.
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” but(John 3:1-7).
Just like Nicodemus, many want a complete explanation of what it means to be born again and why it's necessary. Many are religious but few have actually been born-again. First, it's necessary to know there are two births. One is the physical birth through your earthly parents. The second concerns a spiritual birth, which means to be born of the “Spirit,” God's Holy Spirit. What is a “spiritual” birth?
The Bible teaches man is created in the image of God.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
So, man is created in God's image consisting of a body, soul and spirit. Animals have souls, but not a spirit. Man's spirit returns to God upon death.
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Animals don't have a spirit to discern spiritual matters. This is why humans have an inherent need for God. It's the spirit of man that makes humans different from animals.
When we are born physically, we are born into sin which we inherited from the first man Adam. The only exception is the Lord Jesus who came as God in the flesh.
The unsaved person cannot understand God, nor His Words, because they are spiritually discerned...
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1st Corinthians 2:14)
The reason we need to be “spiritually” born again is because we were never spiritually born to begin with. So when the Bible speaks of being “born again,” it actually means “born for the second time.” We were also created with free will, meaning we are not forced to receive Jesus as our Savior. God simply invites anyone who wants to be forgiven as a free gift. However, we must accept this gift of eternal life or forfeit it when we die.
In the Garden of Eden God gave Adam and Eve only one commandment, not to eat of the forbidden fruit.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
In light of this commandment, why didn't the two immediately die physically? The reason is they died spiritually, not physically. Consequently, we inherited sin from Adam. No one can be saved apart from the cross.
Many believe in Jesus, but have left out the cross. To be born again we must include the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus, and repent of our sins.
Salvation happens when a person acknowledges their sin, and comes to God believing on Jesus, the Son of God.
"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43).
God's plan of salvation is, unless we believe on Jesus who died in our place, we will spend eternity in Hell. If we believe on Him we receive forgiveness and His gift of eternal salvation by faith. Our part is only to believe.
Salvation is not a matter of some special prayer. The publican merely shouted, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” The thief on the cross simply asked Jesus to "remember" him. It was their faith in Christ, not their words, that brought their salvation.
Everyone is born spiritually dead at birth. The second death is being cast into the lake of fire. We are already spiritually dead by birth. The first death is separation of our soul and spirit from our fleshly bodies. The second is separation of our body, soul and spirit from God.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
The words “born again” has been ridiculed and cursed throughout the centuries. These days the phrase, is virtually used by all religious denominations, as well as by those professing no religious faith. However they have been in use since the earliest days of Christianity. In fact the words were first used by Jesus Christ when speaking to Nicodemus. The words literally mean “born from above,” referring to a spiritual transformation. The
Proof of Being Born Again
The proof of being born again is usually seen in two ways: repentance and belief.
Repentance means accepting God as the creator of all things, including our lives. He has the authority of life and death over us, however we are responsible for following his commandments. After all, we didn't create ourselves. The Bible teaches there is no redemption without true repentance.
Belief means believing Jesus died for the sins of all. He was buried and rose on the third day.
Do you see yourself as a guilty, lost sinner who stands condemned before God? Another question to ask yourself is: "If I were to die today would I go to hell? Can you answer the following questions?"
- How many righteous people are there?
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10).
How many are sinners?
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Who is the only sinless person?
“And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29).
Who is guilty before God?
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19).
How many are without any sin?
“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7-10).
What is the wages of sin?
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Who is the only one who can set us free from sin?
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:36).
Jesus Christ, and His sacrificial death is the central, basic tenet of Christian faith.
The Bible says there is only one God, one faith, one baptism, and one way to God the Father, through His Son Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross.
Jesus says He, is the way, the truth, and the life leading to God the Father and that no one comes to the Father except through Him!
Many, including some Christians, believe God honors all religions as long as people try to be good. However, the Bible doesn't teach this and it's not the way God set everything up. He makes it very clear. It's only through Jesus and His sacrificial death we can gain eternal life with Him in heaven.