The Way of Salvation
(Acts 4:12) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by whom we must be saved.”
How can sinful man obtain true righteousness before a just and Holy God?
This is man’s greatest need whether he realises this or not. How can you or I be made righteous in God’s sight? Righteousness according to the Word of God, the Bible, is the ability for a man or woman to stand in the presence of God without any fear of condemnation for sin. Of course God’s standard of upright living that makes a person fit to live in Heaven is perfection. Fallen man has a standard of righteousness and even though they may exhibit many good things their efforts to please God by their own standards falls far short of the righteousness God requires for entrance into heaven.
There is no truly righteous person
God Himself has said concerning fallen man; “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one”. “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:9-18). How then does a man or woman find the righteous standard of life God requires that will make them fit for God’s eternal kingdom? How does the Bible define a true Christian? Firstly we need to look at what a Christian is not.
No one is born a Christian
A true Christian is not one who has been born into a Christian family. There are many today within the rank and file of the Church who think they are Christians because their parents were Christians or their family line and heritage was Christian. A true Christian is not one who was baptised or “sprinkled” as an infant. Neither is one that might have served all their life in a church thinking that by their activity they will somehow be acquitted for their sins before God on judgement day.
No one is saved by good deeds
Others think that if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds then somehow God will “wink the eye”, as it were, and let them slip into heaven. Still there are others who have scrupulously avoided the moral and ethical pitfalls most common to men, they don’t swear, drink, smoke, tell lies or fornicate and think that they are not as bad as others that do these things. While judging others to be worse than themselves they excuse their own sins by seeing God as a kind of ‘indulgent father figure’ as it were.
No one is saved by an intellectual belief
Then there are others who know the Bible, but have an intellectual belief only. They may know many of the Bible stories from their days at Sunday school or the true doctrines of the Bible yet somehow have never grasped what true Christianity is all about. I mean to say if you take the word “Christ” out of the word “Christian” then you have nothing left. The tragedy is that there are many in the professing Christian Church today who don’t have a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. They may have orthodox Christianity as a religion but they do not have Christ!
What is a true Christian?
What then is a true Christian according to God’s Word the Bible? As we look at this subject there are four thing that God wants you to know, four things that will lead you into the way of Salvation that will lead you to find true righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ, a righteousness guaranteed to all who truly believe in Him who shed His blood for sinners like you and me. How then can any person be made righteous in God’s sight? How can they come to know God personally? There are four things you need to know.
1. God loves you completely and created you to have a personal relationship with Him.
The Bible tells us that God loves you. The Lord Jesus Himself said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18). In fact God wants you to know Him personally. Jesus also said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Furthermore, the Lord Jesus also said, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
God created you to have a personal relationship with Himself.
The first human being God created called Adam had a personal and unbroken relationship with his creator. They enjoyed fellowship together and God Himself walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden sharing everything with him and teaching and guiding him in caretaking the world that God had also created. Adam was not only in perfect harmony with God but with God’s created things including the animals. Everything Adam needed to live was abundantly supplied by God. Adam was also living a righteous life that was perfectly and completely acceptable to God. He had the very nature and eternal life of God dwelling in him.
God’s plan for man has not changed
The perfect and fullest expression of His love for men was fully displayed in the person of His only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Only through the Lord Jesus Christ comes the abundant life God desires for men and women individually. Of course God’s definition of abundance is different than that of the world. However something is wrong with man and creation itself has also been effected. The world is full of bloodshed, violence, immorality, selfishness, pride and rebellion. God’s righteous standards are ignored and men go about trying to establish their own righteousness before God, hence you have the many religions today. Of course all religion is man’s efforts to reach God yet they cannot bring about the perfect righteousness standard of life God requires for entrance into heaven.
God’s plan for man is centred in the Lord Jesus Christ
The whole plan of God for man is centred in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of Eternal life and if we miss Him then we miss the Salvation that God has provided for us. Some may well say that they have an abundant life because of the things they possess yet the Lord Jesus Himself also said that “a man’s life does not consist of the things he possesses.” If you take away fame, health, fortune and material wealth then the so called ‘abundance’ vanishes like a vapour of smoke blown away in the wind! In the light of eternity our life on this planet is but a vapour or like a flower that’s beauty is here today but gone tomorrow.
Why is it that men and women do not experience the abundant life that God wants them to have?
Of course God’s abundance does not always mean we will be rich or have it always good in this world. God’s definition of abundance is to have successfully completed the will of God for your life, to have the deep seated peace of God in your heart that passes all human understanding and to know that God will receive you into heaven when you die. Why is it that multitudes of human beings, made in God’s image and likeness, do not have a real and personal relationship Him?
2. Man is sinful and guilty before God, who is perfect and just and without sin of any kind. Sin has separated men from God and the relationship between them is broken.
Whether we acknowledge it or not all of us are great sinners and rebels in God’s sight. There is no-one on this planet that can even have a standard of righteousness that compares to God’s righteous standards. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden he chose to listen to the devil the arch rebel against God and decided to do his own thing along with Eve his wife consequently bringing sin and rebellion into the whole race of men. The Bible tells us this; “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Again God tells it like it is; “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Death is not only physical but an eternal separation from God Himself. We do not cease to exist after we die! This is a lie from the pit of hell!
Man’s righteous standards are not good enough
People today may come up with all kinds or standards of righteousness by which they think will make them acceptable to God, however, all of our righteousness “is as a filthy women’s menstrual rag in His sight.” I did not say this God did through the prophet Isaiah; “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags(a filthy women’s menstrual rag)” (Isaiah 64:6). Even our fairest works that would gain the adulation and approval of men are by God’s standards tainted with selfishness, pride and sin. Even the unconverted person doing works for humanitarian reasons, if they are honest, have some reason and motive for doing it other than to really please God. They may be well intentioned yet the standards of righteous acts they are doing still fall far short of the righteous standards God requires for this life and for the life to come.
Has anyone kept the 10 Commandments ?
Have you ever considered the Ten Commandments God gave to men through Moses? These laws are the foundation of our western democracy today. Our laws are based on these Ten Commandments. Now God’s perfect standard of life that is required to enter heaven is the one that has never violated or broken any of the Ten Commandments, Do you know of anyone, other than the Lord Jesus, that has always kept them? Of course this question is redundant as every one of us has failed the test. No one can keep the Ten Commandments because we are all born into this world with a sinful nature, one that cannot help but sin and rebel against a Holy God. The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately evil. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). And again it says, “Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies” (Psalm 58:3). King David knew the perversity of sin when he said, “Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). For example you may well say I have never killed anyone yet the Bible says that if you harbour hate in your heart then that’s the same as murder.
What really resides in the human heart (centre of the affections)?
Someone else may say I have never committed adultery yet have you lusted after a woman in your heart? Well according to the words of the Lord Jesus you have already committed adultery in your heart. He was implying that the thought nurtured and entertained is the same as actually committing physical adultery and we could go on looking at the other commandments of course in the same light. The fact remains that if God let sinners and rebels into heaven without first dealing with their sins then heaven would become as bad as things are on earth.
Hell and the lake of fire
God cannot let law breakers and rebels into heaven when they die without Knowing Him personally or having received the Salvation He has provided for them in Jesus. He must imprison them in hell. This is a place of torment, a holding cell as it were, where the unsaved wait until they stand before the Great White Throne on the Day of Judgement. Of course the Bible tells us that after the judgement the unsaved will be cast alive into the lake of fire. Hell of course was originally created for the Devil and his angels, however, those who belong to the devil, the Christ haters and Christ rejecters of this world will also join him in that place of everlasting torment and anguish. As scripture says; “The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).
Who will be going to hell and ultimately into the lake of fire?
The Bible also tells us who will be going to hell and then ultimately into the lake of fire forever. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). The human mind cannot fathom or even conceive what hell and the lake of fire will be like. In the end everyone will have only one of two choices to make, heaven or hell? Christ or the Antichrist? So then man’s sin and rebellion has cut him off from fellowship with God. By nature and by birth we want to be independent from God because we love sin and are slaves to it until Jesus sets us free from its power and bondage.
Slaves to sin and rebellion
With man freedom from the slavery to sin is impossible. The Bible says; “The sinful mind (way of thinking and acting) is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8). So then we have failed to love and obey God and have gone our own way. This independence is revealed in our hostile and apathetic attitude towards God. This is what the Bible calls sin.
All have sinned without exception
Because we are born with a sinful nature that naturally rebels against god we commit sins. In fact until we have been spiritually reborn again from above we will naturally commit sin because we are sinful by nature. Sin is the root problem from which all other sins spring forth. At the heart of sin is pride. It is pride that separates men from God. The Bible also says; “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). To “fall short” is to “miss the mark.” It means we fail to come up to the standard of righteousness that God requires of all who would seek to enter heaven. Sin is the problem in the world today. The evil things that men do to each other are the results of a broken relationship with God their creator and because they do not have the righteous standard of life that is acceptable to God and which would qualify them for heaven.
God is holy, pure and undefiled and separate from sin
The real truth is that God is Holy, pure and undefiled and separate from sin and sinners alike and a great gulf lies between Him and sinful man. Man tries to bridge this gap and attempts to find security and happiness and satisfaction through such things as wealth, material possessions, careers, personal relationships and even religion however their attempts to justify themselves before a perfect and sinless God by seeking and doing such things fall short of that mark. Consequently they find themselves still separated from their creator and bound for hellfire and ultimately the lake of fire where they will be tormented day and night forever. Man’s attempts to reach God by their own efforts will eventually fail because they do not deal with the problem of sin. Now God has provided a solution to the problem of sin and its eternal consequences. This is God’s one and only and final solution.
3. The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s only solution for man’s sin. Through Him you can have a personal relationship with God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is unique
He is fully God and fully Man in the same person. He has always been around from all eternity and has always been with God the Father in heaven. Like His Father He has no beginning and no end but is eternal. In His prayer to the Father just before He was arrested He said, “And now Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” (John 17:5). At one time He said to the religious leaders who hated Him, “Before Abraham was born, I AM” (John 8:58). When he said “I AM” He clearly identified Himself as God. Listen to what Isaiah the prophet said about the Lord Jesus, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). And again in Hebrews we read that, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact image of His being” (Hebrews 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled prophecies made centuries before He came into this world as a man
After His resurrection when speaking to a couple of His followers He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27).
The Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be sinless and backed it up by the way He lived down here on earth as a man.
At one time when he was facing accusations by the religious hypocrites He said to them; “Can any of you prove Me guilty of sin” (John 8:45). Of course they could not! As Peter tells us concerning Jesus, “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth” (2 Peter 2:22).
The Lord Jesus Christ came back from the dead, just as He said He would.
He Himself said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (Luke 9:22). As Paul tells us, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). This is at the very heart of true Christianity! True Christianity according to the Bible is Knowing Jesus Christ not religion! As Peter said, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact” (Acts 2:32). The resurrection of Christ is God’s declaration that He is the Son of God and that God has accepted His death as the complete payment for our sins. Peter said, “The fact that God raised Him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: “‘I will give You the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’ So it is stated elsewhere: “‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’ “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay” (Acts 13:34-39).
The Lord Jesus Christ died in our place.
At the cross Jesus exchanged places with you. As it is written of Him, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18a). And again it is written of Him, “But God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And again it is written of Him that, “God made Him to be sin (a sacrifice for sin) for us, He who knew no sin, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“He was “crushed” for our rebellion
There is a story told of a man with the job of raising and lowering a drawbridge so passenger trains could cross a deep canyon. This man had one child, a son, whom he loved very much. One day the little boy wandered toward the bridge without his father noticing. Soon the father heard a train whistle. As he started to pull the lever to lower the bridge, he looked out the window and saw that his son had crawled down into the heavy gears. If he pushed the lever his son would be crushed! There was only seconds to decide. Hundreds of people would die if he didn’t lower the bridge-all sons and daughters loved by someone. He took a deep breath and with his heart screaming with pain he pulled the lever crushing his son. The bereaved father stood helplessly at the window, beating on it with both fists and screaming out in anguish, as the train zipped quickly over the bridge. The passengers saw him and thought he was waving so they waved back without realising the awesome price the father had just paid for them. Maybe you have been like those passengers on the train and have never realised before the great agony and cost to God who allowed His only begotten Son to be horribly “crushed” to death so that you could live forever with Him in heaven. The Bible says; “He was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities (acts of rebellion); the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid upon Him the rebellion of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to God.
He Himself said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). We are condemned to death and hell because of our sin; but God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our place. Thus through the cross He has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by dealing with the problem of sin. Therefore we can have a personal relationship with God and receive His forgiveness. God will always forgive sin only on the basis of the shed blood of Christ and so it is written; “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” and again it is written, ”In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins in accordance with the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
According to the Bible grace is “undeserved favour” In other words God shows His favour towards all that truly repent and believe in Jesus who shed His blood personally for them. Through His shed blood we are justified before God and declared righteous in His sight. Through the power of the Holy Spirit God’s very own nature and righteous character is imparted to all who truly believe. Through faith in Jesus alone God not only declares us righteous in His sight but imparts His very own righteousness into us when we believe. Paul the Apostle knew this to be true when he declared; “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (Philippians 3:7-9).
A personal response
Now Knowing God personally is not just a matter of knowing these things intellectually because there must be a personal and individual response to God and to the Lord Jesus Christ. Just believing these things intellectually will not make you a true Christian. James tells us that the demons themselves believe that God is the only God and tremble yet are they on God’s side? Certainly not! God requires a response from you and from me to what Jesus has done on our behalf. This brings us to the fourth and final point.
4. You must respond to the Lord Jesus Christ by placing your trust completely in Him as your personal Saviour and Lord to save you.
Only then can you know God personally and only then will you experience the New Birth from above without which no one will see the Kingdom of God. Jesus Himself said so; “Except a man be born again (from above) he cannot see (perceive or go through into) the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). With man’s efforts salvation is impossible however, with God all things are possible to him who believes. As it is written; “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
God has planned a new life for you
You see God has a plan for your life mapped out from all eternity, a life of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit that the world can never give. This is an eternal quality of life that will bring you to heaven. At one time the Lord Jesus was speaking to a prostitute at a well and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14). In other words, to paraphrase what he was actually saying, “if you drink of the fountains of this worlds pleasures and pursuits you will thirst again but if you drink of the life giving eternal Spirit that I can impart to you then you will never thirst for true and lasting fulfilment either in this life or in the life to come. Every one of us has a God shaped vacuum inside of us that can only be filled up with God Himself. As another great sage said, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you!”
How can I be born again?
What then does your personal response involve? How can you be born again and made a partaker of God’s very own Divine nature? You see it is only through the New Birth that we receive Christ’s perfect righteousness. As it is written; “It is because of him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). When you really understand how this works for you all boasting will be excluded. You will never appreciate the mercy of God until you understand the Law of God! Unless you see yourself as a great rebel and sinner in God’s sight and bound for hell and the lake of fire and without hope for eternity you will never reach out for the mercy and forgiveness of God, neither will you appreciate what Jesus has done personally for you and on your behalf as it is also written; “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation” and again it is written; “today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts!”(Hebrews 3:15). On the Day of Pentecost the apostle peter told his listners in no uncertain terms what they needed to do to be recociled to God. “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” (Acts 2:28-39)
There are five steps you need to take right now. These are not some formula for spiritual success but commands given by the Lord Jesus Himself through the mouth of His servant Peter that will put you back into right standing with God and give you the life of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit that God requires and make you useful in His service.
1. You need to repent.
As it is written; “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7). Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful and making a quality decision to turn away from your sin and rebelliousness with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind and with all of your strength.” It means to change froma Christ hating, Christ rejecting way of life and acceoting a Christ loving, Christ obeying way of life. You offer no excuses! You offer no conditions! You lay prostrate before God in complete submission to Him. This is Biblical repentance!
2. You need to trust the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you completely and to save you from the power and penalty of sin.
The Lord Jesus has paid the full price for your sin: Not only that He has authority to forgive your sin and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness through His blood. As it is written; “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives” (1 John 1:8-9). At the cross Jesus broke Satan’s power to keep people enslaved to sin. As it is written; “Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-15). Can you trust Him right now to save you?
3. You need to receive Him as your own personal saviour and Lord.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (or power) to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood (lineage) nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). Receiving Him personally means that if you were the only sinner in the whole world then Jesus would have died for you. It must be a personal and individual response. Once you have received His forgiveness and cleansing the Bible says; “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust” (Psalm 103:8-14).
God will wipe the slate of your sins clean!
And again it is written, “Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more!”(Hebrews 10:17) Think about that. Whatever you may have said and done or thought in the past can all be forgiven cleansed and erased from God’s memory banks as it were. While He knows all things including all of our sins He chooses to forget the past. This personal relationship with God is His free gift to us that we can never deserve or earn or even merit. As it is also written; “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:22-23).
4. You must be willing to be baptised.
Baptism by immersion is an act of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is like a death, a burial and a resurrection. You are willing to die to your old life of sin and rebellion recognizing that it was dealt with by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on your behalf and start a new life no longer enslaved to sin. You are buried as it were when you go under the water and are resurrected as it were when you come up out of the water. By this public act you decalre to all that you have died to your old life of sin and rebellion and risen to a new life controlled by and centred in the Lord Jesus Christ. You die to the old life of sin and rebellion and rise again to a new life of righteousness and obedience.
5. You must ask the Lord Jesus to give you the Holy Spirit to indwell you and empower you for ministry and service for Him.
The Lord Jesus Himself said; “So I say to you, ask, and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek, and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock, and keep on knocking and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:9-13) See also (Acts 1:8; 2:37-39) This can happen before you have the opportunity to be baptised in water but if you have been born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ then the very next step for you will be water baptism. It is an act of obedience and to put it off will hinder the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in you. If you have repented and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and have asked Him to give you His Holy Spirit then there is no reason why you should not be baptised as soon as possible.
Where is the Lord Jesus right now for you?
Does He live within your heart in the person of the Holy Spirit? Only through turning away from all known sin and trusting in Him alone and in His shed blood to atone, to cleanse you and to protect you will you be able to escape the coming wrath of God upon sin. As it is also written; “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” (Romans 5:6-10).
Sheltered under the blood of Jesus from the coming wrath
Remember it was only when the children of Israel by faith sheltered under the animals blood on the doorposts of their houses that they escaped the destroying angel that passed over Egypt. Because of the shed blood of the sacrificial lamb God was able to pass over the Israelites and not judge them. Are you under the protection of Jesus blood right now? Have you been washed clean by the blood of Jesus? As that old hymn says, “Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?” Right now he blessed Holy Spirit can take the blood of Christ and apply it to the doorposts of your heart and life. Indeed the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin!” (John 1:7-9)
God can make you brand new deep down on the inside and you can start a brand new life all over again with the past erased.
As it is written; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yes God has a plan for you and wants you to know Him personally. He does not want your money, or your possessions but only you. If he gets you then He gets the rest as well.
A Red Indian
There is a story told of a Red Indian who owned a blanket, a rifle and a horse. One night he attended an old fashioned revival meeting where sinners were called to the altar. He was moved to respond so he went to the front and said to the preacher, “Indian offer blanket” and then went home. However he did not have peace in his heart so he went back to the meeting again the following night and when the altar call was given went forward again and said to the preacher, “Indian give rifle” and then went home again, However, he was still not happy and at peace in his heart so he went back again and went forward at the altar call and said to the preacher, “Indian give horse” and went home. Well he still had no peace so he went back to the meeting and when the altar call was given went forward and said to the preacher, “Indian give himself” and at that moment the peace of God flooded his heart and he was soundly saved and forgiven for all of his sins!
Have you been born again?
Without this new spiritual rebirth from above you will never understand the things of God’s Kingdom or be able to enter it. Have all of your sins been forgiven? Have you received the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith alone in Jesus Christ? Have you received the blessed Holy Spirit into your life? Have you been born again and made a partaker of God’s Divine Nature? You can start all over again with a clean slate before God! Is the Lord Jesus at the control centre of your life or self? Would you like to let Him invade your life and make you into the person God created you to be? If this is your heartfelt and earnest desire will you pray the following prayer? God knows your heart and He is not so much concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart.
As it is written; “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ (Romans 10:9-13).
The Sinners Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father I want to thank you for loving me and for sending Jesus your only begotten Son to die in my place and for my sins. Thank you that His blood has fully atoned for all of my sin and rebellion against you. I now confess Jesus as Lord over my life and I do believe in my heart that you have raised Him from the dead. I am willing to turn away from my unbelief and rebellion towards you and from everything in my life that does not please you. I now turn from my own will and take up your good, acceptable and perfect will for my life. Please make me brand new on the inside and the kind of person you created me to be. Have mercy on me Lord Jesus, pardon and cleanse me from all and every sin by your blood. I now receive your Holy Spirit and ask you to be my personal Saviour, Lord and King by faith alone. I am willing to be baptised to show the world my full obedience to you. Thank you Lord Jesus for coming into my life through your Holy Spirit to live in me as you promised. In Your name I pray this prayer to God my Father in Heaven, Amen!”
If you have sincerely prayed this prayer then the Lord Jesus has come into your life to take up residence there by His Holy Spirit who is now living in you. You have been born again into the Kingdom of God. You have exchanged Lords. Satan is no longer your overlord but the Lord Jesus is now your rightful Lord and king and the ruler over your life. All of your sins have been forgiven! So then if you have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised Him from the dead then you have been saved and made a partaker of God’s Divine nature and are now bound for heaven! By faith you have been made righteous in God’s sight and a partaker of that righteousness without which no man shall see the Lord!