What is salvation- Salvation is a free gift from God, only attainable through our Lord and Savior; Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2: 1-10: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
We read above that Works cannot save your soul; but, only in Jesus Christ are we born again. Before Jesus was born into the world we were dead in trespass and sins; however, when Jesus died on the cross, he defeated sin. As believers it is important to build a relationship with God. Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Jesus is describing a personal relationship, he is knocking and wants to be let in. I often decribe getting into heaven as a stranger knocking on your door and wanting to come into your house. We would not let a stranger into our house and the same is true with God; because, if we have not built a personal relationship with God he is not going to let us into heaven. Matthew 7: 21-23 " Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew's warning is clear, he is telling the church that good works and saying " I am a Christian" is not enough to get into the heavenly kingdom. Futhermore, Matthew is warning that many people will believe that they are going to heaven only to hear "I never knew you: depart from me".
How to become a born again Christian (Saved)- Romans 10:9: "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." It is important to understand Romans 10:9 because there several important parts to this verse.
1. Confess with thy mouth- Ask Jesus to accept your soul into heaven when you die.
2. Believe in your heart- This is the important part, we must believe what our mouths are confessing. It is not enough just to say you believe; but, with all of your heart believe that Jesus is the only way to the father.
3. Understand the Sacrifice- Understand that Jesus came into this world and died on the cross for our sins. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus defeated sin so that those who believe/confess in him will not perish but will have everlasting life in heaven.
John 6:38-40: "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." Jesus wants ALL to recieve salvation, and wants to "lose nothing". Jesus makes it perfectly clear that no human is worthy of heaven except; through the faith in him. Salvation is not lost or gained through the good or bad works of men; but, through the belief that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. John 14:6: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
The ultimate Sacrifice- John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Salvation is only obtained through Jesus Christ, because we all have sinned and fallen short of the kingdom of God. When trying to understand salvation, I often refer to Luke's account of Jesus and the two thieves on the cross. Luke 23:39-43 "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. (40) But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? (41) And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. (42) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." The thief that acknowledged Jesus was saved because he confessed that he was a sinner and that Jesus was God. This thief was a sinner throughout his life but because he called on the father, he was saved. Good works did not get the thief into heaven because he had not lived a life of good works or good deeds. Only Jesus can save us from Hell. John 3:3: "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."
John 3:15: "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."