What is Salvation?

Next Steps (Continued):

The Bible says, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

You may ask if I believe, what must I do to be saved.  The answer can be found in Romans Chapter 10:

"[T]hat 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.For the Scripture says, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."  (Romans 10:9-13)

Does this sound too simple?  It is.  Salvation is a free gift.  Our main problem is that we want to do something to earn it.  We cannot, it has been purchased for us.  All we have to do is to seek God, and He guarantees you that He will show Himself to you.  I have watched God work in the lives of dozens of people.  I am absolutely sure that He will work in your life!  I know that I called upon God and He answered me!

The next things that we need to discuss are the attributes of God.  Many people have a personal view of God which may or may not be correct.  They may be absolutely wrong in their view.  Or their god may not really be God at all.  For years my god was myself, I sought pleasure as my source of personal fulfillment.  Here is what God says about Himself in His book, the Bible.

(1) God is a Holy God 
The word holy means separate.  When applied to God, holy means apart from sin.  Heaven as a place of God is holy.  "And there shall in no wise enter into it [Heaven] anything that defileth..." (Revelation 21:27 KJV).  People measure themselves by many different standards.  These include (A) their own standards, (B) society's ever changing standards, and (C) their church or other religious institution's (or cult's) standards.  It is worthwhile to ask ourselves where we fall upon these standards of judgment.  Are we at the top of our class in our own standards?  What about the standard set by our society?  Since God is holy, He measures us by His holy standard.  If God measured us according to His holy standard, where would we fall?  The answer according to God, is FAR SHORT.  Remember, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)  If we measured anyone against this standard, where would they fall?  Again, they would fall FAR SHORT.

Since God is Holy, and Heaven is God's home and is also holy, would anyone be good enough to earn his or her way to Heaven?

(2) God is a God of Justice

The Bible records in Genesis 18:25:  "Shall not the Judge of the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25c)  God must do right.  Let's suppose that a person measured up to God's standard of perfection, he fulfilled all of the requirements.  What would God have to do?  The answer is that He would have to let him into Heaven.

Here are several illustrations that help to explain the concept of justice.

(A) Suppose that I killed a person, went to the judge, and he let me go.  Would that be just?

 (B) Suppose that I killed a person, went to the judge and told him I am sorry I won't do it again.  Then the judge let me go.  Would this be just? 

 (C) Suppose that I killed a person, went to the judge and told him that I'm sorry,   I won't do it again, and I will do some good deeds to make up for the murder of the person.  Would that be just? 

The key concept of God's justice is that sin demands punishment.  God cannot excuse or overlook sin.  

In light of God's holiness and justice, who deserves punishment and is anyone good enough to earn their way to Heaven? The answer is ALL deserve punishment, and no one is good enough to earn their way to Heaven.  

(3) God is a God of Love

God cannot violate His holiness or his justice.  He cannot tell us that I love you; I know that you have sinned, and technically you cannot go to Heaven but I will let you in anyway.  God's love cannot violate his holiness and justice.  He has to satisfy them.  How?  To satisfy God's justice, someone has to pay the punishment for our sins.  We need a substitute.  I cannot pay the punishment for your sins because I have also sinned.  The only one that can pay the punishment for our sins is somebody who has never sinned.  The only one that has never sinned is God.  How can God die for our sins?  The only way that God could die for our sins is to become a man.

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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  (Gospel of John 3:16-17 KJV) 

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 KJV)

Jesus Christ died for your sins past, present, and future.  Does that mean that everyone is going to Heaven?  No. What determines who goes to Heaven?  What is the difference between the sinner, and the redeemed forgiven sinner?  There is a condition that must be met for those that are going to Heaven.  Those who meet the condition MUST go to Heaven.  Those who do not meet the condition MUST go to Hell.  This condition is shown below.

(4) God is a God of Mercy

The condition that we must meet in order to go to Heaven is found in the book of Romans, and it reveals God's attribute of mercy.  The Book of Romans was written by the apostle Paul to Gentiles (non-Jewish people) like myself:  

[T]hat 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.For the Scripture says, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.  (Romans 10:9-13)

What does the Bible promise if you meet the condition of God's mercy?  The answer is, you WILL BE SAVED.  When we look at the passage in Romans above, we see two things.

(A) You must believe that you are a sinner and as a condition of God's justice is headed to Hell. 

Hell = No Hope

(B) You must receive the free gift of salvation without believing that you can earn it by good works. After this God's justice and mercy requires that you go to Heaven.  

Heaven = Hope, through the Promise by God through saving faith.

The Bible says:

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20)  

You have to believe and answer the calling from the Lord Jesus to save you.  If you have not done so, confess your sins to God and exclaim your belief to Him that you believe and trust in Jesus for your salvation. 

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About the Author:
Jim Hill
Author: Jim Hill
Jim Hill lives in Winona Lake, Indiana and is married to Dr. Christy Hill. He is employed in the software industry for a firm that develops and sells document scanning and forms processing software. His wife Christy is a professor at Grace Theological Seminary. Jim has earned a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Grace Theological Seminary, a Master's of Business Administration from the University of Detroit - Mercy, and a Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Western Michigan University. He was born in a loving Catholic family and faithfully attended the Church for the first 35 years of his life. His desire is for Christians to study the Bible and this is why he writes the Sunday Mass Study Notes each week.


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