How can I receive the gift of eternal salvation?

What is God's Plan for Man's Salvation?

Many of the people living on this planet still live in darkness in regard to God's plan for man's salvation. Scripture, however, makes His plan for our salvation abundantly clear.

1. We have sinned against God.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
— Romans 3:23, ESV

Every single person living on this earth is guilty of having sinned against the Lord. We fall short of His glorious standard. By nature we are sinful and by nature He is holy.

We violate the Lord's standard of holiness in the words that we say, the thoughts that we think, and in the actions that we take. We also violate His standard in our moments of inaction or neglect.

2. We deserve death, but Jesus offers us eternal life as an undeserved gift.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
— Romans 6:23, ESV

Many people mistakenly believe that eternal life or salvation can be earned. If you asked most people why they believed the Lord was going to grant them eternal life in His presence, they would say, "Because I have done more good in my life than bad." But Scripture teaches the opposite.

Because we are sinful by nature, every supposed good activity we have every done has also been tainted by sin. Our sin is an offense to God's perfect holiness, and the only thing our sin can earn us is death.

Eternal life cannot be earned by sinful people, but it can be received as a free gift. Jesus Christ can offer us salvation because He lived the perfect , sinless life for us, died on the cross to atone for our sin, and rose from the grave the defeat the power of sin. We don't deserve eternal life, but we can freely accept it as an undeserved gift from Jesus, if we want it.

3. If we genuinely trust in Jesus, we will be saved.

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
— Romans 10:9-10, ESV

Scripture teaches us that salvation is an undeserved gift that is received when we place our faith in Jesus Christ and confess Him as our Lord.

The moment we genuinely trust Jesus to save us, we are justified. That means we're "declared righteous" by God and our sin no longer separates us from enjoying a relationship with Him. We are now seen as "holy" in the eyes of God. When He looks at us, He no longer sees us for our sinfulness, but can see His Son, Jesus Christ, living within us.

4. Jesus gives us a new, spiritual birth.

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 
— John 3:3, ESV

When Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus in John 3, He used the phrase "born again." Through that conversation, He explained that all people need this new birth, but this phrase confused Nicodemus when he first heard Jesus mention it. He was thinking in physical terms, yet Jesus was speaking in spiritual terms.

When we trust in Jesus, we are made alive spiritually. We are given a new kind of birth, one that is spiritual in nature. Being born physically isn't sufficient for us to become part of God's kingdom. We also need to be born spiritually and that happens the very second we trust in Jesus Christ.

5. Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
— John 14:6, ESV

In this world, there are many different religions and faith systems, but there is only one way to God. Jesus made a very exclusive claim in Scripture, then backed up His authority to make this claim when He rose from the dead.

Jesus made it clear to His disciples that there is only one way to God the Father and that is through God the Son, Jesus Christ. There isn't a Plan B. There isn't a secondary option to eternal life. It cannot be said that all religions are teaching essentially the same thing, because they aren't. Jesus taught that He alone was the way eternal life could be obtained. There is no other Savior or means of salvation.

6. Have you welcomed Christ into your life or will you continue to shut Him out?

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
— Revelation 3:20, ESV

Jesus desires to grant you eternal life through Him. He wants to be your Lord and Savior. He offers Himself to you, but doesn't force you to trust in Him.

Will you trust in Him and receive His gift of salvation? Will you allow Him to forgive your sin and cleanse your unrighteousness? Will you invite Him to call the shots in your life? Will you accept His offer of eternal life through trusting in Him?

If Christ is knocking on the door of your heart, don't shut Him out. Welcome Him into your life. Trust in Him and experience the joy of salvation.

© John Stange, 2018