God’s gift of salvation is undoubtedly the greatest gift ever given. Whether or not you have received this gift, I encourage you to read on.
In simple terms, the story of God’s salvation is the story of a judge who says to a criminal, “I will take on your death sentence; I will die on your behalf. You are free. But I do this on the condition that you commit to following a guardian I have appointed to lead you to a better life.”
Can you imagine such sacrifice? Can you think of anything more gracious? Well, this is what God has done for us and here is His story:
A long, long time ago, a Creator made some creatures and called them “mankind.” He placed them on a beautiful, resourceful place called “earth” and blessed them with all that they needed for a good life. After some time, mankind had a fallout with the Creator — thanks to the deceitfulness of the evil one — and that brought a huge wedge in their relationship; it also brought hard times to the creation.
In spite of all that transpired, the Creator continued to love His creation and helped them cope with their difficult life. As time passed, the Creator sent commandments (the law) to help mankind live peacefully and successfully. His law promised blessings for good deeds and punishments for offences.
For example, it said:
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:13-17).
It also said:
“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands … all these blessings will come on you and accompany you … (1).
“Cursed is the one who does not uphold all the words of this law by carrying them out” (2).
The law was good and useful, but there was a problem. Mankind couldn’t keep it! There was something in them that drove them to break the law, and they suffered grave consequences. The Creator was heart-broken! Though He would not change His just law, He had great pity and compassion for His creation. His desire was for them to reap the blessings of keeping the law, but He knew they could not because they had already done so much wrong that all they deserved was death. He also knew that even if He pardoned their past sins, they would commit more sins and in the end would still deserve death. Mankind simply lacked the ability to do good. An awful situation indeed!
So, the Creator initiated an amazing plan: He was going to send someone to take the punishment for mankind’s sins. That person had to be perfect yet human. No human being met this condition. So the Creator sent His own sinless Son to earth to pay the price for mankind’s sins.
When he came, the Creator’s son did not present himself as the deity or divine being that he was. Rather, he arrived as an ordinary man. While on earth, he modeled a lifestyle that fulfilled the Creator’s law. He also demonstrated the Creator’s tenderness, love, and compassion and blessed mankind with amazing miracles. Then he did the greatest thing ever: He took on himself the punishment for all the sins mankind had ever committed. He also allowed the Creator to punish him for all the sins that mankind would ever commit. He died a horrible death — death that mankind deserved.
He was buried like every other man, but unlike every other man, he did not remain in the grave. Rather he went to Hades (the place of the dead) and took back the authority and power that the evil one had used to oppress mankind for so long.
After three days, he rose from the dead, appeared to many of his followers, and then ascended back to the Creator in heaven. By his sacrificial death and the power of his resurrection, he destroyed the sin nature that made it difficult for mankind to keep the Creator’s laws. He also imparted to them His own nature — a nature that loves and is able to keep the Creator’s laws.
After this great sacrifice, mankind’s story changed! Instead of being buried in sin, which led to curses and death, they now had the ability to fulfill the Creator’s laws and, therefore, receive life and blessings. Under this new dispensation, they were guaranteed forgiveness and pardon whenever they sinned.
BUT there were conditions attached to those blessings. Any creature who wanted to live this new life was required to acknowledge his or her sin problem (the fact that he or she had committed many sins and was, in fact, unable to stop sinning). The person also needed to accept that the penalty for sin according to God’s law was death. He or she needed to repent of past sins (that is, make a decision to turn away from them and follow God), accept the price that the Son of God had paid, and acknowledge Him (Jesus Christ) as Savior.
This is, in fact, our story! You and I are the ones whom Jesus came to earth to die for. And when meet the conditions stated above, a new nature—the nature of God’s Son—supernaturally comes into our hearts. We become spiritually alive and find within ourselves a desire to obey God. His Spirit also comes to live in us and teaches us how to fulfill His commandments.
God’s gift of salvation is awesome and is the best thing that has ever happened to humanity. Our natural minds find it difficult to comprehend why God would be so generous and loving, but He is and we are grateful!
I pray that you will not let this costly divine gift of salvation pass you by. If you have not done so already, receive it from Christ and begin a new life!
If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, pray to God now. He is listening and waiting to hear you ask for forgiveness of your sins and for the gift of salvation. Here are some points to guide your prayer:
– Confess your sin problem to God.
– Ask Him to forgive all your past and present sins.
– Let Him know that you are willing to turn away from them and walk in His way.
– Tell Him that you accept the sacrifice that Jesus Christ paid for you and that you want Him to be your Savior and Lord.
– Thank Him for blessing you with the gift of salvation through Christ.
If you have sincerely prayed in this way, believe that a change has taken place in you. You may or may not feel different, but the change is real and you will soon see its fruit. The Bible (the written Word of God) says that “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
There is a lot to learn about your new faith. Thankfully, there are resources that are designed to guide you on this journey, one step at a time. Click the link below (or copy to your browser) to visit GodLife’s New Believer’s Guide:
May God bless and establish you as you walk with Him. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(1) Deuteronomy 28:1-2
(2) Deuteronomy 27:26