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God’s Simple Plan of Salvation helps you to be able to answer the most important question ever asked: “If you were to die at this very moment, are you 100% sure that all of your sins are forgiven, and that you have eternal life?” You might answer “No,” or “I hope so,” or “I’m not sure,” but God wants you to be able to answer this question with a resounding “YES!”
More than that, God wants you to know the reasons behind your confident answer. Some people explain their “YES” answer with the wrong reasons. They say things like: “I’m a good person,” or “I go to church,” or “I’ve been baptized,” or “I live a good life.” These are all good qualities, but the Bible teaches that none of these things can provide eternal life or salvation. God has laid out a very specific, yet simple plan for us to get salvation.
The first three steps of this plan include realizing and accepting three important Biblical truths about salvation. They include: 1) The Problem of Sin, 2) The Penalty of Sin, and 3) The Payment of Sin.
The final step of this plan is a personal decision on your part to believe and accept for yourself the truths you learned in the first three steps.
In order for you to be able to answer “YES!” to the vital question above, let’s start by looking at Three Basic Truths to understand about God’s Simple Plan of Salvation.
Truth #1 The Problem of Sin – Why you need salvation
Every single person is born with a problem called sin. Your mother and your father were born with a sin nature, and their parents were born with it as well. In fact, the very first parents on earth (Adam and Eve) passed it on to their children. Every one who has lived since then was born with the same sin problem. Romans 5:12 describes it this way: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
Simply put, nobody is perfect. No one has the ability to do good all the time without ever sinning. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says: For there is not a just man upon the earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.
But what is sin? And how do you know when you have committed it?
According to I John 3:4, Sin is the transgression of the law. When a person commits a crime, they are violating the laws of the county, the state, or the nation in which they live. When a person commits sin, they are violating the law of God, who created them. Some of God’s laws are referred to as the Ten Commandments, which you may be familiar with. The Bible is filled with many other commands or laws, and no one has ever obeyed all of them.
Sin is simply breaking God’s laws. Sin is any behavior that is not in line with what the Bible says. The standard we all have to measure up to is God Himself. God’s holiness requires that we be perfect like Him. Jesus told us to meet God’s standard in Matthew 5:48, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
The truth is that none us can measure up to God’s standard. Even if you have done more good deeds than bad ones, you don’t meet the perfect standard of God.
Suppose three long jumpers were lined up at the Grand Canyon in a contest to see who could jump across. One of them may jump much farther than the other two, but all would fall short of making it across. It is the same way with God’s standard. You may not be as “bad” as others, but the truth is that you have sinned, and as a result, fall short of God’s standard of perfection.
Romans 3:23, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Truth # 2 The Penalty of Sin – Why your sin must be dealt with
There is a penalty for the sins we commit, just as there is a punishment for the crimes people commit. When a person violates a law and commits a crime, they will face the penalty of that crime. Likewise, when a person commits sin and violates God’s laws, they will face the penalty of their sin.
What is the penalty of sin? And is there a way to avoid it?
The penalty of sin is death according to Romans 6:23a: The wages of sin is death. Every one will face physical death some day, which is the separation of the soul from the body. But the Bible also speaks of spiritual death, which is separation from God forever in the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14, And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Hell is a real place, and people who go there suffer for eternity. The same Bible that teaches eternal life in Heaven teaches eternal destruction in Hell.
This may seem like a harsh punishment, and you might be asking, “Why?”
The Bible teaches that God is just, that He must do right, and punish sin. Genesis 18:25, Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? If God overlooked your sin and let you into Heaven, would He be right in doing so? Of course not. God’s justice requires that sin be dealt with and punished.
Here is a list of people who are in danger of the penalty of sin. Revelation 21:8, But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Notice that liars are on this list as well as murderers, and everyone in between. Does that include you? Most definitely.
So far, these first two truths contain some pretty bad news. God’s holiness requires perfection, and we all fall short of that perfection. God’s justice requires judgment, and we are all in danger of the penalty of our sins.
But in the next truth, we will cover has some very good news!
Truth # 3 The Payment for Sin – How your sin penalty was paid
The Bible provides a solution for the problem of sin, and this is the most exciting part of the Gospel! The word “gospel” literally means “good news!”
We learned that God is holy and will not tolerate sin. We learned that God is just and must punish sin. Now for the good news! God is also love, and He provided a way to escape the penalty of sin through the sacrifice of His Son.
God demonstrated His love for us by sending Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of your sin. Romans 5:8, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
The Gospel is explained in I Corinthians 15:1-4, Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel…how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures: And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
This Gospel or Good News has two main points:
- Jesus died for our sins.
- He suffered the punishment we deserve. – Isaiah 53:6b …the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
- He paid the penalty of our sin in full. – John 19:30, He said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
- He washed our sins away with His blood. – I John 1:7, The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
- He made His righteousness available to us. – II Corinthians 5:21, For he hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
- Jesus rose from the dead.
- He was buried, but He did not stay in the tomb. – Matthew 28:6, He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
- He was seen of the apostles and many others. – I Corinthians 15:6, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once.
- We know that Christ rose again because He said He would, the Bible tells us He did, and many people saw Him afterwards.
- By rising from the dead, Jesus conquered sin, death, and hell.
Suppose you owed a debt of one billion dollars, a debt you most likely cannot pay. Let’s also suppose that a multibillionaire offers to pay your debt. That would be good news, wouldn’t it? But you would still have a balance of zero. So let’s suppose he decides to credit another billion dollars to your account. Now that would be a great transaction!
You have a sin debt that you cannot pay yourself, and you cannot erase the sins you have committed. Jesus Christ offers to not only pay your sin debt, but also to credit His perfect righteousness to your account. What an amazing offer! If you accept this offer, then God will see you as having the righteousness of Christ, who never sinned, and His standard of perfection will be met.
How do we claim this wonderful offer? A decision must be made.
Truth # 4 The Personal Decision for Salvation – How you get saved
There is an open invitation for everyone to avoid sin’s penalty and be saved.
Romans 10:13, For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Salvation is for everyone, but not everyone is saved. Why is that? Many people agree with these truths without ever making a decision to trust Christ for salvation.
God’s Plan of Salvation requires you to make a personal decision to believe.
Romans 10:9-10, 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Confessing Jesus Christ with your mouth means to say the same thing the Bible says about Him: that He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again. But in your heart is where this belief should originate. The real issue is not the act of prayer, but belief (faith) in the heart.
Faith and believing are very similar. Believing is the action form of faith.
Common faith is simply an acknowledgement of God. Someone may understand and even agree with the three truths about salvation. But the Bible word “believe” means more than that. James 2:19, Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Saving faith is placing your confidence in Jesus Christ for salvation. It is trusting Jesus to save you from the problem of sin and the penalty of Hell. Believing in Jesus Christ is more than just asking Him to save you; it is trusting Him, and Him alone, to save you.
Those who refuse to trust in Jesus are still condemned.
John 3:18, He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Those who believe in Jesus are no longer under the condemnation of sin.
Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
You could make this decision today, and express it by praying this to God:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I know I deserve the punishment of Hell. But I also know that You paid my penalty when You died for me and rose again. The best I know how, I’m asking You to save me from sin and Hell. I am placing my trust in You alone to forgive my sins, credit Your righteousness to my account, and give me eternal life. Thank You for saving me. Amen.
If you trusted Jesus as your Savior, God just gave you eternal life!
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!
John 1:12, But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.
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Reformers Unanimous Recovery Ministries
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