Reaching the lost and inspiring Believers for the harvest
Reaching the lost and inspiring Believers for the harvest
Jesus saves is a popular slogan on bumper stickers, signs at athletic events, and even banners being pulled across the sky by small airplanes. Sadly, few who see the phrase Jesus saves truly understand what it means. Those two words pack a tremendous amount of power and truth.
Jesus saves, but who is Jesus?
Most people understand that Jesus was a man who lived in Israel about 2,000 years ago. Virtually every religion in the world views Jesus as a good teacher and/or a prophet. And while Jesus was truly a good teacher and a prophet, those job descriptions do not capture who Jesus truly is, nor do they explain how or why Jesus saves. Jesus is God in human form (John 1:1, 14). He came to Earth as a true human being (1 John 4:2) in the person of Jesus Christ in order to save us. That brings up the next question: Why do we need to be saved?
Jesus saves, but why do we need to be saved?
The Bible declares that every human being who has ever lived has sinned (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23). To sin is to do anything in thought, word, or deed that contradicts God’s perfect and holy character. Because of our sin, we are separated from God and deserve judgment from God (John 3:18, 36). God is perfectly just, so He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. Since God is the infinite and eternal Creator, all sin is ultimately against Him (Psalm 51:4), and only an infinite and eternal punishment is sufficient. Eternal death—separation from God—is the only just punishment for sin. That is why we need to be saved.
Jesus saves, but how does He save?
Because we have sinned against an infinite God, either a finite person (each one of us) must pay for our sins for an infinite amount of time, or an infinite Person (Jesus) must pay for our sins one time. There is no other option. Jesus saves us by dying in our place. Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself on our behalf, paying the infinite and eternal penalty only He could pay (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2). Jesus took the punishment that we deserve in order to save us from an eternal destiny separated from God. Because of His great love for us, Jesus laid down His life (John 15:13), paying the penalty that we had earned, but could not pay. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, demonstrating that His death was indeed sufficient to pay for our sins and that His life conquers death on our behalf (1 Corinthians 15).
Jesus saves, but whom does He save?
Jesus saves all who will receive His gift of salvation by faith. Jesus saves all those who cease trying to save themselves and fully trust in His sacrifice alone as the payment for sin (John 3:16; Acts 16:31). Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient to pay for the sins of all humanity, but His gift of salvation is only received through faith (John 1:12). We must trust Him.
This simple, yet profound, question is the most important question that can be asked. "How can I be saved?" deals with where we will spend eternity after our lives in this world are over. There is no more important issue than our eternal destiny. Thankfully, the Bible is abundantly clear on how a person can be saved. The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Paul and Silas responded, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
How can I be saved? Why do I need to be saved?
We are all infected with sin (Romans 3:23). We are born with sin (Psalm 51:5), and we all personally choose to sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). Sin is what makes us unsaved. Sin is what separates us from God. Sin is what has us on the path to eternal destruction.
How can I be saved? Saved from what?
Because of our sin, we all deserve death (Romans 6:23). While the physical consequence of sin is physical death, that is not the only kind of death that results from sin. All sin is ultimately committed against an eternal and infinite God (Psalm 51:4). Because of that, the just penalty for our sin is also eternal and infinite. What we need to be saved from is eternal destruction (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:15).
How can I be saved? How did God provide salvation?
Because the just penalty for sin is infinite and eternal, only God could pay the penalty, because only He is infinite and eternal. But God, in His divine nature, could not die. So God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. God took on human flesh, lived among us, and taught us. When the people rejected Him and His message, and sought to kill Him, He willingly sacrificed Himself for us, allowing Himself to be crucified (John 10:15). Because Jesus Christ was human, He could die; and because Jesus Christ was God, His death had an eternal and infinite value. Jesus’ death on the cross was the perfect and complete payment for our sin (1 John 2:2). He took the consequences we deserved. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead demonstrated that His death was indeed the perfectly sufficient sacrifice for sin.
How can I be saved? What do I need to do?
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done all of the work. All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). God is offering you salvation as a gift. All you have to do is accept it. Jesus is the way of salvation (John 14:6).
If you now understand who Jesus is, and what it means that Jesus saves, and you want to trust in Him as your personal Savior, you can, as an act of faith, communicate the following to God: “God, I know that I am a sinner, and I know that because of my sin I deserve to be eternally separated from you. Even though I do not deserve it, thank you for loving me and providing the sacrifice for my sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died for my sins, and I trust in Him alone to save me. From this point forward, help me to live my life for you instead of for sin. Help me to live the rest of my life in gratitude for the wonderful salvation you have provided. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me!”
Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please go to our "CONTACT" link in the dropdown menu and let us know who you are, and that you Accepted Christ today!
And let us be the first to say, "Congratulations!" You have made a life-changing decision!
Perhaps you are asking, “Now what? How do I begin my journey with God?” Well, we have something for you to help with that question. Please see below the the teaching titled, "I am a new Christian. What’s the next step?"
Congratulations! If you are a new believer, you have just experienced the beginning of your new, eternal life (John 3:16; 10:10)! Your sins have been forgiven and you have been given a fresh start (Romans 4:7). You have now been given inexpressible, glorious joy (1 Peter 1:8-9)!
In addition to the wonderful blessings of knowing Christ, you are probably thinking, “Now what? What’s the next step?” The Bible offers some important principles for those who have begun a relationship with God.
First, as a new Christian, make sure you understand salvation…
First John 5:13 tells us, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” God wants us to understand salvation. God wants us to have the confidence of knowing for sure that we are saved. Briefly, let’s go over the key points of salvation:
(a) We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God (Romans 3:23).
(b) Because of our sin, we deserve to be punished with eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23).
(c) Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died in our place, taking the punishment that we deserved. Jesus’ resurrection proved that His death was sufficient to pay for our sins.
(e) The Holy Spirit comes to reside permanently within us at the moment of faith. He assures us of everlasting life. He teaches us God’s Word and empowers us to live according to it.
That is the message of salvation! If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are saved! All of your sins are forgiven, and God promises to never leave you or forsake you (Romans 8:38–39; Matthew 28:20). Remember, your salvation is secure in Jesus Christ (John 10:28–29). If you are trusting in Jesus alone as your Savior, you can have confidence that you will spend eternity with God in heaven!
Second, as a new Christian, find a good church that teaches the Bible…
Don’t think of the church as a building. The church is the people. It is very important that believers in Jesus Christ fellowship with one another. That is one of the primary purposes of the church. Now that you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, we strongly encourage you to find a Bible-believing church in your area and speak to the pastor. Let him know about your new faith in Jesus Christ.
A second purpose of the church is to teach the Bible. You can learn how to apply God’s instructions to your life. Understanding the Bible is key to living a successful and powerful Christian life. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
A third purpose of the church is worship. Worship is thanking God for all He has done! God has saved us. God loves us. God provides for us. God guides and directs us. How could we not thank Him? God is holy, righteous, loving, merciful, and full of grace. Revelation 4:11declares, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Third, as a new Christian, begin reading the Bible…
There are many translations and numerous places to start. While there is no perfect translation, we recommend you choose a Bible that is easy for you to understand and is faithful to the original text of the Bible. To sample some of today’s popular translations, you can go to websites such as BibleGateway.com or YouVersion.com.
We recommend that you begin your reading with the Gospel of John or one of the other Gospels to read for yourself what Jesus taught and did during His time on earth. Other articles on bradtuttle.com will help you answer the practical questions you have about God and spiritual issues. The Bible teaches, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). That means we as new believers need to take time each day to read and learn God’s Word, the Bible.
Fourth, as a new Christian, begin praying…
Prayer is what I call a “power source!” It builds us up in our faith. Prayer is simply talking with God. It doesn’t have to be formal. Many believe prayer must include a formal set of words that can only take place during a church service. However, the Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We are instructed to praise God day and night. If we desire to know God more deeply, we must communicate with Him regularly.
Throughout each day, you can give thanks to God, ask Him to answer your daily needs, and pray on behalf of others. It’s also important to pray together with others who follow Christ, encouraging each other, praising God, and seeking answers to everyone’s requests. For ideas on how to pray, you can begin with the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), and your new church can help you learn how to pray as well.
Fifth, as a new Christian, be water baptized…
Baptism symbolizes your new life in Christ and proclaims that you are now committed to Jesus. Even Jesus was baptized (Luke 3:1-22), and He calls His followers to also be baptized. Baptism was practiced by the very first followers of Jesus in Acts 2:41.
Usually, the leaders of a local church perform baptism. A local church pastor or church leader should be glad to speak with you about baptism if you express your interest.
Sixth, as a new Christian, build friendships with other Christians…
The Christian life is designed to be enjoyed with others. Jesus invested much of His ministry with 12 disciples as His closest friends. The New Testament has over 50 “one another” verses that refer to loving one another, serving one another, encouraging one another, and praying for one another. Each of these commands requires relationships with other Christians.
Fellowship with other believers is one of the purposes of a local church. If there’s a Bible-teaching church in your area, it’s a great place to get involved. If you live in a community without a church, you will need to pray for God to open opportunities for you to meet other Christians in your area.
Seventh, as a new Christian, help others…
As you begin your new life as a Christian, you will find a new love inside you giving you a desire to help others. The Holy Spirit will lead you in ways to help. You might serve the poor in your community, assist a neighbor with yard work, or visit a sick friend in the hospital. The Spirit will clearly call you to show God’s love (1 John 3:17-18).
Eighth, as a new Christian, tell someone about your faith… Becoming a Christian is not a secret; it’s a celebration! Tell all who will listen about Christ’s work in your life. In some cases, other people will come to faith in Jesus through the example you share. Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, He commanded His disciples to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Today, Christians are still called to share the hope within us with others (1 Peter 3:15-16).
Finally… These are simply helpful tips on how to grow in your new faith; they are not a list of requirements to become a Christian or to stay a Christian. You have been saved by grace through faith, apart from any works of your own (Ephesians 2:8-9). God started the work in you, and He promises to finish it (Philippians 1:6).
God bless you as you continue to mature in your faith! It will be the most exciting journey of your life!
Check out this great video by Brad on what it means to be saved!
And we have 3 more videos in a 4-part series on what it means to be saved. Go to our SALVATION ands HEALING link above.