toledo church of god

Salvation
SALVATION: MYTH OR MAN'S GREATEST NEED?

An enthusiastic young person walks about in the airport lobby with little printed pamphlets, handing one to anyone who will accept it. With a “God bless you!” she makes no attempt to engage recipients in conversation. She knows they’re busy; they can read the pamphlet at their own convenience if they’re interested.

She hands you one and watches, disappointed, as you glance at it and toss it in a trash can.

A businessman settling into the first-class cabin on a transcontinental flight, begins a conversation with his never-seen-before flight companion. If allowed, he’d be speaking to the whole compartment about Jesus and the wonderful things happening to him and his business associates since they began starting the day praying together.

There’s the pleading voice on radio, warning of things to come: gloom, doom, and lots of room in the lake of fire for those who won’t listen. There’s the TV evangelist who explains carefully God’s plan of salvation. The Internet abounds with good Web sites explaining what God wants to do for you, what He’d like you to do about it, and that “somebody loves you.” And publications! Everybody’s vying for your attention — millions of folks and millions of dollars trying to get you to “believe and be saved.”

What do you think of these attempts? Are these non-Christians “victims” of pushy Christians or recipients of God’s attempt to get in touch with them? Perhaps you’re puzzled by such conversations and don’t take time to listen — but you do think about the encounters later.

Preoccupied with business matters, perhaps you shrug off what they say about God and deny it as a myth or a figment of the imagination.

What a shame if you miss out on a wonderful gift that would solve many of your family and social problems, plus a valid promise of living forever in a world free of disease, war, and crime just because some Christian approached you in a less than charming way and monopolized your time when you needed to think about your business at hand.

Christian workers probably won’t approach you at a convenient time. Is there such a thing? But what a shame if you never discover God is not a myth, what it means to be “saved,” and why you need to be! Perhaps to you, all that God-loves-you-peace-and-love stuff and an offer of pie in the sky don’t match up to fraternity parties, “happy” hour, and running around with wild, fun-loving associates. God allows us to choose our style of life, but He doesn’t allow us to choose the consequences.

Where Are You in the Picture?

So how does this sound to you? Boring? “Salvation” seems unrelated to reality and our times? Just a myth from the Dark Ages of human irrationality? Classifying people as “saved” or “unsaved,” “believers” or “unbelievers,” makes some folk angry. The following descriptions are not intended to irritate or turn you off. Still, if you’ve rejected God, you may be:

1. An atheist — a person who does not believe in God at all. In your mind, God isn’t and gods aren’t; they are inventions of men.

2. An agnostic — a person who simply doesn’t know if God and Jesus are real. You may have tried to figure it all out, but lacking enough convincing evidence, you simply admit, “I don’t know if there is or is not a God. But He’s sure not much interested in my life if He does exist!”

3. You believe there are gods, real entities that interfere with the lives of men, but you haven’t been able to choose between them, which one you want to worship, which are real and which are not. You haven’t been interested enough to find out why you should believe in and serve one, none, or all.

4. You may have chosen a god or gods to believe in, but you’re not much more interested in them than they are in you! You just “live and let live” so far as gods are concerned.

5. You may believe in Jesus and the God of Israel and Christianity, but you are more interested in living as you choose. Hang the consequences!

6. You may “believe and tremble,” as do the devil and his angels. But you are so addicted to engaging in pleasurable sin that you are unwilling to make the switch and serve God and Christ.

Guilt and Conscience

In fact, you may have some vague feeling that you really should know more about being saved” and being “born again.” You may fear that somebody sometime is going to hold you accountable for what you’ve done and make you pay for it. So let’s talk about it.

Regardless which “unsaved” category describes you, you have a conscience that makes you feel guilt, then shame, if your wrongdoing is discovered. These are critical, natural, inborn parts of every human psyche.

People need salvation because of guilt. This kind of guilt is not just an apprehensive feeling that what you’ve done will get you into trouble with some authority figure or a friend. It is not that you acted offensively or that you broke the speed limit or parked over-time. The kind of guilt that makes “getting saved” a necessity is guilt for breaking the law of God or not believing in God and His Son Jesus.

Do you ever feel guilt, even though you don’t believe in God? Are there things you have done or continue to do that you are ashamed to discuss — even afraid to admit? How do you feel after hurting a friend’s feelings? After getting angry and making obscene gestures at an annoying driver? After hitting your spouse, stealing a garment at the store, yelling loudly at your children for little or nothing? Not a good feeling, is it?

If you don’t believe in God and you don’t believe in government telling you what to do, why do you still feel guilty for breaking confidences, for lying, stealing, driving while drunk, kidnapping, and murder? Why do you not discuss those things just as freely as you discuss your favorite food? Because your conscience tells you they are wrong! Everyone is born with a conscience. It is made more sensitive by training, but you would still have it without learning rules and regulations.

If we become sorry for bad behavior and decide never to repeat our offenses, that is repenting. If the person we’ve offended is important to us, we’re more likely to feel guilty, sorry, then repent and apologize — in that order.

Some people have refused to repent and quit their offensive ways for so long, their consciences become numb and they do not feel guilt so keenly. The Bible calls it having their consciences “seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2).

The longer this goes on, the more difficult it is for us to make things right or change our way of living — and the more difficult it is for a Christian to interest us in salvation.

Whether our consciences ever wake up and become active again sometimes depends on the consequences of our bad behavior. When all the people we care about refuse to associate with us anymore, when we’ve been punished with jail terms, when we’ve gambled away all our money, or when we’re about to be put to death for murder, sometimes consciences become very active again.

There Ought to be a Law — and There Is!

God’s law covers everything from taking bribes and perverting justice to loving your neighbor as yourself. But before all God’s rules and regulations came, God gave human beings a conscience so they’d know by nature what is right and wrong.

This is one of the more compelling evidences that God exists. One doesn’t gain a conscience just by evolving; it’s a spiritual thing within a person that isn’t subject to evolution. This natural law works with the conscience to bring feelings of guilt, shame, and expectation of reaping the consequences. Paul, one of the Bible’s writers, explained it this way:

All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gen-tiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them) (Romans 2:12-15).

Nobody can plead complete ignorance! You do not have to know the entire law of God or memorize the Bible for your conscience to work. You know much of it by nature. So Paul also explained this crucial truth about those who break the laws of God, whether known by nature or in a more formal way by reading the Bible:

There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 3:23-26).

Notice several important things in this information:

1. Every person has sinned, regardless of nationality, religious training, or lack of it. Sinning is doing and being wrong; the Bible calls it “unrighteousness,” meaning “un-right-ness.” But, God will take care of it by giving us righteousness through faith (belief in His Son Jesus — but only to those who believe. Verse 22 says, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

The Bible also says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

2. When God gives righteousness to believing sinners, that gift is called grace, something we do not have to pay for. It is free through believing in the sacrifice God gave, the death of His Son Jesus, as an “atonement” for sin: “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.” That is, God paid for our sin by the death of His own Son in place of our having to die for our own sins. But you must believe it! Atonement simply means the act of making things right with God. In this sense, Jesus paid for our sin by His death on the cross, so sin is no longer held against repentant sinners. This is how it is true that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

You have to admit that somebody else paying for your death sentence is a mighty good gift!

3. This is one of the most wonderful parts of it all:

God presented him [His Son, Jesus] as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because . . . in his forbearance he [God] had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus (see Romans 3:25, 26).

Do you understand what God’s forbearance means to you? It means God doesn’t put you to death on the spot for your sins; He waits to give you a chance to learn what He has done to spare you the death sentence and to give you a chance to believe and repent. He has left your sins unpunished — so far! — because He is not willing that anyone should perish but that all should repent and become righteous by believing in His Son’s death.

Making Things Right!

Let’s suppose you rob a store, kill the proprietor, and kidnap a hostage to make a get-away. You are captured by officers and when you are brought to trial you promise you will never do it again. Does that take care of your guilt? Not in the courts of earth nor in the courts of heaven! Obeying the law from now on cannot erase your guilt for having already broken the law. So the Bible says:

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:3-6).

The change from the sinful nature to a spiritual nature is called being born again. It happens when we believe in Jesus’ atonement, then repent, and allow God’s Holy Spirit to control our minds and actions. When we, God’s creation, began to “mess up,” God began making laws about our conduct and what He would do if we didn’t obey His rules. The more we try to ignore God’s laws, the greater the consequences: ultimately, death.

God calls evil conduct sin. There is a blanket rule for sin: the death penalty. Rather harsh, wouldn’t you say? Yes, if it were not for the truth we mentioned before: “. . . the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Why would God give us eternal life instead of putting us to death? Because “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB).

Because God is in charge, because we break His laws when we sin, He can do as He pleases about our transgression. So if our wages are death and if God wants to provide a way for us to avoid death and receive eternal life instead, we must declare Him very loving, very patient, and very kind. It’s all a matter of God’s love for humanity. We are the part of His creation made in His own image.

We ought to know several basic principles of God’s nature and His dealing with people. They have to do with what God calls redemption, much like what men call rehabilitation. We feel good about ourselves when we try to rehabilitate rather than punish. Well, God thought of it first!

How God Deals with Sin

THE PUNISHMENT FOR SIN IS A DEATH SENTENCE

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son — both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die (Ezekiel 18:4).

HOW GOD FEELS ABOUT IT

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

God has always felt this way; He would rather forgive and forget than punish, if we will repent: “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die?” (Ezekiel 33:11). Obviously, coming to repentance (turning from our evil ways) directly deals with whether a person will or will not perish for his sins.

WHAT GOD DID ABOUT HIS FEELINGS

“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” (John 3:16, KJV). God felt so strongly about not wanting to execute His creation made in His own image that He took remedial action.

WE MUST BELIEVE IN GOD’S SON

“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). One cannot be an atheist or an agnostic and escape the death penalty for sin. That escape is only for believers!

Perhaps you can understand now why God gave us all a conscience that makes us feel guilty for basic sins that every person knows by nature to be wrong. It’s his built-in feature to make him know he is responsible for doing wrong.

Perhaps you can understand the enthusiasm among Christians when they don’t feel guilty anymore for the sins they had committed. They would like you to share the same good feeling when God clears your conscience — your feelings of guilt.

And that’s why most witnesses for Jesus, somewhere in their conversation with you will say, “You, too, can be saved, if you’ll only believe!”

God really does love you; so does His Son Jesus. That’s why the Holy Spirit causes Christians to find people who don’t believe, to tell them how to set their consciences free from guilt, save them from the death penalty, and be given eternal life.

“Godly” Sorrow and “Worldly” Sorrow

God encourages people to feel sorry for their sins and to do something about their sorrow. He’s not interested in false confessions. Becoming sorry for sin has a good effect: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). God’s forgiveness is guaranteed for those who repent and believe on the name of His Son Jesus.

Worldly sorrow doesn’t lead to salvation. Typically worldly sorrow laments getting caught, rather than being sorry for offending others and doing them harm.

There are rules and regulations in every town, state, and nation. When you break them, the penalties make you sorry for getting caught. This is worldly sorrow. Even it can cause you to realize you don’t think much of yourself for all the trouble you caused; you may even “repent” and decide never to do those forbidden things again. But you’ll find yourself just like the situation Paul described in the Bible about trying to obey God’s law:

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am!
(Romans 7:14-24a).

A Solution to Feeling Wretched

What is the answer to the dilemma? Paul gives it next: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” John wrote: “We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13). When God gives us His Spirit, that is the Spirit we need to “get in touch with” — not our own old sinful spirit! God’s Spirit in us is how we know peace, how we know we belong to God. It is also how we become able to obey God.

God knows whether your sorrow and repentance are sincere or not, and He doesn’t want you punished at all! He’d rather you repent and accept the love He offers through your believing in the death of His own Son, the payment He has already made for our sins.

Though the Bible says, “Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:7b, 8), we should remember God’s preference: “The Lord . . . is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9b).

Counting the Cost

There must be more to it than that, right? Jesus was asked a similar question almost 2,000 years ago:

“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

“‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’

“He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

“‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live’”
(Luke 10:25-28).

A simple, straightforward answer, because these two commandments — to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves — are the very basis of every rule and regulation God ever made: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40).

On another occasion, a certain ruler asked Jesus the same question:

“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

. . . Jesus answered. “. . . You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”

“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
(see Luke 18:18-24).

The ruler loved his possessions more than he loved God. Though he thought he had obeyed God all his life, the man disobeyed the most important command of all: to love God above all else. This reveals why some people will not listen when Christians want to talk about “getting saved.” They love their possessions too much; they already know they will have to make some changes they don’t want to make; they do not feel they’re “all that bad”!

They do not want to pay the price of letting God direct their lives and their possessions. Jesus said: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). Eternal life is what they will inherit because they are God’s children.

It’s wise to understand what our decisions will cost us. Jesus taught: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28). So that was what the men were trying to determine in the two stories above. “I’d like to have eternal life, Jesus; what’s it going to cost me?”

What Was the Question?

Eternal life is something the children of God inherit, but that was not the question Jesus was answering. Neither the lawyer nor the ruler asked, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer is different for that question.

When some of the apostles were preaching about Jesus in the city of Philippi, in Macedonia, the locals greatly resented their message of salvation. They were thrown into prison. When an earthquake shook the prison, causing the doors to open, the frightened jailer thought he would be executed, supposing the prisoners had escaped. Seeing he was about to commit suicide, Paul persuaded him not to. The man was so impressed, he asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

We could have expected, “How will I explain this to my boss and keep my job without losing my head?”

The apostles replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household. Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized” (Acts 16:30-33).

Because they believed, they were saved. Their sins were forgiven! They became believing children of God and as such were ready to inherit the kingdom of God. They didn’t have a problem with counting the cost. According to the story, the jailer and his family were ready to give up everything and didn’t go away sad about the prospects of losing material possessions.

What, then, is Paul talking about in 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10?

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Why will those who practice those sins not inherit the kingdom of God? Because they are not really children of God. God’s children do not act that way! Paul makes this distinction clear in the next verse:

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (v. 11).

And that’s why some people do not want to hear about salvation: because they do not want to be “washed,” they do not want to live cleaned-up lives. They do not want to be “sanctified,” made holy by the blood of Jesus, because they must choose whether to live like children of God or children of the devil. “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10).

How Do We Become Children of God?

It is important to know that we do not become children of God by cleaning up our lives on our own. Listen to Paul again:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (Romans 5:9-11).

How Do Children of God Behave?

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:12-14, 17).

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

. . . And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone
(Titus 3:1, 2, 8).

Think It Through

We need to know that if we wish to be children of God, if we wish to have our sins forgiven and be saved from death, we must know about Jesus. We must believe on Him, that He is the Son of God, that He died for our sins so we may live eternally in God’s kingdom. The alternative to Jesus paying for our sins is God paying us the wages of sin we have earned: eternal death.

That’s the reason the girl in the airport lobby handed out pamphlets that teach how to be saved. That’s the reason for the businessman not wasting any time starting a conversation with his traveling companion about prayer. That’s the reason for brash, young witnesses of Christ coming up and bluntly asking personal questions like, “Are you saved?”

That’s the reason some even ask if you wouldn’t like to pray with them what’s called “the sinner’s prayer.”

And that’s why John said, “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”
(1 John 5:13).

Will you stop awhile and think it through? It sure beats the alternative: dying in your sins and facing the wrath of God, excluded forever from His kingdom. Is it really all that simple — praying the sinner’s prayer? Yes. You can talk to God silently or aloud, alone or with others, wherever you are or whatever your circumstances might be.

We invite you to repeat the following prayer sincerely:

Lord Jesus, come into my heart right now. I confess that I am a sinner. As a believer, I ask Your forgiveness and acceptance. I commit my life to You and ask You to lead me and direct me in all my ways.

Thank You for accepting me and forgiving my sin.


Glossary of Christian Terms

Bible — the book in which appears the story of Creation; a history of God’s relationships with humanity culminating in the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the establishment of the Christian church. Inspired by God, the Bible story accurately records the plan of salvation and God’s will for humanity. As God’s Word, it is the sole authority for Christian faith and practice.

Born again — the spiritual process of becoming a new person by belief in Christ. It involves repenting of sin and being forgiven of sin; conversion — transformation or change — regarding belief in and obedience to God; being a child of God, versus being a sinner.

Christian — a person who follows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Conversion — see “Born again.”

Convert — a person who changes from a sinful life to a life of obedience to God.

Converted — changed from being a sinner to being a Christian.

Faith — literally, belief; in the biblical sense, believing in God, His Son Jesus, and the teachings of the Bible.

Gentile — anyone not a Jew.

“Get saved” — A Christian expression for being removed from God’s death sentence for sin. (See “Salvation.”)

God’s law — God’s commands forbidding certain activities and requiring others.

Grace — a loving gift instead of wages for work; God’s free gift of salvation from sin and its penalty.

Heaven — the dwelling place of God, Jesus Christ, and the angels.

Hell — a place of punishment for the wicked.

Jesus Christ — the Son of God, born about 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem near Jerusalem to a Jewish virgin. God caused a virgin named Mary to become pregnant by a miracle, not by intercourse. From this pregnancy Jesus was born. He was sent by God to be the Savior of the World.

Kingdom of God — God’s rule and dominion over the earth, comprised of the entire body of Christians and children of God from all ages. It will be realized in the second coming of Christ.

Lost — condemned to eternal death for sin. The condition of all people whose sins have not been forgiven through faith in Christ.

Reaching others for Christ — persuading others to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Reconcile, Reconciliation — resolving differences between individuals; regarding salvation, it means restoring our relationship with God through accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

Redeem — to buy back a person who is a slave to sin.

The Redeemed — people who have been “bought back” from their sins by Jesus Christ. By His own death, He satisfied the death penalty for people who repent of their sins.

Repent — literally, to turn and go the other direction; specifically, to decide not to continue activities God forbids and to obey what He commands.

Righteous — a person’s right standing before God, evidenced by being and doing what is right in His eyes.

Salvation — God’s plan to save people from the death penalty for sin through belief in the death of Jesus Christ, His Son, in place of their dying for their own sin.

Sanctify — to make holy; specifically, to make free from sin; purify; to set apart as holy.

Savior — a title applied to Jesus because He saves us from the death penalty for sin.

Sin — Disobeying God’s law; doing what is wrong; not doing what is right.
Transgression — the sin of disobeying God’s laws.

Witnessing — telling others about God’s plan of salvation.

Works — in contrast to faith, the things we do trying to be saved rather than trusting (believing) in Jesus for salvation; in a good sense, righteous and charitable deeds we perform based on love for God and love for others.

Unbeliever — a person who has no faith in, or does not believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.


More brochures in this series...

      The New Birth  What Must I Do To Be Saved  Finding Peace of Mind  Two Appointments With God  Life Ends: Then What  Jesus  Will Return