Thursday, 20 September 2018

T The Christian Life

How to receive salvation

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This may very well be the most important day of your life. You are here for a reason, visiting this web page. Every human being receives multiple chances to receive salvation in his or her life. This is the day that you can receive yours. This is the day where your eternal destiny can be changed. Right now, the Holy Spirit of God is speaking to your heart. 

Of all the many things that God is, one of them is just. And that part of Him is probably one of the most important identities. He is described as just, justice, righteous, as the One Who rules and judges the universe. So basically we can picture His residence as a court. Even before time existed, God and His justice were there. Long before this world came into being. Righteousness and justice are things that the Bible even describes as the foundation of His throne. 

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.
Psalm 89:14

Justice prevailed in the whole universe and sin was nowhere to be found. But then something changed. The first sin of the universe took place, and it happened even before men was created. A creature, who carried the name ‘Lucifer’ back then, which means ‘the carrier of Light’, wanted to take the place of God and defeat Him. Back then he was the second in command in heaven. He was perfect in all his ways, from the day he was created, until pride was found in his heart. He started a resistance against God and he managed to get one third of all angels behind him. His attempt failed and he was banned from heaven, along with all the angels who had joined his resistance. And then God took the name ‘Lucifer’ away from him and he became known as the satan, for he was no longer a carrier of Light. That story can be found in Ezekiel 28.

Then one of the most familiar events happened. God created the heavens and the earth. And when everything was finished, He created us, mankind, into His image and likeness. Yes, that means you look like God. Man had one simple assignment: Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Other than that, they could do whatever they wanted. We all know that they failed and did it anyway, because of which sin entered the world and mankind. 

We serve a righteous God. He loves us, He sure does. But love never goes at the cost of righteousness. So basically there was only one thing God could do with us, which was to judge and condemn us. That is why He, Who knew no sin, had to come up with a solution in order to save us from hell. And what would be sufficient enough to cover all the sins of all mankind? That weight was way too big. There was only one solution left and that was to send His Son Yeshua – Jesus – to this world, to be sacrificed for our sins. 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:16-17

And so our Messiah came to this world and He took the full weight of our sin upon Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. All your sins – past, present and future – and all the fruits of your sins were laid upon Him. So that you may be forgiven. So that you may have eternal life. So that you may know God. And He suffered because of it. He suffered like no man ever suffered before. He took all of it, carried it all, until the very end. Until the price for your life was paid in full. Why? Love. Because His love for you is real and selfless. He choose to look beyond all the bad things that you did. To look beyond all your sins, and to look at what He could make of your life. 

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:7-8

This Jesus, this wonderful Messiah and Son of God, is inviting you today, at this moment, to surrender your life to Him. The Bible teaches us about repentance. The word “repentance” literally means “change the way you think”. So what should we change our minds about? About two things: Jesus and sin. You may have heard about Jesus Christ. You may even have been raised with the stories about Him. But the important thing of repentance is that we come to the point of acknowledgment. It is the part where we change our way of thinking to acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the promised Messiah and your Savior. That is where it all begins. And secondly, we have to change our way of thinking to acknowledging our sins. Basically it means that from this moment on, whatever God considers to be a sin, you consider to be a sin. It is making God’s Word the standard for your life. 

In the book of Acts, Peter invited the people to change the way they thought about Jesus Christ. He said: “Change your way of thinking and turn around into the erasing of your sins, so that seasons of refreshing from the face of the Master may ever come to you and He will send Jesus Christ to you, Who was proclaimed to you before.” That invitation and promise still stands today. 

Eternal life can be yours. Total and utter forgiveness of sin can be yours. Death no longer has to be a scary thing. If that is the choice you want to make today, then you can simply tell God. If you want, you can use this simple prayer to do so.

“Father God, today, here and now, I come to the acknowledgment that You really exist and that Jesus Christ is Your Son and the promised Messiah. I acknowledge that according to Your standard I am guilty of sin. As from today, I choose to make Your standard my standard. What You call a sin, I call a sin. What You call righteousness, I call righteousness. I accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Master of my life and I accept His sacrifice. I acknowledge that His sacrifice was sufficient. The cross was enough. Thank You for that sacrifice and thank You that my sins are now blotted out! For by grace I am now saved through faith, and that not of myself, it is a gift of God, not of works. Amen.”

If you have prayed this prayer sincerely, that means that you actually mean what you’ve said, then from this moment on, your sins are forgiven. They are erased from each and every book in heaven. You received a new life, a new chance and a new spirit. So welcome in the family of God! Does this mean that you will be free from sin from this moment on? No, unfortunately not. But it means you’ve received grace and that you’ve started a new journey. Repentance, the changing of thinking, is a process. Then what is the right expectation?

Until this point your life was pretty much in line with the plans of satan. And to be clear, that plan was to make sure that you were heading towards hell. But now that you’ve chosen to have your destiny changed, it means there is a battle going on. Now the enemy of God has made it his mission to make you fail, to make you doubt God’s promises and to make you give up your faith. Fortunately you are not alone in this fight. God will send His angels to protect you. But at the other hand, He has also give you a weapon against the enemy, which is the Word of God. 

If you would do nothing from this moment on, then your faith would slowly fade away and you would waste the new life that was just given to you. Therefore it is important to grow further in faith. How do you do that? The first and best start is by reading the Word of God, the Bible, on a daily basis. For example, try to read one or two chapters each day. A good place to start would be at the beginning of the New Testament. That is with the book of Matthew. Keep in mind that change will not come without the Word of God. As you read the Word of God, it will change you from the inside out. Only the Word of God has the power to change you. 

Besides reading the Word of God it is also important to talk with God. You’ve just seen an example prayer, but obviously you don’t have to use example prayers. Those are just meant as a startup. You can talk to Him in your own words. God is not indifferent and He is very involved in your life. Share your best and your worst days. Share your best deeds and your worst. You can’t tell Him anything He doesn’t already knows. But He leaves the initiative on your end. Prayers do not have to be whole lists of empty words. Sometimes a few lines are all that needed. At other times you may need some time. As long as you’re honest and sincere towards God, He will always listen to you. 

Lastly, it is good to find a community of believers nearby you. It is also good to be very careful where you go to. Make sure that the community you’re going to visit lives and acts in the grace of God, instead of laying a whole set of rules upon you. It’s not a bad thing if they’re to the point. Jesus was and is also very to the point. He always addresses the bad stuff, but He also always provides with a solution. This is also a point that you can discuss with God. You can ask Him to guide you to the right place, where His servants will help you to grow to spiritual maturity and closer to Jesus.

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