God’s Simple Plan of Salvation
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, 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.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Could I ask you the most important question of your life?
Your destiny, joy or sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Do you know that when you die that you will go to heaven? Are you saved? The term “saved” is used in the Bible to refer to a person receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior and God forgiving them their sins and giving them eternal life.
Romans 10:9, 13 “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 whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The term “saved” is used over fifty times in the New Testament to refer to one receiving salvation. It means that one is saved from the condemnation of their sins and because they are saved…meaning their sins are forgiven….they go to heaven when they die.
Being saved is not a question of how good you are, What good deeds or works you have done, nor if you are a church member or have been baptized, but have you believed in Jesus Christ as your Savior and received forgiveness? Those that God saves and gives eternal life are those who have at some point in time in their life realized that before God, they were sinners and realizing they were, they asked God to save them. Because they believed and ask God’s forgiveness, they are now absolutely sure that they are the children of God and that they will go to Heaven when they die!
Wouldn’t you like to know for sure that if you died you would go to heaven? The Bible, God’s Word, tells us how.
God says in order to go to Heaven, to have peace in our lives, we must be “born again.” In John 3:7, a very religious, but unsaved Jewish Pharisee named Nicodemus came to the Lord Jesus seeking truth. Nicodemus was a morally good man and very religious, but his faith was in his good works and religious acts. He was trusting in his own righteousness to get him to heaven. Jesus in explaining the way to be saved told him “Ye must be born again.” That meant that Nicodemus needed to be spiritually born and put his faith in Jesus Christ and not his works.
God tells us the only plan of how a person can be “born again” which means to be saved and receive everlasting life. His plan is simple! God says that we are His creation and that He loves us and that we can be saved today, even this very hour if we believe Him and ask Him to save us?
First, you must realize you are a sinner. God says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Surely, we know that we have all done wrong things which God says is sin. Therefore, as a sinner we understand that we are separated from God by our sin because He is a totally holy and righteous God. Our sin separates us from God and condemns us to die apart from our God who created us if we do not believe and receive forgiveness. God says, “For the wages meaning payment of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Sadly, this includes eternal separation from God and punishment in hell.
God has told us that “… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Revelations 20:11-15, explains this judgment in which people will be judged according to their works and cast eternally into the Lake of Fire because they would not believe God and accept His free offer of forgiveness. That is not what God wants!! This desire of God is stated in 1 Timothy 2:4 which says, speaking of God, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
God loved you so much he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. John 3:16-18 says,
“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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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.”
Further God says:
“For he hath made him (Jesus, who knew no sin) to be sin for us … that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
That means that Christ came to earth and that He suffered and died for our sins that we might be able to receive full forgiveness of our sins. The only way to be saved and forgiven our sins is to come to the Lord Jesus Christ as Jesus said in John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Because we were sinners and under the penalty of sin, Jesus Christ, who is God come to earth as a man (John 1:1-2, 14), had to shed his blood and die in our place so that we could have pardon for our sin. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11) “… without shedding of blood is no remission pardon” (Hebrews 9:22).
Because God loved us, even though we sinned against Him, Christ died for us. The Bible says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
God said that your sins and mine were laid upon Jesus and he suffered and died in our place. On the Cross He suffered and died, and He became our substitute and because of His death for us we can absolutely believe and trust Him to save us because God cannot lie.
The Bible tells us, “God … now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
This repentance means a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross. In other words, we recognize the fact that we have sinned against God our Creator and understanding the truth that God loved us and send His Son the Lord Jesus to die on the Cross and there to pay for our sins (Romans 5:8). Thus, knowing that we are a sinner and thereby separated from God, we in faith ask God to forgive our sins.
In Acts 16:30,31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: “…Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Over sixty time in the New Testament God tell us to believe in Him.
God is telling us to simply believe on Him as the One who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. Our Creator loves us and wants to forgive us and give us a new heart and soul and a new life in fellowship with Him. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus gave up His life and died for us. After three days and nights on that glorious Sunday morning. . . He arose from the grave victorious over sin and death. Because of His resurrection we are assured that a believer can claim everlasting life when in faith accepts Jesus alone as his Savior. The “born again” believer is promised by God that because Christ arose from the grave we too will be resurrected unto eternal life with Jesus Christ.
“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” (John 1:12). This verse tells us that to be saved and become a child of God we must believe on Him.
And if a person believes God promises, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Do you understand that the “Whosoever” includes you and I. “Shall be saved” means not “maybe”, nor “can”, but shall be saved.
Surely, if we are honest, we realize that we are a sinner. Shouldn’t we want to receive God’s forgiveness, be saved and have the assurance that heaven will be our home when we die? Right now, whoever, or wherever you are, in repentance, if you will believe God you can lift your heart to God in prayer and ask Him to save you. Salvation is not a process that happens over time. Salvation comes completely and fully the instant that a person knowing he/she is a sinner and with a repentant heart believes and asks God to forgiven and save them.
In Luke 18:13, a sinner prayed: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” A sincere prayer of faith from your heart asking God for forgiveness could simply be prayed as:
“Oh, God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank you for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of your merciful grace. Amen.”
It is not the saying of a prayer that saves us, but the true belief in Jesus Christ in our hearts. Our prayer is our outward expression of our faith in Jesus Christ as we ask Him in faith to save us. It is the belief in our hearts that God sees as genuine trust in Him and He then promises to save us.
This is clearly stated in Romans 10:9-13, “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. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
God tells us to just believe and take God at his word and claim his salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works, or religious ceremonies can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it! You cannot clean up your life or make yourself more acceptable to God… you simply come to Him as you are….a sinner sincerely asking for forgiveness.
Our loving Creator, Jesus Christ died in your place and He offers each of us forgiveness and eternal life. But He also explains that if a person rejects Him and will not believe he will spend eternity in Hell separated from God. Yet, God wants to save you and says, if you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and his gift of eternal salvation by faith.
Note what God says in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Some may say, “Surely, it cannot be that simple.” But God says, Yes, it is this simple! It is what God has said in the Bible. It is God’s simple plan. It means that you can even now, this very moment, believe on Jesus and receive him as Savior today.
Receiving God’s forgiveness and salvation is not received by doing some work, like join a church, being baptized, living a good life, doing good deeds, or some religious ritual. God says in Ephesians 2:8-10:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
It is God’s grace that saves us when we believe and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. We do not merit or cannot earn our salvation because we are sinners under the condemnation of sin. Yet, God in His love offers us His free gift of grace in order that we can be saved.
This is important to understand that the beginning of a new life in Christ with God’s peace and assurance can begin now as you turn to the Lord for salvation. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
You can be sure you are saved if you with your heart in sincerity ask God to save you. You see salvation is promised to us by God if we ask Him.
To not believe God and take Him at His word means a person’s will lose their soul and miss Heaven. God cannot save those who will not believe and accept His free gift of Salvation. He will not force Himself on anyone. Please! Let God save you this very moment by believing and asking Him to save you.
God’s power will save you, keep you saved and enable you to live a victorious Christian life. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We cannot trust our feelings because feelings and emotions change. God says we are to stand His promises. They never change. After you are saved, there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth: Pray–you talk to God. Read your Bible–God talks to you. Witness–you talk for God.
You should be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible believing church without delay. “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord …” (2 Timothy 1:8).
“Whosoever therefore shall confess [testify of] me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
If God’s plan is not perfectly clear, read this over and over, without laying it down until you understand it.
Your soul is worth more than all the world.