Steps in salvation

We have dealt with that which Christ acquired for man, but how can man lay hold of it? That is what we are now going to look at; the steps to acquire the riches of Christ.

A. STEPS

  1. Repent

Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Act 2:38).

To repent does not only mean to be sorry for one’s sins, but entails to change your mind about sin, to see it as God sees it: an ugly thing, a horrible poisonous snake, a monster, and to abhor it and turn away from it with all your heart. This is the first step in receiving the benefits gained by Christ and goes hand in hand with the next steps.

  1. Give Up All Hope Of Saving Yourself

 The second step is to despair totally of gaining acceptance by God by your own efforts to live a holy life. Admit to God and to yourself saying (even aloud), “I am a lost sinner on my way to eternal punishment.” Before you are not convinced that you are lost, you cannot be saved, because why would you want to be saved? Consider the texts quoted before and the example of riding on a railway line with a bicycle. Also meditate on the following verses.

And standing afar off, the tax-collector would not even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but struck on his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner! (Luk 18:13).

Eph 2:8,9 For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Consider yourself in an aircraft of which the wings caught fire. A man harnesses a parachute to himself, grabs you by the arm, , opens the door and shouts, “Let me girdle you to myself, then I will jump with you to safety.” You look at the earth way down below and fear grips your heart and you shout, “No, no,”. Then you feel the heat of the flames sweeping down the aisle.  You know that you are doomed in this plane and have not a single plan left for saving your life …  

  1. Accept God’s Gift Of Salvation By Faith

 … You despair, lift your arms above your head and shout, “Yes, do it, save me!” He straps you to his body, jumps from the plane and you feel the air rushing by; then suddenly the parachute opens, there is a jerk, your fall is broken, and you float down to earth in the hands of your saviour. You watch the plane erupt into a ball of fire and crash down in the distance.

That is a picture of salvation. This world is doomed. Let go and let God take over your life. Cast yourself upon Jesus and cling to him with all your faith for his very Name means Saviour. Flee from this doomed world while there is yet time!

Accept his gifts by faith like a little child: forgiveness, justification, eternal life. Imagine a little toddler playing outside and his mother sitting by, knitting, keeping an eye on him. Suddenly a vicious dog with bared teeth storms him, barking and snarling. What will he do: throw him with a hand full of sand? No, he will scream and run for his mum and she will pick him up and lift him above her head, out of reach of the animal.

Or imagine what he will do when his mummy offers him a cookie? Will he gather the cups and saucers onto a tray and stumble towards the sink to try and wash them to earn the cookie? No! Mummy and Daddy have already paid for it; all he needs to do is to cry with delight, totter forward with open, empty hands, grab and eat it.

There is no need for you to earn eternal life, Jesus has paid for it, just accept it by faith.

Here is a simple prayer that you may pray:

“Lord I acknowledge that You are the Creator of heaven and of earth. You have the right to all of creation, including myself. You are a holy God and I have turned away from you in sinning. I now abhor sin, repent and turn away from it. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He paid the full price for my salvation on the cross. Lord Jesus, I now accept You as my Saviour and yield myself into your hands. I open my heart and request the Holy Spirit to come and live within me forever and change my life to be like that of Christ. Amen.”

Having prayed this prayer, believe that God has heard and answered your prayer and that settles the matter.

But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name, (Joh 1:12).  

 B. FAITH THAT AVAILS NOTHING

There is a kind of faith that looks like faith but is not real Biblical faith. It is like Fool’s Gold, resembling gold and fooling many people to think they have found the real thing. Someone my say, “But surely, faith is faith: if a person agrees with what is written in the Bible about the Lord Jesus Christ, he has faith and is saved; is that not what Paul said to the Philippian jailor? If not, vast numbers of church members will go lost.”

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, and your household (Act 16:31).  

The answer is, no, many who do indeed say they believe in Christ, are still lost for their faith is not real. This type of faith is a mental acceptance of the fact that Jesus died for sinners but does not move the “believer” to cast himself upon Jesus to be saved. In the example above, it is like a passenger who admits that the plane is on fire and that the paratrooper can save his life but does not entrust himself unreservedly into his hands. Let us look at the following examples:

You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble. (Jas 2:19). 

The demons surely believe absolutely that the Creator of heaven and earth is the One and only God, but they have no desire for him, so they turn away from him, trembling as they go, for they know what punishment is awaiting them.

The same applies to the demon possessed girl at Philippi.

The same followed Paul and us and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, who are announcing to us the way of salvation. And she did this many days. But being distressed, and turning to the demonic spirit, Paul said, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her! And it came out in that hour. (Acts 16:17, 18).  

This girl could not have formulated the truth more accurately, but she had no intention of submitting herself to what she believed with her mind, for her heart was not in her faith. Real faith comes from deep within, from the heart:

Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation. (Rom 10:9,10).  

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