By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
First Baptist Church
Spearfish, SD

image preview of art: jesus Christ is my savior

      My subject is this: important truths about salvation. Let’s consider these truths. First, we need to understand what “salvation” means. No doubt you have heard of someone being saved from a burning house, from a mudslide, from an avalanche, from a kidnapping, from a deadly disease, or from something else. Those things are physical salvations. But we are considering spiritual salvation. To be saved in the spiritual sense means to have one’s sins forgiven, to be at peace with God, to become a child of God.  Second, everyone needs salvation. We all are in danger of hell, until we experience the things just mentioned, by which we are kept from going to hell. Hell is the consequence of our sinfulness, and the Bible says “There is none righteous, no not one,” (Romans 3:10). The Bible says “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). The Bible says “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). This is not just physical death. It is eternal separation from God in hell. Since everyone needs salvation, consider this point: Third, it is simple to get salvation. That is, it is simple to get saved. Those who are not familiar with what the Bible teaches often think getting saved is a difficult thing, similar to climbing to the top of a very high mountain. Climbing to such a mountain top  requires much effort, and the climber has no guarantee of making it. But in contrast,  the Bible teaches that getting saved is a very simple thing. The Bible tells us about a man who got saved simply by saying a prayer in which he said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:9 – 14) His prayer was short, it was simple, but it was sincere, and it was successful, for he got what he needed. In Acts 16:30 and 31, we read about a jail keeper who asked two missionaries this question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” He was given a short, simple, and straightforward answer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” The reason it is simple to get saved is because Jesus Christ did the hard part for us by dying on the cross in payment for our sins. So, if you have not yet done so, do the only thing that must be done to get salvation: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” Fourth, it is easy to stay saved. A professional golfer like Tiger Woods gets to the top of the golfing world by a lot of hard work. But once there, he must work just as hard to stay at the top. And there is no guarantee he will stay at the top. But that is not how it is with staying saved. Just as it is easy to get salvation, it is easy to keep it. In fact, we don’t have to do anything to keep saved. God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ keep us saved. In the first verse of his letter in the New testament, Jude says Christians are “preserved in Jesus Christ.” In the tenth chapter of John’s Gospel, we read the wonderful words of the Lord Jesus Christ about those whom he has saved. He said, “My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” Yes, it is simple to stay saved because it is not we who keep ourselves saved. The Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father do it for us. If we have been saved, we should show our appreciation for it by living for the Lord. Although it is easy to get saved, and easy to stay saved, we need to consider another point. Fifth, it is difficult to live like we should after we have been saved. Let’s be honest with ourselves: the words of Romans 7:19 describe all true Christians. That verse says, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” And 1 John 1:8 applies to Christians. It says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” The fact is, we who are Christians don’t always live the way we should. We cannot excuse our sins in thought, word, and deed. But we can admit it is not easy to live like we should. We have been called to be different from the world in how we think and live. We have been called to be Christlike, to pray without ceasing, to forgive our enemies, to give thanks in everything, to be anxious about nothing, and to live up to other Biblical expectations of us. We must struggle against three enemies of which the Bible speaks: the world, the flesh, and the devil. And we sometimes fail to resist the influence of these enemies. Although it is hard to live like we should after we have become saved, consider this point: Sixth, the Lord can help us to live like we should. Exodus 5;18 tells us that Pharaoh was a hard taskmaster who expected the Hebrews to make their quota of bricks without providing the ingredients to do so. But God does not expect Christians to live right without providing the ingredients to do so. He has given us his Word, the Bible, which helps us. In Psalm 119:11 the Psalm writer said to God, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” God the Father has given us the Holy Spirit, who helps us live right. In Galatians 5:16, the apostle Paul wrote, “I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” We have help readily available from the Lord Jesus Christ in our daily stuggles against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Here is what we read in Hebrews 4:14 – 16: “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We are to come boldly to the throne of grace by prayer. When we do so, we can obtain mercy and find grace to help in any time of need, including when we are having to resist temptations to sin. It is difficult for Christians to live as they should. But let us be thankful the Lord has given us the ingredients that can enable us to do so. And when we fail, let us put 1 John 1:9 into action. It says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    (In this post, I have quoted from the King James Version and the New King James Version.)


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