Salvation is NOT just an “adding” of Jesus’ teachings to your
life……..like a set of new rules.
Salvation is NOT something that you can achieve by "buying" God with your donations.
Salvation is NOT a bargain with God that you can make.
Salvation is NOT something you should expect from God or that you deserve.
Salvation is NOT something you earn.
Salvation is NOT something that your parents can give you or decide for you.
Salvation is NOT something that your spouse or the family you marry into can give you or decide for you.
Salvation is NOT something that you can achieve on your own power or using your own wisdom.
Salvation is something that God invented and initiated in your life. God has been calling out to you to open your eyes to the truth. On your own, you would have never even realized that you were diseased and needed healing / saving. God has made your salvation possible by allowing His Son, Jesus Christ, to come here and sacrifice himself for you. Salvation is a gift. In order to benefit from it, you need to accept it and open it!
How do you accept the gift of salvation? Well, how do you accept any gift?
First, you must acknowledge that it exists and is there right in front of you.
1. Acknowledge that you have chosen to not trust God over Satan (or your own human instinct) and have willingly violated his laws and distorted His image, which you were created to reflect. (See Freedom From Darkness study.)
2. Acknowledge the fact that Jesus Christ willingly paid your ransom for you by coming to earth in the form of flesh and blood and dying on the cross for your sins. He is the perfect, pure, sinless sacrifice that substituted His death for yours so that you could live the life God intended for you! (See Who is Jesus Christ study.)
3. Acknowledge the fact that the Holy Spirit is desiring to live inside you, to inhabit your very being and transform your thoughts, emotions, will, etc. into those of Christ.
3. After acknowledging the truth of #1 AND #2 AND #3, you respond to God, Christ and the Spirit. You tell God that you are sorry and you ask for forgiveness, you say Thank You to Jesus, and you are eager for the Spirit of God to inhabit you. You are eager for God to become your Father again.
4. You open the gift when you turn to God with your heart, internally accept the fact that He has forgiven you, and let Him fill you with his Spirit. He does fill you with His very essence and gives you power over Satan. You no longer live under the accusations and oppression of Satan.
5. You show the gift to others. You are water baptized as the means of externally testifying to the fact that through the blood of Jesus, God has opened your eyes, brought you into a reconciled relationship with Him, and given you a new life. (There is no such thing as an “altar call” in the Bible. God’s method to show that we have accepted his sacrifice and have been cleansed and freed from our sin is “water baptism”. God created this. God knows that we need to be washed (submerged in water) to FEEL cleansed. He knows we need to have our faith and adoption into His family validated, as well. God validated Jesus as "HIS SON" at Jesus' baptism. God does the same for us! Man created the “altar call”.(See BAPTISM study.)
6. You gratefully live the rest of your life as one who has been brought back from the dead. You believe God’s promises and are open to transformation through the voice of God, as heard through both your daily study of the Bible and your daily communication with God through Prayer. The Holy Spirit, which lives in you will create this hunger for God’s voice and presence and will enable you to see Him and hear Him as you read the Bible, as you pray, and as you go about your day. (See DAILY CHRISTIAN LIVING study.)
7. How does God transform us? God has given us the Bible as His love letter and guide, Jesus as a human example of God’s character and model of the relationship He wants with us, and the Holy Spirit as our comforter and teacher. He expects that we will learn His ways as we read and study the Bible, set aside time to PRAY (speak to and listen to Him), and exercise our faith (put what we learn into practice.) To those who have willingly accepted their NEED for Jesus’ redemption and have asked God to take control over their lives, the words in the Bible are illuminated. These words come alive and fill us up like a good meal or a terrific quenching of one’s thirst! God's goodness takes away much of our fear and we gradually grow in the understanding and gratitude for his grace.