Accepting Jesus as your personal Savior is the most important decision you will make in your life. Please take some time to listen to the audio You Can Be Sure You’re Saved. We hope this will be of some help and encouragement for you, and help you as you begin this new journey. At South Sound Church we have classes, small groups, and someone to come alongside you to help you learn more about being a follower of Jesus Christ. We’d love to talk to you.
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Listen to "You Can Be Sure You're Saved" by Pastor Stephen Carpenter
What You Need to Know and Do *
To sin is to fall short of God’s holy standards. Sin is what ended Eden’s Paradise. And all of us, like Adam and Eve, are sinners. You are a sinner. That’s the first thing you need to know. Sin deceives us and makes us think that wrong is right and right is wrong (Proverbs 14:12).
Sin has consequences, but God has provided a solution for our sin: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, loved us so much that he became a man to deliver us from our sin (John 3:16). He came to identify with us in our humanity and our weakness, but he did so without being tainted by our sin, self-deception, and moral failings (Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:15-16).
We’re told that “God made him [Christ] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This means that even though we are under God’s wrath for our sins, Jesus died on the cross as our representative, our substitute. God then poured out his wrath on Christ instead of on us. Christ, who stood in our place, conveyed his righteousness to us so that we are declared innocent of all our sins and declared righteous, so we may enter the very presence of God in Heaven and be at home with him there.
No other prophet or religious figure—only Jesus, the Son of God—is worthy to pay the penalty for our sins demanded by God’s holiness (Revelation 5:4-5, 9-10). Only when our sins are dealt with in Christ can we enter Heaven. We cannot pay our own way. “Salvation is found in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Being himself God and therefore all-powerful, Jesus Christ rose from the grave, defeating sin and conquering death (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 54-57). When Christ died on the cross for us, he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The Greek word translated “it is finished” was commonly written across certificates of debt when they were canceled. It meant “paid in full.” Christ died so that the certificate of debt, consisting of all our sins, could once and for all be marked “paid in full.”
Because of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross on our behalf, God freely offers us forgivenss. “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities . . . As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12).
Forgiveness is not automatic. If we want to be forgiven, we must recognize and repent of our sins: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Forgiveness is established by our confession: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Christ offers to everyone the gift of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life: “Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17).
There’s no righteous deed we can do that will earn us a place in Heaven (Titus 3:5). We come to Christ empty-handed. We can take no credit for salvation: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
This gift cannot be worked for, earned, or achieved in any sense. It’s not dependent on our merit or effort but solely on Christ’s generous and sufficient sacrifice on our behalf. Ultimately, God’s greatest gift is himself. We don’t just need salvation, we need Jesus the Savior. It is the person, God, who graciously gives us the place, Heaven.
*used by permission from Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven (pages 33-34), Eternal Perspective Minstries, www.epm.org.