“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)
What is salvation? Is it believing in Jesus as the Son of God who forgives your sins and opens the gates of heaven to let you in? Certainly it is.
Is it helping you to overcome your sins and helping you keep believing on your journey through this world? Of course it is.
But has this message stirred the heart of this generation? No, it clearly hasn’t. People of our time are not interested in being sinners struggling to obey God and church leaders as they limp their sinful way to a some mysterious place called heaven.
But salvation is much, much more.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God… Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
Many of us think we have understood this but we have not. The problem is our limited understanding of GRACE and FAITH.
We think GRACE is the favour and mercy of God to undeserving sinners and that is true but only partly true.
GRACE is the transforming POWER of the Love of Almighty God who is your CREATOR.
God created the world and He created you in your mother’s womb. But that is not the end of your relationship with God as your CREATOR.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
When you are truly converted to Jesus, God answers the prayer of King David in Psalm 51.
Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Psalm 51:9 (NKJV)
But God does not stop there.
God goes on to CREATE new life in you.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
So what is FAITH? Is it religious belief? Muslims and Hindus have religious belief but they have no assurance that they have salvation. Muslims live in hope that they might pass the test of the last judgement based on their works but they also live in fear that they might fail the test and burn in hell. Hindus expect to come back to earth in an endless series of reincarnations, struggling through life after life in a sad and difficult world.
FAITH is something God creates in you that connects you to Father God. Jesus called God FATHER and He taught us to call God FATHER. Muslims consider it blasphemous to call Allah “FATHER.” Muslims see Allah as supreme creator, lawgiver and judge but they have no belief in a loving personal relationship with Father God.
Nevertheless, many Muslims and Hindus have a deep hunger to know the true God and this hunger is leading millions of them to turn to Jesus in our generation.
What is this FAITH that connects us to Father God? It begins with believing AND TRUSTING in Jesus that He died to pay the penalty of your sin on your behalf. As Jesus died on the cross, a victim of religious hatred and murder, He prayed to the Father:
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” …Luke 23:34
Supposing God really is your CREATOR and He made you to be His loving son or daughter in intimate friendship for ever. Supposing you have turned away from this loving Father as we all have. That means you have really rejected the loving source of all life and goodness. If you turn from the only source of all love and life and goodness, there is nothing left but despair and emptiness. Jesus died to save you from death, despair and everlasting emptiness.
Will you receive His offer of life, the free gift of a new life?
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (ESV)
GRACE is the transforming power of God that CREATES new life in you, that enables you to love even your enemies, to live a life of miraculous faith, enjoying healing and blessing and sharing this power to bless others.