John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - KJV
Salvation is the most amazing life-changing event one can ever experience. No other encounter has the power to change your eternity and secure your destiny in Heaven. Once a person receives this gift, their life will never be the same. How can such a sensational claim be made? In order to support this claim we need to look at man’s current situation.
The Bible says that God created man “in His own image.”(Genesis 1:27) This means that we were created perfect, without sin or its consequences. In other words, we were created in perfect harmony with God. The only thing God required to maintain this relationship was obedience, but that requirement proved to be the downfall for the entire human race. Adam and Eve directly disobeyed the commandment of God (Genesis 3:6), and because of this sin, man was eternally separated from God. The Bible explains that because of Adam and Eve’s sin, the separation from God, and sinful nature, were passed to all man (Romans 5:12). This means that we are born sinners by nature and have been given no choice in the matter.
So then what can we do to make-up for our sinful nature? Surely there must be a way we can restore ourselves before God. The truth is – we can’t. Born into sin we can never be perfect. In fact the Bible says the best and most righteous acts we have ever performed are as “filthy rags” before the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). The Apostle Paul explained to the church in Ephesus that before they knew Christ they had no hope and were without God (Ephesians 2:12). Unfortunately, we have no ability to restore our relationship with God and are in desperate need of a solution. Praise God He made a way.
God recognized that we needed His help. He knew that if He did not provide an answer, all of mankind would be doomed and condemned. The problem was that He needed a perfect offering to make the atonement. He knew that there was only one who was qualified, and that one was none other than His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. How would the need be met? Well by His own law God required the shedding of blood before forgiveness of sin could be made. (Hebrews 9:22) This meant Jesus would have to shed His blood in order to pay for the sins of all mankind. But why would God allow this to happen? Jesus was His only Son. Didn’t man turn his back on God and disobey His commandments? Why then would the God of the universe feel compelled to send His only begotten Son to shed His blood for the sins of a disobedient race? Because He loved us so much. The most widely quoted scripture of the Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16)
Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus came to earth, in the form of a man, took upon Himself the sin of the world, and went to the cross to pay the price for all of mankind’s sin.(Philippians 2:8) He became our substitute, and He removed everything that stood between man and God. (Colossians 2:14) Once again the decision to have a relationship with God has been placed back in the hands of man, but man must choose to accept the gift (Ephesians 2:8,9). God gift-wrapped His love for us in the form of His own Son and has made it available for all to receive.
There is no price that must be paid and no deed that must be done. Everything necessary for reconciliation to God has been made available through the completed work of Jesus Christ. How much more perfect could it be? Unable to help ourselves, Jesus did all the work, and is now back in Heaven at the right hand of the Father, ready to defend all who will call upon His name.
All that is left in the plan of salvation is our acceptance. The Bible is very clear about this process. Romans 10:9,10 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” It’s as simple as that.
The Bible says that those who have never called upon the Lord for salvation will be cast into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:11-14) And the decision to accept Jesus as your personal savior must be made during this life. The Bible speaks of a man who got caught up in his personal gain, and when he died he awoke in the torment of Hell. (Luke 16:22,23) We have this life to repent of our sin and turn to God. When we leave this world our opportunity will have passed. Luke 13:3 says, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Hopefully it is now clear why salvation is the most amazing life-changing experience one can ever have. It is a beautiful plan made available by a loving God, by the sacrifice of His Son, to help a lost and dying world. What an awesome love that was shown to all of mankind when Jesus endured the cross for you and I.