SALVATION – What is required to have eternal life?
Why live any longer in the uncertainty of whether you will be acceptable to God when you die? The Gospel (Good News) message of Jesus Christ is simple because God LOVES you and He has provided to way for you to spend eternity with Him! But before you can be clean to enter into God’s holy presence, you must have your sins (impure attitudes, actions and thoughts) dealt with. If you want to be “saved” from the penalty of your sins (unrighteous deeds) so that you can live forever with God, follow these five steps to REPENT of your sins and receive the FORGIVENESS that Christ offers when you make Him the Lord of your life. Remember that your prayer of repentance is only the beginning of a NEW LIFE where you die to your sinful desires and rise in the life-transforming power of His Holy Spirit.
1. RECOGNIZE YOU HAVE FALLEN SHORT: Admit you’re a sinner (someone who has disobeyed God’s standards) and that you stand condemned and guilty before God for all of the things you’ve done to that were not pleasing in His sight. Because we all sin (disobey God), the Bible says that the penalty of our sin is “death” and eternal separation from God.
Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
- Romans 6:23: “For the wages [payment] of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
- James 2:10: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend [break] in one point, he is guilty of all.”
2. GOOD DEEDS CAN’T MAKE UP FOR BAD DEEDS: Recognize that God says that the payment for our “sin” penalty is so great that no amount of “good deeds” we do can pay the price required to redeem us from the penalty of our sin. Scripture explains that any righteous deeds done in an attempt to please God are nothing but “filthy rags” of pride in God’s sight!
- Isaiah 64:6: “For we are all as an unclean thing; and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rages…”
Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Romans 11:6: “And if by grace [unmerited favor or kindness], then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
Romans 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified [declared righteous] by faith without the deeds of the law.”
3. JESUS PAID THE PRICE: Only Jesus who was God in the flesh (See Philippians 2:5-11) was worthy enough to pay the price required for our sins to be forgiven. Because salvation from our sins (i.e., eternal life) cost too much for us to be able to earn by our good behavior, Jesus paid the TOTAL price required for us to be released from our sin-debt so that we can go free and be granted entrance into God’s presence. By Christ’s substitutionary payment for our sins by His death, God was able to remain righteous (in requiring full payment for the wrongs we’ve committed) and at the same time, extend love and mercy to us. When we accept the payment that Jesus made on our behalf, God immediately grants us forgiveness from the wrongs we’ve done (past, present and future) and makes us spiritually clean and acceptable in His sight on account of the atoning blood of Christ and through the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. This gift of eternal life is offered “free” to anyone who accepts His death and resurrection.
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 4:4-5: “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace [unmerited favor or kindness], but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth [declares righteous] the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
Romans 10:9-11, 13: “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. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. …For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
1 Corinthians 15:1-4: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved… For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
4. RECEIVE THE GIFT FREELY BY GOING TO JESUS: Jesus freely offers us His gift of eternal life in exchange for our sin, but we must reach out to Him and accept His gift before His payment for our sin-debt can be applied to our account. You can receive this gift by praying directly to Jesus. Personally ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to be the Lord (Master), God and Savior of your life.
- Mark 2:7, 10-11: “‘Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; Who can forgive sins but God alone?‘…But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins‘ – He said to the paralytic – I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.”
- John 6:37: “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”
- Romans 10:9, 13: “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved….For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- Acts 22:16: “…wash away your sins, calling on His name.”
- John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”
If you would like to receive this gift of eternal life that Jesus offers, why not pray this sample salvation prayer below? You may want to personalize it with your own words. Remember, there is no power in the specific words you are praying. God is intently listening to the sincerity of your heart:
“Dear Lord Jesus,
I come to you realizing that I am a sinner. I have broken your laws and am not worthy to be in Your holy presence. I recognize that the penalty of my sin is eternal separation from you and that nothing I do can make up for the wrongs I’ve committed. I accept the price you paid for my sin when you died for me so long ago. I ask you right now, dear Lord Jesus, to come into my heart, forgive me of all of my sins, and to be my Lord and Savior. I give you control of my life and receive your Holy Spirit as a token of my adoption into Your family. Thank you for shedding your precious blood for me and for claiming me for eternity. I love you, Lord!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
5. YOUR LIFE IS SECURE IN CHRIST: If you prayed to receive Christ and were spiritually born again (regenerated by the Spirit of God), the Bible explains that you belong to Jesus and that you have been adopted out of Satan’s family into God’s family. Welcome to the family of God!
Understand that as a child of God, you are forever secure in His family! Just as there is nothing your own child can do to sever his/her relationship with you as a son or daughter, so it is with God. Once you are spiritually “born again” into God’s family, you belong to HIM for all eternity! Because the penalty of all of your sins–past, present and future–have been atoned for by the blood of Christ, you stand righteous in God’s eyes–no longer standing in your unworthy rages of pride, but standing pure and blameless, covered in the priceless blood of Christ. His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you and you begin a new life as He transforms your heart from the inside out. Indeed, this is what Eternal Life is all about! Now that you have it, you have it for eternity!
- John 5:24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
- John 6:47: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.”
- Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
- Romans 8:8-9: “and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
- Romans 8:14: “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man is in Christ, He is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”
For more information see:
I PRAYED TO RECEIVE JESUS. WHAT NOW? — Should I Join a Church? If So, How Do I Find a Good Church? How Do I Know God’s Will and Avoid Satan’s Deceptions?