Make Your Salvation Sure
The universal problem of all mankind is sin. Man's disobedience separates him from God. "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2) Man is a sinful being. "For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin." (Ecclesiastes 7:20) Paul described sinful man in these words, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:24-25) Let us make our salvation sure through Jesus:
Your faith must be in Jesus: Many in the world admire Jesus as a good teacher. The saved lift Him up as the Son of God. "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69) The signs Jesus did prove His claim to be God's Son. "This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." (John 3:2) Our faith and trust must be in Jesus. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6) He was able to heal the sick (Matthew 4:23) and raise the dead. (John 1l: 43-44) Jesus has all authority. (Matthew 28:18) In total faith let us trust Jesus and obey His teaching.
Your faith in Jesus must lead you to repent of your sins: Repentance is a commandment given to everyone. "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has
appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31) Repentance is a change of heart which causes you to change from your sinful life. To become a Christian the fornicator must change, the thief must change and the drunkard must change; whatever the sin we must change from it. Salvation is preceded by repentance on the part of the sinner. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revelers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Those who are acquainted with you will observe your change of heart and life. "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance." (Matthew 3:8)
Your faith in Jesus must lead you to confess Jesus as Lord and Christ: The man from Ethiopia made the grand confession which must precede baptism. "He answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:37) A simple confession of one's faith in Jesus as the Son of God is a necessary step in being converted to Jesus. "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
Your faith in Jesus must lead you to be immersed (baptized) into Christ: Baptism brings one into the death of Christ and into contact with His blood. (Romans 6:3-4) Bible baptism is always a burial in the water. (Colossians 2:12) Baptism is for salvation. (1 Peter 3:21) It is at baptism that one is saved and added to our Lord's church. (Acts 2:47) Becoming a Christian makes one a member of Christ's church, for the church is God's family, made up of His children.
Your faith in Jesus must lead you to faithful living in Christ: Why are you alive in this world? You are upon earth to become a son of God and serve Him faithful. The word faithful means we are exercising our faith or we are living by our faith. True faith in God and Jesus demands behavior that glorifies God. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:19) Are you walking in light or darkness? Are you imitators of God in your behavior? Those who are Christians or to say it another way, those who are in Christ Jesus, must also be faithful in the sense of adhering to the teachings of Jesus. "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised." (Hebrews 10:23)
Make your salvation sure. There is no privilege on earth like being a Christian. If you are not a faithful member of Christ's church you cannot go to heaven.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA