THE SINNER AND SALVATION
People curse and sware, they are angry and out of control, they lie and deceive, their hands are filled with the blood of others. People are guilty of sin. (Romans 3:23) Sin is a violation of God and His nature. It is an offense against our Creator. When you sin, you offend the very nature of God because it is His law that you have broken. (1 John 3:4) God's Laws are not arbitrary. They are based on His holiness and His character. Our sin causes a separation between us and our Maker. (Isaiah 59:1-2) Sin is so horrible and hideous that Jesus had to come to this earth to take our place and die for our sins. Peter wrote, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24) Sin makes it impossible for God to hear our prayers. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Psalm 66:18) There is the great need for salvation, but what is it that saves us from our sins? If a man is in the water, almost at the point of drowning, and someone throws a rope and he catches hold of the rope and is pulled to safety, what saved him? One might answer "the man" who threw the rope and pulled him to safety saved him. Another might say "the rope" saved him. Still another might say "he saved himself" by taking hold of the rope and clinging to it. Which answer is correct? Obviously, all the answers are correct! It was a combination of all these things which prevented the man from drowning. When a person is lost in sin what saves that person? Is it Grace? Faith? God? Is it Himself? Or, is it like the man and the rope, a combination of many things?
The sinner is saved by God. "For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe." (1 Timothy 4:10)
The sinner is saved by Jesus. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10)
The sinner is saved by grace. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The sinner is saved by God’s mercy. "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:4-5)
The sinner is saved by the gospel. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
The sinner is saved by the name of Jesus. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
The sinner is saved by the blood of Jesus. "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28)
The sinner is saved by the Holy Spirit of God. "And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)
The sinner is saved by the love of God. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) A lost person is saved by the mercy and grace of God. God loved mankind and allowed His Son to die for sinners. Through Jesus' shed blood and precious name man is saved. But, there are other things by which salvation comes.
The sinner is saved by faith. "And made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:9)
The sinner is saved by repentance. "Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:46-47)
The sinner is saved by confessing faith in 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)
The sinner is saved by baptism. "There is also an antitype which now saves us -- baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 3:21)
The sinner is saved by obedience. "Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:8-9)
The sinner is saved by works. "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (James 2:24)
The sinner is saved by hope. "For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?" (Romans 8:24)
The sinner is saved by calling on the name of the Lord. "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)
The sinner is saved by personal effort. "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, Be saved from this perverse generation." (Acts 2:39-40)
The sinner is saved by enduring to the end. "But he who endures to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 24:13)
Accountable human beings are saved by God, by grace, by the life and death of Jesus, by Jesus' resurrection and by the gospel. But no one is saved until and unless he meets God's conditions of pardon. Christ saves the obedient. To become a child of God you must hear the gospel (John 6:44-45), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) After baptism, you must endure to the end. Are you saved?
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037