by Richard Mansel, managing editor
The greatest need of mankind is the forgiveness of sins (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). Sin separates us from God and without an answer, we will be lost eternally (Isaiah 59:1-2l; Matthew 25:46).
God provided the solution by sending Jesus, his son, to die for our sins. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, NKJV). Since we have all sinned, Christ died for each of us (John 3:16).
The death of Jesus was full of grace, being something that we have no right to be offered. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). His love, grace and mercy is solely responsible for the availability of salvation.
“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).
Salvation is completely by God but there are things we must do to obtain salvation. Grace allows sinful man the opportunity to come to Christ for help (Hebrews 4:16; James 4:10).
Without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, there would be no chance of conversion. We serve because he died for us. Jesus made the ultimate selfless act which created the tableau of salvation that changed the world.
While we cannot do anything to merit the gift of salvation, we must accept the gift by faith, believing Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who died for the world, repenting of our sins, confessing Christ as Lord and having our sins washed away in baptism (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:10; Luke 13:3-5; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16).
As Christians, grace walks with us as God’s people by the promise of God (Hebrews 13:5; John 14:17-18). His blood will continually cleanse our sins as we serve and work in his kingdom (1 John 1:7).
Finally, we will be saved by works, indicating our allegiance and commitment (Revelation 20:11-15). Yet, when our lives are over, no matter how obedient we have been, we will still need grace to be saved (Luke 17:5-10).
We can never merit salvation, but by walking and living in Christ, we will find eternal life in him and in his church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Romans 8:1).