The Uniqueness of Christian Salvation “For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame…
“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Romans 10:11, 13)
Are you sick of living your days scared of death and the afterlife? Are you stressed out wondering what will happen when you die? What if I told you that there was a way to have eternal life? What if I told you that there was hope? There is, and it’s through Jesus Christ. Contrary to other what other religions teach, this salvation is not dependent on you and what you do. This means that you don’t have to work to obtain this salvation. This salvation is not dependent on how hard you pray, how often you go to church, or do good things. When people think about going to Heaven, they often picture a set of scales. On one scale are all of your bad deeds, and on another scale are all of your good deeds. In order to get into Heaven, you would have to have enough good deeds to outweigh your bad deeds. It doesn’t seem that bad right? I mean most people don’t commit a lot of evil, so the average person should be able to go to Heaven right? Well… that’s not what the Bible teaches. This is what God has revealed to us in Scripture:
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
If you’ll look, these categories describe the whole of humanity. This includes you. Think to yourself, how many times have you lied, or stolen, or practiced sexual immorality (this includes sins such as fornication -which is having sex outside of marriage- and masturbation which is just mentally dwelling on the thought of committing sexual immorality). This is what is known as sin. Sin is something that does not align with God’s standards for morality, which is good. In other words, sin is evil. To be as honest as I can with you, evil doesn’t commit itself. This may sound harsh, but I am being as honest as I can be. Sin is committed by you and these actions come from within your heart, which means that you yourself are evil. Now this doesn’t mean that you are Hitler. With the dominance of and the eagerness to commit sin in your life, this shows that you lead a life that goes against God’s design. In other words, you live your life in rebellion to God.
The Bible says:
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” (Romans 8:5-7)
What does this mean? This means that as human beings, rebellion (living a life of sin) is our natural desire. Now how did we get here? Well the reason that we are like this is because of the Fall. This event goes back to Genesis 3, in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Evil. You know, the story of Adam and Eve, the Forbidden fruit and the snake in the Garden? God had ordered Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from the tree, however due to temptation (the snake, who was a disguised Satan, the accuser) disobeyed God and committed the first act of sin (showing the first instance of humans not wanting to obey God, but instead wanting to walk in their own way). This sin corrupted their original good nature and then was passed onto their descendants (us). So in retrospect, human nature is prone to sin and it is completely natural.
Though we have a sin nature, thankfully, God has given us a conscience. The word “conscience” comes from the Latin word “conscientia” meaning “with (con) knowledge (scientia).” God has given us an innate knowledge of right and wrong that keeps every human being accountable for their actions. The problem is that because of sin, a lot of time, this conscience is ignored. The Bible says this about people, “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” (Romans 2:15) This Scripture says that people can know God’s Laws and design for morality without even knowing God. Now the question is, “Well what is God’s Law?” Well, the rudimentary answer is the Ten Commandments (found in Exodus chapter 20), which are:
1. I am the Lord your God, thou shall not have other gods before me.
2. Thou shall not use the Lord’s name in vain.
3. Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy.
4. Honor thy Mother and Father.
5. Thou shall not kill.
6. Thou shall not commit adultery.
7. Thou shall not steal.
8. Thou shall not bear false witness of thy neighbor.
9. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
10. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
There are other Laws of course (such as the others on sexual immorality such as fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, etc.) but this is the root of God’s Law. What the Ten Commandments do is act as a mirror, to show us who we really are. Look over these Laws and ask yourself “I how many times have I broken these Laws?” What Jesus did in the New Testament was expound upon the spiritual nature of God’s Law. God even holds us accountable for contemplating/planning and thinking about how to or when we will commit these sins. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. This means that if you continue to commit these sins, you will perish when you die and go to Hell (a place of eternal rightful wrath and justice, where you will be separated from God’s goodness), because God is good and you are not and He must punish evil. This is why doing good deeds and “balancing the scale” can’t save you because God will give you justice for your evil and because He is good, He will not be bribed by good deeds. It’s not pleasant, but this is the truth.
Now at this point you might be saying, “Well then how do you get to Heaven, if not by good works?” That is a good question. Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Around 2000 years ago, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to live a perfect life on our behalf, die a death that paid for our sins, and rise from the dead after three days, thereby defeating death on our behalf. He was God in the flesh, the “God incarnate.” Because Jesus did this, He made it able for humans to be saved from Hell. All you have to do is turn from your current lifestyle and trust in Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection and you will be saved. Not only will you be saved, but God will give you a new heart and new desires so that you will not want to do the same things any more. There will be temptation because no longer will you be one with darkness, but you will be fighting against the darkness, but this is normal and you will grow and mature and receive help from God and the Holy Spirit. You will never lose true faith, and you will never lose your salvation, because God saved you by His works and you didn’t save yourself by your own works. The Bible says:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
Instead you will persevere. Jesus said this:
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:35-40)
This fundamentally different from other religions because in Christianity, God saves you and you can’t save yourself. We don’t have to struggle reaching up to God because God reached down to us. God takes the impossible pressure of merited salvation of man, and takes care of it Himself. There are no “Eightfold paths,” or an “pillars,” or any necessary “prayers,” that you have to perform in order to go to Heaven. This is an invitation to experience the uniqueness of God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ. The opportunity is here.
God bless you dear Reader, and thank you for your time.