BASICS OF CHRISTIANITY – PART III
Sin is indeed bad news.
We are lost, hopeless and without God. However, as we put aside our pride and admit our sin, we are ready to receive the glorious salvation of Jesus Christ.
If I’m a Christian and Keep Sinning, Will God Turn Away from Me?
It’s true that sin puts up a barrier between us and God and cuts us off from the fellowship He wants us to have with Him. The Bible says, “But your iniquities [sins] have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). But that doesn’t mean God refuses to have anything to do with us. In fact, He wants us to come back to Him and have our fellowship with Him restored—and He does everything He can to wake us up and bring us to repentance.
Sometimes the only way He can do this is by making us so miserable that we finally realize what we’ve done and turn back to Him. Sometimes He quietly shows His love to us even when we don’t deserve it, hoping to awaken us to His goodness. Think about what happens in a family when someone wrongs his or her relative. That person is still a member of the family; nothing can change that. But a barrier has come between that person and the rest of the family; their fellowship has been broken. The only way to restore it is by confessing the sin and asking for forgiveness. The same is true with us.
Don’t let sin come between you and God. God loves you, and Christ died to take away our sins. When we do sin, however, we need to confess it and seek God’s forgiveness at once.
The longer it goes on, the more the devil rejoices.
Salvation is being saved or rescued from the penalty of sin. We are all sinners, and the consequence of sin is death—not just physical death, but eternal separation from God. To be saved from your sin, you must do three things: Ask forgiveness for your sins; be willing to turn from your sins; and believe that Jesus Christ—our Lord and Savior—died for your sins and rose again. If you have done these things, you are saved! You have salvation, which means you have accepted God’s love and forgiveness, are adopted into His family and have fellowship with His people—your fellow Christians. You are free from the power of sin—a child of God! The Bible promises you eternity in heaven (Romans 10:9-10).
How Are We Saved?
John 3:16-17 and John 10:10 tell of the great love God has for us. Because of His love, He wants us to come to Him just as we are. He wants to have a personal relationship with us and longs for us to talk to Him freely about our sins and our needs. God revealed His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins more than 2,000 years ago. Jesus understands us because He lived as a man on earth for 33 years.
He lived a sinless life and paid the price for our sins by offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice on the cross. He rose from the dead three days later and went up into heaven, where He intercedes on our behalf (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).
Don’t Good People Go to Heaven?
Many people think that being good will get them into heaven—that if they are nice, don’t commit any crimes and try to do the right thing, they have earned their way into God’s kingdom. But the Bible says we all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). We all sin, and the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). There’s nothing we can do to earn our way into heaven. But God made a way by sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins! None of us are good enough to get to heaven on our own, but if we ask Christ into our lives, we can look forward to eternity with Him in heaven. It’s not about good things you’ve done, but about what Christ has done for you (Ephesians 2:8). It’s not about emotions you might feel, but about what God’s Word tells you (1 John 5:11-13).
Jesus provides the only path to salvation.
So What Do I Do?
Jesus has all power and authority over sin and evil (Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8), and through Him we can also live victorious lives. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 15:57: “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The first thing you must do to be saved is admit to God that you are a sinner. Then repent of your sins.
What is repentance?
Repentance carries with it the idea of confession, sorrow, turning and changing. We shouldn’t ask forgiveness over and over again for our sins and then return to those sins, expecting God to forgive us. We must turn from our practice of sin as best we know how, and turn by faith to Christ as our Lord and Savior. None of us are perfect, and we will continue to sin, but the important part is that we are genuinely sorry for our sin and make our best effort to correct it.
Once you repent of your sins, ask for God’s forgiveness and recognize Jesus as Lord, thank God for His love and acceptance of you. If we give ourselves to Jesus, He comes into our hearts and lives there (Revelation 3:20).
We must commit ourselves to Him and trust Him alone as our Savior and Lord. Have complete confidence in everlasting life by accepting Christ, and experience the joy that comes from knowing Him personally.
How can you be sure you’re saved?
It is impossible to understand the Bible, Christian living, the structure of the church or our own relationship with God without understanding the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an “it.” The Holy Spirit is a person. The Bible says that He is not something. He is Someone. He is God. To understand this better, let’s talk about the Trinity.
There are three persons in the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Christians do not worship multiple gods. God the Son, or Jesus Christ, was God in human form. The Holy Spirit lives inside us when we accept Christ and helps us grow closer to God. The moment we receive Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is all—powerful and present everywhere.
(More to Come)
https://static.billygraham.org/sites/billygraham.org/uploads/pro/2019/08/GF-Basics-of-Christianity.pdf (Edited slightly by this site)