By Marianne Bernard on God’s Promises Are Real
In Christ alone. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
We are told in 2 Corinthians 13:5 that we must, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless of course, you fail the test?”
Being saved is not a matter of repeating a prayer and claiming salvation. True salvation is a radical heart change. In Ezekiel 11: 19 God tells us that when we are saved, “I will give them an undivided heart and will put a new spirit in them: I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” It is a process of learning to follow in those ways because our flesh is constantly battling with our spirit, but it is the power to overcome our sinful nature and to choose to do right. When you are truly saved, you have been set free from the prison of sin. The bible tells us in 2 Corinthian 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” As a new creation, you are in Christ and his power is moving in your to do good and to choose righteousness. You have a new relationship with sin. You now see it as a detriment to your relationship with Christ. You seek after the light instead of following in the ways of darkness.
Jesus told us in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Only a few find it! Why is that? The reason is that many people want to get to heaven their own way. They feel that if they are “good” most of the time that they are saved. Others believe that they can continue to sin as they did before and that God will just understand that they are only “human”. Those people are wrong! It doesn’t matter your weakness or how good you think you are; the only thing that matters is have you made Christ your Lord and Savior? Have you surrendered your life to him? No other way will save you. You can’t be half saved. You cannot live with one foot on earth and one in heaven. You must give it all to live in Christ. Even when you fall into sin, a truly saved person will repent and turn from that sin and let God’s power lift them up. When you are saved, the love of Christ compels you to love others and to do what is right.
In 2 Peter 2:19-21, we are told that “…for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.”
Finally, we read in 1 John 3:6 that “No one who lives in him (Christ) keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” And in verse 9-10 of I John it continues, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God. This is how we know that we are children of God and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”
We all have sinned against God and are deserving of hell. Jesus came to give us life and to set us free from our bondage to sin. For that reason, those who follow Christ have been made new. They have been given a future with hope. Their sins have been washed by the blood of Christ and God will remember them no more.
Is Christ living in you? Have you surrendered to him and made his Lord and Savior of your life? In Psalm 139, David prays, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts.” Examine yourself! Ask God to search your heart and to lead you to him. That is a prayer He always answers.
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I seek first the kingdom of Christ because everything else in this world is perishing. All that I have is from God who is always faithful. I have worked hard all my life and will continue as long as God lends me breath. The mistakes and bad judgments I made in my life all stemmed from me trying to work things out by myself. I have learned the hard way that the victory over all of my problems and the answers to all of my desires lie solely in my Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is now my desire to share the words that God gives me to encourage and give hope to others who need the strength that only faith in Christ can give.