• Diana Dodd

Saved by Grace through Faith

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

You may have heard someone talk about the Gospel at some point in your life, but do you know what the Gospel is or what "salvation" means? The word "gospel" literally translated means "good news." And the good news is that God loves you so much that He sent His son to earth to tell people about Him and to sacrifice Himself for your sins, but not just yours, my sins, too, and the sins of the whole world.

Now, you may be thinking, "But what does "sin" mean? Doesn't it mean to do something wrong? I don't do bad things! I'm a good person." By human standards, most people are good. They're (mostly) honest. They go to work. They take care of their families. They don't steal or murder. They do the right things, but God is holy and perfect. He never makes mistakes, and even the occasional white lie is a sin in God's eyes, and He considers any lie as bad as murder because ALL sin is equally bad to God. Unfortunately, these days sin is rampant and incredibly varied. In Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus compared calling someone an abusive name to murder!

"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure, rather that lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power...Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:1-4, 12,13) Sound familiar?

This scripture gives me hope and makes me terribly sad at the same time. It makes me hopeful because I see all these things happening in the world right now, which means that my Lord will return soon and set things to right, but it makes me awfully sad and afraid for all the people who do not and will not believe in Him, and, therefore, will not make it into His kingdom, into the glorious perfect world that He intended from the beginning. I want us all to make it, and so does He. 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God “desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’…But for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for the 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.” Revelation 21:1, 3-4, 8

Imagine having God himself living with us, to see Him, talk to Him, and praise Him in His very presence! Imagine an end to all sickness, death, sadness, pain, and evil! That is what salvation means, getting to live with God in His perfect kingdom, forever, and all we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who gave His life on the cross for our sins, my sins. Repent of your sins, which means to acknowledge them before God, ask for His forgiveness, and accept His grace.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God…Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:16-18,36

It's so important to God that people come to Him, and He wants us as part of His family so much, that in Luke 15:7, Jesus says, "Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."

There is nothing anyone can do to earn their way into God’s presence. Only Jesus in His perfection can ever atone for our wrongs and bridge the divide between us and the Father. It is a free gift, and we are entirely free to choose. All we have to do is believe and follow Him. Part of my obedience in following Him is to share with others who He is and what He did. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your doing; it is the gift of God….” Ephesians 2:4-5, 8

We all are sinners. We have all fallen short and broken God’s righteous standards. (Romans 3:23) He loves us all, no question, but He hates sin. And He’s so holy, good, and pure that only a holy, good, pure and perfect sacrifice could atone for us, which is Jesus Christ, His Son. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I make mistakes every day because I’m still a work-in-progress, and every day Jesus intercedes on my behalf with the Father and covers me with His blood so that when the Father looks on me, He sees the perfect light of His son, rather than my imperfections. (1 John 1:9, 2:1,2)

I could go on, but I’m afraid I’ll muddy the waters. So, I’ll leave with you with this. God created you. He loves you. He knows every hair on your head. (Luke 12:7) But if you reject him, He will reject you. It’s your choice. It’s called free will. He doesn’t force anyone to love Him, because He is love (1 John 4:8), and love is not forced; it is freely given. I keep hearing that Beatles song in my head, “All we need is love, sweet love,” except I would say, “All we need is God’s sweet love.” Don’t take my word for it, take His. Look into the Bible. All scripture is given by God (2 Timothy 3:16,17), and if you ask for His guidance, He’ll give it to you. Deuteronomy 30:15 says, “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.” Seek Him. Choose life and good.

If this message touched your heart, and you would like to know more, please message us at joyinfaithfulliving@gmail.com. We'll pray for you and help you take the next step in your journey to salvation. May God bless you and keep you!

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