Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Salvation in Jesus: A Summary of the Christian Gospel

God is the Supreme Being in all of reality. He is eternal and all-powerful. He created everything in the universe, including us human beings. The first human beings originally lived in a holy garden in the presence of God, but they were responsible to obey God’s commandments in order to continue in the blessing of life until the fullness of eternal life came upon them.

But the first human beings rebelled against God, and fell into sin. God, who is holy and pure, expelled sinful humanity from his presence. The consequence of this is that the human race lost the blessing of life, and must now live in a chaotic and dangerous world that is under God’s curse.

But God, because of his love for the world that he has made, had a plan to restore the blessing of life to the world and to save sinful humanity. According to this plan, just over 2,000 years ago God himself entered into the world in the person of the Lord Jesus. While in the world, the Lord Jesus taught the truth and accomplished salvation, rescuing humanity from sin and eternal death. Jesus accomplished this salvation by sacrificing his sinless life through his death on the cross, in order to pay for our sins. On the third day after his death, the Lord Jesus came back to life from the dead, and appeared to his disciples during forty days, after which he ascended into heaven. Thanks to his ascension into heaven, humanity, with Jesus as our leader, is finally able to return into the presence of God and to experience the blessing of eternal life.

In the light of what God has done through Jesus, God now calls upon every person to receive salvation by submitting to the lordship of Jesus. Those who submit to Jesus receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, who enables them to experience the blessing of eternal life.

God has appointed a day when the Lord Jesus will return to earth in order to judge every person. Those among Jesus’ disciples who have been faithful will then enter into the fullness of the blessing of eternal life, whereas those disciples who have been unfaithful to Jesus, along with everyone else who has been in rebellion against God, will experience eternal punishment in hell.

In order to avoid eternal punishment, we need to receive salvation by submitting to the lordship of Jesus. Submitting to Jesus’ lordship can be summarized as involving three things: faith, repentance, and baptism.

(1) Faith is accepting the truth about Jesus in God’s plan of salvation as revealed in God’s word, the Bible (as summarized above).

(2) Repentance is acknowledging our sins before God, and endeavoring in his strength to abandon our sinful way of life, in order to live in a way that pleases God through obedience to his commandments.

(3) Baptism is the Christian rite of initiation. Through baptism, a person confesses one’s belief that Jesus is the King of the universe, and receives the salvation that Jesus has come to give. Through baptism, a person officially becomes a disciple of the Lord Jesus and a member of the Christian church. Baptism is ordinarily performed by a designated leader in the Christian community. After confessing one’s faith in Jesus as Lord, the person being baptized is immersed in water, or has water poured or sprinkled over one’s head, as a symbol of cleansing from sin, of the reception of the Holy Spirit, and new life.

Having submitted to Jesus as Lord through faith, repentance, and baptism, all Christians need to live as faithful disciples of Jesus. This involves persevering in faith and repentance until the end of one’s life. On the day of judgment those who have lived as faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus will receive their eternal resurrection bodies, and experience the fullness of life in the presence of God forever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God is LOVE. So, HE gave us His Son Jesus to redeem our sin. Trust and come after Jesus. We will get salvation. But after we get salvation, we must to share with the others. Let the holy from the highest blesses us from now until the end.