A pastor told me about one time when his church held a revival. A man rushed into the church after the end of the service and said, "What must I do to be saved?"
The evangelist told him, "You're too late."
The man begged, "Surely there is something I can do to be saved!"
The evangelist repeated, "You're too late. Jesus has already done everything."
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." (NIV)
The Bible says in Romans 8:3-4, "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." (NIV)
These verses plainly say that people do not earn salvation by doing good works. Because of our sinful nature, we could not if we tried. Jesus has already done everything needed for us to be saved. All we have to do is put our trust in him and in his righteousness and accept God's gift of salvation.
Ephesians 2:10 goes on to say, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)
Philippians 2:12b-13 says, "Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (NIV) Some people interpret this verse as a command to earn salvation by works, but the meaning is the same as "work out a sore muscle": to excercise what we already have.
These verses explain the role of good works in the lives of believers. Good works are not a way to earn salvation but the result of salvation. God works in our lives to enable us to do good works. Therefore, God deserves the credit for the good works we do and we have no reason to boast about our goodness.
Since God has already done everything to purchase salvation for everyone, all that remains is for each individual to accept the free gift of eternal life. If you want to be saved, you can accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this.
Dear God, I thank you that you sent your only Son, Jesus, to the Earth to reveal yourself to mankind. I thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. Please forgive me for my sins. I am trusting in You and Your righteousness alone to save me. I invite you to live in my heart through the Holy Spirit and be my constant companion and guide. I ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.
If you sincerely prayed to ask God to save you, He already has adopted you as His child. Your name is now written in the Lamb's Book of Life and the angels are rejoicing. You have now begun your journey to become the person that Jesus has planned for you.
To help you grow as a Christian and to know God better, do the same things as the first Christians on the day of Pentecost. "Those who accepted his message were baptized and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts 2:41-42 NIV) Also, be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in your life as the Lord guides you into the good works which he has prepared for you.
If you have questions or comments, please email me.
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