Posts Tagged ‘Salvation


New Clothes

I love buying new clothes. I love the smell of my favorite department store when I walk in. Why? Because it smells like new clothes. The apostle Paul describes some new clothes that the follower of Jesus is supposed to wear when we come to Him for salvation. Instead of dressing in sin like the world, we are to put on some new clothes. Paul describes our new clothing in Colossians 3:12 (NLT) when he writes:

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Instead of wearing old clothes of sin, we are to clothe ourselves with these new clothes of righteousness. You don’t have to worry about whether or not they fit. They are one-size-fits-all. These clothes never wear out, either. They don’t go out of style. They are always in fashion for Christians. You may not see them featured in Vogue or GQ. The Bible is our fashion guide. So go shopping for some new clothes today. Throw out the old clothes of sin because they really don’t fit anymore. They are tattered, stained and torn. Do some spiritual retail therapy and put on some brand new clothes.


Continuing In Faith

One of the questions that arises when someone comes to faith in Christ is regarding the loss of one’s salvation. Someone may ask what happens if they go back to a former way of life. What happens if they stumble or backslide? Would God kick them out of His family? Some say no, that we are “once saved, always saved.” Others say maybe because of verses like Colossians 1:22 (NLT). Paul wrote:

But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

Is it possible to drift away from God? Sure it is. Notice what Paul says. First, we need to continue to stand firm in our faith and belief in the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is such Good News that is life-changing. Second, we need to avoid drifting away. One rarely runs away from God at full-speed. Leaving the faith tends to be more of a slow drift. Skip a few weeks of church here and there. Downplay the importance of faith in your life. Much like a spouse who says that they are no longer in love with their husband or wife, people fall out of love with God. Why? Because they stop doing what they did at the beginning of the relationship. The Good News is that God will never stop loving you. If you have found yourself drifting from God and back into your former ways, why not resolve to get back to the beginning with God and remember just how good the Good News is.


God’s Heart

Let’s face it, Christians don’t always represent God well. People who don’t believe in God think that God is out to get them or that He hates these people or those people. They believe that God is just waiting to smite them or to send them to hell. Why do they believe that? Part of it is due to some Christians who put this message on repeat. Peter says something about the heart of God in 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT). He wrote:

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Peter was talking about the end of time when Christ returns. He said that people would doubt that Jesus is coming back because of how long it is taking. What they don’t realize is that every day that the Lord tarries is another opportunity for someone to turn to Christ in faith for forgiveness. Do not be deceived. Destruction will come on those who ultimately reject Christ and His offer of salvation. Hell is real. God, though, doesn’t want anyone to go there. In His great love for the world, God sent Jesus to save the world, not condemn it. So don’t be impatient with God for the return of His Son. Trust that God’s timing is best and that someone whom you know and love is getting another chance to believe and repent.


The Evidence

I’ve heard a challenging question before about Christianity. It goes, “If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” What evidence is there in your life that you truly are a follower of Jesus? Peter said in 2 Peter 1:10-11 (NLT):

So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Don’t get Peter wrong here. Salvation is free. It is a free gift of grace that cannot be earned. Living for Jesus after you’ve been saved can be hard work. Peter says to work hard to prove that you’re saved. Where is the evidence of Christ’s saving work in your life? Has there been any change in you since God forgave you? Are you becoming more loving and kind? Are you more patient and peace-filled? Are you more gentle and joyful? Is there more of Jesus shining through you and less of the selfishness and self-centered ways of living? We’re all a work in progress when it comes to faith in Christ. The key word is progress. Are you making progress as you make your way home?


Barely Saved?

The apostle Peter quotes Proverbs 11:31 (NLT) in 1 Peter 4:17 (NLT). He wrote:

And also,
“If the righteous are barely saved,
what will happen to godless sinners?”

Peter may have been thinking back to an encounter he had with Jesus in Mark 10. Jesus told a rich man to sell all of his possessions and the Bible says he went away sad because he was very wealthy. Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into Heaven. The disciples incredulously asked Jesus who could be saved. He said in Mark 10:27 (NLT):

“Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

It is utterly impossible for us to save ourselves. Only God can save us. Those who reject Jesus are condemned. Those who accept His offer of salvation by God’s grace through faith are saved. It is not by our own merit. It is by the grace of God.


The Baptism That Saves You

Noah and his family were saved by God from the floodwaters that overwhelmed the earth. Peter, in describing baptism, uses the flood imagery to show that God still saves us through water. Here’s what he wrote in 1 Peter 3:21 (NLT):

And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Notice that the water does not save us. The water is neither holy nor magical. We are saved by the power of God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is at the moment of baptism when we are saved, according to Peter. He said in Acts 2:38 (ESV):
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we are baptized, our sins are forgiven by God’s grace through faith and trust in Jesus Christ and we are filled with God’s Spirit. If you have never been baptized as a believer in Jesus, what are you waiting for? Let your pastor know that you want to be baptized. Let this powerful experience be a fresh start for you.


Winning Your Husband Over

In 1 Peter 3, the apostle Peter turns his attention to various groups of people in the church. He first writes to Christian wives, some of whom had unbelieving husbands. He wrote in 1 Peter 3:1-2 (NLT):
In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
He says that godly wives must accept the order of authority God had instituted in the household. God has given the husband the responsibility of leading his family. Rather than trying to usurp his authority, a wife is to support her husband as he leads the family. But what about situations where a husband doesn’t follow Jesus and he doesn’t lead his family spiritually? The goal of every believer should be to point those within our sphere of influence to Jesus. Wives, if your husband doesn’t believe in Jesus yet, you should be trying to win him over by the way that you live. The temptation may be to leave, but your responsibility is to love. Love your husband unconditionally into a relationship with Jesus. When he sees how God’s love has changed your life, he’ll want to know the Savior, too.

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