THE PLAN OF SALVATION
Based on John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)
For God so loved the world
God created man to have a personal relationship with Him. He wants this relationship to be one of love. One where God shows His love to people and where people show their love to Him. From the very beginning, God wanted this love relationship as he has made us in His own image, unlike any other creation.
This is the first spiritual law. God's love for man is so great, it is unconditional. Love is not only His nature, it is Who He is (1 John 4:8, 16). He wants you to know He loves you and invites you into a holy and divine relationship.
You may ask, why am I not experiencing this loving relationship? Why does it feels like God is distant from me? The answer is simple . . . SIN. It is because of sin. Sin is disobeying God. When someone is offended, it causes problems in the relationship. Sin causes a separation between God and man.
. . . Shall not perish but have eternal life.
It is bad enough to be separated from God and His love, but it gets worse. The Bible says that if anyone dies physically while spiritually separated from God, he/she will spend eternity in a place called hell.
That's bad news, but this second spiritual law also gives some good news. The good news is that God does not want you to spend eternity in hell. In fact, He didn't create hell for you, but for the devil and his demons. His desire is to have a personal relationship with you so that you can live together forever in a place called heaven.
So now you may ask, "how do I address my sin so I can have this relationship with God?"
. . . That he gave his one and only Son,
This is the third spiritual law; God took care of the sin problem by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life, then die on the cross in order that a person's sin could be forgiven.
The amazing thing is after Jesus was dead and buried, He rose from the dead, proving God has the power to save people from their sins and a destiny of torment.
It is not enough to simply know (1) that God loves you, (2) that your sin keeps you from that love and will ultimately send you to hell, and (3) that Jesus Christ's death on the cross spares you from it all. It is only as you believe in Christ as your Lord and Savior that you cross over the separation caused by your sin and begin a personal relationship with God, which is the fourth spiritual law.
This word "believe" is more than just believing in a historical figure. It means to commit everything you know about yourself to everything you know about Christ. It means to trust Christ and Him alone to make you right with God.
. . . That whoever believes in him
May we personalize this for a moment?
The Bible says whoever believes in Him will cross over to God and receive eternal life. Is there anything keeping you from placing your faith in Christ and crossing over to God right now? Are you ready to believe in Jesus for your salvation?
If so, pray this prayer . . .
Dear God, my new Father in heaven, I realize now how much You truly love me and I regret that my sin has kept me away from You this long. Because of Your love for me, You sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sin and invite me to believe in Him so I can be reunited to You. I now respond to Your invitation and I confess that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Enter my heart so that I can enter His life. Make me the person You want me to be.
In Jesus' name,