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Salvation

 

Repentance

Salvation begins by acknowledging that we need to be saved; by recognising that we are sinful beings who do not deserve to live forever. When we believe this, we see that we need to turn our lives around, stop doing the self-centred things we want to do as humans, and instead strive to act in a way that God would approve of. This is the idea of repentance, not just saying  sorry and asking for forgiveness, but changing how we live to be more in-line with God. Here is what the Bible has to say about the importance of repentance:

  • "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." Acts 17:30-31 (ESV)

  • "And Jesus answered them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.'" Luke 5:31-32 (ESV)

  • "As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death." 2 Cor 7:9-10 (ESV)

Salvation Through Jesus

Unfortunately, as much as we might try to repent and live a godly life, we are all going to fail and slip back into our old habits (Rom 3:23). Happily, we can still be saved through the work of the Lord Jesus. His perfect sacrifice (due to the fact that he was sinless) has provided a way for us all to be saved through him. And the Bible makes it clear that it is only through faith and belief in Jesus that we can be saved from sin and death:

  • "This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:11-12 (ESV)

  • "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Cor 15:20-22 (ESV)

  • "Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery." Heb 2:14-15 (ESV)

Baptism & Christian Living

So how can we be saved through Jesus? How can we be associated with him? The answer is in baptism. Baptism is an active declaration that we believe in Jesus and the Kingdom of God, and that we want to be a part of what God has to offer. It is the next step after we realise that we need to be saved but are unable to save ourselves. We believe that baptism requires full submersion in water - a figurative washing away of our sins - and requires us to fully understand why we are being baptised. The Bible makes it clear that baptism is necessary, and that we need to continue to live our lives trying to follow Jesus afterwards. Baptism is not the end of the story, but the beginning of a new life of service and love for Jesus.

  • "Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:16 (ESV)

  • "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Rom 6:1-4 (ESV)

  • "...put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and...be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and...put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." Eph 4:22-24 (ESV)