Posts Tagged With: story of adam and eve

Salvation: Answering the What? Why? How?

Most people in today’s society have heard expressions liked ‘saved,’ ‘born again,’ or ‘converted.’ Yet, no matter how many times they may have heard these terms, throngs of people have never made the effort to accept salvation through Jesus Christ. Ironically the reason for this may not be because they have never been approached; but for the simple fact they do not know what salvation is or how one obtains it. It is my hope that if you have somehow stumbled across this article, by the time you are finished reading it you’ll be able to walk away with a much clearer understanding of three very important questions concerning God’s plan for salvation. These questions are; What is salvation? Why do you need salvation? And, how do you obtain salvation?

One of the most renowned biblical verses in all of Christianity is, “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). As this verse shows, salvation is a free gift of everlasting life that is only made possible through Jesus Christ. However, what is the definition of salvation? For believers in Christ we know that our source of life stems from God the Father. Yet, due to the entrance of sin we were forever separated from God. In essence, our only source for eternal life has been separated from us. Salvation is God’s plan that was designed to bridge the gap between sin and man. It is though Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that we are reunited with our father and provided everlasting life. As Thorsen states, “Salvation ultimately represents a gift from God, secured by Jesus, and affected in the lives of people through the Holy Spirit” (Thorsen 277).

With salvation now defined, you may be asking yourself, “Why do I need salvation?” Most people have heard of the story of Adam and Eve and how they lived in harmony and love with God in the Garden of Eden. Yet, man was tempted and disobeyed God’s Word when instructed not to eat from the Tree of Good and Evil. It was this action that brought irreversible death to us all. An event so sinful in God’s eyes that man would inherit this sinful nature for generation to generation to come. And since God can’t have a harmonious relationship with sinners, we are each born apart from our Creator from the very moment we take our first breath. As the scriptures confirm, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Thus, because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, we are forever banished and separated from God. Yet, the good news is, everyone has the ability to be saved. The removal of sin can occur, and we can be brought back in fellowship with our Heavenly Father. Salvation is the answer and it provides us each with an eternal lease on life. When one believes in the Gospel and gives up his or her life for Christ, we receive benefits unimaginable to the non-believer. These benefits include our sins being forgiven, a realignment with our relationship with God, eternal dwelling in Heaven instead of Hell, and a new life lived in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Now that we have recognized that everyone needs salvation, maybe you’re wondering how do you go about receiving it? In short, it is a determination to make a life-long change. “To become a beneficiary of Christ, one must first repent – become sorrowful for ones wickedness and forsake ones evil ways. Then in the second place, one must accept Christ by faith, and commit ones soul to ones Savior for salvation” (Webb 272). When one takes these first two steps a justification between man and God occurs. We are reinstated in the divine favor we once had before the Fall of Man. To better understand this, one can look to 1 Peter 3:18 which states, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). “God’s remedy through the Lord Jesus is justification. This means that if we believe in the Lord Jesus, He looks upon us as though we are righteous. It may help us to think of it like this. When I am justified it is JUST-AS-IF-I’D never sinned” (Sherring 7).

If before reading this article you never fully understood the true meaning of salvation, I hope that you are now able to walk away with a clearer understanding. I really hope you recognize that God loves you no matter what. And He wants nothing more than to deliver you from sin and the assuredness of spiritual death. I also want you to know that if you desire to receive God’s free gift of salvation, it doesn’t have to occur in a church. You don’t have to wait. Your eternal security can be changed, right here… right now as you read this. And it begins by praying something like this to God:

“Dear God, today I turn away from all of my sins (name them). This day I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way for me to be saved. He is ‘The way, the truth, and the life.’ Please forgive me, change my heart, and grant me Your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you’ve taken the time to say this prayer I would like to congratulate you for making the commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Your obedience to God is proof of your love for His Son. From here you should go out and find a good church to help you grow. Don’t wait for an invite; if you have questions, call a local church and ask to speak to a pastor. The decision you have just made is not taken lightly, and it comes with eternal rewards. As the Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Today is the beginning of your new life in Christ Jesus!

If you’ve made the decision to commit your life to Christ or have any questions, please use the contact me form at http://pastordodd.com/about/contact-me/ to reach out and let me know.

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

 

Works Cited
Legge, David. “Love the Lost.” Preachtheword.com. March 2005. Web. May 2, 2011.

Sherring, Brian. The Meaning of Salvation. London, England: Berean Publishing Trust, 2000. Print

Thorsen, Don. An Exploration of Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2010. Print.

Webb, Robert Alexander. Christian Salvation: Its Doctrine and Experience. Richmond, Virginia: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1921. Print.

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The Unpardonable Sin

Most people are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve and the account surrounding the “Fall of Man.” They are also aware that God came to this earth in the form of Jesus Christ and paid the ultimate price to free us from our sins. Unfortunately there are those who believe that all sins have been pardoned by Christ’s death and therefore believe “once saved, always saved.” Yet, in the confines of sin, there is a sin that God Himself considers “unpardonable.” With respect to the Bible, can we unknowingly disqualify ourselves? When looking at scripture one finds that the book of Hebrews states, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance” (Hebrews 6:4-6). Therefore, can man lose their salvation? This answer depends on three differing positions. First, the view of the non-believer who outright denies Christ existed. Second, those who have heard the Word of God yet do not necessarily accept it. And third, those who accept the truth, yet still turn away from Christ’s sustaining and redemptive grace.

Today, society is representative of cross-cultural social acceptance. It is no wonder that many exist who may have heard the Word of God conveyed to them at times, and even professed a sense of faith, but not accepted Christ’s true saving grace. In essence they are non-believers. These people reject the belief that Christ came to this earth and paid for our sins. This is viewed as the intentional rejection of the salvation that Christ provides to man. “Such impenitence, if it continues throughout a person’s life, will lead to eternal separation from God because of the unwillingness to turn from sin” (Thorsen 159). And while many may elect to believe that this rejection is simply a singularly act of defiance. “It is crucial to recognize that the unforgivable sin is not a single act but a continuous, ongoing rejection. Anyone who has committed this sin would have no desire in this life to repent and believe in Jesus” (Hanegraaff 22).

Next, there is a link between Hebrews 6:4-6 and the parable that Jesus conveys in Mathew 13:2-23. This parable reflects one of a crop and soil that relates to a person receiving the Word, but due to their non-acceptance, is not essentially saved. In the eyes of the Lord, this is rebellion. As Thorsen warns, “Ongoing rebelliousness may, in fact, result in hardness of heart – a recalcitrance – that reduces a person’s ability to recognize and repent from sin” (Thorsen 159). In the confines of this rebellion, the unpardonable sin is looked upon as a sin that is developed over time; it is not a sin that one commits impulsively. It advances from ones opposition of the Holy Spirit, into a denial against Him. The final result is the permanent rejection of the Holy Spirit in one’s life, which results in the unpardonable sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

The final approach that I feel takes on the most understanding is found in Hebrew 6:6, “If they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace” (Hebrews 6:6). The key words here are “fall away.” “Those believers who adhere to the notion of eternal security have often suggested that the ones who are described as “falling away” were not really true believers” (Powers). As I Timothy 4:1 attests, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith” (1 Timothy 4:1). “The terms ‘fall away’ or ‘falling away’ means: ‘To fall away; to turn away; to commit apostasy. To turn aside; to deviate’” (Jackson 7). As such, the term “falling away” is not addressing those who are considered “backsliders.” On the contrary, this is a deliberate act to turn away from Christ and reject the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. These people are viewed in the same confines of those described in Hebrews 6. They were turning away from their faith and from the very salvation that Jesus provides.

In the confines of ministry context, I believe that there is substantial evidence to support the truth behind ones ability to lose their salvation. A good starting point is to convey the message of Mark, “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:28-29). This passage seems to be very clear; the only true way that one can lose their salvation is if they choose to deliberately make the effort to do so. Furthermore, “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). As scripture confirms, contrary to popular belief, losing ones salvation is not done by accident. Thus, believers do not have to worry about inadvertently losing their salvation by a mere slip or indiscretion.

In summary, although the term “unpardonable sin” is not found in the Bible, there is one sin repeatedly described as “eternal,” and that is the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately there is much misinformation surrounding this unpardonable sin. As one has learned, it does not occur in one single act of defiance or rebellion. “It is the intentional and persistent rejection of salvation offered through God’s Holy Spirit. Truth be told, when one intentionally, with full knowledge, chooses to ignore the cautions provided by scripture and the Holy Spirit, they are leaning toward committing the unpardonable sin. Their decision to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is considered a “willful” act. And as such, this blasphemes the work of our heavenly Father and constitutes being cast away into the eternal flames of damnation.

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

 

Works Cited:
Hanegraaff, Hank. The Bible Answer Book. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2004. Print.

Jackson, Michael. “Sins for Which There is No Pardon.” Nlag.net. 2011. Web. March 30, 2011.

Powers, Daniel G. “Observations from Hebrews 5-9.” Online.nbc.edu. 2009. Web. March 30, 2011.

Thorsen, Don. An Exploration of Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2010. Print.

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