Tuesday, July 31, 2012

walking through the gospel: the free gift of salvation and repentance {part 2}

Last week we talked about part one of salvation- understanding what we are saved from, and this week we are talking about what happens in our hearts when we are saved!

When the Holy Spirit opens your heart to hear the Word, something crazy happens. You see yourself for who you truly are. You see the sins that Jesus had to die for. Your heart breaks because you know you did wrong. This is what we call repentance.

Repentance is turning away from the sin in your life with great sorrow and desire to do what is right. Repentance is more than merely saying I'm sorry- it's leaving wrongdoing behind. It's about the heart wanting to please God more than itself.

{a side note- no one will ever be perfect while wearing flesh- only Jesus did that, and we are going to fight against sin for our entire lives. Repentance isn't legalistic- it's not about breaking the law or not breaking it, as much as it is about our hearts hating sin. Does that makes sense? God gives grace to cover our sins- again and again- but He asks us to leave behind these sins and pursue Him, not indulge in sin.}

When we see the great sacrifice Jesus made for us, we see ourselves for who we truly are- desperate, ugly sinners in need of a Savior. This is the beauty of the Gospel- that WHILE we were sinners, Christ died for us:

Romans 5:
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 

You see, while we were still deep in sin, God had compassion on us! He knew we were lost without Him, and He made a way for us to be clean and to be saved from His wrath {justified anger}.

He loves us so much!!

Being broken- repenting from our sinful ways- is essential to coming to God. We cannot keep our own ways and serve God. When you have faith in Jesus- you believe in your heart and confess your belief and become saved, your heart will be changed by Him!

He doesn't ask for sacrifices, or require any good deeds to be done to come to Him. He wants you to be broken, and desperate for Him:

Psalm 51:
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

accepting the free gift

God wants your heart, and He wants to bring you to Him. The best part? Nothing you could do could ever earn your salvation:

Ephesians 2:9
 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 

You start to think, but now I need to repay Him, or I have to do something to get to the point where I could be saved. No. No. Oh no.

Salvation is a completely free gift!!

That's what that verse is saying- if it came by what good deeds you did {by works}, you would have a reason to brag {boast}. It's not like that- because the best things we could ever do are filthy rags in the sight of God:

Isaiah 64:

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
         And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
         And all of us wither like a leaf,
         And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

We were carried away by our own sins, walking just like everyone else in this world, dead and not even realizing it, and God's great love and mercy saved us and made us alive, and made us pure like Jesus! HE gives us His grace!!

Ephesians 2:
1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the bodya and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4Butb God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

You see, forgiveness of sins used to come through animal sacrifices and following the Law/keeping all of the commandments, but since Jesus came, those things are gone, and being forgiven and made clean comes only through God's grace, and you can only receive the gift through faith {believing and trusting} in Him. He was the sacrifice!

Romans 3:
21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
 For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Oh, I can't say enough how amazing this is!! We were dead- walking around pleasing ourselves, and not caring one bit about God, and He rescues us out of our sin, and gives us faith to believe in Him, and brings our hearts to repentance- to turn away from sin!!

He rescues us from the pit of Hell, literally, and gives us a clean robe of righteousness because of Jesus!! We are made PURE in His sight, because He loves us THAT much!!

He takes our sin on Himself, and when we are saved, the weight of our sin is lifted off of our shoulders!!! HE brings us peace and fills our heart with joy!!


You are no longer condemned!!

Romans 8:
1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.a 2For the law of the Spirit of life has set youb free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death

finding freedom in Jesus
If you haven't felt this forgiveness, this peace, this freedom, pray and seek God with all your heart. Ask Him to show you what you need to see- to give you faith to believe, to see the truth. Find someone who  believes to help explain this to you. Pray for God to help you to understand!

He will do it. He is not willing that anyone should perish, but that all come to repentance! He wants you to give your burdens, your sins to Him! Oh, how He loves you!

He already took care of them on the cross, and all you have to do is believe in Him- believe in His Word- believe that Jesus died and rose again for you!!!

When you believe, your life can't help but change. Your heart will repent from it's sin, and you will start to long for God to be Lord over all your life.

His love is overwhelming. It makes you forget about everything else. That's why salvation isn't found in just a single prayer- it's in a heart that believes and that belief changes your entire life through help of the Holy Spirit.

And that's what we'll talk more about next week- what believing and following Jesus looks like in a person that is saved by by the free gift of grace.

I wanted to leave you with a perfect song for today:

Oh praise God, for His goodness, for His mercy, for His sacrifice, for making us pure and holy and blameless before Him. Thank you Jesus!!

Q: do you believe? Have you been made free from your sins by accepting the free gift? :D email me if you want to know more! I would love to pray for you! mandy at biblical homemaking . com

next week: believing and following Jesus now

No comments:

Post a Comment