John 3:16&17, 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Psalm 51: 1&2, 1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin (ESV)!
According to John 3:16 & 17 salvation in Christ is a free gift given through belief in Jesus. It’s not going forward at a meeting. It’s not raising our hand. It’s simple belief. However it is not easy believism. That’s where passages like Psalm 51:1&2 come into play. Once we accept Jesus we realize what sinners we have been and our need for His salvation. Not that all of the Christian life is repentance and difficulties, but we do see our fair share come our way. If all we do is believe and get into heaven without doing much else, we’ll have eternal life through the love and blood of Jesus, but we won’t much be prepared for the world to come.
I wish that it could at times be as easy as it was in the beginning. I came to Christ as a young child. Those days were good and exciting. These days are too, but I am more in touch with how I can wander from God and need his transforming work done again and again in my life (not salvation, that’s once & for all). I look forward to the day when there will be no more sin or disappointment or struggle. When the promise of John 3:16 & 17 is total reality.
Father God I’m sorry for the wrong I do each day. Some of it is volitional sin, some is by inaction, but I sin and need Your forgiveness. Thank You that Your salvation comes by belief in what Jesus has done for me. In Jesus Name, Amen!
From the archives. Originally published May 13, 2012