The simple truth about one’s salvation.
Have you ever thought about what will happen to you when you die? Will nothing happen to you besides your body turning to dust? That is what many who do not know God believe. But, what if they are wrong? God tells us in His Word what happens to believers and unbelievers. Believers will go to Heaven and unbelievers to hell forever.
So, how does one believe? How does one get to heaven?
Some believe there are many different ways to heaven. One of those ways is to be good and do good deeds. Another way is to regularly go to any Christian church regularly. Still others say you have to surrender yourself to Christ or accept him as your Savior. These and all other ways to heaven that based on a person doing something to save themselves are not Biblical. In fact, they are counter to what the Bible says and they infer that Jesus’ death on the cross and raising himself is not enough to save anyone. They also infer that Jesus does not have enough power to save people by himself and needs people to help.
Here is the simple truth. Jesus won our salvation for us by living a perfect life, dying on the cross and raising himself to life again. This took away all the sins of all people who believe in Jesus. Our wages of our sins is eternal death, but now Jesus took them all away and paid our debt in full so our salvation is FREE. Jesus has guaranteed our salvation through faith in him. He promised us that he would save us and all we have to do is believe and trust him. So what does that mean to believe in Jesus? It means that one trusts that Jesus keeps all his promises and that only he has the power to save them. All their good deeds mean nothing.
The following Bible verses confirm this.
John 14:6; Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.
John 15:16; You did not choose me, but I chose you
Ephesians 2: 8,9; For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
So, how does one obtain faith to trust in Jesus as their Savior? Consequently faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17) This is why regular attendance at a Christian church that preaches one is saved by grace alone, attending bible studies, listening/reading daily devotions, and reading the Bible, is how the Holy Spirit works faith in the hearts and minds of people. The following 3 daily devotions are examples of readings that help to increase one’s faith and trust in Jesus. There is an app for these daily devotions on the WELS website at WELS.net.
[Jesus] was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
Devotion based on Luke 7:6,7
See series: Devotions
It is unnerving when the power fails. Suddenly darkness becomes an all-encompassing blanket. What was once a friendly and familiar space is now filled with hidden dangers. Everything becomes a trap ready to catch its unsuspecting prey. Finally, when light and sight return, the anxiety ends. It isn’t until one has experienced “blindness” that sight is truly appreciated.
Still, there is one instance where the opposite is true. In spiritual matters, sight may have to be ignored. This was clearly demonstrated in the case of the Roman military officer who is referenced in our Bible passage today. Here was a man who took Jesus at his word. In fact, he trusted him to heal his servant without even having Jesus come to his house. He simply trusted Jesus would do what was best—sight unseen.
We do well to model our faith after this centurion’s—putting our trust completely in Jesus’ promise and his power. Trusting in his promise and power to forgive our sins; to help in every time of need; to do whatever is best for us; to give us eternal life.
Although we have not seen the fulfillment of these things, we can believe that they are true because Jesus has promised them, and he has the power to fulfill his every promise. What wonderful realities we can know are true—sight unseen!
O precious Spirit, you have brought me to faith in Jesus my Savior. Remove any weakness or uncertainty, so that I can live every day trusting in Jesus’ promises and in his power. Amen.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Ask God for Wisdom
Devotion based on James 1:5
See series: Devotions
Ginny was glad she had signed up for the Bible Information Class at the Lutheran church near her home. She hadn’t really been to church since she was a kid, though, and there was a definite learning curve. But the class had given her much to think about.
During a break, the lady across the table (“Nancy” was written on her name tag) asked, “Are you enjoying the class so far?”
“Very much,” Ginny nodded. “But there’s so much to take in. And I’m afraid of asking a stupid question.”
Nancy laughed. “Oh, Pastor always says there’s no such thing as a stupid question. We’re all here to learn. In fact, this is the third time I’m taking the class. Each time it seems there’s something new I get out of it. Especially when others ask good questions. Sometimes they even stump the pastor!”
“Well, that must be embarrassing for him!” Ginny said with a giggle.
“Not at all! Pastor says that to be a Christian means that we are disciples of Jesus—lifelong learners. So when he’s stumped, Pastor just says, ‘Let’s ask God together!’ And then he grabs his Bible. After all, even Jesus had to study the Old Testament Scriptures as a boy.”
Ginny raised her eyebrows at that. “But I thought Jesus was the Son of God? Why would he have to go to Sunday School?”
“Good question,” Nancy said with a smile. “From what I understand, Jesus made himself like us so that he could do everything perfectly for us. Even the learning part. And especially the dying part! So now through faith in Jesus, we are credited with his perfect life. That’s how God can accept us as his holy children even though we have sinned. And like any good father, God loves it when his children ask him for help.”
The students began to take their seats again and the pastor asked, “Before we move on, did anyone have any questions?”
Ginny’s hand shot high in the air.
Dear God, there is still so much I don’t understand about you and your Word—and how to apply it to my life. Send your Holy Spirit to give me your wisdom. Amen.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Hope Through the Storms of Life
Devotion based on Romans 5:1-5
See series: Devotions
Sixteenth-century European explorers were racing to find a way to India and the east. The land route had been cut off; the only option remaining was the sea. One of the first Portuguese navigators to try sailing south around the African continent ran into a storm that nearly tore his ship into pieces. He called that place the Cape of Storms. A few years later when Vasco da Gama arrived at the same location, he was heartened by the fact that they were no longer sailing south but east. His eyes were on the riches of India that lay ahead of him. The place was renamed the Cape of Good Hope.
The human experience has much in common with a stormy sea; we are easily shipwrecked on the rocks of doubt, despair, or temptation. We experience suffering and sadness, pain and loss in our lives. And when we die, we know we will face our Maker to give an accounting to him. At times it may seem that he is already punishing us for the wrong we have done.
But the hope of Christians is not founded on what we can perceive but rather on what God has promised. God’s Word assures us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Through no merits of our own, but purely through faith in the Son of God who sacrificed himself for us, our guilt has been removed and we are at peace with God. No matter how turbulent the journey through life is, we know it ends with our loving Savior welcoming us into his heavenly home. Our hope in God’s promises sustains us through the storms of this world.
Lord Jesus, you calmed the stormy sea by speaking a word. Calm my restless heart by reminding me of what you have done and what you promise still to do for me. Amen.