Christ & Salvation
CHRIST AND SALVATION
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast. -Ephesians 2.8-9
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ brings us into a saving relationship with God.
What is salvation?
Salvation is a rich gift which includes the following:
• Salvation is deliverance from the power and effects of sin
• Salvation is also the realization of the supremacy of Christ Jesus
• Salvation is also when a person believes in and accepts Jesus Christ as his/her personal savior; by this act of faith he/she is saved.
What does it mean to be saved? Salvation is a gift from God to those who believe in him. It is establishing a relationship. It means we are accepted as righteous in the sight of God, by His declaration, not because of any deeds we have done. To be saved means God has forgiven us of our sins and brought us into a state of peace, securing for us every blessing we need -- for eternity. (Romans 5:1).
How are we saved?
The answer is given in Ephesians 2.8-9. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast."
From this we see several things about our salvation:
a) We are saved by what God does, and not by what we do. God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. This is God's grace.
b) We must desire that God would save us and believe that He can. This is through faith.
c) Faith and salvation are God's gifts. We cannot merit either.
Two of the cardinal components of salvation are repentance and regeneration. Both are the work of God' Holy Spirit through faith. Repentance is a personal act of confession of sin prompted by the Holy Spirit. Repentance must be accompanied by conversion to turn away from and abandon all that is evil and sinful. Since all of us are sinful by nature (Romans 3.23), we must constantly confess and turn from our sin. (Note: this does not mean that we should commit the same sins over and over.) We must work hard at being good children of God. Repentance and conversion are the human side of salvation.
When a person is saved he/she is regenerated (born again). The Holy Spirit changes us. We are indeed born again with a new nature and a new spiritual life. Our human will is subdued. We no longer love sin and self, but rather we love God and holiness. We put God and the kingdom first in our lives. Without regeneration, salvation is impossible. Regeneration is God's side of salvation.
Different people experience salvation in different ways. Some are spectacular like Paul (Acts 9.1-18) while others are quiet like the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8.26-40). Still others were won in a gradual way to finally commit themselves to God.