God is Gracious
He Offers Salvation as a Gift
The word “grace” has been explained with this acrostic:
“God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”
God wants to give you forgiveness, the riches of His righteousness and an eternal home with Him in Heaven. Jesus paid for all of this with His own life!
Grace is God giving to us what we could never earn ourselves.
For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. EPHESIANS 2:8-9
Grace is a gift! Notice what grace is not. It is “not of yourselves” and “not of works.” God doesn’t give you part and expect you to earn the rest. You don’t have the ability to earn holiness or meet His just standard.
So, if grace is a gift, how do we get it? Just receive it!
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. JOHN 1:12
HOW DO WE RECEIVE JESUS?
The Bible uses two words to describe this decision to receive Him. The first is to believe.
When the early disciples were asked, “What must I do to be saved?” the simple answer was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (ACTS 16:31 ).
If the most important decision in your life depends on this simple word, then we must define it biblically. Some may say it means to understand and to acknowledge that something is true. Let’s analyze that definition with this story.
In 1859 the famous acrobat Charles Blondin stretched a tightrope 190 feet above the mighty waters of Niagara Falls, the largest waterfall in North America. Crowds gathered daily to watch as he navigated the 1,000-foot span. He walked across in a large burlap bag. He carried his manager across on his back. He even fitted a special wheelbarrow for the rope and pushed it across. Once he put a cook stove in the wheelbarrow and stopped in the middle of the rope to cook and eat an omelet.
The story is told that once he approached the cheering crowd and asked them who believed he could put a man in the wheelbarrow and take him across. The crowd went wild. Everyone wanted to see that stunt. They began to chant, “I believe, I believe!”
Blondin pointed to a man in the crowd and said, “You, sir, get in the wheelbarrow.” The man bolted in the other direction.
What was wrong? The man might have believed that Blondin could put a man in the wheelbarrow — some other man — but he wasn’t willing to trust Blondin to take him across.
Faith that saves a person from sin and Hell has three essential elements. You must understand that God cannot tolerate or overlook your sin, that He gave His life in exchange for yours, and that He wants to give you eternal life. You must also agree that you are a sinner who needs a Savior. Many people misunderstand the third element of saving faith. You must choose to depend or trust on Jesus to forgive your sins and give you His righteousness.
Imagine two chairs sitting side by side. Let the one on the left represent you and your efforts to get to Heaven on your own, and let the one on the right represent the finished payment of Christ for all your sins. If you are sitting in the chair representing self, what must you do to transfer your dependence to the chair representing Christ? You have to get out of the one chair and sit in the other. Similarly, you have to stop depending on what you can do before you can transfer your trust to God’s grace for salvation. It is a decision to trust Jesus alone to save you from your sins.
What if a person decides to sit in both chairs? Is he really trusting either chair? No! When a person tries to trust in Jesus and his own efforts, he is really showing that he doubts that Jesus is enough. Saving faith is choosing to trust Christ’s payment for sin as your own payment and nothing else. It’s like a transaction, or better — an exchange. You choose to trust in Christ and what He has already done for you on the cross, and He gives to you forgiveness of sins (your earned record), His perfect righteousness (His earned record), and eternal life in Heaven.
Repent is the other word the Bible uses to describe this decision.
Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all … perish.” LUKE 13:5
The word “repent” means to change your mind, to admit that you are wrong and God is right.
It may be that until now you have been thinking your sin isn’t bad enough to send you to Hell. You’re going to have to change your mind about that. It may be you have been thinking you could do enough good to counteract the bad you have done. You’re going to have to change your mind about that. Simply admit, “God, You are right to condemn my sin; I’m the one who is wrong.”
You must make a choice. Will you continue to trust in yourself and your own way, or will you transfer your trust to Jesus and what He has done to save you from your sin?
There is a point of no return on the Niagara River where the current from the falls is too powerful for a boat to navigate safely. It’s marked clearly with warnings because if a boat passes that point, it is bound to be pulled by the current over the roaring falls. Imagine absentmindedly rowing a boat past that line. Suddenly you realize what you have done and try to turn around, but it is too late. No matter how hard you row, you’re still being pulled inch by inch closer to impending doom. Suppose someone on the shore sees your plight and expertly throws a rope across your lap. Now you have a choice to make. Will you keep up your own efforts only to eventually plunge to sure destruction, or will you drop the oars of self-effort and trust the rope of safety?
The water is like your sins; they are pulling you to destruction. The oars are like your own good works and religious activities. You may be working very hard, but your good works are not enough to save you. Jesus is like that rope. What will you do with Jesus?
It takes humility to choose Jesus’ offer to save you from your sin!
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. JAMES 4:6B
Will you humble yourself and admit that your sin is an offense to our holy God? Will you admit that you can’t save yourself from His justice? Will you humbly trust Him and His finished work on the cross?
Please answer these questions carefully:
Do you believe that Jesus loves you and will save you from your sin and give you eternal life if you ask Him?
Then are you willing to follow Jesus and put your trust in Him right now?
The best way to put your trust in Jesus is to tell Him right now in a prayer. Here is a sample prayer, but praying “just the right words” isn’t what saves you. Your choice to depend on Jesus alone is what saves you from sin and its penalty. You can use this as a guide or just talk to Him from your heart.
Dear Jesus, I have sinned against Your holy nature and deserve judgment in Hell. I believe that You loved me enough to die in my place. Please forgive me and save me from my sin. Exchange my sinful record for your holy one and give me eternal life in Heaven. Right now, I put my trust in You alone. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
If you made the decision to put your trust in Jesus, we would love to send you some material that can help you grow in your new relationship with God. To receive this free literature, please contact us. We also have a four-lesson Bible study that deals with these truths more thoroughly.
Do you have any questions?
If you’ve made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior today, we’d love to hear about it! If you have any questions about what you’ve read we’d love to answer them! Please contact us using the form below.