The gospel of our salvation is to believe that Jesus died for our sins and that he was resurrected. If it was necessary that he die for our sins, then it is a fact that all men are sinners and that this sin incurred a death penalty. In order to be saved, man must first acknowledge the fact of his sinfulness and agree with God that he is deserving of judgment. The judgment that will be measured out to those who refuse the gospel will finally be the eternal lake of fire. We must judge ourselves guilty, admit that this is what we deserve, and recognize that God himself has provided everything necessary for our salvation under his terms. There is nothing we can add to the gospel to assist God with our salvation, and in fact to try to do so is to insult God because in essence we are telling him that his provision, which is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is not sufficient to supply our salvation - he needs our help. But when we accept God's provision under his terms, we are saved and delivered from that same lake of fire because we have agreed with God that his standard of righteousness is just and perfect and we have accepted the remedy, the blood of Jesus, that God himself provided for our salvation.
The simple definition of sin is to miss the mark. The Old Testament law, a total of 613 separate commandments, gives us Godís standard of perfection, it establishes the mark that we are to aim for, and Jas. 2:10 says to keep the whole law yet to offend on one point is to be guilty of all. Other than Jesus, no man could keep the law perfectly because all of us humans have a sin nature dwelling in us.
So, the question is, what is it that we humans have done that is sinful unto death, and how do we boil sin down to its lowest common denominator. The answer is the ten commandments, which are found in Ex 20:1-17.
Remember, Jas. 2:10 says to keep the whole law yet to offend on ONE POINT is to be guilty of all. Other than Jesus, it is not possible for any human to keep the whole law, or even the ten commandments listed above. Jesus actually condensed the ten down to two: (Matt 22:37-40) "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." The breaking of either of these two commandments is to break several of the ten. And every human, except Jesus, who has ever lived has broken several (if not all) of them.
While breaking any one of the commandments is a sin against other humans, it is, more seriously, a sin against God and his holiness. God's perfect justice requires that death is the penalty for breaking any one of his laws, thus all humans are under a death penalty from God, and the only way to escape this death penalty is through the offering of a perfect sinless sacrifice in our place. That sacrifice is Jesus. It is incorrect to think that God, who is love, will not send anyone to hell. God cannot lie, and his word declares that those who refuse his terms absolutely will spend eternity in the lake of fire. He even gives us a list of those who will go there: Rev 21:7-8 says, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
The ROMANS ROAD is a group of Bible verses from the book of Romans in the New Testament. If you read these verses and meditate on them, you will end up understanding more about salvation.
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
I truly love this verse - I call it God's Equal Rights Amendment. We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin. We were born under the power of sin's control. This includes every person (other than Jesus) who has ever lived, lives now, and will live in the future. ALL concluded under sin that ALL (including you and me) might be saved. Step 1 - Admit that you are a sinner and that you have sinned against God.
Romans 6:23a "...The wages of sin is death..."
Sin is work - you get paid WAGES for WORK. The wages paid for the work of sin is death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity. The Bible teaches that there is a place called the Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people who are spiritually dead will remain. - Understand that you (along with every other human person other than Jesus who has ever lived, lives now, and will live in the future) deserve death for your sin and repent (turn away from) your sin.
Romans 6:23b "...But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Salvation is a free gift from God to you! There is absolutely nothing you can do to earn this gift, but you must reach out and receive it. - Acknowledge and understand that God himself has provided the gift of eternal life through Jesus and there is nothing we can do to assist him or to add to this greatest of gifts..
Romans 5:8, "God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!"
When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin's penalty (the wages). He paid the price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death! The only condition is that we repent for our sins, believe in His death, burial and resurrection, and that He has paid the price for us. We need to understand that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life. He did all this because He loved us and gave Himself for us! - Give your life to God... His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness which will lead to a changed life. His love bought you out of being a slave to sin. His love as manifested in the cross works of Jesus is what saves you -- not religion, not following a set of rules, not baptism, not church membership. The love of God as proven in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Romans 10:13 "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved!"
- Call out to God in the name of Jesus!
Romans 10:9,10 "...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.."
How do we confess the Lord Jesus? The same as Peter did: "thou art the Christ - the son of the living God." And with the heart we believe that Jesus rose again, the resurrection, because it is the part of the gospel that makes us righteous. - Confess the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead (this means an automatic belief in his death).
Revelation 3:20a "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him..."
- If you know that God is knocking on your heart's door, acknowledge your belief in the facts of the gospel and He will come into your heart.
There is one major difference between Jesus and all other humans, and that is the identity of our fathers. All of mankind has inherited a sin nature from our father Adam, but Jesusí father was God. When it is necessary to establish the paternity of a child, the doctors do not check fingerprints or skin, hair or eye color, they check blood type because the blood of a pregnant woman never comes in contact with the blood of her unborn baby. While a womanís body produces eggs every month, those eggs never develop into a baby, or are made alive, unless they are fertilized by the fatherís sperm. Lev. 17:10 states that the life of the flesh is in the blood and the child is not alive until it has blood which is supplied by the sperm of the father. The blood type, then, of the developing unborn child is determined by the father. This is significant, because it means that God himself gave his own life in the person of Jesus Christ in payment for our sins that he might satisfy his own perfect justice and reconcile us to himself, and he did this through the person of Jesus.
The most important question every human being faces is this: who is this Jesus?
C.S. Lewis said this: "You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
Jesus himself asked his disciples this question.
Matt 16:13-19 "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (petros = little rock), and upon this rock (petra = massive rock) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Who is Jesus? He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God!! When Peter made this statement Jesus said his words were the massive rock upon which he would build his church.
To repeat, in order to enter into salvation, based on 1 Cor 15:1-6, it is necessary that the seeker believes the following:
If you recognize the fact that you are a sinner, and you believe the statements recorded in I Cor. 15:1-6, you are born again. Keep in mind that there is nothing you can do to assist God with saving your soul, and he has set up salvation to be fool proof - all one really has to do is believe the facts above.
Believe in Him.
It is not required, but if you would like, you may pray to God in Jesus' name, and in your own words acknowledge to Him that you are a sinner deserving of death, you may express sorrow for your sins (go ahead and name them - God already knows, but you may acknowledge that you also know), and tell Him that you repent (turn from) your life of sin in general and specific sins in particular. Ask Him to come in to your heart by faith, ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and ask him to fill you with his spirit, and ask Him to change your life.
God will hear you and He will help you. If you believe the items stated in I Cor 15:1-6 He has already saved you. You are his child and He loves you. Now, tell someone (this is the part about confessing the Lord Jesus).
There are lots of books that a believer can read to gain knowledge of the Christian life, but the very best book he or she could possibly read is the Bible. Most folks have their own favorite Bible book to recommend, but I find that whatever book I happen to be reading at any given time is my favorite.
Get a Bible and open it to the Gospel of John, or even better, the book of Romans, and read what God says about Jesus, about you, and about being born again.
It is important to find other believers to fellowship with. That could be in a Bible-believing church or some other setting. You need to read the Bible so you can learn the facts of your salvation and to discover what God may say to you directly and personally. The Bible says that we are to desire God's word like a newborn baby desires mother's milk. Be fed!
Water baptism is one of the ways to show that you have been joined to Jesus. This is an action, and actions will not save you. However, it is an act of obedience and a symbol of commitment. The symbolism is this: When you go down in the water you show that you have been crucified and buried with Him, and when you come up out of the water you show that you have been raised to walk with Him in newness of life. (See Romans chapter 6 regarding baptism)
Your body has become God's temple. Your heart is where He lives. Forgiveness is yours in Jesus. And you belong to Him. You were sin's slave. But now...
You are a child of GOD!
John 1:12 "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God, even to those who believe on His name!"