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What must we do?Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2012, at 10:59 AM
I like to, on occasion, write specifically about the subject of just how a person becomes right with the Lord. I want to be sure and base it on the bible, the Word of God. It is absolutely important we come to God his way. Any other way is suspect in my mind.
The bible tells us how to be saved and to be right with God. In Mark 10:17ff Jesus had chided his followers for they felt like little children would hinder his work and they wished he would shoo them away. He picked up one of them and used the child's humility to tell what a person has to be to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
He must come to God with a childlike spirit. Then he went on to do his purpose in life. Verse 17ff goes on to say, "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came to him one running, and kneeled unto him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witnesses Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, said unto him, one thing that thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up they cross and follow me."
It is clear that by just keeping some good things no one will be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The young man had done that. The bible says "by grace are you saved by faith and not by works". The service and works come after we become a follower of God. Until we are saved and born again our works are as filthy rags. No amount of good works will suffice to be saved.
Our works can change but when one is born again he becomes a new person. Old things pass away and all things become new. The man was a wealthy man having many possessions. Verse 22 says, "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."
Salvation is free to anyone who will come to God his way which is through his Son that he sent into the world to die for our sins. Jesus Christ went to the cross by the hands of cruel men that we might be made righteous by the sacrifice of himself to save all who will believe on him.
Another person we can look at is the man of John 3 called Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a good man, a faithful Jew, and was a keeper of the laws of Moses. He had taken an interest in Jesus. He came to Jesus one night to ask Jesus much the same question of the first person I mentioned in this article.
Nicodemus had depended on his good works. Paul was another who had depended on his good works. Both of these men still felt a hunger from within for they questioned whether the blood sacrifices of innocent animals was sacrifice enough to cleanse them from their sins.
Let me stay with Nicodemus for the time. He said in John 3:2ff "Rabbi (teacher) we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do the miracles that thou does, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily I say unto you except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Jesus went on to explain how the spirit of God woks in the life of a person. He (the Spirit) takes the word of God and convinces and convicts a person of his need for God. That is what every man needs to experience salvation.
Evidently he then or soon after turned to the Lord in faith and trust and was born again. He speaks of our relation to the Lord as the new birth. A child of God is one who is born again. We are all born in the flesh and that is a good birth and all men know it. But to be born of the spirit is more important and wonderful. Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but shall have eternal life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him should be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not on him is condemned already."
To summarize, let me line it out so we will understand. First of all we must believe in God. If we don't there is no chance for anyone. Second, we must believe that he sent his only begotten Son and in the fullness of time he came as the son of God to give his life on the cross to make a way to save us of our sins. Third, we need to realize that we are sinners and then accept what Christ did on the cross. He knew no sin but he offered himself that whosoever would accept his grace and mercy and the blood he spilled was to atone for our sins. When we know all this we call like the people did in today's scripture, "Lord what must we do to be saved?" Then we repent of our sins, turn from them, and accept what Christ did for us. This we do by faith. Then we do that which pleases the Lord.
Do it now if you never have.
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Rev. William Piercy is pastor of Blackwater Baptist Church near Manila.