Jesus Saves
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I’ve heard that before... but what does "Jesus Saves" mean? Download PDF
When someone says “Jesus Saves” they are referring to the Gospel. The what? The Gospel... the word Gospel means “Good News.” The Gospel is the account of the life, teachings, and hope of salvation found in Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the center of Christian belief and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what distinctly separates Christianity from any other religion.
So then... what is the Gospel?
The longest version of the Gospel you could give to someone would be to open the Bible and read from page one to the end. The entire Bible is all about Jesus! The shortest version of the Gospel is said to be John 3:16 and is the reason why this verse is one of the most profoundly popular verses in the Bible. Before we dive into the “Good News” let’s begin by looking at a few of the characteristics of God as revealed in the Bible. For starters, God is perfect (Matthew 5:48), uniquely holy (1 Peter 1:16), and full of glory (Psalm 19:1-3). The word holy means “to be set apart.” The glory of God is a manifestation of all His attributes combined and God’s glory never passes away. God is eternal (Isaiah 40:28).
OK, God is holy... what exactly does that mean?
Holiness implies goodness in that something that has the attribute of holiness is set apart and therefore good. God is holy the noun not the adjective. God is the manifestation of perfect holiness. Let’s look at the Bible and examine one man’s encounter with God to better understand God’s holiness and more importantly, examine the question “what does God’s holiness have to do with you and me?”
Isaiah was one of God’s prophets or spokesmen during Old Testament times. God called Isaiah to be His prophet in a vision recorded in Isaiah 6:1-8. In verse three, Isaiah saw seraphims (a type of angel having six wings) and one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. Just like the Psalm 19:1-3 verses before, Isaiah tells us here again seraphims spoke evidence that the earth itself is full of God’s glory. Each seraphim had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. We get a glimpse of God’s perfect holiness by the angels need to cover or protect their faces and feet from looking at the fullness of God’s glory.
Notice the angels say holy, holy, holy... Three times. The number three is God’s number for divine perfection found throughout the Bible. The angels say “holy” three times to emphasize God’s perfect holiness. We discover a very important piece of information about God’s perfect holiness in Isaiah 6:5 when we see Isaiah’s reaction to being in God’s presence. Isaiah’s reaction to looking upon God’s perfect holiness was great distress or woe:
“Then said I,Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” - Isaiah 6:5
Notice no one in heaven had to convince Isaiah of his sin. When Isaiah stood before the LORD, he immediately recognized, for himself, that he was unclean. Isaiah immediately realized that he carried his sin with him and his sin separated him from the holy God his eyes looked upon.
Are you saying sin separates me from a holy God?
Yes. But, consider sin from the perspective of God for a moment. If God comes into relationship with sin then God is no longer holy and perfect. Our sin separates us from God, not the other way around. Think of it this way... our sin makes God toxic to us. Entering into the presence of God with our sin would be like a piece of tissue paper coming against the sun. The tissue paper will perish and the sun will remain as it was. In this way, our sin cannot affect or change the holiness of God any more than a piece of tissue paper can affect the sun. We are separated from God by our sin since the time of the original sin that was imputed to us by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3.
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” - Isaiah 59:2
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” - Romans 8:7
So what exactly is sin and what does sin mean to me?
In the simplest form, sin means lawlessness. 1 John 3:4 says: “whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Psalm 19:7 explains “the law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” The law of God is found throughout the Bible. The purpose of God’s law is to instruct us towards God’s perfect holiness and righteousness. God’s law allows us to become aware of our sin. Paul put it this way in Romans 7:7 - “what shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
There are a few other important truths regarding sin recorded in the Bible we need to know:
1) God’s law is written on our hearts. Jerimiah 31:33 tells us “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” Again Paul writes in Romans 2:15 that “which shows the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” Your knowledge of the difference between right and wrong bears witness to this truth.
2) We cannot hide our sin from God. Isaiah 29:15 says: “woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who sees us? and who knows us?” Again in 1 Samuel 16:7 we read: “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” Yes, God can see the unspoken desires of our hearts!
3) Sin has the ultimate consequence of death. Romans 6:23 tells us “For the wages of sin is death.” So sin becomes manifest when we break God’s law and our sin brings forth death. James put it this way in James 1:15 “Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” - Romans 5:12
But... wait a minute, I am a good person.
Almost everyone considers themselves a “good” person so you are not alone and this is perfectly normal. However, I’d like to point out that goodness is relative to what you are comparing it to. When people think of themselves as “good” they are comparing themselves to the greater sins of other people.
Let’s look for a minute at this question instead… “Would God consider you a good person?” We just examined God’s holiness in the above paragraphs. Remember God is perfectly holy and He cannot come into contact with sin. Let’s go a step further and look at God’s basic law, the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20:3-17. Click the link and glance over them for a moment. Have you ever broken even one of these in your life… have you ever lied… stolen anything… lusted… coveted what is your neighbor’s?
Do you see how when we compare our “goodness” to God’s holiness we realize that we have all broken God’s law, we all have sinned? Our very sin nature prevents us from being able to judge our own selves and therefore our self-proclamations of being a “good” person become worthless. Compared to God no one is good, no, not one (Romans 3:10-18). Paul summarized the point this way in the Bible in Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Thus, we all owe God the wages for our sins – which is eternal death.”
“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.” - Revelation 21:8
Who then can be saved?
A lot of people get to this exact point in their discovering who God is and turn against God. They say “God is an angry God and puts forth commandments they do not want and cannot keep.” They say “if God is good then why is there evil in the world?” They turn their back to God and go their own way and justify themselves by saying... “God does not exist.”
However, I implore you to keep reading because we have yet to examine the most wonderful part of God’s plan. Even people in the Bible struggled with this very issue. Luke 18:26-27 explains of people saying – “And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” This is the turning point in the Gospel. To this point we have only laid out the truths of our unholy nature versus God’s perfect holiness and how that puts us at enmity or opposition with God. Remember Gospel means “Good News.” For something to be called good it must be compared to something that is not good. Thus far, I agree this is not sounding like good news.
Let’s consider another quality of God’s nature as revealed in the Bible. God is omniscient, or in other words... God knows everything. Hebrews 4:13 says “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Matthew 10:30 tells us God even knows how many hairs are upon our heads! The wisdom of wise men is foolishness compared to God’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:19). A popular quote about God’s omniscience is “Any fool can count the seeds in an apple but only God can count the apples in a seed.”
Therefore, because God knows everything, God knows we are dead in our sins. God knows our sin will eternally separate us from Him. This is a huge problem for us and God! Why is this a problem for God if we are the ones dead in our own sins? Because God loves us!!!
You mean God loves me? But, I’ve never done anything for Him.
Yes! This is the beginning of the “Good News.” God loves us while we are yet sinners (Romans 5:8). God does not love the way you and I love; we love conditionally. God loves us no matter what because where you and I only experience love – God is love (1 John 4:8). God loves us even when we don’t love him back. God has always loved you and he always will. God is the author and infinite manifestation of love.
Now imagine for a moment that you loved someone very much (a mother, father, son, daughter, sibling, spouse, relative, friend, etc.) but you cannot come into contact with the one you love because you would bring harm to them. Can you see that God loves us all and desperately wants us to come into personal relationship with Him? But, we cannot come into God’s presence because His infinite holiness would bring death to us by the sin we carry. Our sin is what keeps us separated from God. This is exactly what Isaiah saw when he said “Woe is me! for I am undone;” in Isaiah 6:5.
But, God is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17) and His majesty has no end (Psalm 93:1-2) and nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37). Because of God’s vast love for you and me, He made a way for us where there seems to be no way.
Because God loves us He sent His only son Jesus to take away the sins of the world! (John 1:29)
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” - 1 John 4:9
“For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” - Romans 5:19
How can Jesus take my sins away?
At this point we know God is holy, we are sinners, our sin separates us from God, and the wages of sin is death and eternal punishment. But, John 3:16 tells us that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Can you begin to see why John 3:16 is such a popular verse in the Bible?
Jesus is the Son of God whom the Lord poured His glory into flesh and dwelt among us. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus is the perfect image of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s nature. Jesus is God according to John 1:1-14. God Himself took on humanity through the man Jesus and is both fully man and fully God.
God sent His only son Jesus to walk this earth in the flesh and be the propitiation of our sins (1 John 4:10). Propitiation means the turning away or satisfying God’s wrath by an offering or atoning sacrifice. In other words, because God is steadfast in love and mercy, Jesus paid our sin debt for us, for all who would believe! Jesus came and lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and was crucified at Calvary for our sins (Luke 23:33). God raised Jesus to life the third day (Acts 10:40) to be seen by the more than 500 (1 Corinthians 15:4-8). Jesus ascend into heaven and sat at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). Jesus will come again in glory (Revelation 1:7) to judge the quick and the dead (1 Peter 4:5) and of His kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:33).
OK... click the link and take a moment to read Hebrews 10:1-20. These verses explain in more depth the mechanics of how God conquered sin through Jesus’ sacrifice. These verses also explain how Jesus did away with the Old Testament Law and ushered in the New Covenant. Hebrews 10:10 says “by the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Paul explains the same thing in a different way in Galatians 3:22-29. Did you notice verse Galatians 3:22 said “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”
Have you noticed a reoccurring theme about your need to believe and have faith?
Are you saying Jesus has already paid my sin debt?
Yes!!! Jesus has already won the battle for us. We only need to believe and accept God’s grace by faith! What is grace? Grace is the underserved mercy given to us by God out of His love for us and His desire for us to receive salvation. God’s grace provides us a way to come into His presence but not because of anything we have done to earn it. We don’t go to heaven because we think of ourselves as a “good” person. Remember... the very sin nature within ourselves prevents us from being able to judge the “goodness” of our own works. Under God’s plan we are saved by grace through faith that Jesus Christ took away our sins!
“For by grace are ye 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
If I accept God’s grace by faith... what exactly is Faith?
The Bible gives a great definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1-3 by telling us “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
The second verse Hebrews 11:2 even tells us that people before Jesus’ time were also saved by faith... the same way you and I are saved. Some people today struggle with understanding how people were saved before Jesus came. Now you can tell them that the people before Jesus were saved the same way we can be saved today - by Faith! You can read the rest of Hebrews 11 to see some specific examples of how people of old obtained their salvation.
*Note: Hebrews 11:6 is one of the most powerful verses in the entire Bible about how to come into relationship with God. The entire Bible repeatedly emphasizes that in order for us to come to know God we must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. For me and you, in these last days, God asks us to believe He gave us the free gift of salvation that we accept by faith that Jesus took away our sins at the cross!
Therefore, God wants us to place our faith in His son Jesus Christ as our Savior! This is the essence of what “Jesus Saves” means. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone!
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” - Acts 4:12
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” - 1 Timothy 2:5-6
How can I be sure Jesus is the way?
Great question and I am glad you asked. The answer to this question is an essential enabler for many to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior. There are a few things that are important when answering this question. Consider the following truths found in the Bible:
1) Jesus will answer those who diligently seek Him. The following promise in the Bible requires no explanation: Matthew 7:7-8 says “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
2) The power is in the Gospel. If I could talk you into believing in Jesus, couldn’t someone come behind me and talk you right back out of believing in Jesus? Romans 10:14 says “how then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Then Romans 10:17 explains that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The same power that birthed the Universe into existence by the command of His voice and raised Christ from the dead can be found in the Gospel.
3) The Holy Spirit bears witness to the truth of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. God is one but has three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. Try not to get hung on fully understanding the Trinity here, just think of the Trinity as similar to water. Water is one element but can be liquid water, ice, or steam and remains H2O in any state. Therefore, if #2 in this list is true then we should be able to experience the power of God’s promises contained in the Gospel. Here are just a few verses in the Bible that provide us this promise: Hebrews 10:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, Romans 8:16, 1 John 5:7-13, 1 Corinthians 2:13-14.
4) Satan has the ability to blind the minds of unbelievers from seeing the light of the Gospel. The Bible explains in 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 that the god of this world (meaning Satan) can blind the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the Gospel. Why does God allow this? 2 Corinthians 4:6 tells us why: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Do you see that only God can make the light of the Gospel shine forth out of the darkness? Meaning... at this very moment, as you read this Gospel, the Holy Spirit is bearing witness to the truth in that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Only them that are perishing see the Gospel as foolishness. Read 1 Corinthians 1:17-23 for more about this truth.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” - John 14:6
OK, help me put it all together...
Let’s review what we have looked at so far: Gospel means “Good News” of salvation found in Jesus. The entire Bible is all about Jesus! God is uniquely holy and perfect (Isaiah 6:3) and we are sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Our sin nature puts us at enmity with God (Roman 8:7). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) but God loves us and sent His only son Jesus to walk this earth in the flesh and be the propitiation of our sins (1 John 4:10, John 3:16). Jesus came and lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and was crucified at Calvary for our sins (Luke 23:33). God raised Jesus to life the third day (Acts 10:40) to be seen by the more than 500 (1 Corinthians 15:4-8) and to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Jesus ascend into heaven and sat at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). Jesus will come again in glory (Revelation 1:7) to judge the quick and the dead (1 Peter 4:5) and of His kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:33).
The battle we are in has already been won by Jesus at the cross (1 Corinthians 15:55). There is power in the Gospel because the Holy Spirit bears witness in our hearts to the truth of the Gospel (1 Thessalonians 1:5). Salvation in Jesus Christ is a free gift from God that we accept by faith and not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6) and if anyone knocks the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8).  Satan can only blind the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4) and only those that are perishing see the Gospel as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18). Jesus is the only name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
What then... does God want me to do?
We saw in the paragraphs above that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our own spirit to the truth of the Gospel. After Jesus ascended to heaven He promised to send the Holy Spirit to help his disciples build the Church (John 14:26). God filled His promise to pour out His Holy Spirit in these last days on what is called the day of Pentecost. You can read about that event in Acts 2:1-13. Peter was one of Jesus’ apostles that received the Holy Spirit that day. Immediately after the Holy Ghost came upon Peter, he preached to those that were outside as recorded in Acts 2:14-41. Because the Holy Spirit used Peter’s preaching of the Gospel to bear witness to the truth of Jesus, Acts 2:37 records “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
Acts 2:38 tells us Peter’s response: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
To repent means to turn away from your sin and turn toward God and follow Jesus!
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” - Mark 8:36
OK… But how do I repent of my sin and follow Jesus?
You do not need to try fix anything or “clean yourself up” before you accept Jesus as your savior. You need only be willing to turn from your sin and place your trust in Jesus. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 to “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Revelations 22:17 says “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Jesus wants you to accept Him by a decision from your heart. Jesus wants you to do your first act in faith and believe in your heart that He is the Christ and He alone can save you. Jesus wants you to confess that He is Lord with your mouth and be not ashamed of Him before others. Then, go forth and be baptized and make a public confession of your inward heart decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and savior. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and help you become a follower of Jesus.
Romans 10:9-11 tells us to accept Jesus like this: “That 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. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
“John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:” - Luke 3:16
Well… I believe there is a God. Isn’t that good enough?
Scripture is very clear that there is no in between - You either accept Jesus as your savior or you deny Him. Just believing in God is not good enough… you need Jesus. The Bible says in James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33
“Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” 1 John 2:23
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16
When should I accept Jesus?
This the most important part of the Gospel. This is where I remind you that God loves you more than you can possibly know. The Bible says in Ephesians 3:19 that Christ’s love for you is so vast that it surpasses knowledge! The Bible goes on to promise in 1 Corinthians 2:9 that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love him. John 14:21 says he that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
You have just heard the Gospel, this is the “Good News” in that Jesus Saves. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:2 behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Meaning… today is the day and this very moment God created for you!
Friend, if I was there with you, this is the part where I would stand before you or if we were sitting down I would look across to you and ask...
Do you want to accept Him?
Do you want to accept Christ?
Do you want to accept Jesus as your Savior?
Are you ready to choose?
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