That You Could KNOW you have eternal life?
"I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13)
– What peace and joy to know we will be with the Lord in heaven at our death! This makes the problems we face on earth seem so small!!
That we obtain this assurance through faith in Jesus Christ—NOT by our own goodness?
"God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
– We boast ONLY of what CHRIST has fully accomplished for us (not of our own goodness). Salvation is a GIFT from God, so it's not necessary for us to try to earn it—just to accept it!
That we cannot POSSIBLY obtain this assurance without faith in Christ?
"As the Scriptures say, 'No one is good—not even one.'" (Romans 3:10)
– On our own, we just aren't good enough to be "righteous" in God's eyes—for He is PERFECT, and in order for us to be with Him, WE must be perfect; yet, we have all sinned.
"For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard." (Romans 3:23)
That the only thing that pays for sin is death (of the soul)?
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
– "Death" refers to an eternity in hell; "life" refers to an eternity in heaven.
That this "problem" has already been taken care of by God Himself?!
(Not by trying to keep the commandments perfectly, which is impossible for us, but by faith in Christ—who DID live a perfect life—a life without sin!)
"For no one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God's law, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying it."
– The Commandments (law) tell us what sin IS! They were never intended to save us…
"But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight—not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us." (Romans 3:21-25a)
– So our redemption is through faith in Christ alone. No human effort can add or take away from this wonderful gift of God's grace and mercy!
That to be "redeemed" means we can be in the presence of God and claim Him as our FATHER?!
"And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's people, let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:21-22)
"So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family—calling him "Father, dear Father." For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children." (Romans 8:15-16)
– Once we have accepted Christ, we need not FEAR God anymore (other than the reverent respect we give to Him!)—He would much rather have us respond in love and obedience as a child to his father!
How does faith in Christ Redeem us?
"And what God wants is for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time. Under the old covenant, the priest stands before the altar day after day, offering sacrifices that can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as one sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down at the place of highest honor at God's right hand." (Hebrews 10:10-11)
– Christ's work is perfectly complete! Therefore, He is now sitting down by the Father and waiting for the completeness of His salvation to reach everyone in the world.
You see, my friend, there was a gap between us and God—we were separated from Him because of our sinfulness. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, in the form of a man (who felt every pain, every emotion that we feel) to live and die for us.
Maybe you're like I was—you've always HEARD that Christ lived and died for us but didn't quite understand it all. Well, Christ lived the perfect life that God requires of us; then He died to pay the price for sin. Whose sin? Surely not His own—for He never sinned! So, it's OUR sin that He died for ("those of the whole world").
How does this help you and me? When we realize that we're sinners—not good enough to meet God's standards—and realize how helpless we are on our own, we are given the choice of accepting or rejecting Christ and what He's done for us. Accepting Christ means claiming Him as our SAVIOR (the One who saves us from our sin), as well as our LORD (the One we will give our whole lives to—serving Him and living as much like He did as we can with HIS grace to enable us to do so). Then, God sees us—not as the sinful humans that we are—but as clothed in CHRIST'S goodness! Then we can claim God as our Father and have the assurance that He will always be with us—not only throughout our earthly lives, but throughout eternity…
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it." (John 3:16-17)
Christ Himself invites you to accept this gift of life:
"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)