by Jerry Gentry
"Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire" (Matt. 18:8).
Salvation is not personal until it is personal. What is the test of genuine salvation for every individual?
Tonight we will look at 5 basic steps of God's simple plan of salvation for you and me.
Recognize that YOU are a Sinner and LOST.
The Bible says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). What is sin? "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1John 3:4).
We have all sinned, broken the holy and righteous standard of God, summed up in the 10 Commandments.
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom 3:10).
"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Rom 3:12).
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (Isa 64:6).
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa 53:6).
You must realize that God's Law requires justice, that is, it requires that the death penalty must be paid for sin.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom 6:23).
Eternal death. Separation from God. Unsaved Israelites will burn in everlasting fire. This is what we have all earned.
"Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Eze 18:4).
Recognize that Christ PAID the penalty for your sin.
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" (1Co 15:3).
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa 53:6 ).
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2Co 5:21).
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1Pe 2:24).
Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord
Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Act 16:31 = And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:36 = He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Rom 10:9 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.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Joh 1:12 = 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:
Rev 3:20 = Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
This is where salvation tracts usually end. There are people in this world who genuinely feel then have completed the above steps, yet are still in fact living in their sins. What is the ultimate test of genuine faith unto salvation?
Walk as He walked
1John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Mat 7:22 = Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 = And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Are you a contender for the faith? Is your heart pricked when you fall into sin? Do you care? Do you purpose to live by Christ's words?
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Christianity is faith in the heart. But it is more. It is a way of life, whereby you confront sin, change your mind, and by the grace of God do what you know is right. No matter how many times you stumble, you get up and try again. Your heart is soft and tender to the will of God. You say the truth. You do not make excuses, even though your flesh is weak. You purpose, by the grace of God, to do His will every day, and not your own.