brought salvation to the world
Salvation is a free gift from God to all those who accept His Son, Jesus Christ. It is obvious that humanity cannot save itself, just as it is said in a local adage, ‘that soap cannot wash itself.’ We need a Saviour and the Bible teaches exclusively that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved,” other than the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:12)
One of the elders in the temple, Simeon by name, who had been given a vision of the coming of the Saviour, after he had met with the child declared; “For my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:30) That was the opportune moment he was waiting before departing this life. He became a privileged witness and was overjoyed at it.
Salvation is personal and voluntary, with no strings attached. The Lord says; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) You come to Christ of your own volition, convinced of the truth of His mission – to draw the whole of humanity to Himself. He Himself has revealed that no one can come to Him except the Father sent him/her. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him ....) (John 6:44)
Repentance -- the gateway to salvation
Receiving the good news entails a total cleansing of oneself of all the filth and dirt of sin that have stained our inner beings over the years and by which we are now identified. It does require turning our backs to wayward living and the shedding of every habit of disobedience. When we come with “a humble and contrite heart,” God will forgive our sins. He has promised that He will recall them no more under any circumstance. (Hebrews 10:17; Isaiah 43:25; Psalm 32:1-2) This allows us to start afresh on a clean state.
The Bible goes further to state that “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because the law of the Spirit of Christ set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The good news is that we do not have to carry guilt with us everywhere. “God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) By sending His son to the cross, we are reconciled with God. We have been justified, made right.
There is no volume of sin however gross or wicked that we have committed that God has not forgiven when we accept Jesus as Lord over our lives. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35, 37)
We each must seek to make a commitment, as we cross over into a new year, to forsake every weight or hindrance that has beset us – any sin that we have indulged in and are comfortable with, thinking that it cannot be gotten rid of. That is a lie from the devil. Everything is possible with God. (Luke 1:37) It has been made possible by His grace. The apostle Paul wrote “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me---the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the heart of men.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
The gospel of grace must first be preached to all nations. (Mark 13:10) God has taken on every aspect of sin which the devil will use to disqualify us, in a bid to give us access and membership into His never-ending kingdom. He said to His disciples whom he had taught for three and a half years, ‘Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
This commission is equally addressed to us believers. Too many houses are on fire for us to sit with hands folded. God, through His Son has given us fire-extinguishers with which to quench the fire and get the work done. God asked Moses as the latter faced his Red Sea, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.” (Exodus 14:15-16)
Is anything too hard for God to accomplish? The answer is an emphatic “no”. God’s hand is not short and has never been. The fact of the matter is that He has done all that needs to be done. He has done it all for you and me. All we are required to do is to receive His forgiveness of our sins – our sin-debt cancellation and our freedom from slavery of sin, because now we know the truth and have been set free. We are not condemned. Instead He has found a way out for us through His Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The whole world needs to be rescued and not until “... the gospel of the kingdom [is] preached to the world as a testimony to all nations, [will] the end come.” (Matthew 24:14)