56. TWO WAYS TO HEAVEN

THEORETICALLY, THERE are two ways a man can live again with God after he dies and leaves this present world. Or to say it in “religious” terms, there are two possible ways a man can be saved.

According to the Bible, if a man always does everything God has commanded and never does anything at all that is wrong, he can be saved. “It shall be our righteousness, if we do all these commandments” (Deuteronomy 6:25).

There is one problem here. No man yet — with a single exception — has ever lived that perfect life. Jesus “did no sin” (I Peter 2:22), but as for the rest of us, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And the Bible says that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Since all the world is guilty before God (Romans 3:19), the case of Sinner vs. God seems closed. It’s a lost cause. We are sinners.

But wait! There is GOSPEL — and that word means “good news!” For sinful man, it is the very best news possible. Jesus gave His perfect life as full covering for OUR sins! And He offers His eternal life as a free gift to us (Romans 6:23-25).

But the Scriptures say you must be willing to accept this free gift. And they tell you how this is done. Believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son (John 3:16). Repent of your sinful and self-willed life (Acts 17:30). Confess your faith in Christ — both by word of mouth (Romans 10: 9, 10) and by baptism into Christ (Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:38).

This water-baptism (Acts 8:36ff) is into Christ (Galatians 3:27). It is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, into the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13). By it one identifies with Christ’s burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5). All this takes place by God’s power, not the water’s (Colossians 2:12; I Peter 3:21). All this happens because Jesus is Lord and He said so!

This is salvation by grace and through faith. It is not by works of righteousness which we do (Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5). In this way God makes you righteous not by law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. Are you one with Christ?