What I Believe

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How You Can Be Saved

The Gospel (“Good News”) of Jesus Christ

Every person needs to have a right relationship with the God who created us.

Perhaps in your own heart you have tried to explain away spiritual things, convincing yourself it is all superstition or fairy tales, but the questions just will not go away. Do you know why they will not go away? Because God created in every person the need and desire to know the answers… this need is evidence that God exists, and is reaching out to you.

You need to be “saved.”  Perhaps you do not understand that religious phrase. To be “saved” means to be rescued from some impending harm. You cannot really desire to be saved unless you are convinced there is something that you need to be saved from. What do we need to be saved from?

The nutshell is this: you are a sinner. The God who created you does not tolerate sin. Like a righteous human judge doing his duty, pronouncing punishment and penalty on wrongdoing, the Judge of the Universe – God – must pronounce eternal judgment on all those who have violated His perfect Law. That is the bad news. The good news is that God also has provided a way for us to be forgiven for those violations (sin).

  • But I’m a good person, you might say.
  • Are you really? Is it fair to call you a “sinner”? Most people would answer: “no, I’m a good person.” Let’s put that to the test.
  • Have you ever lied? Ever, even once? How many lies does it take to be a liar? One. You are a liar. So am I.
  • Have you ever stolen, cheated on your taxes, been lazy at work? You are a thief. So I am. So is just about everybody.
  • Have you ever lusted, even once? Ever take God’s name in vain (“g*d*m**t) or used His name casually as an expletive (“oh my god”)? Ever hated someone?
  • Those sins make you an adulterer (Jesus said lust is equal to adultery in your heart), a blasphemer (using God’s holy name without proper reverence), and murderer (Jesus said to hate your brother is the same as wanting to kill him).

See what I mean. We are not “good.” You (and every other person) are a lying, stealing, blaspheming, murdering, adulterer (and that is just a start. We are not even halfway through the 10 Commandments).

You are a sinner. I am a sinner. We ALL are sinners. We all have a very real need for forgiveness by God. That’s what “being saved” means. We need to be saved from God’s righteous pronouncement of “GUILTY!” and His just sentence of “DEATH” for our sin. Just like a good human judge will pronounce “guilty!” and a penalty on someone  who has broken the law, God (The Perfect Judge) will do the same. Makes sense, right?

God mercifully provided a way for us to be saved. You cannot earn it, you cannot be good enough to merit it. You cannot demand it or obligate God to give it. It is a free gift given by God’s love even though we do not deserve it. Our salvation is unattainable except that God chose in eternity past to provide it.

Here are seven truths to help you find true Christian faith for yourself, based upon what God says in His Word – the Bible:

  • God Loves You: …God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
  • You Are in Trouble: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” — “You [God] are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with You the wicked cannot dwell.
  • Sin Brings Disaster: The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • God Has Provided the Answer – a Savior: God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Repent* of Your Sin and Turn To the Savior, Jesus Christ: Turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus — To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. *To repent means to “turn away from.” It means to be sorry for your sin and truly not want to do it anymore.
  • Believing in Jesus and Receiving Salvation by Faith*: This is what the Bible says – God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son, Jesus. He who has the Son has eternal life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have eternal life — If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Have faith* Jesus will you.
  • Now Is the Time to Receive Him and Respond in Obedience: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. — Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Obedience is the evidence of true repentance, faith, and belief. We must respond to God’s gift of salvation ON HIS TERMS by obeying what He commands.Confess that you are a sinner publicly. Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the ONLY way to salvation. Be baptized – which symbolizes your old life of sin and defiance being put to death in a grave of water, and a new Godly person being born to a new life of righteousness and good.Find a group of Believers with whom you can serve, pray, and worship the God of the Universe.  Read your Bible. Love others. Obey God. Obedience is the EVIDENCE of GENUINE salvation.

*What is Faith?

You hear the word “faith” a lot in Christian conversation. Often it is used to simply mean “trust”, such as “trust God” (ie. have faith that God will care for you). But what is “faith” when it comes to being saved?

Faith is putting your trust in Jesus to save you just like you put your trust in a parachute to save you when you jump out of plane. You believe the parachute exists, you believe in what it does. But you only have FAITH in the parachute when you are actually willing to put it on… and jump.

We put on Jesus by faith and jump into eternity trusting He can save us from judgment and eternal punishment.

Other considerations:

  • Do you know what “praying” is? It just means to talk to God.  If you have finally realized you are a sinner and need to be saved, talk to God and ask Him to forgive you. Tell Him you believe Jesus died to pay for your sins, and you want to stop sinning. Thank God for this.
  • Now go and find some other Christians who are serious about their faith in God and who believe the Bible. Ask them to show you what God would have you do next. The Bible says we authenticate our salvation by our obedience – doing what God says. Other mature Christians can show you what God would have you do now, such as being baptized and meeting with other Christians regularly.
  • Your decision of what relationship you want with God is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. If you have questions, or need help finding Christians in your area who can talk to you further, do not hesitate to email me: brent@brentriggs.com.
  • Look up these Bible verses where God says many of the things I’ve written above: John 3:16, Romans 3:23, Psalm 5:4, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Acts 20:21, John 1:12, I John 5:11-12, Hebrews 3:7-8, Romans 10:9; Acts 2.38. I have adopted my salvation explanation from things I’ve read over time. Any similarity is not meant as plagiarism but rather just a choice to communicate this important truth in the best way possible. I have lost track of what part of this came from where, or what is my own.

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I Believe

  • I believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant word of God and is the only infallible rule of faith and practice. (II Tim 3:16-17)
  • I believe that there is one true God (Dt 6:4), eternally existing in three persons…The Father (Jn 4:24), Son (Jn 1:1,14), and Holy Spirit. (Acts 5:3,4)
  • I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Isa 7:14), that He is God incarnate, (Jn 1:1,14), and that He came to earth for the express purpose of paying the penalty for our sins (Jn 1:29), making for Himself His very own people. (Titus 2:14)
  • I believe that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and raised from the grave (I Cor 15:3,4); was exalted to God’s right hand (Eph 1:20); and there is no other name under heaven by which man can be saved (Acts 4.12)
  • I believe that all men without Christ are sinners, guilty before God, and are under His condemnation. (Rom 3:23; 6:23)
  • *I believe that all who repent and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and who respond in genuine obedient faith, are supernaturally born again (John 3:3,7; 1 Pet. 1:3,23; Titus 3.5), sealed by God and given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee (2Cor 1:22), adopted as children of God (Jn 1:12), and eternally saved. (Jn 6:47)
  • I believe that all who come to believe in Christ, being filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:47-48), are commanded to be baptized (Matt 28.19; Acts 2.38; Mark 16.16, Gal 3.27); to observe the Lord’s Supper until His return (Luke 22.19; 1 Corinthians 11:25-26); and are to be a part of a local assembly of Believers (ie, a home or community meeting on the Lord’s Day of fellow Christians for worship, service and fellowship). (Heb 10.25; The Book of Ephesians)
  • I believe in the personal and imminent return of Jesus Christ for His church. (I Thes 4:16,17)
  • I believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting bliss of the saved in heaven, (Phil 3:20) and the everlasting punishment of the lost in hell. (Rev 20:15)
  • I believe that the sick may request to be anointed with oil by the Elders of the Church as they pray the “prayer of faith” and the Lord can save the sick and raise them up from both physical and/or spiritual sickness as God chooses according to His will and pleasure which He may or may not reveal to us. (James 5.14-15)
  • I believe that every believer is endowed with spiritual gifts for the building up of the body of Christ. (I Cor 12:4,11)
  • I believe that all believers are called to live a life of holiness apart from all worldliness and sinful practice. (Rom 12:1,2)

* I believe that salvation is God’s merciful gift (we don’t deserve it) and possible only by faith** (belief + trust + response) in Jesus Christ alone (and no other) – Ephesians 4: 2-4, 8   But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

** FAITH is a combination of belief + trust + response.  Belief that Jesus is the Son of God, that was He born a real man, human in every way except the sinful nature; that He lived sin-free life (unlike us Romans 3:23), that He freely gave His life on the Cross and paid my penalty for my sin. It is the belief that Jesus died on the Cross but three days later rose from the dead defeating the power of death. It is belief that I am a sinner who is justly and eternally condemned for violating God’s holy standards. Faith is trusting that Jesus Christ alone can atone (satisfy God’s requirement for justice) for my sins (and is willing to)  and save me from an eternity in Hell that I deserve… and faith is responding in humble obedience (God is right, I am wrong) by confessing my sins, repenting (turning away from sin), and “putting on” Jesus Christ (like a person would believe and trust and put on a parachute to save himself from burning airplane that was going down). I believe that an obedient response to God’s gift of salvation and the resulting transformed life (from a lover of sin to a lover of righteousness and God) is the evidence and authentication of true salvation in a persons life.