Why Did Jesus Have To Die On The Cross? How Do I Become Saved?
Before answering these questions there is another question that you must answer and that so many believers leave out when answering these questions. That question is, ‘Do you believe that the Bible is the one word of the one true God?’ You must believe that it is the true word of the only God of the universe because Salvation is based on the truths of the Bible which all focus on Jesus Christ.
If you do believe this then read on. If you are unsure, or you are unsure why you believe this to be true then first go read another article I have written; The Bible Is The True Word Of God .
Believing that the Bible is the word of God, the very next question you need an answer to is what is God really like? Starting with knowing about God and His perfect ways gives you a solid foundation upon which to build better understanding when reading the Word of God. Let us quickly look at some of God’s characteristics from the Bible.
- God is eternal. He is not a created being. He has always existed. God never changes. He is the same today as He has always been.
(Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8 , James 1:17, Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalms 90:2)
- God cannot do anything against His own perfect character. God keeps His promises to us. (Psalms 12:6-7, Mark 13:31)
- God is perfect in every way:
+ Perfect in love. (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16, 1 John 4 :7)
+ Perfectly Holy and perfect in justice.(Revelation 4:8, 1 Peter 1:15-16)
+ Perfect in mercy. (Hebrews 13:5, Romans 3:23-24, Psalms 111:9)
NOTE: The list continues because He is truly perfect in every way. I have a more complete article on what the Bible has to say about God’s characteristics and His ways that you can read here . For the purpose of this article we will focus on the above attributes of God.
GOD IS LOVE. Then, All Is Good Right?
Perfect love is the trait of God that we want to hear about the most right? If God loves us then what have we to fear? In fact, many pulpits focus on this aspect of God yet deny the other attributes of God. We must remember that God is also perfectly JUST and Holy. And that is the problem that we humans need to address and face head on. If we compare our goodness to others who have done greater sins than we have, that is not a fair assessment of our true sinfulness. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23 KJV) and that “…we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; ” (Isaiah 53:6 KJV). The very best thing we do in goodness is as filthy rags to God. You see, we all have a SIN NATURE in us. And God is so Holy that even just ONE sin is enough to cause Him to punish us with His perfect justice.
To make matters worse, the punishment for even ONE SIN is eternal death in a place of torment that was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). God is THAT HOLY! And when we compare ourselves to God, believe me when I say that we fail miserably. God gave us the Ten Commandments as His Absolute Truth to show us just how sinful we really are. No normally born human has kept the Ten Commandments perfectly.
Some say, I have not committed murder or adultery! However, Jesus said that if you have hate toward another in your heart you have committed murder. If you lust after the opposite sex you have committed adultery in your heart. And have you really loved God with ALL YOUR HEART AND MIND? Honestly, none of us have. You see our heart, our inner being is where the problem is. We all were born with a SIN NATURE and a ‘bent’ toward sinning since the fall of Adam and Eve.
So we have all sinned. What does that make us? It makes us sinners! And what does the Bible say happens to sinners? They are headed for God’s judgement and condemnation in hell.
“For the wages of sin is death;…” (Romans 6:23 KJV)
A look at this verse in the Greek in which it was penned defines this death as ‘with the implied idea of future misery in hell’. This is an eternal death. That is not good news right?! So, what about God’s love you keep hearing about? Isn’t God perfect in love and mercy? YES He is! But not in a wishy washy sense. What I mean is that God is not going to just tell you in the court room of God, “ok. You did more good deeds than bad, so I will allow you eternal life in heaven”. NEVER. God CANNOT do anything against His perfect Holiness! To be given entrance to Heaven a person must be perfect and without any sin debt.
Here is the good news! The wonderful news!
God is also perfect in love and mercy and so He must also abide by these character traits perfectly. You see God loves you and me more than any being in the universe. He does not want anyone to end up in Hell. No! He loves the sinner but hates the sin. He wants all to be in heaven with Him forever and ever.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 KJV)
But this SIN is in the way because He must judge it. The penalty MUST be paid. So what is God to do in this predicament?
This is what Salvation is all about. The Bible tells us that God is a Trinity of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:7). The Bible is clear that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22). God in His perfect love and mercy decides to commit the single greatest act of love in the universe for all of time. God decides to take the punishment for our sins upon Himself so that our penalty for sins can be paid in full. To do this, He would have to become a man but also still be God. This God-man is Jesus The Christ.
Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary and was not born into the sin nature as we were. He is God after all. He could be tempted to sin but never sinned in His entire life in deed, nor in thought. Why? Because He is God become flesh. God had to become flesh and live as one of us so His blood could be shed for us. It was the only way that we could be forgiven our sins because they had to be paid for. God is perfectly just and our sins MUST be paid for.
When Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood God took upon Himself all the sins of the whole world (past/present/future, 1 John 2:2) and paid for them so that we could be freed from our sin debt against the Holy God Almighty. Salvation is a FREE GIFT of God’s grace and an unmerited favor (Ephesians. 2:8-9). So you see, yes God is love. Amazing love! But His love that saves us was not in a wishy washy way. Jesus became the perfect once for all sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 10:10) and in doing so kept all His perfect traits and characteristics intact. He loves us perfectly. He judged our sins in His perfect justice and Holiness. He was perfectly merciful toward us in paying the penalty for our sins. THAT is the true love of God from the Bible. THAT is the love of God that you hear so much about. It far surpasses any love we have for each other here on Earth.
The Free Gift of The Grace Of God
“For by GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
The Bible is clear that this act of love towards us is a FREE GIFT to be received. That is, it is not us working our way to heaven by performing good deeds and good works, being a good person nor by religious rituals. It is a Grace GIFT from God. An UNMERITED favor from God to humankind. Now God did not create us as robots. Instead He gave us a free will so that we could have a real relationship with Him. And so God offers the free gift of Salvation to all who believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, who atoned for our sins on the cross, died and rose again on the third day.
Jesus on the cross cried out, “It is finished” and if we look at the Greek that the New Testament was written, it actually means “DEBT PAID IN FULL!” God does not force anyone to accept this free gift and turn to God for Salvation from our sins. As a GIFT, it must be received or rejected. Jesus said about Salvation through Him,
“That WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have ETERNAL LIFE. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that BELIEVETH ON HIM is not condemned: but he that BELIEVETH NOT is condemned already, because he hath NOT BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:15-18 KJV)
This is why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is called the good news!
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
Only one thing which is not of your own self righteous efforts in any way; BELIEVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who paid your penalty for the sins you have committed. When a person believes this they are from that very moment saved eternally (Ephesians 1:13-14), even without saying a prayer (it is good to give Him thanks in belief, do not get me wrong!), The Holy Spirit of God indwells the person and they are SEALED and saved for all eternity!
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye BELIEVED, ye were SEALED with that holy Spirit of PROMISE, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-16 KJV)
And this Scripture below shows just how much God has saved such a person for all eternity. To be with God in Heaven we must be without sin debt. In belief, the person actually becomes the very righteousness of God, in Christ! An amazing truth to be so thankful for, yet many believers have not grasped how powerful our Salvation is!
“For he hath made HIM [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be MADE the righteousness of God IN HIM.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV,  brackets for clarification)
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And BY HIM ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts13:38-39 KJV)
Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and has imputed the righteousness of God to us, in God’s eyes He sees us through the filter of Christ! To Him we are holy, righteous and redeemed for all eternity. To God, all your sins (past/present/future) have all been fully paid for and so there is now no condemnation for them that believe on Christ alone in faith and belief.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1 KJV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18 KJV)
Is Just Believing Enough To Save us? What About Repentance?
The New Testament was first penned in the Greek. The Greek word for the English word ‘repent’ is ‘metanoia’ and is defined as “…a change of mind, change in the inner man”. (see http://biblehub.com/greek/3341.htm) It is not defined as ‘turn from sin’ as many pulpits teaching works based Salvation are telling their church members. That is the modern day dictionary definition but not the Biblical definition of ‘repentance’.
In fact, we see in the Word of God that God Himself repents more than any, yet God has no sin to turn from! To repent is to ‘change your mind’.
You can see clearly now that the Biblical meaning of ‘repent’ is nothing like the dictionary definition (change one’s life for the better; be penitent. ) True repentance is not a work that WE DO to gain God’s acceptance and favor after Salvation. God reached out to us first and provided a way for us sinners to be forgiven completely, but it is NOT from our own efforts. God gives Salvation to us as a free gift to be received. The Bible tells us that BEFORE God created the Earth He established the one and only way for us to be forgiven our sins and that way is by faith in the act of atonement provided by Jesus The Christ on the cross.
Repentance is changing our mind and thinking about how to be saved. We are NOT saved by our works, which is what the every religion in the world teaches. Repentance and belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (which is Salvation by faith alone In the atonement for our sins through Christ crucified) is two sides of the same coin. That is if you repent about how to deal with your sins (change your mind about how to get forgiveness for your sins) and believe that this is accomplished only through faith and belief in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and the atonement for our sins on the cross, you HAVE ALREADY repented.
Repenting is the change in your mind from the world’s way of dealing with sin and changing to God’s way of dealing with sin which is believing on Christ for Salvation apart from works of any kind (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Stopping the practice of a particular sin is a result of repenting and changing your mind. That is, it is not the repenting itself.
The Main Books Of The Bible On How To Be Saved Prove This!
The book of John is all about how to be saved. Do you know that the word ‘repent’ nor ‘repentance’ does not even appear once! But the word ‘believe’ on Christ is seen all over the book many times!
The book of Galatians. This is the book fighting against the false Gospel based on works for Salvation right? Again, the word ‘repent’ is not found once in this book contending for the true Gospel! However the word ‘faith’ in Jesus Christ is found all through the book!
The book of Romans. Paul tells us again and again that Salvation is NOT OF WORKS IN ANY MANNER! And where the word ‘repent’ is found, it is not the same Greek word. It does not mean ‘turning from your sin’.
The Christian religions need to stop using the dictionary definition of the word ‘repent’!!! They are teaching a FALSE GOSPEL WHICH WILL NOT SAVE ANYONE.
Believe The Gospel And Be Saved
Do you believe Jesus is the Christ (Christ is not Jesus’ last name, it means ‘the anointed one’), the only begotten Son of God who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, born without sin, lived a sinless life, atoned for and paid in full the sins of the whole world (past/present/future) on the cross, died and rose again on the third day? If so, the Holy Spirit now resides within you and you are SEALED and saved for all eternity. You are Heaven bound and your sins will not cause loss of your Salvation. They are fully PAID by Christ on the cross 2000 years ago.
Related Articles & Next Steps After Receiving The Gift Of Salvation:
- What Is God’s Will For My Life?
- What Is More Important? Doing God’s Word or Hearing God’s Word?
- What about my future sins? Can I lose Salvation By Sinning?
- What Does The Bible Mean By Saying That Christians Are Dead To The Law?
- What Does It Mean When Someone Says They Are ‘Positionally Righteous’?
- Do We Sanctify Ourselves or Does The Holy Spirit Sanctify Us?
- Are Christians ‘Good People’ And Sinners ‘Bad People?