Come Now and Let Us
Reason Together
About:

What it
Means
To Believe
In Christ

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins
be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like
crimson, they shall be as wool."
  Isaiah 1:18

This is God's open invitation to anyone seeking a Bible answer to
questions concerning salvation.   In the following conversation we see
someone partaking of God's offer after having heard a Bible preacher's
sermon . . .

Preacher, I have a question for you.   You said that salvation is by faith, right?
Yes, a person cannot earn their way to Heaven.   You can't pay for your sins with good deeds.   Christ paid
them for us when He died on the cross.   A person is saved by putting his faith in Christ's payment.

Well, I have always believed in Christ.   Does that mean I'm saved?
To answer your question I want to make sure that you understand what it means to believe.   The Bible
says:

"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."
  Romans 10:9

God says that we should believe in our heart.
What does that mean?
It means to be willing to trust in what we believe.
I'm not quite sure that I understand.
Okay, I'll give you an example.   Do you believe that a man can safely travel to the Moon?
Yes, of course, it has been done.
Now, would you be willing to climb into a space craft and go there yourself?
Well, I don't know.   I'd have to think about it.
But you said that you believe it's safe.   You're not willing to trust in what you believe?
I guess when it comes right down to it, I'm not.   I'm beginning to understand.
Good!!   Now that you see a difference between simply believing with your head and believing in your heart,
I'd like to ask you a question.

Sure, go ahead.
You said that you "believe" in Christ but what are you actually trusting in to get you to Heaven?

The man began to think about it and as he did he realized there was a difference between what he
'believed' and what he was trusting in.

I guess that I've been trusting in the fact that I'm not that bad of a person.   I mean, I know that I'm not perfect but
I've always tried to do what is right.

Would you say that you have been trusting in your righteous living?
Yes, that would be one way of putting it.

My friend, allow me to show you why it's useless to trust in one's own righteousness.   The Bible says:

"...There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10.
"...there is none that doeth good, no, not one."   Romans 3:12

Does that mean nobody?
Not one living soul!   You see, God is perfectly righteous.   Next to Him we are nowhere as righteous.
In fact, we are all sinners in His sight.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.

But what about my acts of righteousness or my good deeds?   They have to count for something!
God is holy and just.   He hates sin, He must judge it.   It's the presence of sin not the lack of righteous
deeds that condemns us.   Look at what God says:

"When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness,
and commit iniquity
[sin], all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity
that he hath committed, he shall die for it."
  Ezekiel 33:13

No matter how moral or good you have been, no matter how many acts of righteousness you have
committed, your sins is what God will remember and all it takes is one sin (James 2:10-11).   Can you say
that you have never lied, cheated, taken something that wasn't yours?   Can you say that you have never sinned?

The man was feeling guilty.   The preacher could tell that God was dealing with him about his sin.   Finally
he quietly began to speak.

No, I can't say that I have never sinned.   I guess there's no use in trusting in my good deeds.
Right!   But thanks to God's Son we have something that we can put our trust in - Christ's payment for our
sins.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, being now justified
[Justice is satisfied] by his blood, we shall be saved from
wrath through him
.   For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death
of his Son
, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."
  Romans 5:8-10

God demands death as payment for sins (Romans 6:23).   Jesus Christ died in our place.   This is the good
news (Gospel) that we should be placing our trust in.   Paul reminds the saved of this fact when he says:

"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,"
Ephesians 1:13.

You see that we can't trust ourselves, our good works (Ephesians 2:8,9) or even the keeping of God's law to
save us (Galatians 2:16, 20-21).   So God provided a saviour that we can trust in - Jesus Christ.   (John
3:16; I Timothy 2:3-6).

So what must I do to be saved?
Admit you are a lost Hell bound sinner.   Repent, turn away from your sin, turn toward God and change
your mind from trusting in your good works to trusting in Christ's payment for sin.

You mean take it by faith and trust that Christ has paid for it all?
That's right!   For example, let's say you die and stand before God in judgment and He asks you, 'What
are you trusting in to pay for your sins?'
  Which would you rather answer:   (A) "I'm trusting in my good
deeds even though you said that they would not save me."
  OR (B) "I'm trusting that Christ has paid them
for me just like you said He did."

'B'.   It would be foolish to trust in something that God said would not save me.
Right, God is not a liar.   He has to keep His word.   The best thing a man can do is put his trust
in what God has promised.   The Bible says:

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
                                                                                                                   Proverbs 3:5

So, you see that believing in Christ does not save you unless your belief results in you trusting in
Christ
as your Saviour.   As the song says, 'Nothing in my hands I bring, only to the cross I cling'.
The Apostle Pauls says:

"I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have
committed unto him against that day."
  II Timothy 1:12

The person wanted to know more about GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION so the preacher showed
him the following from God's Word.

FIRST THE BAD NEWS:
1.   We must realize that we are lost, sinners that are spiritually dead.
* "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."   Luke 19:10
* "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
* "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."   John 3:3
* "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."   John
3:6
2.   As spiritually dead, lost sinners, God's judgment and wrath are upon us.
* "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27.
* "For which things' sake [sin] the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience
[sinners]:" Colossians 3:6.
3.   Our good works can't stop this judgment and wrath.   God demands death as payment for
sin.

* "Not of works, lest any man should boast."   Ephesians 2:8,9
* "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10.
* "the soul that sinneth, it shall die."   Ezekiel 18:4
* "For the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23.

NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS!!
4.   God is willing to accept someone else's death in our place.   That someone is Jesus Christ.
* "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who
gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
  I Timothy 2:5-6
* "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
us."
  Romans 5:8
5.   Jesus has bought salvation for us and now God can offer it as a gift by grace.
* "Ye are bought with a price;" I Corinthians 7:23.
* "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

How does someone accept this gift?   Through
repentance and faith.

REPENTANCE:   means to change your mind
and adapt an attitude of not sinning against God.
FAITH:   means to simply take God at His word,
i.e., believe the verses you have just read.
* "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the
Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith
toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
  Acts 20:21
* "For whosoever shall call upon the name of
the Lord shall be saved."
  Romans 10:13
6.   Upon being saved and born again
spiritually, we become converted to a new
creature in Christ.

* "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be
converted, and become as little children, ye shall
not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
  Matthew
18:3
* "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a
new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new."
  II
Corinthians 5:17

For more information please contact:

FARGO BAPTIST
CHURCH

3303 23rd Avenue SouthWest
Fargo, North Dakota 58103
(701) 232-5500

Pastor T. C. Scheving

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]