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Five Steps to Heaven

God has only one way of salvation. Jesus said, "I am the way . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). And, God has made only one method of entering upon that one way of salvation:

"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" (Eph. 2:8, 9).

Clearly, then, the key is faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). "Thy faith hath saved thee" (Luke 18:42). What is this faith that saves? What does it mean to exercise this faith in Christ?

1. Faith convinces a man of his own sinfulness and his inability to save himself.

"Both Jews and Gentiles . . . are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:9-11).

Unless you honestly recognize your sinful condition and utter inability to do anything to merit salvation, you can never be saved, for Jesus said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mark 2:17).

2. Faith believes God has provided salvation in the One whom He had ordained and promised to send as the only Savior of sinners.

"God will provide Himself a lamb" (Genesis 22:8). The entire fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is given over to a prophecy of the Messiah who would suffer and die to bear away the sins of His people. Daniel 9:26 sums it all up with the words, "Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself." Such is God's promise. Faith takes hold of God's Word and believes that God has not left us without hope but has provided a Savior as He promised. But saving faith goes further.

3. Faith believes that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Savior and that there is no other name whereby we can be saved.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Here then are the three basic steps of saving faith. Study them carefully. Only if you honestly accept these three things can you experience the final two all-important steps of saving faith.

4. Faith rests on Christ as He is revealed in the gospel as the all-sufficient Savior.

"He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him" (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Faith accepts this simple yet sublime invitation, believing in the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, to redeem, cleanse, and save the soul.

"In [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:14). Faith ceases working to obtain salvation and rests wholeheartedly on Christ alone, because He has purchased salvation by His finished work on the Cross.

This leads us to the final step of saving faith.

5. Faith assures all who receive Christ that all the Lord Jesus accomplished in His life, death, and resurrection is applied personally to them.

All who receive Christ by faith can say with the Apostle Paul, "The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). That is, all the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ are made over to me, in the sight of God! Here is God's description of the blessedness of the person to whom the merits and righteousness of Christ are applied. The one "unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works" (Romans 4:7) is described in this way: "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered" (Romans 4:8).

Will you now face up to the question, "Am I saved? Do I have a saving faith in Christ?" Do not rest until you know you are saved. This is the all-important issue facing your soul. Heaven and hell are before you. Make sure you are saved from hell. Step out for heaven today, or, as the Word of God puts it, "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest" (Hebrews 4:11).

If you have any questions about what you have read, please contact us.

Taken from "Five Steps to Heaven," published by Let the Bible Speak.

 

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