Christ and Salvation
In John 3 today we are looking at just one of these incredible presentations of the greatest message of all, the plan of salvation. As we look at this event note carefully that Jesus believed that He was the only means of salvation.
Christ's presentation of salvation is clearly captured in John 3; and it is a very simple summary of salvation that contained three truths:
· "you" (salvation is a personal and individual transaction)
· "must be" (salvation is a very exclusive, narrow, and quite directive command from Jesus to lost sinners who need to be saved)
· "born again" (salvation is an obedient, personal confession that your first birth into what ever family, religion, heritage, ethnic group, and so on is insufficient to get you to Heaven, and unless a supernatural, conscious miracle called conversion takes place, only Hell lies ahead).
What is most compelling about this time that Jesus shares the plan of salvation is that it was said to someone who was most clearly:
· A person who was deeply religious and God fearing;
· A person who was under the Jewish covenant,
· A person who was circumcised in the exact and proper method prescribed by the Old Testament Mosaic law, and
· A person who was carefully keeping all the commands of God's Word in every way he knew how.
However, though Nicodemus was God trusting, and Bible obeying, Jesus explains that because he was never personally born again, supernaturally converted or saved from his sin, Nicodemus was going to be banished from the banquet called Heaven, and cast into the place of everlasting doom called Hell.
In fact Jesus confronted a religious, Bible reading, moral, upright, God-fearing man who believed every word of the Bible, prayed, was in the covenant (circumcised just like Moses said), and affirmed he believed in God with all his heart. To that man, named Nicodemus, Jesus said, "You are not going to Heaven, unless you personally call out to Me and get saved or born-again"!
Religious and Reverent
But Still Lost
Think of that: covenant entrance by circumcision (or as has been transformed into the modern day practice of infant baptism) does not insure salvation. Faithful church attendance, Bible reading, prayers, strong morals, sacrificial tithing/giving, even deep personal Bible study (all of which Nicodemus was actively doing) could never get him to Heaven (or anyone like him alive today). Jesus said the only way into salvation was the conscious act of being born again or saved.
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