Perhaps you have come upon this website because you are searching for a relationship with God. Perhaps you've been thinking about whether or not you'd go to heaven when you die. Maybe you saw the phrase “Jesus Saves” somewhere and you wondered what it was about. Who is Jesus? What does He save from? What does it mean to be saved? Do I need saved? How can I be saved?
The Bible, which is God’s word, answers that question in one short statement:
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. KJV
But what does that mean? Does that mean I only have to believe that Jesus Christ existed as a real person? I celebrate Christmas and Easter every year, does that mean that I believe in Jesus Christ?
For that simple statement to actually be effective requires that you understand a few things. You need to understand who Jesus Christ is and you need to understand what He has done for you. With that knowledge, that simple statement can change your life forever.
I hope that you will read on for answers to all of these questions and to learn what Jesus Saves means.
Imagine for a moment you are in a courtroom seated with your attorney. You are on trial for a crime that carries the death penalty - murder. The jury has heard the evidence against you and your attorney has presented your defense. You now await the jury’s verdict.
As the jury foreman steps forward, a hush falls over the courtroom. You rise to your feet and face the judge. You are the only one in the courtroom who knows one fact for certain: You committed the crime. You are not surprised when the jury foreman announces the verdict of guilty.
The judge pronounces your sentence while pounding the gavel: death! You are helpless to save yourself and your lawyer cannot protect you. You cannot escape the death penalty.
Before you can be led away from the courtroom in handcuffs a man, a stranger, steps forward. “I will be your substitute,” he says. “I will pay your death penalty for you.”
The judge leans forward, questioning him. Satisfied by the man’s qualifications the judge turns to you and asks, "Do you accept this man as your substitute?" If you answer no, you are led away to pay your death penalty. But if you answer yes, your wrists are freed from the handcuffs and they are placed on his. While this man goes to his death in your place undeservedly, you are set free. Even though you are guilty, you are allowed to live because someone else has taken your punishment.
At birth, every human being is condemned under the death penalty. However, by His grace God has made it possible to avoid that fate by offering you freedom and eternal life with Himself.
In love, Jesus Christ was sent by God the Father to be your substitute, to free you from the death penalty.
The Bible, God’s written word, says:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
You are guilty, helpless to save yourself from this death penalty. There is no ability you possess or any work you can perform to redeem yourself. But God has provided an escape from eternal condemnation. The price for your freedom was paid by your substitute, Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross. You can receive God’s grace gift of eternal life by one simple act of faith.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. (Acts 16:31a KJV)
Believing in Christ means that you accept as true the fact that He died as your personal substitute. At the very instant that you believe, your death penalty is removed and you are declared innocent. God gives you eternal life and guarantees your salvation. Instantly, you are brought into an eternal relationship with God.
You may have never even been aware that you were born under a sentence of death. “I’m a good person. God would never condemn me!” But you are guilty, God has condemned you, and only Christ can save you. Christ’s own Gospel message is:
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6b)
Since the moment you were born, a barrier has existed between you and God. This barrier stands between man and God. Since God is perfect in every way, His standards are perfect. Since you are not perfect, God cannot accept or approve of you.
As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10 KJV)
The Bible tells us that man is not perfect. You as a human being are born flawed with a sinful nature that tempts you to commit offenses against God. As a result, your hereditary sinful nature makes it impossible for you, through your own efforts, to be accepted by God.
Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned [when Adam sinned]. (Romans 5:12)
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment. (Isaiah 64:6a)
If you’re honest with yourself, you will admit that you sin. What you may not realize though is that the temptation to sin originates from your inborn flawed nature. Because of this sinful nature, you can never meet God’s standards on your own.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
It’s our marred nature that separates us from God. By God’s standards there are no ‘good’ people. No one can remove this barrier that separates man from God by being ‘good enough’ or by his own desire or works. Perfect God is on one side of the barrier and imperfect man is on the other.
The Bible refers to man’s side of the barrier as a slave market. Jesus said:
Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. (John 8:34)
Every human being is born into this slave market. We are in slavery to our own corrupt, sinful nature and like any slave, we cannot redeem ourselves or purchase our own freedom.
There is no future inside the slave market. Condemnation, punishment and eternal separation from God is the legacy of our slavery. God graciously provides a means of escape for mankind even though they are born under the death penalty. Grace is something you cannot earn. Because of His perfect love, God offers every human being a choice between death and eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
You are not abandoned in the slave market of sin. Everything needed for you and every other human being to leave slavery and enter into an eternal relationship with Him has been graciously provided by God.
The only way we can be freed from the slave market of sin is for God to design a means by which His perfect standards can be met. To remove the barrier between God and man, God the Father sent Jesus Christ His Son.
Being both perfect God and perfect man, Jesus Christ is unique. Not only is He truly human, He is also just as much God as the Father who sent Him: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
When Jesus Christ came to earth to become the God-man, His humanity was perfect because He was born outside the slave market. He alone had no sinful nature because of His unique birth. Since He lived His entire life without committing a sin, no divine punishment was due Him. Christ was the only person who was ever qualified to meet the perfect standards of God on His own merit. Since He was free from sin and He was outside the slave market of sin, Christ was qualified to purchase our freedom. As the Supreme Judge, God the Father accepted Him as your substitute.
He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The death penalty due you and every other human being was paid for in full by Jesus Christ on the cross. Every sin ever committed—past, present, and future—was poured out upon Him and judged on the cross. God the Father pronounced the sentence and Jesus Christ obeyed it. As the only perfect man in history, Jesus Christ chose to be judged on the cross for man’s sins.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)
Jesus Christ became your substitute when He accepted your punishment. As your substitute, He met the perfect standards of God for you and removed the barrier between you and God.
The chains have been removed from the slave market by Jesus Christ. You have the freedom to leave. You now have access to God. Everything necessary for you to cross over the barrier between you and God has already been accomplished.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all. (1 Timothy 2:5-6a)
Jesus Christ has willingly accepted the death sentence in your place. You are no longer a prisoner of the slave market. You have been freed!
What must you do to escape from the slave market? There is nothing you must do or say or change to be free. You already have access to freedom. The only requirement is faith. Faith is simply believing. God requires nothing of you except belief. In return, He gives you eternal life. You receive the gift He is offering simply by faith.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)
Since no one can meet His standards, your personal worth is not an issue to God. He has already tried and closed the case of human sin so your personal sins are not an issue to God. Your works and good deeds are not an issue to God. He offers salvation by grace through faith, not by works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
God’s policy is salvation by grace through faith. Your salvation is provided by Jesus Christ. It is faith in Him that is the means by which you receive God’s grace.
The key to your salvation then is faith. You have been set free by Jesus Christ which means that you have been released to make your own choice about Him. It’s your decision. You have the right to decide either for or against Christ.
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)
A relationship with God is something you can never earn or deserve, even at your best. Jesus Christ, the object of your faith, has all of the merit. Your salvation is only made possible by your faith in the work of Christ on the cross. Faith is simply your decision to receive the message of Christ as true. Faith alone in Christ alone is the only means of salvation.
You respond to God the Father by simply forming the words privately in your mind, “I believe in Jesus Christ”. You are saved the very instant you believe. At that instant, God gives you eternal life. You are “born again.”
Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3b)
He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (John 5:24)
The most important decision you will ever make in your life is your decision about Christ. How you spend your eternal future is your choice. If you do not believe, you will never share God’s eternal life and you will remain outside of His family.
I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. (John 11:25-26a)
If you die without believing in Jesus Christ, your name is blotted out of the book of life. Your destiny will be to stand before the Supreme Court of Heaven and be judged and condemned. Anyone whose name is missing from this book is sentenced to spend eternity in the lake of fire.
And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)
The death sentence has been removed and there is no eternal punishment for the believer.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:1-2)
Time is a drop in the bucket compared to eternity. Eternity is a long, long time. Time without end is a difficult concept for our finite minds to fully grasp the reality of. Your life hangs by a very fine thread. You have only a few short years, perhaps less than you think, to prepare for life after death.
When you believe in Christ, you can look forward to
an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:4)
The Bible reveals little about heaven, but we are assured that it is glorious beyond our imagination:
and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain. (Revelation 21:4a)
Most astounding of all, you will see Christ who is
the radiance of His [the Father’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature. (Hebrews 1:3a)
An endless nightmare awaits those who refuse to make this greatest and most important decision. The consequences of spurning the One who suffered untold agony on the cross as your substitute are appalling.
The only alternative is sharing the final destination of the devil and his angels - the lake of fire. (Matt. 25:41). This place of eternal suffering and pain is the eternal prison for all who refuse God’s offer for freedom from the slave market of sin. Peer into this torment and hopelessness for the unbeliever:
And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10b)
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)
If you have yet to make a choice about your eternal future then you are without Christ, without hope, and without eternal life. You stand guilty, destined to the lake of fire. However, Jesus Christ had you personally in mind when He went to the cross. Jesus Christ died as your substitute. He took your place and accepted your punishment.
God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died as a substitute for us. (Romans 5:8)
God has given you the freedom to make your own choice about Jesus Christ. He has extended His loving hand to you and basically says, “Come to Me through My Son.” Right now, at this moment, by a simple act of faith you can have eternal life.
He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16b)
This is your opportunity to receive God’s free gift to you. Your choice for Christ is a private decision. No one else can make that decision for you. You must decide for yourself. And no one has the right to force you to make any decision.
You have seen who Jesus Christ is. He is God’s Son. He is both truly human and God in one person. He lived a perfect life. This qualified Him to be the mediator between mankind and God.
You have seen what Jesus Christ did. He paid the penalty for the sins of all mankind on the cross. He was your substitute. He took your place.
You have seen what the result of your faith will be - eternal life. You will go to heaven when you die. You will spend all eternity in the presence of God.
In the privacy of your own soul, you can simply respond to God the Father by forming the words in your mind, "I believe in Jesus Christ". In that very moment you are saved, your eternal future has been assured.
If you decide to believe in Christ, you can be confident you have eternal life. You will share an eternal relationship with God. You will live with Him forever in heaven. Faith alone in Christ alone is salvation!
The choice is yours.
Hopefully if you’ve read this far you have believed in Jesus Christ, accepted Him as your Savior.
God offers a life of meaning, purpose, and destiny to those who believe in Jesus Christ.
When you believe in Christ, you enter into a new and personal relationship with God. You are in His family. Every believer is God’s child and always will be.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)
Your new status as a believer does not mean you are now perfect. You will continue to sin and make mistakes because you still possess your sinful nature. It’s the same with believers as it is in any family, some children may turn out well and some may not. All believers will fail at some time or another, some more than others. But God never abandons any of his children. You have a secure position with God which will never end no matter how often or how badly you may fail as a believer.
And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:28)
You now have a permanent and eternal relationship with God. Once you have believed in Christ you cannot lose your salvation. The slave market of sin is left behind forever and you now have the ultimate security: God’s unconditional promise of eternal life.
Your guarantee is God’s perfection. His love for you never ends. He has wrapped His loving arms around you and He will never let go. He never changes a promise He has made to you or alters His standards. The barrier is gone forever! As a believer, nothing can ever again separate you from God. Your eternal salvation can never be taken away.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
You have entered into a new life as a new believer. You are a Christian. This means that you now have a permanent union with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
You immediately begin receiving divine support as a new believer. God supports you both now, while you are on this earth, and after you die, when you will live with Him forever in heaven.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
God has graciously furnished a way for you to adjust your course and continue to fulfill His plan even when you sin. Simply stated:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
All of the resources necessary to live the Christian way of life were provided for you at the moment of your salvation. The Bible, which is called “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16), is God’s guide for your new life. By learning Bible doctrine from a pastor-teacher, you can understand God’s plan for your life.
Pastors are provided by God to clearly and accurately communicate His Word to you—if you have the desire to learn. The most important thing is listening regularly and concentrating on what the Bible has to say. You will grow spiritually in your new life by continuing to learn, think, and apply Bible doctrine. After salvation, the only way to attain spiritual growth, as well as Christian good works, is by studying and using the Word of God.
If you are not fortunate enough to have a church near you that focuses on the teaching of the Word of God, there are many around the country that do and make their teaching available free of charge. This website lists many such churches:
I am not familiar with all of these churches but I do have personal experience with Berachah Church and RB Thieme Junior Bible Ministries. Contact either of these ministries and they can get you started on your study of the Word of God.
You should be able to find a pastor who teaches in a manner pleasing to you. If you persist in God’s Word as a believer in Jesus Christ, a life of tremendous love, joy, blessing and service for the Lord awaits you.
quotations taken from the NASB.
Bracketed comments in verses are to give clarity and where verses are dependent on their context for understanding.
Web site copyright 2016 by Raymond L Cowan. Last edit 7/25/17.