The Plan of Salvation (Revised)
A salvation plan would be nice
In the course of your life, have you ever thought how nice it would be if you could just be saved from all of your problems, concerns, fears, poor decisions, bad habits, and those “evil” enemies that torment you? Perhaps you have thought how nice it would be if you could just start all over and do some things differently. You are probably not eager to return to childish infancy, but you may be thinking that it would sure help to be able to retain the lessons of my mistakes and be in a position to develop and to execute a plan that would enable me to experience a new beginning for my life. This would be an experience of salvation. This would really be GOOD.
A plan of salvation is necessary
Not only is it possible for you to develop a plan of salvation in your life, but it is also necessary. If you want to experience a lasting victory over your problems, concerns, fears, mistakes, poor judgments, habitual bad habits, personal enemies, and sins, you must have a salvation plan. If you would like to repair some damaged relationships with relatives and friends, experience a new beginning for your life, and live in a new relationship with God, you must accept and follow a plan of salvation, a plan that is GOOD.
One night Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council in ancient Jerusalem, came to Jesus. He admitted that he considered him to be a teacher who had “come from God” because of the miracles that he was doing. Because Nicodemus felt that he had an excellent grasp of God’s rules and laws and was living in accord with them, he was expecting eventually to be accepted into God’s kingdom, to be saved. Jesus told him that “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Nicodemus was puzzled, and questioned Jesus about his statement. He knew that it was not possible for an individual to physically go through the process of being born a second time from a woman's womb. Jesus accepted that as being true, so he went on to further explain what he meant. He said, “flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” Because Nicodemus had been thoroughly educated in the Jewish Scriptures and God’s laws, Jesus indicated that he shouldn’t have been “surprised” or puzzled by his statement.(This conversation is found in the book of John chapter 3 verses 1-7 of the New Testament.)
Paul teaches that it’s possible to begin again, to be “born again”, to be saved
Jesus was telling Nicodemus and you and me that if we want to be accepted into God’s kingdom, we have to be born of God’s Spirit. If we want a new beginning in our lives, victory over everything that troubles us, a salvation experience, it must come through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit working in us to give us the spiritual experience of being born again. Paul, the great preacher about Jesus and teacher for his instructions, tells us that this is exactly what happens when we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) He/she has been saved, has had an experience of salvation that is really GOOD.
Here is the plan of salvation
Make contact with God through prayer.
- A sincere personal prayer is your first step.
When God calls you with his request to believe in Jesus and to repent of your sins, say “Yes, Lord”.
- You should be willing to acknowledge that you are unable to save yourself through your own efforts. You indicate that you really are turning from your selfish ways of living and repenting of your sinful rebellion against God. You ask God to forgive you and to enter into a daily personal relationship with you.
- The Scripture for this step is as follows: “If we confess our sins, he (God) will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).
Confess to God that you believe that Jesus is Lord and that you are accepting his death on the Cross as payment for your sins.
- In making this confession, you tell God that in faith you recognize that Jesus is truly God in human flesh, and that you want him to be the absolute master of your life. Although you may not completely understand every aspect of his divine nature, you sincerely do believe that he rose from the dead and you are accepting him as your personal savior.
- The following Scripture gives the authorization for this step: “...if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
Suggestions for what to do next
- If you sincerely and personally prayed to God to repent of your sins and to accept Jesus as Lord in your life, I would love to hear from you. You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to report your decision or to share any question or comment that you have for me.
- Check the following links for further helpful guidance and instruction as you begin your new life in Jesus: Living by the Spirit and Your new life in Christ by Disciple Bob (on this website).
- Begin a personal study and daily reading of the Bible. You might well start with the Gospel of John in the New Testament.
- Get actively involved in a local church where you can share with others your personal commitment to Jesus and grow in your new life of faith through worship, service, study, and fellowship with other Christians.
The above Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.