For an introduction to the series, read this.
We come now to a new article in Cornerstone Community Church’s statement of faith, based on the Baptist Faith and Message. This article is on salvation and has distinct sections, the first of which we will address this week:
Statement of Faith Article for the Week
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is applied to all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
Thoughts for Discussion with Children
In church we talk a lot about being saved. That’s what the word “salvation” means. But if we need to be saved, that must mean we are in danger. What is it that we are in danger of? We are in danger of God’s terrible judgment because he is a holy God, and we are sinners who have loved other things more than we have loved him. We need to be saved from God himself!
But the good news is that the God who is a danger to us is also the God who loves us and has given us the opportunity to be saved from his judgment so that we can be adopted into his family, where we will live with him forever as his beloved children rather than judged as his enemies. And, as the statement says, this salvation (or “redemption”) is “applied to all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as lord and Savior.” In order to be saved, we must repent of sins and believe in Jesus Christ.
Repent and believe. Repentance and faith. This sounds like two different things, but in fact they are one thing looked at in two different ways. Stand and face the wall in front of you. Now, imagine that wall says “Sin” on it. Imagine also that the wall behind you says “Jesus Christ” on it. Now turn and face the wall that you imagine says “Jesus Christ.” Where is your back now? So, you see that when you turn toward one wall, you are at the same time turning away from the other one.
That’s how repentance and faith work. Faith is turning toward Jesus and giving yourself completely to him, knowing that he alone can save you through his death and resurrection. It means trusting in him, not only to forgive you of your sins, but to make you a new person so that sin does not have the same hold on you anymore. But if you are turning to Christ to break free from sin, you are at the same time turning away from sin. That’s repentance. You can’t truly have faith in Jesus unless you repent, or turn away, from sin. And you aren’t really repenting of sin unless you are turning to Jesus in faith, because not turning to Jesus is sin. Repentance and faith go together. You can never have one without the other.
And it is only those who repent and believe who will be saved from God’s judgment when it comes. Let go of your sins and trust in Jesus alone to save you.