This is a good time to get focused, however! Taking a look at Romans again. Here we go:
Romans 1:16 - 17For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed —a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[e] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” -- Romans 1:16,17
Let's take a look at the words in this verse. Paul is not ashamed to talk about the Gospel (the message of Jesus). He says it has the power to save. -- To save who? Everyone who BELIEVES.
To believe something is to trust in its certainty - to take it to heart.
Let's take a moment to explain what we (and Paul) mean when we use the words "saved," "salvation," and "Savior."
God sent His Son to earth to SAVE people from their sins, as Matthew 1:21 tells us.
We speak of Jesus as the SAVIOR who brought deliverance or who SAVED us. Jesus freed men from the punishment they deserve for their sins (Sins are the things we do that fall short of God's standards).
Jesus freed us by dying on the Cross. We call this salvation. Salvation also includes forgiveness sins.
Everyone is called to do three things:
1. BELIEVE Jesus is the Son of God who died for us.
2.INVITE Him to take over your life and ask for forgiveness of everything you have done wrong.
3. ACCEPT His gift of salvation
When these three steps are taken, the Believer is forgiven from the guilt and penalty of sin.
Did you know the true penalty for sin is eternal hell ? This is separation from the Savior who loves you.
Who wants to be forever trapped in the dark flame of hell?
Hmmmm -- some of us have not thought about that much before. Consider this: If you tell God to leave you alone and ignore Him all your life, He will, in fact, leave you totally alone when you die. That's scary.
So -- feel free to accept that "power" of "salvation" by simply believing and giving your life to the One who loves you most!
Verse 17 talks about "righteousness." This is another term we need to break down. It means being "right" with God. In other words, it means following His guidance, which is clearly outlined in the Scriptures.
When we give God our lives, He empowers us to do the "right" thing. No, we do NOT become perfect. We just become God's child who is working out his salvation on this side of Heaven.
AND, speaking of HEAVEN -- THAT is where we go when we Believers die! -Cool in so many ways!
FAITH, again, refers to our belief in God and our trust in His direction.
So -- by golly -- these are GREAT verses to sort things out. Please understand that our walk with God is hinged on our DECISION to BELIEVE and TURN from sin.
We are called by God to live, not by emotion, neediness, whim, habit, guilt or self-interest, but by FAITH.
The next verses will outline what happens when we turn AWAY from God.