Accepting Christ. Being born again. Moving from death to life.
There are a number of common phrases Christians use to describe salvation. As we discover more about what God did in us and for us when He saved us, our gratitude for his grace will abound.
Salvation is God's gift to you - if you'll accept it.
We can never make up for our sin with self-improvement or good works. It is only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness that you can be saved from sin's penalty.
The Good News
Eternal life begins the moment you receive Jesus Christ into your life by faith.
At Praxis Church we believe we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; His death, burial, and resurrection. Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or of any human efforts. Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 14:6, John 1:12, Titus 3:5, Galatians 3:26, Romans 5:1
Becoming a Follower of Jesus
Maybe as a child you trotted down to the front of the church in response to an open invitation at church. Maybe you prayed as a reaction to a presentation of the Gospel. Or, maybe you prayed to receive Christ while sitting on your bathroom floor in your darkest hour or while praying with your best friend in her living room.
Every Christian has a different story of how his or her life with Christ began but there are some elements of salvation that occur in the life of every believer.
Conversion marks a line in the sand in the life of the believer. Individuals may attend church for years and do great deeds but conversion is the Christian starting block. It is comprised of two aspects: faith and repentance.
Faith is expressed trust in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross (John 3:16). Repentance is the turning away from one’s former life of sin. Not only did the Old Testament prophets plead with the nation of Israel to repent from their sins but John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles urged repentance as well.
The connection of faith and repentance is indispensable. They cannot be divorced for as an individual turns towards God through faith, they must turn away from sin (Acts 3:19). In scripture we see Jesus himself asking hearers to both repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15).
Since the fall of mankind, each and every human being has received a fallen, corrupt nature with an unyielding readiness to sin (Gen 6:5, 8:21; Rom. 6:20).
Regeneration is God’s work within the individual to give them a renewed heart (Ezek. 36:26). He breaks the chains of sin that bind our depraved hearts so we no longer have to act as slaves to our sinful nature (Rom. 6:18). Individuals who were spiritually dead in their sin are made alive through this new spiritual birth accomplished by God (John 3:5; Rom. 6:1-13; 1 Peter 1:3).
Every human being is born separated from God because of sin (Col. 1:21). Because of our fallen nature we cannot achieve the moral perfection necessary to establish, maintain, or amend our relationship to God (Rom 3:23).
When an individual expresses faith in Jesus, he or she is united with Christ in a spiritual union (Rom. 6:5; Phil. 2:1; 1 Cor. 6:17). The life of the Christian, as they grow in obedience and hope of eternal life, is rooted in this union (John 15).
Because God is perfectly just; He cannot simply disregard our sin. Sin incurs the wrath of God and its penalty must be paid for (Eph. 5:6). Through his death on the cross, Christ bore God’s wrath and our punishment for sin (Rom. 5).
Our guilt is taken care of and we are justified before God. It is only by faith in Christ’s completed work on the cross that one’s sin is atoned for and the requirements of God’s law are fulfilled (Rom 3:22-26). It is through faith in Jesus alone that we are declared righteous, justified, and we receive the gracious gift of eternal life (Rom 5:1-2,17,19,21).
Through faith in Christ, an individual becomes a child of God (John 1:12). Formerly, they are in rebellion to God, a slave of sin, and a child of wrath (John 8:34). But, through Christ, God becomes Father, as Jesus intimately knew him (Rom 8:14; Gal. 4:6).
We are restored to the original intimate fellowship God intended to have with us from the beginning. Not only does one’s relational status change but so does one’s condition. Children of God receive his care and discipline because He loves them (Rom. 8:16-17;Heb 12:7).
Through the indwelling Holy Spirit and the renewal of our hearts, individuals freed from the bondage of the sin are free to begin to experience sanctification, the process of growing in godliness (Titus 3:5; Rom. 15:16). To sanctify means to make holy.
While justification removes the guilt of judgment and declares individual righteous and adoption changes one’s relational status to God, sanctification is the transformation of one’s moral character to accord with Christ’s commands. A Christian is declared righteous apart from their works but the fruit of a changed heart will inevitably be good works (1 John 1:6, 2:3;Gal 5:22-25).
We do not obey under fear of condemnation for we are freed from our sin and judgment. But, we seek to obey God from love that arises from our gratitude for the abundant grace we’re received through Jesus Christ (Rom 6:6-18). The moment of salvation begins this lifelong process of being conformed more and more to the image of Christ (Col. 3:10).