Salvation

"How Can I Know God" - Timothy Keller 
(Click on the title to download this resource)


Welcome to the Family!

The most amazing thing about salvation is “good” people don’t go to heaven – forgiven people do. When you placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you became one of those forgiven people. You are now a child of God and a member of the world-wide family of God. Jesus refers to this experience as being “born-again.” Obviously, we were all born once “physically” but now we have been born “spiritually” and can have an ongoing relationship with God! So, welcome to the Family! Whenever another child joins the Kingdom, the Bible tells us there is much rejoicing in heaven!

What are the results of my trusting Jesus as my Lord and Savior?

The instant you believed that Jesus died for your sins, many things happened. Be encouraged by the list below. You may want to look these verses up for yourself.

Jesus has taken my sin away
Psalm 103:12 - This Psalm tells us God throws our sins away as “far as the east is from the west.” They are gone!

I am not condemned
Romans 8:1 - Because Jesus took my sin and gave me His righteousness, I can stand before God with no condemnation.

I am God’s child
Ephesians 1:5 - We’ve been adopted by God to be his child. He chose us!

I am rescued from sin’s control
Romans 6:17-22 - Sin does not need to be master over us.

I can have a close relationship with God
Hebrews 4:16 - God wants to extend grace and mercy to me, and to draw near. We can be in the presence of the Almighty God!

I receive a new nature to do good things
Ephesians 4:22-24 - You have a new capacity to do the right things that please God.

I have been given a special gift for service to the church
1 Corinthians 12:12-30, Romans 12:6-8 & Ephesians 4:11-12 - When someone is saved, they receive a “spiritual gift”. This is a special gift that God gives believers to serve Him and serve others.

I am a member of Christ's body of Believers
1 Corinthians 12:12 - You are not alone – you are part of the worldwide church. Go anywhere in the world and you will find “sisters” and “brothers” in Christ.

I am assured that all things work out for good
Romans 8:28 - God’s ways are not our ways – but He promises that all things work together for good for those that love Him - even though we still walk through valleys.

I cannot be separated from God’s love
Romans 8:35-39 - Nothing can separate you from God’s love... Nothing!

I have been sealed by God with the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 1:13-14 - The Holy Spirit was given as a “seal” that indicates you are His. He also guides and encourages us. Jesus called Him the “helper” or “comforter.”

I have eternal life in heaven
John 3:16 - When our life on earth is done, we will enjoy eternity with Jesus in heaven.

I will be rewarded for the things I do on earth that honor God
2 Corinthians 5:10 - We will all appear before Christ and will be rewarded accordingly.

Now that I'm a Believer in Jesus, What Should I Do?

Jesus has already demonstrated His full love and devotion by dying for you. He’s totally devoted to your care and well-being, and He’s committed to a vibrant personal relationship with you in which you continually grow to know Him better. It is God’s own Holy Spirit who brings about this birth of life inside us, as Titus 3:46 makes clear:

“But—’When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, He saved us,
not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.
He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

Read and Obey God's Voice in the Bible
To teach and guide you throughout your life, the Holy Spirit will use the things that are written in the Bible. The “Word of God” has amazing power in our lives. You will find some passages incredibly encouraging as you read about promises that God provides. Other times, you will be challenged and inspired to follow Jesus’ example. You’ll find people that you can relate to, like David, who poured out his heart to the Lord – both in praise and in desperation. And if you read with an open heart, you’ll be convicted of things in your life that may need to change.

You’ll find that your love for Jesus will continually deepen as You keep hearing and obeying Him and as you continue to see Him work in your life and in the world around you. You’ll discover more and more that the Bible truly is God’s book in a way no other book can possibly be, as the Holy Spirit brings it to life for you.

Where should you start reading? The Bible is a collection of 66 “books”. The first 39 books are called the Old Testament and were written over a period of several centuries before Jesus came to earth. They reveal many characteristics about God, the need for man’s redemption, and foretell, in many ways, the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The last 27 books are called the New Testament. The first four books in the New Testament (called the Gospels) are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each tells the story about Jesus’ life and teachings, emphasizing His death and resurrection. Most of the rest of the New Testament provides instruction for how to live and what to believe about God, heaven, sin and so much more.

Many new Believers like to start with the Gospel of John and read afresh about Jesus. Philippians is encouraging and James is very practical. When you read the Old Testament, you may want to start with Genesis and Exodus and the Psalms. You may wish to join a small group of other Believers at South Park Church where together, you can study God’s Word, better understand it, and apply it to your life.

Communicate with God
Besides listening to God through the Bible, you’ll also experience a deep desire to speak with Him. We’re told in Ephesians 6:18 to “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.” Over time, we can learn to better pray for the Lord’s will in our life. We can pray when we are tempted, to thank the Lord, or for forgiveness.

If there’s anything worrying you, then it’s a matter for prayer. Prayer is our God-given escape valve from anxiety:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Live Your Faith
As your personal relationship with Jesus deepens through your time in the Bible and in prayer, you can trust Him to help you live your life in a way that pleases and honors Him. You’ll discover that the Bible frequently uses the picture of a fruit-bearing vine or tree as the image of what your new life is meant to be. Jesus uses these images to emphasize how important it is to keep your relationship with Him healthy and vital. Jesus says,

“Abide in me, and I will abide in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you abide in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5

Maintaining your relationship with Jesus will mean confessing your sins whenever you do wrong. Although the penalty for your sins has already been paid through the death of Jesus on the cross, a new sin can become a roadblock in your daily relationship with Him until you confess that sin and experience His fresh forgiveness. I John 1:8-9 says, 

"If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

Practical acts of love and service bring tremendous honor to God. You will feel His pleasure and the satisfaction that comes from serving others.

Share Your Faith
Tell those who don’t know Jesus about Him – they need to hear about God’s love! You may not know all the answers to their questions – that’s okay. Tell them your story about how you found God and what He’s teaching you.

Share your faith with other Believers so you can have fellowship. The Bible tells us that “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Believers should encourage and challenge each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Stay Connected with Your Family
One of God’s gifts to you is the family of God – other “brothers” and “sisters” with whom you share a faith in Jesus. They’ll offer you the kind of help we all need; from encouragement and support to challenge and accountability. That’s why it’s so important to commit yourself to involvement with other Believers in a local church. The Bible speaks of the church as being the “body” of Christ. That body is healthy only when each part is actively functioning. So be encouraged to find a church family and fully engage in your unique role.

We encourage you to join a “Connect Small Group” at South Park Church – a small group of Believers that meets weekly/bi-weekly to pray, share and study God’s Word. Your Connect Group can be a source of new friends and ongoing support that can walk with you through your life and provide opportunities for serving others. Click here for more information.