Salvation: 1. a saving or being saved 2. a person or thing that saves 3. spiritual rescue from sin and death; redemption.
I recently have been tempted to believe that I am not good enough to be a child of God. Let's face it: I fall often. Constantly I am thinking about my future and how God has called me into the ministry. Therefore I have been struggling with great guilt and shame when I sin. I feel that I am not living up to the standard when I fall in my temptation. The reality of that thinking is frightening. Because it means that I am relying solely on what I have done (or my works) for salvation. What does the Bible say about this? Titus 3:5 - "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." It's not by works. It is all about God's mercy.
I say that I trust in Jesus alone, but my thinking is different. But in the past few days, the Gospel has become very real to me. The fact that Jesus came to this earth, was tempted by everything imaginable, lived a perfect life, was beaten and cursed, drank the Father's wrath for the sins of the world, and rose again conquering death and sin is enough for a lifetime of praise.
Jesus came taking us as we were. There is nothing that we did to look any better in His eyes. We were covered in sin. Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." All have sinned, there is none righteous no not one. We don't have to clean up our act to come to Jesus. Because when He saves a soul, He does the changing from the inside out. When we feel we must live decent lives along with Jesus' saving to get to heaven, we are following a false gospel. That's not to say we're free to live however because we have Jesus. No the Bible tells in Matthew 7:17-18 - "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit."
So today we can rest assured that Jesus completely paid for our sins on the cross. There's nothing we do, but believe in Him. Why, you ask, is it so simple? Because it brings the One (Jesus) who does the saving and changing glory. If we played a part in it, we would feel we deserve some glory or credit. But, praise the Lord, it's Jesus who saves!