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Thankful for Salvation

Sunday, November 1, 2009

by Dr. Paul Chappell

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

John 3:3-6,16-17

In one of the simplest verses of the Bible, God communicates one of His greatest truths.

It was a clear night in Israel, one when many people would be home with family. But not Nicodemus. He was wandering the streets, searching for answers to the questions that had plagued him lately. Questions like "What if Jesus was the Messiah? Is this who we've waited for? How will He save us?" Nicodemus found his answers that night in a conversation with Jesus.

Nicodemus questioned Christ's message, pondered His salvation, and debated about the methods He taught. How can someone be "born again"? How can You be doing these miracles? What is the way of salvation? And in one night, Jesus took time to answer the questions of a confused religious man who desperately wanted to know the truth.

Look at Jesus' answer about salvation, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." In one of the simplest verses of the Bible, God communicates one of His greatest truths. God loved us so much that He sent His Son to pay the price for our sin and secure our salvation. God's justice demanded a payment for sin, and His Son, being the only One who could pay the debt, willingly offered Himself as a sacrifice.

In this month of giving thanks, let's take a day to focus on the greatest blessing God has ever given us-the chance to have our sins forgiven and to spend eternity with Him in a place so magnificent we cannot even imagine it.

Ponder this: even when we turned our backs on God and scorned Him with our disbelief, He loved us enough to send His Son. He knew we wouldn't always follow Him; He knew we would fail, yet He loved us so much that He allowed Jesus to come to earth, die a thief's death on the Cross, and atone for our sins.

If God never gave you another blessing, answered another prayer, or provided anything else for you; simply being offered the gift of eternal salvation would be worthy of a lifetime of thanks to Him. But on top of that, He daily guides you, provides for you, and answers your prayers. What a loving God!

God's gift of salvation and eternal life is open to anyone who will believe. Unlike some religions who teach that only certain people can accept salvation, God's Word is clear that all who believe will be saved. God has offered His gift of salvation to everyone from the wealthiest man in the world, to the poorest beggar; from the most spiritual of men, to the most defiant unbelievers; from the one who has it all together, to the one whose life is falling apart. God's love and salvation knows no boundaries.

Christ died specifically for you. If the world were wiped clean, and you were the only one left, Jesus would have still come to die for your sins so you could be with Him in Heaven. Don't take salvation for granted. Take some time right now to read Matthew 27, and imagine the Lord enduring that solely for you. Spend today focused on salvation, and continually thank God for His free gift of eternal life to anyone who will believe.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org, paulchappell.com, or follow him on twitter.

Daily Bible Reading
Jeremiah 24-26 | Titus 2