I can remember being a little girl and attending church every Sunday, and it seems I got saved every Sunday. After all, I grew up in the Baptist church, and if you weren't saved, then you were going to hell.
Salvation is a gift though. It's something that you receive one time. "Once saved, always saved." It is made clear in this scripture that it is a gift, and again, a gift is something that can only be received one time.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8,9)
If you had to worry about salvation all the time and wondering if you were saved, you would never have the opportunity to live the life God intended. Many wonder what life God had in mind for us, but it's really not a mystery. The book of Genesis, in the first four chapters, reveals to us what God had in mind.
He wanted a relationship. We were made for a relationship with him. God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve and gave them a beautiful and abundant garden to live in. Everything was perfect until Adam and Eve sinned.
Which brings up the question of sin. What is sin really? Many think it is wrong doing, but it is not always. In the original Greek, it means missing the mark. There are 632 laws within the first five books of the Bible (The Torah) that tell us what not to do because it would hurt us or make our lives less than what God has in store for us. Until Jesus died on the cross, people were expected to live up to these laws. By not living up to even one of these laws, we were in sin, and we were condemned.
The real definition of sin though is anything that separates you from God and what he wants and has for you. It's about living your life to its fullest potential, something most in the church don't have. Many in the churches today are sick, broken, broke, and have the same problems everyone else has. There's no difference in the divorce rates for Christian and Non Christians either.
Unfortunately, too many today depend on the English meaning of words in the Bible, and so they totally misunderstand what the Bible actually says. The New Testament was written in Greek, and so to fully understand what it says, you have to look at the meaning of the word in Greek, not English.
When Adam and Eve fell in the garden, they needed a way to get back to God and have a relationship with him. The only way for this to happen was for God to decide how humans could reconnect with him. He decided that it would require a pure blood sacrifice in the form of Jesus Christ.
After Jesus died on the cross, where he took all our sin and sickness, he abolished the law. This opened the door for grace. Grace is unmerited favor or divine help. God is there to help us and do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He is there to provide for us and have a relationship with us.
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
So Jesus came to give us an abundant life. He came to make it easy for us. In fact he tells us exactly what he offers us.
"29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30)
God is neither mad at us nor does he want to hurt us. Otherwise, why would he send his son to die on the cross for us so that we could spend eternity with him? All that hellfire doesn't make sense does it? That's reserved for the one and only unforgivable sin: unbelief. That's it. Once you accept Christ as your savior you are forgiven. Period. Pretty simple and pretty sweet!
It is so hard for me to express how much the love of God has changed my life and how it can change yours. When you step away from religion and get into relationship, then everything changes.
So my suggestion to you is to reject all that codependent hell fire and brimstone Christianity that many churches teach today. The truth is, God is madly in love with you. He wants a relationship with you, and as I have learned, he will give you an amazing life.
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