"What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have Him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven--and the future starts now!"
- 1 Peter 1:3-4 MSG
The Bible reveals the awesome works of God that are accomplished when we receive His precious gift of salvation. As I share some of these glorious benefits with you, I pray that you would be greatly encouraged and challenged in the Lord.
When we trust Christ as our Savior, He pardons all of our sins. This is because Jesus willingly paid our sin-debt in full, making us right with God through His finished work on the cross. As Ephesians 1:6-7 (NKJV) says: "He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Because of Christ's sacrifice, we are no longer under Satan's control, and we are free to live for God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Scripture says: "[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins." (Colossians 1:13-14 AMP) Some believers are not living up to their potential in Christ because they haven't gotten the revelation that they've been set free from sin's control. The apostle Paul wrote: "We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin." (Romans 6:6-8 NLT) Only by acknowledging this truth, and applying it to our lives, will we be able to appropriate its power. As Paul says: "So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus." Romans 6:11 NLT
When we receive God's gift of salvation, He gives us an entirely new nature. Scripture says: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) But in order to live as "new creations," we must cooperate with the Holy Spirit for the renewal of our minds. Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT) says: "Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy." (Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT) God has given us the power, through His Spirit, to abandon our old ways and bring our behavior in line with who we really are in Christ. As Scripture instructs: "Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him." (Colossians 3:9-10 NLT) The closer we get to God, the nearer we get to becoming all that He created us to be.
When we make the decision to trust Christ as our Savior, God adopts us into His family. The Bible says: "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure." (Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT) Our adoption into God's family has many privileges, including the privilege of calling God our Father. Paul wrote: "You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into His family--calling Him, 'Father, dear Father.'" (Romans 8:15 NLT) But our position in God's family also gives us certain responsibilities. "Obey God because you are His children. Don't slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn't know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God--who chose you to be His children--is holy. For He Himself has said, 'You must be holy because I am holy.'" (1 Peter 1:14-16 NLT) God's salvation brings immeasurable benefits and blessings. Have you received and made the most of His most precious gift?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, and that You died on the cross for my sins. I repent of my sins, and I ask that You forgive and cleanse me. I surrender control of my life to You today. Transform me into the person You want me to be. Thank You that as I live my life for You, and renew my mind with Your truth, I will experience all the glorious benefits of salvation!
- J. M. Farro