“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8 NIV
When you think about all the blessings that you pray for in a New Year – new car, new job, security, marriage – do you ever think to include the gospel? As believers, we understand that a good year is a year in which the gospel prevails.
It is important that in the conversation of prevalence of the gospel in this year, we pause to really understand and appreciate the factors that can aid in the effective spread. One of such factors is faith; not just what it is but the role it plays in salvation.
Now that you are saved, you must have heard a message, believed it and received it fully. That message is the gospel and the effect of it was how we got saved, reconciled to God and then joyfully became sons of God. In hearing and believing in the gospel, we exercised faith. But what is faith in the context of salvation?
Firstly, it is faith in a specific person. In John 1:12 we see that we become children of God not by anything we did or by inheritance, but by believing in His name. No other name or person can save or give this salvation (Acts 4:12). Your faith must be in the person of Jesus. No one else! Jesus is the only way. Hallelujah!
Secondly, it is faith in a specific message. The gospel is simply that God fulfilled His plan to accept the death of Jesus as propitiation for our sins and has since bestowed eternal life on those who believe. (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1 -2). The gospel is about what Jesus did, not about what we have done or not done. It is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again and in His resurrection we have received salvation.
Thirdly, it is also faith in the operation of God. Salvation was God’s plan from the beginning. It is a gift of God. It is not something we have to work to earn. God is the author and executor of our salvation (Ephesians 2:5-9, 1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53:46).
Brethren, this faith is for everyone who believes (Titus 2:11, John 3:16). It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past or who you were; as long as you believe in Jesus Christ, you are saved, and you receive this gift of eternal life. God’s desire is for everyone to be saved and know Him (1 Timothy 2:4).
This knowledge and assurance strengthens your conviction. You should not be in doubt about the message you received and believed. And now you can extend this message to others so that they can be saved as you.
A happy and good year, amongst other things, is a year the gospel prevailed. Rejoice!
Bible Reading Plan: Mark 1: 29-45