Now that you have finished the survey, let's look at what the the Bible has to say about these all-important survey questions.
The apostle Paul, writing on behalf of Jesus says, “For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as the result of [your] works.” (Ephesians 2:8&9). Notice that this passage begins by saying, "By grace you are saved..." The word “saved” is a form of the word “salvation”, which simply means to be rescued or delivered. What we all need to be rescued from is our sin. Sin, which includes both active disobedience to what God commands and passive disregard for what God requires, separates us from God who is Himself perfect in holiness, justice and righteousness. Paul says that we are saved "by grace". The word “grace” means unearned and undeserved kindness and generosity, given freely and without cost. Although what we deserve is God’s righteous justice (i.e., His just, right and fair judgment and condemnation), He saves us from His judgment by His undeserved and unmerited grace, so that we can receive complete forgiveness, a perfectly righteous standing before God, and eternal life with Him forever in heaven. God does this totally apart from any merit or goodness of our own. Paul continues by saying that our salvation is "the gift of God" and "not the result of works." This means that we don’t earn, assist with it or contribute to our salvation in any way. Our own works, effort and devotion play no part whatsoever! What God offers us is a gift that is freely given without cost or payment! Paul's words in Ephesians (and in many other similar passages) tell us that God's gift of salvation is given with no strings attached and with no small print demanding reimbursement now or at some time in the future.
The reason God can offer us this gift absolutely free of charge, is due to the fact that the complete cost has already been 'paid in full' by Jesus on our behalf. The Bible tells us that Jesus purchased our salvation by shedding His own blood for us. When He died on the cross, He willingly and lovingly became our substitute, taking our place, and bearing in Himself all of the judgment and punishment that we rightfully deserve. According to the Bible, God's amazing gift of forgiveness, righteousness and eternal life is received by simply believing in what Jesus has already fully accomplished for us through His death and resurrection. Paul tells us that we are saved by grace "through faith". The word "faith" means to trust, believe in, have faith in. Since the gift of our salvation has already been paid for by Jesus, our part (your part) is only to receive with simple childlike faith, what God freely offers. In a similar passage, Paul tells us that "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified [declared 'righteous'] freely by His grace through the redemption [the price paid] that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement [a payment for sin] through faith in His blood...To the one who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the ungoly, His faith is credited as righteousness." (Romans 3:22-25 & 4:5) This means that we bring absolutely nothing to God but our sinfulness and inadequacy. We can offer no good works, no effort and no personal devotion - and certainly, no self-righteousness. Throughout Scripture, God makes it clear that the best we have to offer is simply not good enough. This is the case because anything we try to do to justify ourselves is tainted and disqualified by our inherent sinfulness and ungodliness. This is why salvation has to be God's work - and God's gift - from start to finish. Our part (our only part) is to receive with simple childlike faith, what God offers us without cost.
Because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross for us, God's gift is now ours for the taking, simply by believing His promise that he will give eternal life to anyone and everyone who puts their faith and trust in His Son. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but will have everlasting life...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (John 3:16 & Acts 16:31) God wants you to know that because Jesus paid the full price for all of your sins (including all of the sins you committed in the past and all of the sins you will ever commit in the future), you are fully and forever forgiven once and for all! "Through Jesus, everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His Name...In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, because of the riches of His grace that He lavished on us..." (Acts 10:43 & Ephesians 1:7) By His death on the cross, Christ procured a home in heaven for you for all eternity. Your place in heaven is reserved for you and kept safe and secure by the power of God Himself. "According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:3&4)
When you believe in (trust in) Jesus Christ alone and not in your religion, self-righteousness or self-effort, you become God's child forever! This means that you have everlasting life in Him and that you will live with Him for all eternity in heaven. You can never lose this life or your permanent home in heaven, because it is the free gift of God's unchanging love and grace. He will never leave you or forsake you, no matter who you are or what you do. Christ has purchased you for Himself with the price of His own blood shed for you. As a result, you belong to Him, you are a permanent member of His family, and nothing in the universe can ever separate you from God's kindness and never-ending protection. Because of what God did for you, through Christ, He assures you that you can know without the slightest doubt that you have eternal life now and forever. "I will never leave you or forsake you...Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord...I write these things to you who believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know [with absolute certainly] that you have eternal life...I give unto them eternal life and they will never [ever] perish." (Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:38-39, 1 John 5:13, John 10:27&28)
We end this article with the same passages we started with and we encourage you to read these words again and again until you are certain that you understand them thoroughly. “For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as the result of [your] works...This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified [declared 'righteous'] freely by His grace through the redemption [the price paid] that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement [a payment for sin] through faith in His blood...To the one who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the ungoly, His faith is credited as righteousness." (Ephesians 2:8&9, Romans 3:22-25 & 4:5)