Jesus gave Himself for us (Titus 2:14). The final step in the plan of salvation will come when Jesus Christ returns to this earth. At that time, He will resurrect those who have died in faith (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Daniel 12:2-3) and will bring their reward with Him (Revelation 22:12, Matthew 16:27). Their reward will be according to their works.
How does a person obtain salvation? What motivates him to want to produce good works and to remain faithful to the end? Before we can walk with God, we must repent. To most people, repentance means being sorry. The Bible, however, reveals much more.
In preparing the way for the Messiah, John the Baptist taught the necessity of receiving baptism and bringing forth evidence of repentance (Matthew 3:8-11). Jesus preached repentance (Matthew 4:17) and Peter called for repentance as well (Acts 2:38).
The first step in salvation is a change of mind, a recognition that your ways are not those of the Father, and that your sins have separated you from Him.
Repentance means being sorry for having sinned and having brought about the death of Jesus Christ, who bore the penalty of our sins on the cross (2 Corinthians 7:10). The apostle Paul recognized that he had been a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a destroyer (1Timothy 1:12-13, 15).
Despite the sins we did and would commit, God was willing for Paul and all other human beings to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1Timothy 2:4). He is willing to forgive if we confess our sins and change our lives according to His commandments.
Once a person has fully repented and been baptized, the Holy Spirit renews his mind (Ephesians 4:23-24). The Christian becomes a NEW CREATION (2 Corinthians 5:17), who must no longer conform to the values of a world led by the devil. The Bible corrects us and helps us to discern our innermost feelings as they compare to God's way of life.
Humans have twisted what the Bible teaches, polluted their own thinking and let their health fall apart. Mankind has utterly failed at training their children the right way they should live life. In general, we humans can feel resentment, envy, and even outright hatred toward others. But why are we still special? What potential does our Creator see in us? The book of Hebrew gives us part of our answer.
"You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands." (Hebrews 2:7)
As verse 10 points out, not all things are under our feet just yet. It took Jesus Christ, who as God came in the form of a human, to bring all things into subjection and to taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2:10). The truly converted Christian becomes a child of God -- a member of a Family first known to man as Elohim. In the beginning, the Family consisted of only two Supreme Beings. In the future, it will be composed of many sons and daughters who receive eternal life. Jesus is the firstborn of MANY BRETHREN (Romans 8:29).
What is the TRUE purpose of life?
Why did God create us? The purpose of man rests in his great salvation plan and his goal to make beings just like him. He is making character copies of Himself through the few today he calls and the many he will call later.
Through Bible study, daily prayer, and the experiences and trials of life, the Christian grows spiritually. His human, self-centered nature is reformed and shaped into godly character. Then, at the time of the resurrection, the Christian transforms from mortal to immortal. He is born again. Only this time, he is born into the divine Family, and not into a human family. As he was once born in the image of man, his new spiritual birth we be in the image of his heavenly Father. The resurrected Christian will exist and be part of his growing family! This is the wonderful truth of why God made us in the first place!