What is the plan of salvation?

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How does the Bible define salvation? It is the process by which God ultimately fulfills his will to create beings, just like himself, who live forever and possess holy righteous character.

The first step in the plan of salvation is that God draws a person toward him and Jesus Christ. The Bible states, "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him . . . (John 6:44, HBFV throughout)."

Once drawn toward him the next step in his salvation plan is to give a person the opportunity to understand and accept the fact that they have sinned. Sin is the breaking God's holy and righteous laws and commandments, whether in the letter or in the spirit (their intent). They also become aware of the ultimate penalty for their sins.

Did God create the devil?
Where did sin come from?
Does God offer a second chance?

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness (1John 3:4).

For the wages of sin is death . . . (Romans 6:23).

Through the Father's perfect love a person is led to true repentance - a profound remorse for their sins and a willingness to obey their Creator. Repentance then leads a person to ask for forgiveness through their acceptance of the sacrifice of Christ. All this is made possible by God's immension love and longsuffering toward us (Romans 2:4, 5:8, see also John 3:16 - 17).

After repentance and acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice for sins the next step in the plan of salvation is for a person to be baptized by a complete immersion in water. After baptism occurs the person has hands laid on them by mature believers who pray that they are granted the gift of his Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, see also Acts 8:14 - 15, 17).

Christians are commanded to not only obey God throughout their lives but also to grow spiritually mature in him. This part of the salvation plan includes regular study of God's word and serving others through good works. It also includes obeying God and his commandments, not just in the letter but also in their spirit (1John 5:2 - 3).

Believers are also to, according to the Apostle Paul, dedicate even their bodies to serve and please God (Romans 12:1 - 2, see also Ephesians 2:10).

Each believer is promised that he or she, after living a faithful life to the Father, will be resurrected from dead and given an eternal life full of love and purpose. God personally promises that those who overcome shall be given ALL things. Even more amazing is that God will consider those who are saved as part of his family (Revelation 21:7)! This is the ultimate goal of God's salvation plan (Revelation 20:6).

In the end, God promises a great reward to those who willingly accept his salvation!

And they who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3).

Additional Study Materials
How do Jews get to heaven?
What is God's Kingdom?
The most encouraging Bible verses!
Was it expected that Adam would sin?

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