Biblical Interpretation from Someone with no Training in Biblical Interpretation
Alright, somehow God has brought you to this page. Maybe you read an article and kept reading about salvation and living in God’s love so you’re trying to “be saved,” whatever that means. Maybe somehow Google or another search engine has directed you here. The point is, you’re here now, so don’t miss this opportunity to change your life completely and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
What is salvation?
Salvation, or “being saved,” begins by acknowledging God’s viewpoint of the world: that you have been separated from him through both a natural in-born sin nature and the varied sins you’ve committed in your lifetime. After that you accept that the sinless Jesus Christ died and shed his blood in order to allow you to be forgiven and receive God’s love- it also allows you to go to heaven upon your natural death as opposed to hell, which awaits everyone who denies Jesus. In prison terms, it’s like going from being a dead man walking to a free man. However, it’s so much better than that, because after you’ve accepted Jesus into your life, you also gain the full breadth of God’s power in your life; helping you, guiding you, and supplying you with all that you need to glorify him in life.
How does salvation work?
The technical aspects are a little strange for someone who hasn’t read the Bible; but I’ll give you the rundown: Basically, sacrificial bloodshed is required for forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). This was established through the laws of sacrifice (specifically Leviticus 4:1-6:7 if you’re looking for a long, dry read later on) and the laws of retribution (found in Leviticus 24:17-22). As nobody is perfect, we’re all doomed to die for our sins (Romans 6:23) this is both a physical (normal) death and a spiritual (going to hell) death. However, Jesus, who is God in the flesh, came into the world (John 1:1-3, 10) and lived a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21). This put Jesus in a unique position to trade is life for another person’s (as a normal person could only pay for their own sins, but since Jesus had no sin of his own, he could pay for others’). Also, because Jesus is God, his actions can have an infinite effect. Therefore, he was sacrificed by God through being crucified (being nailed to a big cross until death), in order that his blood pay the price for our sin and allows us to have a relationship with the Lord and escape our impending sentence of hell.
How will my life change?
You may not notice many differences at first, but slowly things will start changing. For one, you’ll probably notice things moving differently in your life; maybe different doors will open or close than you’re used to. Maybe you’ll be relieved of some sort of long-term ailment. You’ll also start to undergo a process called “sanctification.” Sanctification is God’s way of getting you ready for heaven. You’ll gain the Holy Spirit, another part of God, who’ll start to change the way you think about things- such as feeling bad when you’re sinning, or losing your taste for some of your current- less holy- activities or interests. The Holy Spirit will also speak to you if you’re willing to listen and show you how to connect with God and teach you about your new Lord. He’ll light up parts of the Bible and sermons you hear so that it feels like they’re speaking directly to you- because they are (since the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Bible and continues to speak through people).
Will I have to give up _____________?
Honestly, in the long run: probably. Because obviously the Holy Spirit isn’t going to sit by and let you continue to live in sin, he’ll let you know about it. And, even if it’s not a sin, if something has been filling the role of “god” in your life up until now, it’s likely gonna have to go, just because God won’t allow something else to take his place.
How do I go about being saved?
If you’re still reading after that last question, then let’s not waste any time. Being saved is a ridiculously easy experience and requires very little of you (as salvation hinges on God’s love and mercy, not on your ability). According to the Bible:
…That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (Romans 10:9-10).
So it’s as easy as 1-2 (no need for 3). First you believe that all that Jesus stuff you hear is true and he is indeed God, and then secondly you acknowledge his Lordship in your life. This acknowledgement usually takes the form of what’s called a “sinner’s prayer.” You don’t really need to think of one yourself, just read along here out loud and, pending you actually believe the prayer, you’ll be saved. Alright, so here we go!
I acknowledge that I have sinned,
In fact, according to this, I’ve been born into sin.
However, you died to save me from my sin and give me a new life.
Forgive me, Lord, and clean me up.
Help me to live a life worthy of you,
And to see you at work in me.
Be with me daily, and take control in my life.
And free me from the chains of hell, which daily drag me down;
And when the time comes for my body to expire,
Bring me into heaven to be with you.
You are my God and my savior.
Thank you, Lord Jesus,
I’m really excited to start this new chapter of my life with you.
In your name I pray,
That’s about it. If you prayed with your heart and your mouth, then you’ve crossed from walking death to eternal life in Christ. Now I recommend you head to a nearby church (one that sticks close to the Bible) and get a Bible for yourself (luckily, some churches even give Bibles away for free). Find out about your new faith and talk to God about everything that’s on your mind; you’ll find an amazing relationship is possible between the Lord and yourself.
Enjoy your new life freed from condemnation! Rock on God!
Oh, and PS, if you have any other faith-based questions, feel free to ask them below and I (or maybe someone else checking the page) will try to answer said questions.