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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

New Beginnings: Salvation

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  
Romans 6:23

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 
Romans 3:23

Since the new year began we have all been thinking of new beginnings, and getting our lives in order.  Most of us think of things like losing weight and exercising.  I know I almost always make a decision to lose weight and exercise and eventually get tired of working so hard and trying with all my being to do it right.  It just does not seem like I can do it for any period of time. My intentions are the best but following through on a day-by-day basis seems too hard for me to maintain. I desperately want to do these things but something always interferes and I get completely off track.

Mankind's efforts to reach God seem destined to end the same way my good eating and exercise intentions end:  bogged down and in failure.  Through the ages men have tried to do enough good works to convince God that they deserve to go to Heaven.  Or they compare themselves to others, saying, Look at the others around me.  I am a better person than they are!  I don't kill, or steal, or commit adultery, so I am a pretty good person!  God must want people like me in his heaven. The only problem is, that is not what the Bible says.

It says we all have sinned. That means you and that means me.  Everyone has sinned.  If you have ever told a little white lie, been envious of anyone for how they look or the things they have, gossiped in any way, or even loved someone more than you love the Lord, then you have sinned.  We are all sinners.

The good news is that what we could not so for ourselves, Jesus Christ did for us.  God, who made us, and gave us a free will, knew the problems we would have and planned for us from the beginning.  And he made it so easy.  He wants to give it to us for free.  Have you accepted this free gift?  Don't you want a new beginning?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6).

 Pat Eppler

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