*All verses are quoted from the KJV Bible. Scripture verses are just a sampling, not exhaustive.*
Salvation is simple and comes from one thing alone: believing in your heart in the Lord Jesus Christ. But for us to recognize it as valuable, we must first understand what salvation is.
In short, salvation is having our sins forgiven so that we can be reconciled to God and spend eternity with Him. According to the Bible, all people who are old enough and have the mental facilities to understand right from wrong have consciously chosen to do wrong and thus are guilty of sin (Romans 1:18-21, 3:23; John 3:19). Although our sins may seem small to us, they are very significant to a completely holy, righteous God who has no evil in Him. Though we may feel there is a vast difference between us and someone that we clearly identify as evil (e.g. Hitler, Charles Manson, etc.), that distance is much shorter than the distance between our goodness and God’s.
The Bible teaches us that the universe is set up with certain laws created by the Law Giver (God). Sin goes against the very laws of the universe, as well as our human nature. Sin is harmful to us, even if it produces certain temporary pleasures. It is also harmful to those around us. What may seem like a little lie or infidelity to us creates repercussions of which we are unaware and can cause significant damage on the spiritual realm. God is omniscient and knows the full impact of our sins, while we do not.
God made us in His own image, with the purpose of enjoying communion with us. But unfortunately, He’s not able to do that when we have sinned, because sin is intolerable to Him.
Because God is a God of perfect justice, he requires a penalty for sin. The penalty for sin ~ any sin ~ is death (Romans 6:23). Because sin is against an infinite God, that death also includes an infinite punishment, called hell.
To get right with God and to be able to commune with Him, the penalty must be fulfilled and the sin must be washed clean and stricken from our record. But if we fulfill the penalty ourselves (by going to hell), we will not be able to enjoy the communion with Him that He intended for us.
Because God loves us so much and wants to commune with us, He made a way for the penalty to be fulfilled without us having to receive the punishment. He sent Himself in the form of a man to pay the penalty for us. That man is Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Romans 8:3; 1 Timothy 3:16).
Jesus lived a perfect, sin-free life. Though He was God, He did that without using the power of God. He did it as a man. Therefore, Jesus owed no penalty for sin.
He willingly gave His life up in a brutal, unjustified death. Because He was also fully God (as well as fully a man), His penalty was enough to cover all humans’ sin-penalties. In His death, justice was satisfied so that all people would have the opportunity to escape their penalties (Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13-14, 20-221 ; 1 Pet. 1:18-19, 2:24, 3:18; 1 John 2:2). The blood that He spilled also washes clean our own sins (1 John 1:7). Finally, we get His life record rather than our own.
In addition, three days after Jesus was crucified, He physically rose again from the tomb (Acts 2:22-24, 5:30-32, 13:23-31; Romans 6:4; 1 Peter 1:3). In this act, He fully conquered death, giving us all the possibility of eternal life. It’s amazing!
There is only one thing we need to do to get His record: believe in Him with our hearts, including that He rose from the dead (John 1:12-13, 3:17-18, 36, 5:24). He says He is the way, the truth, and the life, and the only means for reconciling with God (John 14:6, 3, 5:24. In believing this, believing Jesus Christ who is God, you are saved from sin and hell. You are welcomed into the kingdom of God. You will gladly confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord (Luke 6:45; Romans 10:9-10).
When you are saved, God puts His spirit, the Holy Spirit, within your spirit and seals it there as a token of blessings to come in eternity (Ephesians 1:12-14). This is called being born again or born of God (John 1:12-13, 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:18-23; 1 John 5:4-5). It makes you God’s child and the heir of everything He has to offer (Galatians 4:4-7, 1 Peter 31:3-5). This is not based on any works or goodness of your own; it is completely based on what Jesus Christ has done for you (Romans 3:28; Ephesians 1:12-14, 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7)! This is called His grace (John 1:17).
When you have been born again, you will want to learn more about God, how to be a good friend to Him, and about how to walk in holiness while living on earth. The best way to do this is by reading a King James Bible. When you sit down to read it, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in wisdom and understanding. It can take awhile to fully grasp the Bible, so go slowly, read books in their entirety (not just short passages) to understand more of the context of what you are reading, be diligent, and have patience. It is very worth it!
God bless you on your journey to know the Lord ever more fully!