Not All Is Lost
All of us at some stage of our lives sometimes face circumstances in which due to things that either happen in our lives that are beyond our control or because of our own bad decisions in the past, our lives may become what we never expected them to be and we sometimes feel that we have lost control of our lives. We may lose hope either in God or in believing that there is a purpose for our lives. There may be people here today who feel hopeless and may be at the lowest point of their lives because of such circumstances.
There are two ways to react to such circumstances. One is to rely on our own strength and ability by telling ourselves: “I can handle this”; “I’m strong”; “I’ll survive”. This is the reaction from those who believe that everything in life is up to them and they must do everything themselves. They will make life work for themselves and they don’t have anyone to rely upon for help. The other way is to rely on God.
It doesn’t matter how trouble came into our lives – whether it arose because of circumstances that happened to us (without our own wrongdoing) or if it is the result of our own bad choices in the past. Salvation is the key that leads to the transformation of our lives back to the proper course that our lives should follow.
But, to fully understand this, we need to first understand the following:
What is salvation?
How does the transformation of your life happen after salvation?
What is the role that we have to play in the transformation that must happen after salvation?
1. What is Salvation?
Ephesians 2:8-10 [NLT] says:“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so no one of us can boast about it. We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
There are two parts to the scripture we have just read:
“Grace” means an “unmerited favour” from God. This grace comes into effect when you believe. This happens when (i) you believe in your heart that Jesus died on the cross (for your sins); (ii) that God raised Him from the dead: and (iii) you confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and Saviour.• We do not receive salvation because of how “good” we are or what we have done. It is a gift from God. But that gift can only be received by believing (or what we usually call “faith”). Because of salvation being a free gift, no-one can boast that they got saved or “born again” because of their own deeds or being “good”. Salvation is a condition of the heart.Salvation is an event in the sense that you can determine when it happened (you can know the date and even time when you received the gift of salvation). Having received salvation, we then go through the process (not an event) of transformation.
(b) Transformation (A Process)
Ephesians 2:10, which refers to the transformation process after salvation says: “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Being God’s masterpiece (or some Bibles say “workmanship”) means not only did He make us new spiritual beings, but He is working in our lives today to make something beautiful out of our new lives as born again Christians.
2 Corinthians 5:17 [NKJV] says “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”• But, being a new spiritual man does not mean that your mind has been transformed to line up with the new spirit you have become. I will deal with this in more detail a bit later when I deal with the role that we have to play in the transformation of our lives after salvation.
After we have received the gift of salvation, God starts the process of transforming our lives in order for us to do the good things that He wants us to accomplish in our lives.
This means God has a plan for every human being’s life. There is no human being on this earth who is in this world for no purpose.
How do we know that God has a plan for each and every person? Let’s look at two additional scriptures that confirm this. Ecclesiastes 6:10 says:“Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.”
Do not resist God’s plan or call on your life – it is what is best for you. Be obedient to Him.
Jeremiah 29:11 says:“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If you are not sure what God’s purpose is for your life, Jeremiah 33:3 says: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know”.
Pray to God to reveal His call on your life to you. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.
2. What Is Our Role In The Transformation Process?
Romans 8:26-28 says: “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And according to His purpose for them.”
From this passage we can see the following:
1. We have to pray in the Spirit.
2. We have to read the Bible to renew (transform) our minds.
Receiving the gift of salvation does not mean that our minds become new (like our new spirit being). Our minds still need to be transformed by knowing the truth of God’s word. This is a vital part of the transformation process.
• Romans 12:2 [NIV] says: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” This means we have to read the Bible so that we know what God’s word says and our minds can be renewed so that we act in accordance with His will.
• As an example, you may be a person who enjoys drinking alcohol and getting drunk. You are then born again and receive the gift of salvation. A human being is made of the spirit; the soul (the mind, will and emotions); and the physical body. At the moment that we are born again, our spirit is made new but our mind has not been made to automatically know that getting drunk is contrary to God’s will. Therefore, until we hear the truth that the Bible says: “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit…” [Ephesians 5:18 NLT], we will carry on getting drunk, not knowing that this is not God’s will for our lives. That is why it is very important to attend church services, because in addition to getting an opportunity to worship God, it is in church that we are taught the word of God. We should read the Bible on our own, but there are many things that we may not understand properly, and church is the opportunity we have to be taught by those who have a deeper understanding of the word of God.
3. We have to be obedient to God.
The promise in the Scripture in Romans 8:28 of God “causing everything to work together for the good” applies to those who love God. How do we know that a person loves God? When that person is obedient to God. In John 14:21 [NLT] Jesus says: “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me.” If we do not obey Him, that means we do no not love Him. If we do not love Him, the promise in Romans 8:28 does not apply to our lives.
But, the good news is that this does not mean we have failed or do not love Him if we are not perfectly sinless! Even if we make mistakes and sin (and all of us do), if we genuinely ask for forgiveness from God, God will still forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. [1 John 1:9]
1 John 3:20 says: “Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything.” We should not allow ourselves to be discouraged because of our past or mistakes that we make.
If we follow the simple steps we have spoken about, that is: (i) receiving the gift of salvation; (ii) praying in the Spirit; (iii) reading the Bible and attending church; and (iv) being obedient to God, I have no doubt that we will all experience the transformation of our lives that God promises us after receiving the gift of salvation. God’s promises can only come into effect in our lives if we have a relationship with God. That relationship starts by receiving Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and Saviour. If you have not already done so, you have the opportunity today to do that by praying the prayer of salvation after reading the section below.
If you would like to receive the gift of salvation that God has for you today, make a decision in your own heart that you want to be forgiven of your sins and that you wish to turn your back on a sinful life. Believe in the Kingdom of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ [Mark 1:15]. The Bible says if you confess with your mouth (i.e. actually say it) that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, you will receive salvation [Romans 10:9-10]. Salvation is open to any human being who calls upon the name of the Lord [Romans 10:12-13].
If you want to get saved right now:
First silently read the text in the paragraph below and make sure you understand it. It is a confession prayer you can use to get born again this very moment.
If in your heart you agree with the content of the statement below then, read it again, but this time say it with your mouth out loud as you read it:
“Father, I thank You that you sent Your only Son, Jesus Christ, to take my sins and my punishment. Lord Jesus, I believe that You died for me and that God raised You from the dead. Today I confess that You are my Lord and my Saviour. Father, forgive me of all of my sins. Thank You Father that today, by Your grace, I am born again, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Did you say the above prayer sincerely to receive Jesus Christ into your life? If so, please click on “yes” below to get guidance on what to do next.