On one hand, salvation is a simple matter. When we trust Jesus to take away our sins, we are made right in God’s sight. C. S. Lewis said, “The central Christian belief is that Christ’s death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start.”
On the other hand, salvation is a serious matter—it cost Christ His life in order to free us from our sin. Sin created a deep valley between a perfect God and imperfect humans. We cannot bridge this gap on our own. We need help, just as a person who’s in debt needs someone with money to pay off the debt.
God sent Jesus into the world to pay our debt and to be the only way to be reconciled with Him. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin so that we could again be in a deep relationship with God.
Why didn’t God just snap His fingers and make sin go away? God is a just God. The debt for sin in our lives had to be paid. But instead of us paying the price, in God’s magnificent love He sent Jesus to earth to pay that price (see “The Power of the Cross” blog post). He died on the cross for our sins. After three days in the tomb, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared before many witnesses. The debt had been paid. Henry Drummond wrote, “The sense of the infinite worth of the single soul, and the recoverableness of man at his worst are the gifts of Christ. The freedom from guilt and the forgiveness of sins come from Christ’s Cross; the hope of immortality springs from Christ’s grace.”
Salvation changes our lives. It frees us from guilt, remorse, shame, and fear. We’ve all heard the motto Change the behavior, and you change the person. But most of us know that motto is bankrupt. The truth is: Change the person, and behavior changes.