What blessings* do we receive when we believe in Jesus Christ?
God forgives* us and He declares us to be righteous*. God receives us into His family as His own dear children. God makes us holy* in heart* and in behaviour. God makes us perfect in body and soul* at the resurrection*.
When God saves a person, he blesses* them in many ways. The first way God blesses us is when he says that we are right with God.
If a person breaks a law*, they must stand before a judge. When the judge hears what they have done, he says that the person is guilty and punishes them. This is right and just. One day, all people will stand before God to be judged. He knows all that people have done. He knows every thought and word. So, he is the perfect judge. But this is a problem. God is holy, pure, and perfect. But we are not. We have not honored* him or lived in a way that pleases him. So how can God accept sinful* people? We need to be forgiven.
God sent Jesus to rescue us from the judgement* we deserve. He came to our world as a man. He did all that God asked. He honored God in every way. Then, Jesus died on the cross.* He took our place. God put our sin on Jesus. Then he rose from death and went back to be with God the Father. Now, God looks at what Jesus has done, and he covers the record of our sins with all of the good that Jesus did. God accepts the death of Jesus in our place. He puts the good work of Jesus on our record. Now, he sees us as right and good. He says of us, ‘Because of what Jesus has done for you, you are right with God.’
God not only forgives us when we ask. God welcomes us into his family as his dear children.
To adopt* someone is to take a person who is not in your family and make them a legal son or daughter. God adopts sinful people because he is a God of grace.* A child who was adopted in the Roman* family received a new life, a new home, a new father. When God welcomes us into his family, we receive these things too. God makes us one of his family. Jesus is our Lord.* He is the one who saves us. And now, Jesus welcomes us as his brother or sister. We now can come to God and call him our Father.
God did not require us to be like Jesus to receive these blessings. God says that we are right with him as soon as we believe. But his work in us is only beginning. He gives us his Holy Spirit* so we can know that we are his. The Holy Spirit in us is a sign that we belong to God’s family.
God gives us his Spirit* and begins to make us more and more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit changes our sinful desires into a desire to please God in every way. He helps us to say no to sin. He shapes our hearts so that we love what God loves and hate what God hates. And he helps us to love all people the way that God loves them. He helps us to forgive those who have done bad things to us. He works in us so that we will be filled with love, joy, and peace.* He helps us to be gentle, and He makes us wise so that we know how to care for other people. He gives us the power to do all that he asks us to do.
But God’s work in us will not be complete until Jesus comes again. Jesus will come again in the last days. Then, he will make everything new that was broken. He will give a new body to all of those who have trusted him. That body will never be sick and will never die. He will remove from us all desire to sin and do wrong. Then we will be just like God’s son, Jesus, in our hearts and in our behavior.
That is the believer’s great hope* for the future. God will make all things right and keep it that way forever.
When we put our faith* and hope in Jesus, God saves us. He blesses us with ‘salvation’*. This means that God declares that we are now right with him. He welcomes us into his family as his own dear children. His Holy Spirit is working to remove everything in us that does not please God. He is at work to make us like Jesus. And we look forward to a day when we will be rescued from our sin fully and completely. We will never have to say we are sorry again. We will never feel guilt or shame. We will know how it feels to please God in every way.