By Rick Warren
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10 NLT, second edition)
The Bible says in Romans 1:17, “The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself” (NCV).
How does God make us right with himself? This is called the Gospel, and there are three points.
First, we can’t make ourselves righteous.
Heaven is a perfect place. There’s no sin, sadness, evil, or injustice. But here’s the problem: We are imperfect, and God can’t let sinful people into Heaven because then it would be full of sin, too.
Romans 3:20 says, “No one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are” (NLT, second edition).
The only people who think they can keep God’s laws are those that don’t know them, because God’s laws are perfection, and none of us are perfect. We cannot be made right on our own. So God had to come up with a plan.
Second, God sent Jesus to pay for our sins so we could be declared righteous.
When you break man’s laws, you pay man’s penalty. When you break God’s laws, you pay God’s penalty, which is eternity in Hell. Somebody has to pay for all the things you’ve done in life that hurt other people, yourself, and God. God said, “I’ll send my Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty. He will take your place so you don’t have to go to Hell. You can be with me forever.”
Do you understand why the Gospel is called Good News? It means everything you’ve ever done or will ever do wrong in life has already been paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross. You have been made right with God.
“[God] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5a).
Third, we have to accept by faith what God did for us.
To be made right with God, just believe and accept by faith that what Jesus did on the cross paid for your sins. Then, you are a part of God’s family. You can live the way he wants you to live now and then go to Heaven in eternity. That is righteousness.
Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”
Hallelujah! We can all be saved no matter who we are, what we’ve done, or how long we’ve done it.
Today is the day to settle this. If you are not sure if you are going to Heaven when you die, please pray this prayer: “Dear God, thank you that you made me, that you have a plan and purpose for my life, and that you made me to know you. Thank you for the choice that you’ve given me to accept or reject your offer of salvation. Today I humbly ask you to save me not based on what I’ve done but based on what Jesus Christ did for me. I don’t understand it all, but as much as I know how I want to put my trust in your Son. God, I want to get to know you. I want to learn to love you. I want to hunger and thirst for righteousness the rest of my life. I put my trust in your grace and in your forgiveness. I want you to be the Lord of my life. Amen.”