One Prerequisite

Last week I wrote about how the Gospel message is simple. In fact, it can seem too good to be true. God has offered us eternal reward in exchange for earthly love. Think about it this way: if you were offered unlimited wealth in exchange for loving someone who needed nothing from you, you would probably ask “what’s the catch” before signing on the dotted line.

But that is exactly what God is offering us. He promises us eternal rest in His glory for basically nothing in return. Of course, our response to this gift should be reflected in our actions; we should live by His principles. But those standards are actually for our benefit. To live morally is often the most effective way to live well. Ideas like forgiveness and treating others kindly go a long way to benefiting us.

There is, however, one catch to accepting God’s gift – we have to admit that we need it. The only prerequisite to personal salvation is to confess that you are indeed a sinner. We must acknowledge that we need the saving grace of Jesus’ blood and accept that Jesus came and died that we may be redeemed.

This fact has intrigued me for a while. On the surface it seems so simply; almost as if God was aiming to make the process as straightforward as possible so that everyone could achieve it. But, as with many of God’s ways, what first appears to be routine does, in fact, serve a greater purpose.

For the person who is struggling to accept this gift because they don’t think they are worthy of it, I have great news. You aren’t! None of us are, and that’s the point. Because not only are all of us unworthy, none of us are too unworthy. God’s gift knows no limits and His forgiveness covers everything.

If you have already received this amazing gift, your response should not be to act as if you had anything to do with it. Christians who act “holier than thou” are forgetting the fact that to gain the privilege of being called a child of God you must first declare that you are not any better than anyone else, and can only be made holy by God.

Because God offers salvation as a gift, not as something that could be bought, earned or solved, it not only means everyone has access to it, but that no one can boast about it. You don’t have to be rich or smart (two traits that can often get in the way of even seeking God in the first place); the only prerequisite is that admit you need the gift that is freely given to all who do.

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