Dr. Stanley explains that we are living in a world where people’s morals are changing. Many have decided that the Word of God just doesn’t work anymore. But despite this challenge, we must remember this one constant: Jesus’ sacrificial, substitutionary, and sufficient death on the cross paid for our sin debt in full. If we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and we trust Him for our salvation, we will be saved. For more messages from Charles Stanley, including this week’s broadcast, go to intouch.org/tv.

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in touch the Teaching Ministry of Dr

Charles Stanley reaching the world with

the Gospel of Jesus Christ next on in

touch the first step


do you remember the first time your

first child took their first step

oh you called your friends and your

family and you just said it’s wonderful

it’s just so awesome that they’ve taken

that first step and it was all just


and next thing you knew

something wrong they were into

everything they went to this and to that

and everything so the whole attitude

changed but that’s all right there was

the beginning of a whole new life of

them and there’s the beginning of a

whole new life

for those who take another first step

because there are many people who

believe this they believe that if I

believe there’s a God that somehow in

some way everything’s going to be all

right and I will not die I’m going to

heaven or I’m going somewhere nothing

could be further from the truth just

because a person believes there is a God

has nothing to do I could believe there

are many things that have no effect upon

meth at all just because I believe there

is a God has nothing to do with having a

personal relationship with that God and

if all you know is that and believe that

there is one and you don’t have a

personal relationship with him then

you’re in trouble

and the title of this message is the

first step and if you’ll turn to the

16th chapter of Acts and just give you a

little background of what’s Happening

Here Paul and Silas are on their

second missionary journey

and so

they got thrown in jail

thrown in jail their feet were in the

stocks and they had been beaten with

rods now we think beaten with a whip

would be something a bit beaten with

rods and it was against the law to beat

any Roman citizen with rods and put them

in jail without some real true real

reason to do so

so as a result the scripture says in

verse 25 of the 16th chapter

but about midnight Paul and Silas were

praying and singing hymns of praise to

God and the prisoners were listening to

them now what do you think they were

singing I don’t have any idea what they

were singing in Hebrew or Greek but if

they’d had these songs that have been

saying in Jesus saved Jesus saves and a

whole lot of songs like you and I know

suddenly there came a great earthquake

so that the foundation of the prison

house was shaken and immediately all the

doors were open and everyone’s chains

were unfastened just think about that

when the jail awoke and saw the prison

there was open he drew his sword and was

about to kill himself supposing that the

prisoners had escaped because that was

the wrong law that was they gave you an

authority and a position and you didn’t

fulfill it you’d had it

and so Paul cried out with the loud

voice saying do yourself no harm for we

are all here and he called for the

lights and rushed in and trembling with

fear he fell down before Paul and Silas

and after he brought them out he said

sirs what must I do to be saved not a

lot of stuff about is there a God and

this that the other they said believe in

the Lord Jesus and you will be saved you

and your whole household and they spoke

the word of the Lord to him together

with all who were in the house he took

them that very hour of the night wash

their wounds immediately he was baptized

he and his whole household and he

brought them out into his house and set

food before them and rejoice greatly

having believed in God with his whole


now when the chief magistrates came for

example the rest of that passage says

that they were scared to death because

they found that they were Romans it was

against the law the beat and the chain

of Roman like that and so the

interesting thing is that they went away

freed and the magistration wanted them

to go as quickly as possible and please

don’t tell anybody what happened to you

but the most important statement that

whole series is this

he said what must I do to be saved and

Paul said very clearly look at this just

a simple verse

he said what must I do to be saved and

they said believe watch this not in

Jesus but believe in the Lord Jesus and

you’ll be saved and your household

and so when I look at that passage and

see how simple it seemed to be and think

about how people think about God and

salvation whatever it might be let me

ask you a question

if somebody said to you now tell me

exactly what you mean by salvation

what would you say what do you mean by

salvation well probably you’d have a

pretty good answer but I want to give

you a very simple answer because this is

a simple statements all true and all you

have to do is to say salvation is the

work of God’s Grace by Listen by which

he does what he pardons our sins and

bestows upon us what the gift of eternal

life that’s what salvation is all about

it’s the work of God’s grace God’s grace

is what his unmerited undeserved favor

and love for us as a result of that by

which he pardons us forgives us of our

sins and bestows upon us we don’t work

for it bestows upon us the gift of

eternal life so if somebody asks you

what is salvation that’s a simple

definition but it clarifies everything

the grace of God is his unmerited

undeserved favor he doesn’t save us

because we deserve anything and so many

people feel like if they know this they

got to believe there’s a guy then

they’re saved but absolutely they’re not

so I want to talk about a couple of

things primarily and the first one is

this is our spiritual condition before


if you ask the average person how they

were doing they’d probably say well I’m

not too bad and what they would do and

what they will do is they will talk

about other people or other things or

circumstances and situations and say you

know what I’m as good as that I know

some church members that do this and do

that and I’m as good as they are so I’m

not worried about going to heaven

because I don’t do any bad things

nothing can be further from the truth

because all of that is based on what you

believe that God thinks about your

conduct your work your attitudes you’re

this and you’re that and when he says by

grace that means unmerited undeserved

love for us God does not save us on the

basis of how much you do who you are

what you have he saves us on the basis

of a personal relationship with Jesus

Christ the Lord no matter what else you

believe you cannot deny that truth and

you cannot expect to be saved on the

basis of anything that you do if the

Bible is your compass

you have no true genuine Compass to live


and so no matter what you hear people

say about well here’s what I believe

about God and this religion that

religion doesn’t make any difference if

this isn’t your accomplice then you have

a major problem because one of these

days you’re going to stand before God

one of these days you’re going to die

and because there is physical death

spiritual death Eternal death physical

death we probably will experience that

notice I said probably Jesus could come

spiritual death

dead listen dead in trespasses and

violating the law of God so he says this

is where we are

so what is God’s provision for that and

here’s God’s provision

and that is God’s provision let me say

first of all is motivated by love

and um and let’s go if you will to uh

Romans 5 Romans 5 verse 5 and hope does

not disappoint because the love of God

has been poured out

and not sipped out poured out

the love of God has been poured out

within our hearts through the Holy

Spirit who indwells us who’s given to us

for while we were still helpless

at the right time Christ died for the

ungodly we were helpless to save


for one will hardly die for a righteous

man though perhaps for a good man

someone would dare even die but God

demonstrates his own love toward us in

that while we were yet sinners Christ

died for us much more than having now

been Justified it means to be declared

righteous by his blood is as a result of

the cross

we shall be saved from the wrath of God

through him

for if while we were enemies we were

reconciled to God through the death of

his son much more having been reconciled

brought back into relationship with him

we shall be saved by his life not only

this but we also exalt or rejoice in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ through

whom we have now received

the reconciliation brought back into

relationship with him how could he do


because if he just forgave us then he

would have violated his own law the soul

that senated shall die and all of us

have sinned how can God rightfully

forgive us and here’s the way he does

the only way he does and the only hope

of salvation


and the person of Jesus Christ

came into this world for the primary

purpose of dying for our sins

and in so doing

he came into the world also to show us

who God is and what he’s like

God sent him into the world his only

begotten son for the primary purpose of

doing what of dying on the cross

shedding his blood his blood is atoning


that is it’s blood that pays our sin

dead in full but now watch this

when he came into the world to die on

the cross

God placed upon Jesus

all the sins of all mankind all the way

back to Adam and Eve

and Jesus had to be God

because if it had been anybody else they

could only have died for their own sin

but Jesus was sinless he was the perfect

Son of God the perfect lamb who is the

only person

who gave his life first of all who is


who gave his life sacrificially

as a substitute


a candid all-sufficient in the eyes of

God for your sins nobody and nothing but

Jesus this is why we say

Jesus said I am the way the truth and

the life no one comes to the father but

by me you say well isn’t that sort of

prideful no it is truthful

it all goes back to the cross

for example if you take all the

teachings of the cross out about out of

the New Testament there wouldn’t be much


what do you have what man can do and so

just look around you you ask people

where you work where you live your

friends your family are you going to

heaven well some of them will say I

don’t know

well that’s a good answer because then

you can say well I I know I’m going well

that sounds very prideful no would you

like to know why I think I’m going I

believe I’m going I know I’m going if

they back off you that means they’re so

guilty already they can’t stand to hear


they don’t even want to hear it

so let’s talk about you have you ever

been saved so I’m going to talk about

Harry in a moment but what I wanted you

to see I wanted you to see primarily

here why God forgives us of our sins

it’s a four-letter word

l-o-v-e he loves us

and listen if he made it our works some

people in other words what works

would one thing be good for this person

not for that person we can’t even all do

the same thing

you have nothing but confusion if you

don’t have the blood of Jesus

and so when we see what he says about

our sinfulness and about the fact of his

death he says we’ve all sinned and come

short of the glory of God we certainly

would agree with that and that the wages

of sin is death

and so when he does come into our life

what happens it transforms us we’re not

we’re not the same person we used to be

for example Paul put it this way he says

therefore if any person is in Christ

have that relationship and I’m going to

talk about how in just a second if if

any person has that relationship he says

old things pass away behold Things

become new

what happens

there is a difference

when a person’s life is transformed by

the Lord Jesus Christ it’s a different

kind of life you’re going to walk

different you’re going to sound

different you’re going to look different

in ways I don’t mean how you dress

necessarily but some people need to

change their dress no doubt about that

but for example in divisions this first

chapter go back there for a moment verse

13. he says in him that is in Christ

that is you have a relationship with him

now also after listen after listening to

the message of Truth

and what is that message the gospel of

your salvation

having also believed you were sealed in

him with the Holy Spirit of Promise who

that is the Holy Spirit who is given as

a pledge this is a pledge from God

of our inheritance what we will receive

with a view to the Redemption of God’s

Own possession to the praise of his



think about this for a moment

living in sin Disobedience to God lost

separated from God

the adequate and only adequate


acceptable to God the death of his son

he’s the only one who is sinless so

here’s what happened when he died

he opened the door to the world

to be saved

because he paid

ascended in full

because he was the perfect Son of God

and so salvation

as we said is a gift from God

and now how does that work in a person’s


so we said well you have to believe in

him so I want to put a couple other

definitions up here for a moment

saving Faith watch this saving faith is

trust in Jesus as a living person the

son of God

for the Forgiveness of sins and for

eternal life with God

is trusting in Jesus so when a person

says I want Jesus Christ as my savior

then what I must do is I must be willing

to ask him to forgive me of my sins and

place my trust

in him as the Lord and the Son of God

who went to the cross and paid my sin

dead in full by being crucified I’m

willing to believe that he because of

what he’s done for me and God’s

acceptance of that I’m willing to

believe that he saves me and the moment

I do the Holy Spirit as he says comes in

and seals us as the child of God

so you say well what am I supposed to do

saving faith is I place my trust in

Jesus not not Jesus is some idea but the

person of Jesus Christ who went to the

Cross died on the cross for our sins I

place my trust in him

now somebody says well

what about this lordship business and

there are people who say I want your

salvation father but I don’t want you to

telling me how to live

I thank you for your forgiveness and

thank you for the gift of heaven but

don’t tell me how to live lordship means

rule in our life guidance in our life

Direction in our life he’s the one who

makes decisions for us and shows us the

will of the father I don’t want that I

just want I want forgiveness and I want

salvation and uh I want to go to heaven

but I don’t want you as my Lord so let

me explain in Repentance

repentance is a heartfelt sorrowful sin

I’m ashamed God I’m I’m sorry for what

I’ve done a renouncing of it I don’t

want that more anymore in my life a

sincere commitment to forsake it and

walk in obedience to Christ now listen

very carefully

that is the confession of genuine

repentance let me tell you what that

means what it doesn’t mean it doesn’t

mean that if I Repent of my sins that if

I sin again I’m going to be lost that’s

not what it means if you repent of your

sin what are you saying you’re saying

Lord I’m sorry for what’s in my life I

don’t want this in my life it doesn’t

fit who I am as and will be as a child

of God I’m renouncing that

does that mean

that you won’t commit any more sin no

because we listen because the lifestyle

that we have had whatever it might be

and as a young kid for example I don’t

have any much any of that in my life but

God if we repent of our sin he accepts


and so what I may have to repent of it

more than once

salvation is I’m accepting him as the

Lord of my life and that means he’s in


but in my weakness in my Frailty Lord I

didn’t I God forgive me I didn’t want

that I Lord I said I would never do that

again we’ve all been there

it doesn’t mean you’ve lost your

salvation it means that your weakness

and your Frailty and that old sinful

nature inside of us at times uh its

surfaces so what do we do

we ask God to forgive us watch this

carefully we ask God to forgive us and

cleanse us on the basis of what he did

at the cross


where does repentance fit in all this

does it mean that you that you get saved

by repentance no you’re saved by the

grace of God but repentance is a part of

the recognition of Jesus Christ as the

Lord and Master Of My Life

somebody says well can I just go ahead

and send all I want to and uh and be

saved I’ve met people like that a lot of

folks like that and you know what I’ve

never met one that I knew close enough

that did not deeply regret walking away

from God

can a person walk away from God in sin

living in sin yes they can

does that mean that they’re lost no it

doesn’t but here’s what it does mean

God’s awesome hand

of judgment will come upon them

you see that’s what Grace is all about

his love

his gracious in his love

but he is also demanding righteousness

and Holiness in all of our lives

and so I would say to you today

can you look back at some point in your

life where you can say I know

that at that point in my life I place my

faith in Jesus Christ

you say well I didn’t understand it all

then well neither did I

but I but here’s what happened I did

what I did I fully understood that is I

was a sinner and that God had saved me

and maybe today for the first time in

your life you’ve understood

why Jesus had to die

you see the only way Jesus can justify

you as a child of God

is having died as a sacrifice for your


and so we are saved by his grace

goodness love and mercy

and I would encourage you if you’ve

never trusted him as your savior say God

I’m ashamed of the life that I’ve lived

I’ve claimed to be something I’m not I’m

asking you to forgive me and to cleanse

me I do acknowledge you as the Lord and

savior of my life God I just wanted you

to clean me up

and make me one of your children

let me just say this to you you don’t

have to beg him

when you come to him with a when you

come to him sincerely he will answer the

petition of your heart and that’s my

prayer for you

father how grateful we are that you

didn’t give us a list of do’s and don’ts

you just gave us one statement


in the sacrificial

all sufficient

atoning death

of your son on the cross

and to surrender of our life to him as

the Lord and Master

thank you thank you thank you

and I pray that every person who hears

this who has never been saved

who’s dependent on something within

themselves to realize

there is no hope


from the sacrificial all-sufficient

death of Jesus Christ the

substitutionary one

who took our place in Jesus name