Halloween is the time for "trick or treat." But did you know that every day you are being offered a trick far worse than a prank and a treat far better than candy?
Don't Be Tricked!
Satan can trick you. Satan tricked Eve into thinking that eating the forbidden fruit would be good for her. "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Genesis 3:13). He still tricks people today into thinking that doing bad things is fine—that disobeying God is all right. But Eve found out that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
Your heart can trick you. Many people today believe that you should "follow your heart." In other words, "It doesn't matter what you believe, just so you believe something." They think that having a "religious experience" or a "good feeling" tells their heart that what they believe is right. That may sound nice, but it's a trick! The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things" (Jeremiah 17:9). If you are trusting someone other than Jesus, you have been tricked! Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6).
Money can trick you. Everywhere you look it seems that people are doing anything they can to get more and more money. They have been tricked into thinking that money can give them happiness. It's sad to see people spend their whole lives trying to get rich, only to find out in the end that money cannot satisfy their need for happiness and peace. The Bible talks a lot about "the deceitfulness of riches" (Mark 4:19), and says "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:19,20).
Sin can trick you. Maybe sometimes it seems that the people who are doing the most bad things are the ones having the most fun. Don't be tricked by such thoughts. Sin is like a fishing lure—it may look great on the outside, but there's a hook on the inside! Sin will hook you and lead you further and further away from God until your heart has become "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).
Other people can trick you. There are lots of people speaking empty words today. They have come up with their own ideas about spiritual things which are not true. That's why God tells us "Let no man deceive you with vain [empty] words" (Ephesians 5:6). Remember, if it's not in the Bible, it's probably a trick, and will lead you down the wrong road!
You can even trick yourself. The Bible tells us what is right, but don't think that hearing or knowing the truth is good enough! God says, "Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22). You must believe what God says for yourself and act on it.
Here's The Truth!
God will never trick you. Unlike all the other things we have looked at, we know that "God … cannot lie" (Titus 1:2). Instead of telling us a lie, God's Word points out that "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). You see, our sin makes us dirty like a pair of shoes that have walked through the mud. And just like we can't walk through our own house with muddy shoes, we can't get into Heaven, which is God's house, with our sin.
God loves you. In fact, not only does He love you, but "God is love" (1 John 4:8,16). No one could ever love you as much as God does. And even though you've done bad things, He still loves you. That's why He has done the only thing that could ever wash your sins away. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who had never done even one thing wrong, to go to the Cross to suffer and die for your sins. God showed that Jesus had fully paid sin's debt by bringing Him back to life three days later. Now you can have your sins washed away by receiving what He has done for you.
God calls you. Salvation from sin is a free gift. Like any other gift, you must receive God's offer of salvation. All you need to do is tell God that you know you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died for you on the Cross, and trust Him to be your Saviour and Lord. God will hear you no matter where you are or what words you use. Then you will have the best treat of all—forgiveness of all your sins and eternal life with Him in heaven! "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36).
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
The Bible is the only inspired, inerrant authority for Christian Faith, and it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
Justification is by faith alone. The full righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith (comprised of His active and passive obedience) is the sole ground of our acceptance by God, by which our sins are remitted.
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
Christ is Prophet, Priest and King; the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed.
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
Salvation comes by God's grace or "unmerited favor" alone — not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God.
Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)
All glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.
Based on SCRIPTURE alone, we can affirm that justification is by GRACE alone, through FAITH alone, because of CHRIST alone, for the GLORY OF GOD alone.