When we say yes to God’s plan of salvation for us, we have to say no to our old unsaved ways of life. I’ll explain this by looking at God’s plan of salvation.
#1 Hear the gospel. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) When we first hear the gospel, our faith grows and we start to trust God’s ways for us. To be able to live a life of trusting God in faith, we have to stop living our life by trusting in the ways of the world. So, we have to say no to our old way of life before we can say yes to God’s new way of life for us.
#2 Believe the gospel. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8) When we say yes to accepting and believing in the good news of the gospel, we are saying that we are personally confident that the Bible scriptures are the true inspired words of God. God’s ways for us, and the worlds ways for us are opposite of each other. They oppose each other. They both can’t be true. We can’t follow and obey God’s will for us found in the scriptures, without first rejecting, and turning away from the ways of the world. When a person says they believe in the gospel, but they are not following and obeying the gospel, their actions show that they don’t believe the gospel will do what it says it will do in their life. What a person is doing is what they believe. What they are not doing is what they don’t believe.
#3 Repent of our sins. “I tell you, no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) To repent we are saying to God, “I have sinned in the past, and I’m sorry for having sinned. With Your help, Lord, I will be able to repent, by turning away from sinning, and seeking to live a life of not sinning. Saying yes to repenting, is saying no to sinning.
#4 Confess Christ before men. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33) If we say yes to God, He will say yes to us. If we say no to God, He will say no to us. God has good plans for us, most importantly, salvation. Saying yes to the ways of the world, is saying no to God’s good plans for us. God will respect our free will decision to not accept Him, or His good plans for us. God will never force us to follow and obey Him, against our free will.
#5 Be baptized. “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) In baptism our old sinful man is buried in the waters of baptism. And our new creation man rises up out of the waters of baptism. To be able to say yes, to continue to live the life of the new creation man in Christ, we have to continually say no to that old man of sin, from coming back into our life. And yes to God’s ever present, love, guidance, and help through His scriptures.
#6 Live a faith filled life of obeying and serving God. “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” This same scripture is found in three different locations in the Bible. (Matthew 10:22, and 24:13) and (Mark 13:13) In many places in scripture, it is clear to us that just one time saying that you believe in God, isn’t enough to be guaranteed a reservation in heaven. We have to daily, read and study the bible throughout all of the rest of our days on earth. We must LIVE IN BELIEF, and LIVE IN FAITH toward God, to be able to stay faithful to God all the rest of our lives. We must also, daily say no to anything or anyone who may be drawing us away from God. We have to have our mind set on God, and His will for us. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) To say yes, I will live most of my life the way God wants me to, and yes, I will also live some of my life the way I want to, IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO GOD! What is acceptable to God is for us to put Him first in our life, because that is what is best for us. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase.” (Proverbs 3:5-9) And the two Great Commandments; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37,39) God wants us to be totally submitted to Him, and for Him to be the Lord of our life. “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, HE IS A DOUBLE-MINDED MAN UNSTABLE IN ALL HIS WAYS.” (James 1:5-8) HOW COMMITTED ARE WE TO BEING SUBMITTED WHEN TEMPTATION COMES, SAY NO, I DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE, AND WALK AWAY. TO STAY RIGHT WITH GOD, WE HAVE TO KEEP SAYING NO TO WHAT IS NOT RIGHT WITH GOD! God is asking us to say no to the harmful things that Satan wants to curse us with, on the wide road to hell. God is asking us to say yes, to the good things that God wants to bless us with, on the narrow road up to heaven. God can’t put in our hands the good He has for us, until we let go of the harmful things of the world.