January 12, 2017
Salvation can be boiled down to a three step process…
1. Recognize that you sin and it separates you from God.
2. Believe that Jesus is God’s son and He died in your place.
3. Accept Jesus’s sacrifice for you and make Him Lord of your life.
It is that easy … and that difficult. Let’s look at each step a little closer.
Recognize that you sin and it separates you from God.
No one is completely perfect all the time. We have all messed up. We have all had times that our motives are not completely pure, where we long for something someone else has, where we tell a little white lie. We can try to reason and say we are good people…at least as good at everyone else. But deep in our hearts we know that there are times we’ve messed up. The Bible calls it sin and it comes from a word that means to “miss the mark”. The Bible states
Romans 3:10 – As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;” (NIV)
Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (NIV)
“Alright, so I’ve sinned,” you may say. “Everyone does it. What’s the big deal?” Well, to God it is a big deal. Sin separates us from God. God is good, holy, and just. Sin causes death, destruction, and despair. Sin is not a part of God, nor can it be. Because of this, Sin cannot be a part of Heaven. If we have sinned, we simply cannot go to the place that God created for us. He created Heaven and He gets to decide what it takes to get there. The Bible says
Romans 5:12 – Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— (NIV)
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
We have all sinned and that sin keeps us out of heaven, but God provided a way for us to get rid of our sin. That provision takes us to step number 2 … Jesus.
Believe that Jesus is God’s son and He died in your place.
The Bible tells us that Jesus came to earth, born of a virgin. He is God born as a man. The Book of John describes Jesus as the “Word” saying…
John 1:1-4, 14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)
As God on earth, Jesus lived a perfect life. He did not have the sin in Him that separates us from God. While on earth He taught his followers how to live, healed the sick, and demonstrated the love of God. When His ministry was over, He died a cruel and horrible death on a cross. Jesus suffered the death that a sinner should suffer, even though He was blameless.
John 3:16-17 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (NIV)
Romans 5:6-8 – You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)
The death that Jesus suffered, He suffered for us. He bore the sins that we are guilty of, taking the penalty that was meant for us. The Bible says that God laid on Jesus the sins of the whole world (Isaiah 53:6). Then a beautiful thing happened, because Jesus had no sin in Him, death couldn’t keep Him. He rose again and was resurrected. In His resurrection He conquered death, defeating its power over us.
Romans 4:24-25 – …God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (NIV)
So, it looks like Jesus did everything…living a sinless life, dying for us, raising from the dead to conquer death. Then everything is done. We don’t have to do anything … well that’s not quite true. Jesus has given us this extraordinary gift of a way to eternal life, but gifts must be received in order for us to obtain their benefits. And that leads us to step 3…
Accept Jesus’s sacrifice for you and make Him Lord of your life.
Gifts do us no good if we don’t accept them and use them. The same is true with God’s gift of eternal life. How do we accept the gift? With our belief. The Bible says
John 5:24 – “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (NIV)
Romans 10:9-11 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” (NIV)
Our belief shows that we see Jesus and His sacrifice as our only way to salvation. Accepting Him as Lord of our life means that we relinquish control over our own right to live life the way that we think is best. Instead we yield to God’s view and plan for our life. Your prayer to receive salvation and accept God’s gift may look something like this…
Lord God, I know that I’ve sinned against You and that I cannot save myself no matter how good I am. I recognize that you sent Jesus to earth to free me from my sins. I believe that Jesus is God, born a man. I believe that He led a sinless life and died on the cross for my sins. I believe that He rose from the grave conquering death. Thank You for the gift of Your Son! Lord God, I accept His sacrifice. Forgive me for my sins. I surrender my life completely to You.
That’s it. If you prayed the prayer above and meant it with all your heart, you are saved! When you are saved, God changes you from the inside out. He forgives your sin and makes you feel clean on the inside. He gives you a new spirit (that part that is deep inside of you) and He sends the Holy Spirit to live in your heart. The Bible says …
Romans 8:1-2, 11 – Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death… And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. (NIV)
John 14:16-17 – And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (NIV)
Every salvation experience is different. Some of you will feel drastically different. Others will not feel a thing and wonder if anything happened at all. Make no mistake, if you are genuine in your belief and request for salvation, you are saved. The Bible says …
Romans 8:16-17 – The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (NIV)
Did you say the prayer? Did you give your life to Jesus? If so, see below to find your next step.
Maybe you are a little hesitant to pray right now. That’s ok. It’s a big decision. I would encourage you to keep seeking and searching for the truth. Maybe pray the simple prayer, “God if You’re real, show me.” What do you have to loose? I would also like to encourage you to read the book of John in the Bible. It is an eyewitness account of the life of Jesus. You could also read the book of Romans. It is a book written to early Christians to prove that the only way to salvation is through belief in Jesus. All the verses above were taken from these two books and they are great place to start on your quest to discover the truth. You have nothing to lose by looking for the truth about God and salvation and everything to gain. Feel free to leave a message in the comments section below. I would love the opportunity to pray for you on your quest to discover the truth.
I did it. I said the prayer. What’s the next step?
Once you’ve accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, tell someone about it. Leave a comment below with your story. Call a friend or family member that you know has been praying for you. Seek out a pastor at a local church. This is wonderful news and good news should be shared!
After you’ve told someone your wonderful news, there are two things you should do. One of them is to read the Bible. All the verses above are from the books of John and Romans. They are by no means the only books of the Bible you should read, but they are a good place to start. Read John to get the story of Jesus’s life written by one of His disciples that was there and saw everything happen. Read Romans if you want more explanation that salvation can only come through belief in Jesus. When you read the Bible ask God to reveal His Word to you. Ask Him to help you understand what you read and how to apply it to your life.
Along with reading the Bible, find a local church to attend. Our faith cannot grow by itself. We need other people to help us grow in our faith in Jesus. The Bible says…
Romans 10:17 – Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (NIV)
Hebrews 10:23-25 – Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)
Colossians 3:16 – Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (NIV)
As you read your Bible and attend church, your faith will grow. You will begin to understand more about God and his incredible love for you. May God richly bless you on your journey.