If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour or do not know what it means to be a Christian, please take a moment to read the following.
All of Us were Sinners
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans chapter 3, verse 23 (Romans 3:23)
"There is no one righteous, not even one." Romans 3:5
Sin is anything that is unacceptable to God. We have all sinned by failing to obey God and in doing so, our relationship with Him is hindered. Our sin separates us from our perfect, loving God.
What did God do about our sin?
No matter how deep in sin we are, God still loves us and longs for a relationship with us. But our sin separates us from Him. In the past, as a substitution for their sin, Jews sacrificed an unblemished animal as a symbolic offering to God. In return, they received forgiveness. God had a better idea though.
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
God decided to send his son Jesus Christ to earth to become the unblemished (sinless) and perfect sacrifice for our sins. Throughout his 33 years of life on earth, Jesus lived a pious, sinless life. He was human, but without sin. Through his blood shed on the Cross, Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins. He became the bridge that closed the gap between us and God. We now have the potential to have a relationship with God.
How do we mend our relationship with God?
Although we didn't deserve it, Jesus died for our sins. He gave us grace.
"It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8,9.
Through this grace, sin no longer separates us from God. We can have a relationship with Him and have eternal life in Heaven.
What does it mean to be saved or receive salvation?
In light of the above statements and verses, to be saved, means to be saved from our sin and from an eternal life without God (in what the Bible calls Hell) by receiving and accepting Jesus Christ into our lives.
"That if you confess 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 confess and are saved." Romans 10:9,10.
What do I need to do to be saved?
Salvation is through Jesus Christ only.
"I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Jesus has done His part, but now the ball is in our court. To be saved, we must make Jesus part of our lives by believing and confessing that he died for our sins.
We can do so by saying this simple prayer:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that only through You can I receive salvation. Thank you for dying on the cross for me for the forgiveness of my sins. The Bible says in Romans chapter 10, verse 13 that "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Lord, I call on You now. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and I believe in my heart that He rose from the dead. Thank you for my salvation.
By saying this prayer and receiving salvation, we can be assured that we have a place in Heaven. We are now children of God.
What do I do now?
As a symbol of your commitment to Jesus, you must be water baptized as Jesus was."As soon as he was baptized, he went up out of the water." (Matthew 3:16) Water baptism symbolizes the sinner being immersed into the cleansing blood of Jesus, and coming out as a resurrected, saved child of God. "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved" Mark 16:16.
How do I maintain my relationship with God
As Christians, we must "live a life worthy of the calling" we have received (Ephesians 4:1-3). To maintain our relationship with God, we must nurture it, just as we do with any other relationship we have.
1. Pray daily- This is one way to communicate with God. "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18
2. Ask God for forgiveness for your sins. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
3. Read the Bible- God communicates through us through his Word, the Bible. It is his love letter to his children. Our faith in Him will grow as we read it everyday.
"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Romans 10:17
4. Memorize Scripture- "I've hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11.
5. Attend a church that teaches the Bible as its standard for living. "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction." 2 Timothy 4:2
6. Become friends with other Christians- Christian friends will encourage you in your walk with Christ in addition to keeping you accountable. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. " Proverbs 27:17.
7. Share your faith -"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."Mark 16:15
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